14195 Players currently online!
Man vs. Machine - good luck!
Turn-based games at any time!
Vote for the best move to win!
Do you have what it takes?
Sharpen your tactical vision!
Get advice and game insights!
Learn from top players & pros!
View millions of master games!
Your virtual chess coach!
Perfect your opening moves!
Test your skills vs. computer!
Find the right private coach!
Can you solve it each day?
Bring it all together!
Beginners, start here!
Make friends & play team games!
News from the world of chess!
Search all Chess.com members!
Find local clubs & events!
Who's the best of your friends?
Read what members are saying!
It’s often forgotten what a great player Keres was. At Chessmetrics he reached the top 10 in 1935, and it wasn’t until 31 years later, in 1966, that he fell out of it for the first time. Most of the 25 years between 1939 and 1964 Keres had a very stable position in the top 5 (and returned there briefly in the beginning of the 1970s). This in spite of having many very strong players to compete with: in his 25th consecutive year in the top 10 he was #2, ahead of players like Botvinnik, Petrosian, Smyslov, Spassky, Korchnoi, Fischer, Geller, Bronstein, etc. Only Tal was ahead after recently having swept Soviet Championships 1957 and 1958, Interzonal 1958, Candidates 1959 and title match 1960. In the Candidates Keres won three of his four games against Tal, but the latter finished first thanks to his better results against Fischer.
The competition is tough on various greatest ever lists, but Keres is often placed unexpectedly low on them. On Keene/Divinsky’s ranking in Warriors of the Mind he is behind Polugaevsky, Geller and Stein. Fischer made his top ten lists before the days of Kasparov, Karpov, Anand etc but there was no place for Keres on them. Chernev listed the twelve greatest around the same time and no Keres (but Bronstein and Nimzo). Anand did rank Keres as one of the ten greatest ever a few years ago, but he is an exception.
Keres scored great results five decades in a row, just a few examples without including his four consecutive second places in Candidates:
Semmering 1937: clear first, far ahead of Fine, Capablanca and Reshevsky.
AVRO 1938: winner on tiebreak, far ahead of Alekhine, Capablanca and Botvinnik.
Margate 1939: first ahead of Capablanca and Flohr.
Soviet Championship 1951 (his third Soviet title): clear first ahead of Botvinnik, Petrosian, Smyslov and Bronstein.
Budapest 1952: clear first ahead of Botvinnik, Smyslov and Petrosian.
Zürich 1961: clear first ahead of Petrosian.
Bamberg 1968: clear first, far ahead of Petrosian.
Tallinn 1975: clear first, far ahead of Spassky and Bronstein.
Not many players have won the maybe strongest tournament ever held at the time it was played (AVRO 1938) to 30 years later win a tournament with a two point margin down to the reigning World Champion (Bamberg 1968). Keres scored -1 in a strong Soviet tournament at the end of the 1930s, and the next time he scored a negative result in an official tournament was in 1973, -1 in the Interzonal when he was 57 years old. Keres had a career plus against Capablanca, Euwe and Tal, and was equal against Smyslov, Petrosian and Karpov. He won against all World Champions from Capablanca to Fischer, and lost only one match in his career, against the 21 years younger Spassky in 1965.
Estonia was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1940, something that was followed by mass deportations that continued also after the war. Keres failed to get out of Estonia in 1944 and was never one of the more patriotic Soviet citizens during the occupation, which ended first more than fifteen years after his death. There is the famous anecdote about Golombek telling Keres that Kotov had praised him for playing a true Soviet game (in the 1954 Olympiad where Keres scored an amazing 13.5/14 for the Soviet Union) and Keres “with the nearest approach to acerbity I ever saw him show, said: ‘No, it was a true Estonian game!’” Many mean that the political situation affected Keres’ results more negatively than those of his main competitors, and if so his career achievements are even more remarkable.
you bet. he was world champ quality, if you ask me. :)
A great post!!!One of the very few usefull in the labyrinth of chess.com forums
At a recent chess tournament I purchased from the bookseller a copy of "Paul Keres: Photographs and Games," published in Estonia in 1995. It's a very impressive collection of nearly two thousand games, including wins against many great players. According to Botvinnik, Keres "was one of the strongest players of the mid-20th century. In the period from 1936 to 1975 he was probably the strongest tournament contestant" ("Botvinnik's Best Games, Volume 1," page 323).
12/10/2013 - Easterwood-Williams 2004
by chetangowda a few minutes ago
Chess Is Garbage, Here Are My Own Openings
by EDB123 a few minutes ago
Chess Troll for the Year!
by davebrah a few minutes ago
What's the quickest way to get a title?
by waffllemaster a few minutes ago
How wide is scope of Time Per Move?
by Tactical-Homicide 2 minutes ago
ESCAPE A CABALLO
by luis_albert 6 minutes ago
QGA - Hang on to the pawn?
by melvinbluestone 6 minutes ago
Tough luck for Aronian 5.5 hour game!!!
by tigerprowl 7 minutes ago
Is it agaisnt the rules so delay games?
by socialista 8 minutes ago
" HOW TO DO WHEN YOUR NOOBISH MINDINGS !!! "
by reineirpogi19 14 minutes ago
Why Join | Chess Topics |
Help & Support |
© 2013 Chess.com
• Chess - English
We are working hard to make Chess.com available in over 70 languages. Check back over the year as we develop the technology to add more, and we will try our best to notify you when your language is ready for translating!