Keres - Euwe Match of Gentlemen Warriors

Keres - Euwe Match of Gentlemen Warriors

NM GreenLaser
Nov 7, 2009, 12:00 AM |
8 | Chess Players

Paul Keres was among the world's eight top players who met at the AVRO tournament in the Netherlands in 1938. He and Reuben Fine scored 8.5 out of 14 to tie for first place. Keres had scored 1.5 out of 2 against Fine in the event and this was used as the tie breaker giving Keres first place. Mikhail Botvinnik was third with 7.5 Max Euwe, Sammy Reshevsky, and Alexander Alekhine were next with 7.0 in places 4, 5, and 6. Jose Capablanca was next with 6. Salo Flohr was last with 4.5. The tournament had been organized with the aim of producing a challenger for the world champion, Alekhine. Keres could not meet Alekhine's conditions and the match never took place.

Instead of facing Alekhine, Keres met the former world champion, Euwe, in a match in 1939-1940. The first two games were draws. Euwe won the next two games to begin a streak of ten straight decisive games. That set and remained a 20th century high level match record. At that point, Keres was ahead by two points. A draw and a win by Euwe ended the match. Keres won 7.5-6.5. Keres missed his best chance to play a title match as Alekhine never played another one. Euwe and Keres never played their planned return match of 1941. By that time, both their nations were occupied. Estonia, the home of Keres, was taken over by the Soviet Union and then by Germany. The Netherlands, Euwe's nation, was occupied by Germany. Euwe did play a match with Bogoljubow in 1941. He won 6.5-3.5.

Shown is game nine from the Keres-Euwe match. This win put Keres ahead.

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