Paul Keres Imbibes the Falkbeer

Paul Keres Imbibes the Falkbeer

GreenLaser
NM GreenLaser
Jul 4, 2009, 12:00 AM |
14 | Opening Theory

Paul Keres was born January 7, 1916 in Narva, Estonia and died June 5, 1975 in Helsinki, Finland. He became one of the best players in the world in the 1930s and remained near the top for almost forty years. In 1938, Keres came in first at AVRO, ahead of Fine on tiebreaks. This resulted in the chance to play for the world championship against Alekhine, but the match did not happen. Instead, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union, then by Germany, and then by the Soviets again. Keres was to face Soviet threats. He was allowed to play in the World Championship tournament in 1948 and came in third. Keres won the Soviet Championship in 1947, 1950, and 1951. He came in second place in the Candidates' tournaments in 1953, 1956, 1959, and 1962. His only match loss was to Spassky in their candidates match in 1965. Many writers have called Keres the strongest player never to become world champion. Keres was also an important chess writer and theorist. In the following game he played the King's Gambit against Vladimir Petrov (or Petrovs), who replied with the Falkbeer Counter Gambit. Petrov was born September 27, 1907 in Riga, Latvia and died August 26, 1943 at Kotlas, a Soviet prison labor camp. Petrov was a very strong player from 1926 until his arrest in 1942. His death was secret until 1989. While under Soviet rule the peoples of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as they said, oiled their gardens - to keep their hidden guns from rusting.

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