Chess Masterpieces: Keres vs. Westerinen, 1973

Chess Masterpieces: Keres vs. Westerinen, 1973

NM SamCopeland

Much is rightly made today of Viswanathan Anand's and Vladimir Kramnik's achievements in their 40s, but little remember Keres' longevity. Keres was at the top of world chess from the 1930s through the 1970s, a career spanning five decades!

In the first official FIDE rating list, Keres was just outside the top 10, tied with Geller, just behind Mikhail Tal.

Here he is in 1973 at the age of 57, absolutely smashing the improving Finnish grandmaster to be, Heikki Westerinen. The game features many instructive moments including the use of tactics in the opening to establish a powerful knight on d5 and a crushing positional advantage. Also pleasing to see is the coming exchange sacrifice and ensuing beautiful mating patterns.

Here is my video analysis of the highlights. I encourage you to pause at key moments and try to play as Keres did!

I've annotated this game below in further depth. I hope you enjoy the variations that did not appear on the board as much as the ones that did

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Want more of Paul Keres? Check out my previous video!