Chess Masterpieces: Keres vs. Winter, 1935
Paul Keres punishes greed!

Chess Masterpieces: Keres vs. Winter, 1935

NM SamCopeland

Paul Keres' baptism by fire was the 1935 Warsaw Olympiad. There the young Keres played greats such as World Champion Alexander Alekhine, Savielly Tartakower, and Salomon Flohr. He lost to these chess giants, but he did score a respectable 12/19, including a fine win against William Winter which I've annotated today.

Winter was an interesting figure who was British Champion in 1935 (the year of this Olympiad) and 1936. He at one point spent six months in prison (the only British champion to have been incarcerated) for sedition due to his political, communist activity.

Winter's creative political mind is reflected in this game by his creative opening choice. His 2...Nf6?! (Nimzowitsch Variation) against the Sicilian Defense has long been considered dubious. Playing aggressively in response, Keres wins a model attacking example, demonstrating how to punish neglect of development and castling in the opening. Would you have found the same incisive moves which Keres played?

An interesting and topical footnote to this game is Shakhriyar Mamedyarov's usage of the Nimzowitsch Variation against Wesley So this year in Tata Steel. Does Mamedyarov have some means of resuscitating the line or was he employing 2...Nf6 solely for surprise value?

I've annotated this game below in further depth. I particularly encourage the reader to show me a valid line by which Mamedyarov might have equalized (or nearly equalized) against So after 8.Qxd5. I personally think 2...Nf6 is only good for an occasional surprise

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