Keres Plays 1500 Correspendence Games?! - Best of the 30s - Keres vs. Dyckhoff, 1935

Keres Plays 1500 Correspendence Games?! - Best of the 30s - Keres vs. Dyckhoff, 1935


Paul Keres played about 1500 (!) correspondence chess games as a very young player. Many of these games were played before he turned 20, and at one point he is said to have been playing 500 games simultaneously! One would have to imagine he was an infamous legend among the local mail carriers.

Keres used correspondence chess to gain a vast amount of practical experience against strong opposition. Today, players like Alireza Firouzja and Nihal Sarin have done the same with online chess, playing thousands and thousands of games before they got their grandmaster titles.

In this game, Keres played the great Eduard Dyckhoff, a titan and eminent promoter of correspondence chess, and a fierce player in his own right.

Top 10 Games of the 1930s

The game is an Open Ruy Lopez, one of my favorite fighting variations. Dyckhoff puts serious pressure on Keres' d5-pawn with some typical tactics, but then Keres ups the complexity of the game by sacrificing a pawn and committing to a kingside attack with 21.f5! At each turn, the players prove ambitious and worthy to the challenges before them. Star moves are 28...Rh5!! and 33.Ng4!!

My annotations are below. I can't imagine how many variations were in Keres' notes, and I wish he had annotated this game in his best games collection. He gave surprisingly little attention to his correspondence games in his his fantastic memoir

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