Bamberg, Round 15: Keres wins tournament and final round!

by André Schulz
7/7/2020 – Paul Keres' tournament victory was already certain before the final round. Nevertheless, the Estonian once again played uncompromisingly to win. This was not the only decisive game of the day, which ended with a wonderful closing ceremony. At which a budgie also changed hands. | Photo: SC Bamberg

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Paul Keres - brilliant winner

Paul Keres' tournament victory was already certain before the last round. No one would have blamed the likeable Estonian, who has been competing under the flag of the Soviet Union for over 20 years, if he had finished the tournament with a quick draw in the final round. But no, Keres was obviously having too much fun with chess and with the tournament, and went all out with Black against Helmut Pfleger. The young player from Bamberg, however, defended magnificently and finally managed to equalize. But then Keres found a brilliant winning combination - or so it was thought. For the combination had a flaw - small, but big enough to give White a draw.

 

45.Re7 Also playable was 45.Re4 Qg2+ 46.Ke2 Qf3+ 47.Kd2. 45...Rxc5 One last trick... After 45...Rxe7 46.Bxe7 Black has to fight for the draw. 46.Dxc5 ...and he falls for it.

Keres’ move looks like an elegant winning combination. But it has a flaw. However, it is difficult to see how White can save himself. Bad was 46.Qxf7+ Kh6 47.Qg7+ Kg5 48.Re5+ Rxe5 49.Qxe5+ Nf5 and Black wins. But: 46.Rxf7+ would have resulted in a draw: 46...Kh6 (Or 46...Kg8 47.Rf8+ Kxf8 48.Qxc5+ Kf7 49.Qc7+ Ke8 50.Qb8+ Kd7 51.Qb5+ with perpetual check.) 47.Rh7+!! (47.Qxc5 Qd1#) 47...Kxh7 48.Qf7+ Kh6 49.Qf8+ Kg5

 

It's hard to believe that the white queen here forces a perpetual check. 50.Qd8+ (50.Qxc5+ Nf5 would be lost.) 50...Kf5 51.Qd7+ Kf4 52.Qd4+ Kg5 (Caution: 52...Kf3 53.Qe3#) 53.Qd8+.

After the game move White is lost: 46...Qd1+ 47.Re1 Qd3+ 48.Re2 Qd1+ 49.Re1 Qd3+ 50.Re2 Dh3+ 51.Ke1 Nf3+ With the winning continuation: 51...Nf3+ 52.Kd1 Qf1+ 53.Kc2 Qxe2+ 0-1

In the duel of the two Bamberg players Lothar Schmid met Hans-Günter Kestler.

Many spectators at the final round, watching the game Schmid against Kestler

Kestler again responded to Schmid's opening of 1.c4 and d4 with his "Modern Defence", but after the exchange of the Bg7 he got a difficult game and ended up in an uncomfortable endgame.

 

34.Rf6 Rh7 35.b4 Nc6 36.Bxc6 bxc6 37.Rxc6 a5 38.b5 Rh3 39.b6 Ke7 40.Kd5 Rxa3 41.Rc7+ 1-0

This gave Lothar Schmid the chance to catch up with World Champion Tigran Petrosian in the standings and share second place with him. However, Schmid needed the help of Rudolf Teschner - and he got it. Teschner drew his game against Tigran Petrosian and took away the Armenian's half point advantage. 

A spectacular game was played by Milko Bobotsov and Andreas Dückstein. The Bulgarian Ggrandmaster had a superior position after the opening, but then he missed an immediate win. In the following he overlooked a nasty little trick in a still excellent position, which allowed Black to hold, and in the end Bobotsov completely lost control of the game.

 

In this superior position White missed an impressive win: 22.Rxh7+ Kxh7 23.Qc1 The white queen comes to the h-file, and there's no adequate defence.

Instead, the game continued 22.Rh4 c5 23.Rgh1 23.Rxh7+ was still possible. 23...Nf8 Now Black covers h7 once more. White is still better. 24.dxc5 Here 24.Rg4 was worth considering, e.g. cxd4 25.Qe1 Qxb2+ 26.Kf3 Rc3 27.Qg1 Ne7 28.Bd6 dxe3 29.Bxe7 and mate. But White has other plans. 24...Rxc5 24...Qxc5 25.Qxc5 Rxc5 26.Bd6 and White wins. 25.Qd4 Re8 With a sneaky idea.

 

26.b4 26.Bg3 was needed - it covers the queen -, with the idea of b4. 26...Rc2+ Oops... White hadn’t considered that. After 26...Rc6 27.Qxd5 Re7 28.Rg1 White would be ok, however. 27.Kf3 27.Bxc2 Qxd4 27...Qxd4 28.exd4 Rc3 And Black is out of the woods.

 

29.Rd1 Re4 30.Bg3 Rxh4 31.Rxh4 Nd7 32.Kf4 Kg7 33.a4 Nb6 34.Bb5 34.Be2 34...a6 35.Be8 Rc4 36.a5 Kf8 37.Bh5 Nc8 After a few white inaccuracies the game now turns completely in favour of Black. 38.Bf3 Nce7 39.Be2 Rxb4 40.f3 Nc6 41.Bf2 White, having had enough, resigned. 0-1

The remaining games ended in a draw. So, the two Soviet stars finish the tournament at the top of the table, perhaps in a different order than expected, considering that Tigran Petrosian is the World Champion. Behind them are three German top players, Lothar Schmid, Rudolf Teschner and Wolfgang Unzicker. Helmut Pfleger might have been expected to be a little further up the table. 

The playing venue, the "Bootshaus im Hain"

The tournament ended with a closing ceremony in the Great Hall of the Bootshaus im Hain, the home of the Bamberg Rowing Club. Among the guests of honour were Bamberg's Lord Mayor Dr. Theodor Matthieu and the patron of the event, Federal Minister of Postal Affairs Dr. Werner Dollinger. The speeches acknowledged the worldwide importance of the tournament, which had come about through numerous donations. Lothar Schmid had a 10-meter-long roll of paper with him and read out all the names of the donors. The donations ranged from 200 marks to 40,000 marks. Tournament director Harry de Graaf distributed the cheques of the winners, 2000 DM for the winner, 1700 DM for the two runners-up. Paul Keres received a valuable album of special stamps from the German Federal Postal Service as a special prize. Tigran Petrosian received a valuable chess set and plenty of chess books.

Tigran Petrosian has a lot to carry

And Lothar Schmid's organizational achievement was honoured with a painting by the Bamberg painter Mike Rose. Schmid also received a budgie as a gift.

The evening ended with a cheery get-together and dance. Heikki Westerinen was particularly cheerful, stumbling into the band while dancing. Was it because of his army boots or because the fine drinks were taken too quickly? We may never know, but thankfully there were no casualties.

Heikki Westerinen, this time at the chessboard | Photo: Dutch National Archive

Results of round 15

Board Name Result Name
1 Milko Georgiev Bobotsov 0 - 1 Andreas Dueckstein
2 Jan Hein Donner ½ - ½ Klaus Klundt
3 Helmut Pfleger 0 - 1 Paul Keres
4 Lothar Schmid 1 - 0 Hans Guenter Kestler
5 Rudolf Teschner ½ - ½ Tigran V Petrosian
6 Juergen Teufel ½ - ½ Laszlo Szabo
7 Roman Toran Albero ½ - ½ Borislav Ivkov
8 Wolfgang Unzicker ½ - ½ Heikki MJ Westerinen

Final standings

Rg. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pts.
1 Paul Keres   ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 12.0
2 Tigran V Petrosian ½   ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 10.0
3 Lothar Schmid 0 ½   ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 10.0
4 Wolfgang Unzicker ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 9.5
5 Rudolf Teschner ½ ½ ½ ½   1 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 9.5
6 Borislav Ivkov 0 ½ ½ ½ 0   0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 9.0
7 Heikki MJ Westerinen 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1   0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 8.5
8 Jan Hein Donner ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1   0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 8.0
9 Helmut Pfleger 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1   1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 7.5
10 Milko Georgiev Bobotsov ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 1 0   1 1 0 1 ½ ½ 7.0
11 Hans Guenter Kestler 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 0   ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.0
12 Laszlo Szabo ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½   1 ½ 1 ½ 5.5
13 Andreas Dueckstein 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0   ½ ½ 1 5.5
14 Juergen Teufel 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½   1 1 4.5
15 Klaus Klundt 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0   ½ 4.0
16 Roman Toran Albero 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½   3.5

All games

 

The International Tournament in Bamberg starts!
Round 1: Keres wins against Schmid
Round 2: Missed opportunities
Round 3: Keres and Petrosian take the lead
Round 4: Lothar Schmid wins miniature!
Round 5: Keres takes the sole lead
Round 6: Keres beats Kestler
Round 7: Ivkov catches up to Keres
Round 8: Eight wins, one draw
Round 9: Unzicker wins brilliantly, Ivkov could have won brilliantly
Round 10: Keres dominates, Petrosian is lucky
Round 11: Miss Mar del Plata and a bank robbery
Round 12: Teschner beats Ivkov
Round 13: Draws on top boards
Round 14: Keres wins tournament with one round to go

Translation from German: Nick Murphy



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.