Bamberg 1968, Round 1: Keres wins against Schmid

by André Schulz
6/23/2020 – World Champion Tigran Petrosian and Paul Keres, since more than thirty years one of the world's best players, are favourites to win in Bamberg. Both started well: in round one Petrosian won with Black against Laszlo Szabo while Keres won with White against Lothar Schmid, for many a secret favourite to win the event. | Photo: The town hall of Bamberg (Pixabay)

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Opening ceremony and round 1

In the morning before the start of the tournament the international guests were welcomed in the old town hall of Bamberg, one of the landmarks of the city. The "Schlerf-Quartett" of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra played extracts of "Airs de Ballet" by Philidor, who was not only one of the best chess players of the 18th century but also a well-known composer.

In his welcoming speech Mayor Georg Grosch emphasized how chess brings people together. Patron of the event is the Federal Minister of Postal Services, Dr. Werner Dollinger, who sent his greetings through a representative. The German Post supports the tournament also in other ways: it issued a special postmark to celebrate the event.

The last speech was given by Grandmaster Lothar Schmid, who was instrumental in making the tournament possible. Finally, tournament director Harry de Graaf drew the lots and  afterwards the players and the guests of the tournament visited the opening of the exhibition "King Chess and his satellites - books, pictures, pieces" in the State Library. Many treasures from private collections were on display.

On the occasion of its 100th anniversary the SC Bamberg has published a magnificent festschrift and many local and national companies took the opportunity to present themselves in that brochure.

The tournament is played in the rooms of the Bamberg Rowing Society, in the Bootshaus im Hain. Young people transfer the moves of the games onto large demonstration boards.

Lothar Schmid, who a lot of people give chances to fight for first place, had a difficult start because he had to play with Black against Paul Keres. After 1.d4 c5 (Schmid-Benoni) Keres played 2.e4 to transpose into a Morra Gambit and soon had the better position.


Keres now liquidated into a won endgame. 20.Qxc5 e6 20...Qxf4 21.Qc6+ 21.Qc7 Threatening mate. 21...Be7 22.Rd7 Threatening to win a piece. 22...Bd8 22...Qb4 23.Kh1! (But not 23.c3 Qc5+ and Black escapes.) 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8 24.Qxg7 Rf8 25.Bxh6


25... Qd4+ This move avoids the worst. After 25...Rf7 26.Qg8+ Ke7 27.Bg5+ White wins immediately. 26.Qxd4 Rxd4 27.c3 Rd6 28.Bxf8 Kxf8 29.Re1 White is two pawns up and winning.


29...Kf7 30.Kf2 Kf6 31.Ke2 e5 32.Rd1 Rb6 33.b3 Kg5 34.c4 Kf4 35.Rd3 Rh6 36.Rh3 Rg6 37.Rh4+ Kg5 38.g3 a5 39.c5 e4 40.Ke3 Rg8 41.Rf4 Rd8 42.h4+ Kf6 43.g4 Rd3+ 44.Ke2 Ke5 45.Rxf5+ Kd4 46.g5 Re3+ 47.Kf1 Rh3 48.c6 Rxh4 49.g6 e3 50.g7 Rh1+ 51.Ke2 Rh2+ 52.Ke1 1–0

The other players from Bamberg did not fare much better. Pfleger lost to Ivkov and Kestler lost to Bobotsov.

World Champion Tigran Petrosian won with Black against Laszlo Szabo.


25.Qa6 This queen excursion is too risky. Better was 25.d5. 25...Nxd4 26.Qxa7 b3 27.Bb1 Nc2 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.Rf1 Qxb2 30.Qb6


White's position collapsed and White has problems to find a move. 30...Rd5 31.a4 Qc3 32.h3 Kg7 33.g3 What else? 33.Rc1 b2 34.Rf1 Ne1 loses immediately. 33...Ra5 34.h4 Rxa4 35.h5 gxh5 36.Qd8 Threatening a perpetual, but...


36...h6 0–1

Results of round 1

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

Standings after round one

Rg. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pts.
1 Tigran V Petrosian                           1     1.0
2 Paul Keres                       1         1.0
3 Milko Georgiev Bobotsov                             1   1.0
4 Borislav Ivkov                         1       1.0
5 Jan Hein Donner                               1 1.0
6 Roman Toran Albero               ½                 0.5
7 Wolfgang Unzicker                 ½               0.5
8 Klaus Klundt           ½                     0.5
9 Rudolf Teschner             ½                   0.5
10 Juergen Teufel                     ½           0.5
11 Andreas Dueckstein                   ½             0.5
12 Lothar Schmid   0                             0.0
13 Helmut Pfleger       0                         0.0
14 Laszlo Szabo 0                               0.0
15 Hans Guenter Kestler     0                           0.0
16 Heikki MJ Westerinen         0                       0.0




The International Tournament in Bamberg starts!

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

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


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geeker geeker 6/24/2020 03:45
Excellent. I once visited Bamberg. Please consider showing more photos of the city.