Bamberg 1968, Round 14: Keres wins tournament with one round to go

by Johannes Fischer
7/6/2020 – With an energetic win against Roman Toran Paul Keres also won the jubilee tournament in Bamberg. After 14 of 15 rounds Keres has 11.0/14 and is 1½ points ahead of World Champion Tigran Petrosian, who was lost against Jürgen Teufel but saved himself with a well-timed draw offer. The German players Wolfgang Unzicker, Lothar Schmid and Rudolf Teschner share places three to five.

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A smooth victory

Paul Keres showed a smooth performance at the jubilee tournament in Bamberg and deservedly won the tournament with one round to go. He did not lose a single game and was not even in danger of losing a game. However, he again and again showed powerful and creative chess – as in his game against Roman Toran.

 

With 9½/14 World Champion Tigran Petrosian is sole second in Bamberg and, like Keres, he is undefeated so far, but in more than one game he was on the verge of defeat. Against Ivkov and Lothar Schmid, Petrosian barely made a draw and in round 14 he could have easily lost against Jürgen Teufel from Bamberg, who before the round was at the bottom of the table with 3½/13.

 

Petrosian did not seem to take the game too seriously which might have cost him dearly. In this position Teufel played 28...Nxh2! and now Black is winning. After 29.Kxh2 hxg3+ 30.Kxg3 Qd6+ 31.f4 Or 31.Kf3 g5 with a devastating attack. 31...Nf5+ 32.Kh2 Ne3 Black's attack is too strong. When Petrosian saw what he had done he offered a draw without making a move first, and extended his hand to his opponent. As Teufel revealed after the game "the World Champion started shaking and rocking on his seat while offering the draw. Fearing the worst, I took his hand and agreed to a draw." ½–½

With this very lucky draw Petrosian might have saved second place. Maybe Petrosian was a bit distracted during the tournament in Bamberg because the Candidates Match between Boris Spassky and Efim Geller had started in Suchumi and both are likely candidates to challenge Petrosian for the World Championship in 1969.

When Petrosian was asked against which challenger he would like to play most, he replied: "If I play well, I don't care, and if I play badly, I care neither."

Keres was also asked about the Candidates: "Who do you think will be the challenger?" His answer was succinct and slightly bitter: "Well, at any rate, it won't be me." After all, for the first time in many years, Keres had missed the qualification for the Candidates and with that probably his last chance to play a match for the World Championship.

In the game between Hans Günter Kestler and Helmut Pfleger a curious case of mutual chess blindness occurred. But Kestler was the first to recover and won the game.

 

With a surprising exchange of his black-squared bishop Wolfgang Unzicker defeated Klaus Klundt in a fine positional game.

 

Rudolf Teschner continues to show good chess and outplayed Heikki Westerinen from the opening.

 

Lothar Schmid also continues to do well and with 9.0/14 he shares third to fifth place with Unzicker and Teschner. In round 14, Schmid drew against Andreas Dückstein and missed the chance for more.

 

But for the Hungarian Grandmaster Laszlo Szabo things do not at all go well in Bamberg. In round 14 he had White against Milko Bobotsov but was convincingly outplayed by his the Bulgarian Grandmaster.

 

Borislav Ivkov and Jan Hein Donner played a strange game. Donner was winning but in time-trouble he spoilt his position and lost.

 

 

 

38...g5? After 38...Qc4 39.Qd2 Qd3 Black should win, e.g. 40.Qxd3 (After 40.Qc1 Rbxa7 41.Rxa7 Rxa7 42.Qxb2 Qd1+ 43.Kh2 Ra1 White is mated.) 40...Nxd3 41.Rd1 Nb2 42.Rd2 Raxa7 43.d7 Rxd7 44.Rxb2 and Black should win the endgame. 39.Kh2 Qc4 40.Qd2 Qb5 Better was 40...Qb3.  41.Ra5 Qd3 42.Bb6! Now Black even loses. 42...Rxa5 43.Qxa5 Rf7 44.Nd4 Qc4 45.Qa8+ 1–0

Results of round 14

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

Standings after round 14

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 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 11.0 / 14
2 Tigran V Petrosian ½   ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 9.5 / 14
3 Lothar Schmid 0 ½   ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1   ½ ½ 1 1 1 9.0 / 14
4 Wolfgang Unzicker ½ ½ ½   ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 9.0 / 14
5 Rudolf Teschner ½   ½ ½   1 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 9.0 / 14
6 Borislav Ivkov 0 ½ ½ ½ 0   0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1   8.5 / 14
7 Heikki MJ Westerinen 0 ½ 0   0 1   ½ 0 1 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 8.0 / 14
8 Helmut Pfleger   0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½   1 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 7.5 / 14
9 Jan Hein Donner ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0   0 ½ 1 ½ 1   1 7.5 / 14
10 Milko Georgiev Bobotsov ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 0 1   1 1   1 ½ ½ 7.0 / 14
11 Hans Guenter Kestler 0 ½   ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0   ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.0 / 14
12 Laszlo Szabo ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½   1   1 ½ 5.0 / 14
13 Andreas Dueckstein 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½   ½ 0   ½ ½ 1 4.5 / 14
14 Juergen Teufel 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½   ½   1 1 4.0 / 14
15 Klaus Klundt 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½   ½ 0 0 ½ 0   ½ 3.5 / 14
16 Roman Toran Albero 0 0 0 0 ½   ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½   3.0 / 14

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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