Keres Memorial - ACP Open: David Howell leads

by Johannes Fischer
1/9/2016 – Chess legend Paul Keres was born on 7th January 1916. To celebrate his 100-year jubilee a strong rapid tournament is played in Tallinn, in which world class players such as P. Svidler, Boris G. or P. Eljanov take part. But after eight rounds the English GM David Howell leads the field with 7.0/8. Half a point behind follow Duda, Svidler, Kovalenko and Gelfand.

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The Keres Memorial - ACP Open is organised by the Association of Chess Professionals, the  Estonian Chess Federation and the Kalev Sports Association.

Eleven rounds will be played in Tallinn, four on Friday, four on Saturday and the final three on Sunday. Each player has 15 minutes for the whole game and gets an additional 10 seconds per move. With a current rating of 2685 three times British Champion David Howell is currently England's number two (narrowly ahead of Nigel Short with 2684 and behind Michael Adams with 2744) and started the Keres Memorial as number ten on the ranking list. But he showed good form and with six wins and two draws he finishes day two as the sole leader of the tournament.

Howell finished day two in style and won with a fine attack:


Standings after 8 rounds

Rg. Snr   Name Land Elo Pkt.  Wtg1 
1 10 GM Howell David W L ENG 2646 7,0 38,0
2 14 GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof POL 2603 6,5 39,5
3 2 GM Kovalenko Igor LAT 2734 6,5 37,5
4 1 GM Svidler Peter RUS 2736 6,5 36,0
5 3 GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2733 6,5 34,5
6 16 GM Miton Kamil POL 2597 6,5 34,0
7 12 GM Georgiev Kiril BUL 2612 6,0 39,5
8 6 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2685 6,0 38,0
9 27 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra RUS 2514 6,0 37,5
10 29 IM Sveshnikov Vladimir LAT 2467 6,0 37,0
11 17 GM Jumabayev Rinat KAZ 2590 6,0 36,0
12 20 GM Tregubov Pavel V. RUS 2566 6,0 35,5
13 11 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2615 6,0 35,5
14 26 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2529 6,0 34,0
15 19 GM Neiksans Arturs LAT 2579 6,0 33,5
16 9 GM Motylev Alexander RUS 2651 5,5 40,0
17 8 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2665 5,5 39,5
18 18 GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2590 5,5 39,0
19 22 GM Lintchevski Daniil RUS 2549 5,5 38,0
20 4 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2688 5,5 37,5
  31 GM Volodin Aleksandr EST 2457 5,5 37,5
22 23 IM Kantans Toms LAT 2547 5,5 37,5
23 5 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2686 5,5 37,0
  54 IM Seeman Tarvo EST 2303 5,5 37,0
25 38 GM Balashov Yuri S RUS 2423 5,5 37,0
26 24 GM Goganov Aleksey RUS 2545 5,5 36,5
27 13 GM Sutovsky Emil ISR 2604 5,5 36,0
28 33 GM Sveshnikov Evgeny RUS 2455 5,5 35,0
29 37 FM Mustaps Matiss LAT 2429 5,5 34,5
30 21 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2564 5,5 34,0
31 56 IM Nyysti Sampsa FIN 2287 5,5 31,0
32 42 IM Padmini Rout IND 2392 5,5 29,5
33 35 GM Yevseev Denis RUS 2442 5,0 38,0

...177 players

Some of the participants: E. Sveshnikov, I. Kovalenko, D. Fridman,
E. Sutovsky, B. Gelfand, P. Svidler, P. Eljanov (Photo: Russian Chess Federation)



Paul Keres - always ready for a game.

Okay, let's go!

Addendum: Some readers wondered whether the position on the board was taken from a game Keres played or whether it is one of the studies he composed. The position on the board of the statue is almost identical to the final position of the game Walter Browne - Paul Keres, Vancouver 1975, the last tournament game Keres ever played. However, in the real Browne - Keres game the white rook was on g4, not on h3.

It is also slightly confusing that the statue of Keres plays with White whereas Keres had Black in the actual game.


Final position of Keres' last tournament game.

Paul Keres

Official site...

The Keres Memorial - ACP Open on the website of the ACP...

Rapid tournament...


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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TallVenusian TallVenusian 1/13/2016 09:19
The statue is in Narva, the city where Paul Keres was born. Aivar Simson is the sculptor. The statue is so new that I could find only one news article with any details -- the article correctly states that the position is from Keres' last game, and mentions that Keres is incorrectly shown playing White in the statue, but does not mention that the position on the board is incorrect.

The Narva city government was asked about the error (Keres shown playing White in the statue) but the Narva public relations representative could not answer this question. Hopefully all of the errors in the statue will be corrected...
Rational Rational 1/12/2016 12:24
Is there a Paul Keres museum in Estonia?

Also is there a Tal Museum in Latvia or a Petrosian Museum in Armenia?
BKnight2003 BKnight2003 1/11/2016 03:32
A famous quote from the brazilian poet Mario Quintana goes: an error in bronze is an error forever! (He said that when asked about being modeled...)
BKnight2003 BKnight2003 1/11/2016 03:27
I think it's a serious mistake making a statue with the nacional chess hero losing a game (because playing white)! That's why, problaby, they moved the rook, so the position is not that lost, but didn't help much, in my opinion - and it's a second mistake, which does not make a right.
wittgenstein wittgenstein 1/10/2016 12:46
What is the position on the chess board of the statue? Does it represents one of Keres' games?