Paul Keres "special" in ChessBase Magazine #199

by ChessBase
1/11/2021 – 105 years ago, on January 7, 1916, Paul Keres, one of the best chess players of all time, was born. On the occasion of the anniversary, the new ChessBase Magazine #199 dedicates a "special" to the Estonian grandmaster: 18 players present and annotate their favourite Paul Keres games - 18 wonderful games and 18 stories that show how chess players from all over the world still admire this extraordinary player and personality.

ChessBase Magazine 199 ChessBase Magazine 199

Special: AVRO 1938. "All in One": Anish Giri and Igor Stohl dissect two topical opening lines. Analyses from Norway Chess 2020 by Duda, Firouzja et al. Videos by Erwin l'Ami, Daniel King and Mihail Marin. 11 opening articles and much more!


Paul Keres in ChessBase Magazine #199

Paul Keres, who was born on January 7, 1916 in Narva, in Estonia, and died from a heart attack on June 5, 1975 in a hospital in Helsinki, while returning from a tournament in Vancouver, Canada, is a true chess legend.

In 1938, at the age of 22, Keres won the AVRO tournament, in which eight of the world's top players of that time took part, and established himself among the world's best. After this victory, he hoped to get the chance to play a match for the world championship against Alexander Alekhine, but such a match never came to pass. The 1938 AVRO tournament is also the main topic in ChessBase Magazine #199 (see below).

In the World Championship tournament 1948 in The Hague and Moscow he finished third behind Mikhail Botvinnik and Vassily Smyslov, and in the 1950 Candidates Tournament he came fourth. In the following four Candidates Tournaments between 1953 and 1962 he finished second four times, and 1965 he lost to Boris Spassky in the quarter-finals of the Candidates Matches. Keres won against no fewer than nine world champions in individual games, but he never played a match for the world championship.

In Estonia, Keres was and still is a hero, and he was and is also held in high esteem in the chess world, not least because of his impeccable demeanour and elegant appearance. He wrote numerous books and is still regarded as an outstanding analyst who mastered all facets of the game. However, he was particularly strong when attacking and many chess players appreciated and still appreciate his enterprising, tactical style.

The 18 games by Keres presented in ChessBase Magazine #199 show him as a brilliant strategist and endgame player, and they also show how imaginative and creative Keres was in attacking the enemy king. The following game, presented by Yago Santiago, is just one example among many.


Main topic of CBM #199:AVRO 1938 

The AVRO tournament, staged from 6th to 27th of November 1938, saw the world's eight best players of that time fighting in a doubleround-robin. With the reigning world champion and two ex-title holders - Alexander Alekhine, José Raúl Capablanca and Max Euwe - facing a bunch of aspiring young talents - Mikhail Botvinnik, Reuben Fine, Salo Flohr, Paul Keres and Samuel Reshevsky - the event was perceived by the public as a clash of generations and attracted a lot attention. 

Reuben Fine dominated the field from the start and after his victory over Alekhine in round six had a whopping 5/6. But on the next day the American was defeated by Paul Keres (see Renato Quintiliano's annotations in "My favourite game by Paul Keres" and also Karsten Müller's article "Endgame Special"). 

After 29...dxc4! 30.Nxb4 cxb3 Black went on to win a fascinating endgame.

Fine remained half a point ahead of Keres until round 11 when he suffered yet another defeat, allowing the latter to draw level. The big highlight of that day, however, was Botvinnik's brilliant victory over Capablanca, culminating in a spectacular finishing combination.

The game is featured both in Oliver Reeh's column "Tactics" and in Dorian Rogozenco's video analysis "The Classic" .

White to play and win!

On the last day, the duel between the two leaders ended in a short draw after 19 moves. The result of their direct encounter was to decide the overall outcome, and thus the Estonian Paul Keres was declared winner of the AVRO tournament 1938. Keres and Fine both scored 8.5/14; third was Botvinnik, a full point behind them. 

On the DVD, Simon Williams invites you to replay the game Alekhine,A-Capablanca,J 1-0 in his interactive column “Move by Move”.

And Mihail Marin's article bears the name of the tournament right in the title.

ChessBase Magazine # 199 offers a lot more: analyses by top players such as Alireza Firouzja or Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 11 opening articles with new repertoire ideas, opening videos by Erwin l'Ami, Daniel King and Mihail Marin and much more.

Take a look and download the booklet of ChessBase Magazine #199 as a pdf file and for free.


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