Understanding before Moving 158: Chess history in a nutshell (40)

by ChessBase
12/31/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on chess training and strategy. In the 158th episode of his ChessBase show "Understanding before moving" Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell" and continues to talk about the games and the legacy of Paul Keres. | Photo: Pascal Simon

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Paul Keres (3)

On New Year's Eve I would like to conclude with the last episode about the Estonian Paul Keres, who was also called the "Eternal Second". He played like a world champion but never became one. This is also a bit of the tragedy for the man who helped to bring Soviet chess to great heights for a long time.

Since chess players love puzzles, I think this New Year's Eve episode offers an excellent opportunity to show you some endgame studies composed by Keres. With thanks to the amazing database of endgame studies created by the Dutch scientist and endgame specialist Harold van der Heijden (see https://www.hhdbvi.nl/).

In three studies you can try to find the win for White, in the other three White must try to hold a seemingly lost position to a draw. You can pause the video at the beginning of each study for orientation. If you don't find the solution quickly, restart the video. You can, of course, stop it at any time to see if you can discover the final point of Keres' idea.

The diagram position below arises at the end of what I consider to be a masterful study. With which move does White win?

Have fun! I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2024!

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