Sunday, 24 April 2016

Botvinnik v Keres

One of the great chess mysteries concerns Paul Kere's string of second place finishes in the Candidates Tournaments (1953, 1956, 1959 & 1962). The conspiracy theory is that Keres was not allowed to challenge for the World Championship Match, this being the price he paid to avoid other punishment for playing in German events during World War II. There has been a lot of discussion on this topic, and while the general conclusion is that no such 'direct' order was made, there is the possibility that Keres himself felt pressured by the circumstances he found himself in (An Estonian player up against favoured Russian opponents).
In fact against most of his closest Soviet rivals he did not have that bad a score. The one notable exception was Mikhail Botvinnik who was +5 against him.  A lot of this was down to the 1948 World Championship Tournament (where Botvinnik owned Keres), but the following game was a later example of Botvinnik's play against Keres.

Botvinnik,Mikhail Moisevich - Keres,Paul Petrovich [A29]
URS-chT Moscow, 1966

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a swashbuckling opening!