58 Keres Games

That’s how many of his I have recently studied. I love Keres games! He rocks!

I would recommend to any student to study Keres’ games. Why? Because he cuts through the crap of a position, to show where the weakness lies. With Kasparov’s games, no one knows WTF is going on except for the relevant combinations. Fischer had a penchant for peculiar moves in closed positions, but was sort of boringly “scientific” (to quote a word used by Ljubovevic) and technical. Kortchnoi was sort of conservative and anal-retentive in his style (he simply out-calculated opponents, for the most part, especially in dry, strategic positions, except against Karpov) – but you can still learn a lot from Kortchnoi, and I still like him. Karpov was extremely interesting, but as is often alluded to “Who can play like Karpov, but Karpov!?”

Also, Keres was not dogmatic, so you could always learn some wonderful positional lesson from him. Ocassionally, he might inject a suspect or dubious sac against a weaker opponent, but you still learn a lot from it and it has been extremely rare that he does it (except against Botvinnik, right? 😉 ).


4 thoughts on “58 Keres Games

  1. Hey LinuxGuy!

    I have reading through Keres’ game collection of his later games! Great games and annotations.

    Although I just posted a Keres game against Geller where Keres misplays the Nimzo-Indian and misevaluates the position!

    Great game by Geller and an instructive loss from KEres!

  2. TommyG!

    If I were to give a student a chess-lesson, this is the first game that I would give as a “homework assignment”. This game is simple, pure elegance, exemplifies the basic footwork of an attack and development. At the end of the game, White is down 2 rooks for a knight, but is essentially up 3 pieces because there is nothing left of a Black attack, he completely neutered it. hehe. This is the brilliance of Keres, and was probably a relatively simple day’s work for him.

    Keres vs Szabo – Budapest, 1955

    So basically, you go through the game, choose your move (like you have been doing!) and then ask why Keres’ choice works so well. Or just enjoy the game! 🙂

    There is a move in the above game where if ..Kg8 instead of ..Kf8, then Qxh6 followed by Bh7+..Kh8, Bg6+ Kg8, Qh7+ Kf8, Qf7 mate, which is a “stock” tactic to know.

    Your Blogspot blog acts weird from my Linux and Firefox. I also meant to post this as a comment there:

    “Also, when Keres played 36…a5 (probably in time-trouble!), don’t overlook the good laugh he gave us as he had to see that the White king could get to his pawn, since if he hadn’t moved the king on move 39 then we have h8(Q)..a1(Q), c4+! Kxc, QxQa1.”

    I did like Gellers’ book, which was roughly a collection of miniatures against the greatest players in the world, but you don’t see the flips-side where he lost games as well by getting too caught up in openings duels, such as in the Zurich 1953 candidates tournament. Too much emphasis on openings can lead to hot and cold streaks.

    My own chess weakness has become the positional/strategic lines. For example, I don’t have a feel for the Rauzer Sicilian so much, those Bg5 lines. Bg5 looks more attacking, but it becomes very positional in those 0-0-0 lines. The Ruy Lopez, I can play it well positionally on the low-level of the non-pro, but I don’t have a Master’s understanding of a closed opening like the Ruy or the French. My strength is in open games.

    I don’t think the problem is me so much as time-controls. If you play at faster time-controls, it will improve your tactics, but your nuanced late middle-game/endgame will go to hell in a hand-basket when it comes to delicate/finesse openings.

    Tommy, in your game against the Open Lopez, you have to play 8.dxe because trading knights on e5 get’s rid of Black’s light-square weakness, and makes playing ..c5 easier.

    Also, the Lopez “is like milking a cow” according to Bronstein – you can’t be Mr. Tactics from the word go. For example, even something nifty like 14.Nd3 would appear to be defeated by 14..exNd3, 15.Bxg7 Kd7!

  3. Hey Linuxguy,

    Do you have a recommended book/books for Keres’ games? Sounds like something I’d be interested in, but it’d be good to know what are the best ones!

  4. I have the one by Varnusz on his open games. Seems like I need the one on his closed games though, because endgames at G/90 are killin’ me. 😉

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