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Chess Training with Keres et alii .

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One of the books I have in my Chess library is a little-known gem written by Paul Keres. The title translated into  English  is   “The Art of Analysis” and has 67 pages. It is devoted to help to develop the players’ skills in the art of analysing adjourned positions. Yes, you may say there are no adjourned games these days… But please remember Chess can be seen as a whole in which the sum of the parts are bigger than the whole itself, and that the great Chess trainer “guru” Dvoretsky devoted nearly an entire book to teach tactics by using the analysis of adjourned positions. So it is not today’s practical use but the benefits we can obtain in the development of our tactical and analytical skills. Nearly every  Soviet trainer has strongly recommended the analysis of adjourned games as one of the best way to develop those analytical skills.

Keres presents the reader with 5 positions from his practice, and proceed to tell us the history around that position and how he tried to discover the hidden secrets they contain. At the end of the book, Keres explains his aim is not composing a systematic guide but to show the reader the problems every Chess Master has to deal with when he goes back home with an adjourned game to be played. Some of the positions are beautiful and invite the reader to try to analyse them and then compare the findings with the great GM’s ideas. For instance:

(I will give the moves played in the games at the end of the post in case you want to work on them on your own.)

W.: Rejfir (0)

B.: Keres (1)

Moscow  (Ol) 1956

W.: Rejfir

rejf Black : Keres

The position  (I have put it from the Black side of the board so Black plays upwards) was adjourned here and White sealed his 41st move. Although Keres has a Pawn about to reach the queening square, the position still has to be analysed. Remember that we are in top-level Chess, with players ready to fight and find very hidden resources.

Another of the examples is:

W.: M.Tal

tal B.: P. Keres

Again the position is shown from the Black side. The game was played in Beograd in 1959.Keres sealed his 41st move, which was 41. …, Nd3/

Another Soviet Chess  “heavyweight”  , the late A. Suetin, also devote chapters in his books to recommend these types of exercises. He said they were excellent training grounds because they imply two types of Chess thinking: one using abstract thinking  (without calculation of variations)  to determine which pieces to change, which to preserve, how to place ones pieces, etc. , and another tactical one  because most of the positions are full of tactical variations with hidden possibilities and tricks.

This is the way they worked in the “golden age”  of the Soviet Chess . These were the methods they use in their Chess schools, Pioneers’ Palaces, Chess training camps. Remember that in those days, even World, ex-World Champions had to devote time to training sessions with the young promises.

The last example is mentioned by Suetin. After the game, Botvinnik acknowledged that  this game helped him to improve his analytical skills:

W.: Ragozin

  BotvB.: Botvinnik

(Position from the Black side again)

This game was played in Leningrad in 1930. Botvinnik managed to win after his opponent missed a drawish line on move 50th. But this was pure Chess!: a tug-of-war between two outstanding minds. In those years, Ragozin was Botvinnik’s trainer and they played scores of secret games which helped Botvinnik to become one of the best chessplayers in the history of the game.

The game proceeded  38 …, Rxf3  39. b6, cb6  40. cb6   Rd8! 41. Kc4, Re3  42. Nc6, Re4 43. Nd4, f3  44. Ra2, Rc8  45. Kb4!, Re1 46. c4, Re4  47. Kc3, Re3  48. Kb4, Re4  49. Kc3, Rd8!  50. Nc6? , Re3  51. Kb4 , Re2  52. Ra1, f2 53. Nxd8 Re1 54. Ra8, f1=Q  55. Nc6, Kg7 and Black finally won the game.

Rejfir- Keres continued:

41. Qd3 (sealed),  Rxg6/ 42. hg6, Qd4! 43. Qe2, Kh7  44. Qd1, Qd3!  45. b3, f6! 46. gf6 , Kxh6  47. f7, Kg7  48. Kg1, Kxf7 49.  Kg2   (Here Keres analyses 8 different possibilities depending where the two Kings can be placed on.He determined that all of them were winning for him) , 49…, Kg6  50. Kg1, Kh6  51. Kg2?   (51. a3)  ,  Kg5  52. Kg1, a5!  53. Kg2, a4  54. ba4 , Qe4  55. Kf1, Qxc4  56. Kg2, Qg4 / And White resigned.

The magnificent struggle in Tal – Keres continued as follows:

41. …, Nd3  (sealed)  42. Qc8, Kg7  43. Qf5! , Qd2  44. Nd4!  ,Qe1 45. Kg2, Qe3!  46. Qd5!, Qf2  47. Kh3, Qf1  48. Kg4, Nf2!  49. Kf5, Qd3  50. Ke5, Ng4  51. Kd6  Qxa3  52. Kc7, Qe7  53. Kc8, Ne3 (end of home analysis according to Keres)  54. Qb5, Qe4  55. Qb2, Kg6  56. Qb6, f6  57. Ne6 ,Nc4  58. Qa6, Ne5  59. Nc7, Qc2  60. Qd6, Qxh2  61. Nd5, Qf2  62. Kb7, Qxg3!  63. Qxf6, Kh5  64. Qe6, Ng4  65. Ne7, Qf3  66. Kc8, Kh4  67. Nf5, Kh3  68. Kd8, h5  69. Qg6, Ne5  70. Qe6, Ng4  71. Qg6, Ne5  72. Qe6 , Qd3  73. Nd4, Ng4  74. Qd5, Nf2!  75. Kc8, h4  76. Qe5, Qe4  77. Qf6, Qf4  78. Nf5, Ne4  79. Qe6 , Qg4 / and Tal resigned.



Written by QChess

December 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

8 Responses

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  1. Nice, I have met many Keres-fans in – Estonia.

    Tip regarding chess on the internet.
    My english is a bit weak but I want to express thats its natural that ICC loses members, old and most new players join other IT-clubs.
    This short text is about ICC/internet chess club -degeneration. The main reason is “mental”.
    One example is that Its not possible to send critics regarding unsporty behaviour from an “helper” (the helper behaves unsporty during playing)
    without listening to a bunch of admins that get mad or rabid.. They all protect each other even if one of them acts clearly unsporty and they dont take a relevant debate about the problem but lies, spits and censores -like uneducated kids.
    I was one of the first IT-chess players around 1994, also holding my own tourneys in Sweden.
    I have experience enough. The admins of ICC today really destroyed an old nice club and dont fullfill the intentions from the grounder.
    ICC is nowadays more or less a club for demandless kids, abusers, cheaters and half-figures but still GM:s play there cause its free for them.
    The interfaces seem to be unserious spyware that not much help regarding cheatings.

    Regards / Hans Sweden

    (Im an older teacher and one of my WP-blogs is for years mainly about unfairness and criminals in governments etc, fairness and justice is very important for me and I had many successes in the courts here, also alone versus several advocats. As a chessplayer I will spread information about ICC to many blogs and other sites cause I think my special knowledge can be used by many players)


    December 21, 2012 at 9:22 am

    • Dear Sir,
      Thank you very much for your comment. Let me say I do not belong or play in any Internet site. I only play within the boundaries of the ICCF.In the past -the good old days!- I played for different correspondence Chess clubs. On those days you have to buy postcards and stamps, you know. I can understand your frustration,…In any case, let me say I love Chess -like you- and this is why I am writing this blog.I am very grateful to you for reading it. Your comment is published and no doubt people will read it. Thank you very much again.


      December 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      • Dear blogger:)

        I suffer from not being able to express myself very good or as I want, in your language.
        My german and spanish happen to be better..and ofcourse my swedish in which lanuage
        I write juridical documents and have discussions with our law-makers in the government.
        We really agree about the wonderful game chess and its not so good fitting with the
        Internet-problems. There are always a lot of abusers on the internet where they feel more
        free to abuse, and its -simple.
        I believe, and many older players beleive that there is an overveight of mental illness
        among chessplayers, not very significant but still it seem to be a fact. If I meet a really nice
        player IRL, he (or sometimes she) use to be of the categori that not even want to visit a club
        in their city, cause of the well known problem with one or two disturbed persons in most clubs
        that destroy the athmosphere.
        Ofcourse, if this is true and it probably is very true, that problem increase on the IT-clubs cause
        those problem-figures fell very good when they can spit things out and then censor ppl.
        Exactly that way is how ICC admins act, they are unique in this way among admins.
        There is in fact an admin also at “Fics” (free server) that is rabid and somewhat criminal, using
        heavy spyware “Babas-chess” to explore ppl:s computers. Not only for cheats, also for Visacard-
        numbers and anything what they have use for.
        cause you not pain yourself on such a club I dont just now feel for publishing any nicknames but
        Im ready to do that if someone asks and its ok for you.
        Now I copy this text, and forgive me in advance cause its possible I will use it again.

        Greatings from Sweden, our country remain though the funny analyzes of old indian-texts,
        I assume also you there are quite ok 🙂


        December 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

        • Dear Hans,
          Many thanks again for your points of view !.(By the way, I can speak Spanish without any problem too).I agree with you that the Internet is perfect for abusers, etc. But it is the same in “real” life: day after day I see more and more people abusing other people in the streets, at work, at universities and at schools. I suppose we have built a world in which power is everything to get control over people, more money, etc. I define this state with two words: “ill-education” and “greed”. Chess, to me, means a lot because it has also been by my side even in the worst moments.As a Deputy Arbiter from 1989 to 2005 I had the opportunity to meet my Chess idols: Karpov and Spassky, and many others like Shirov, the Polgars,Yudasin, Gulko, Korchnoi, Ljubojevic, Adams,etc. By talking to them I somewhat reconciled myself with the world…I still remember my converstions with Karpov, Boris and Leonid Yudasin, a great guy…To me these memories help me to carry on with this life.
          Well, I hope you contyinue resding the blog ( a new post every Friday!) I will be away till next week (with no access to the Internet)but wish you and yours Merry Christams and a Happy New Year.


          December 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        • I wish a happy christmas to you, yours and your readers here, I know you are away a while
          and I wanna test the editor here now again, I seldom write comments in others blogs and
          was not aware of what can happen with the text-format, like in my comment before.
          (Perhaps you have time later on to correct that text, now Im not writing the whole lines but
          returns somewhat before “the end” to see if it gets better)
          I want, later on, to write more relevant according to your chess-texts, but so far I anyhow posted
          a link in your category “weird openings” to a page where anyone can upload textfiles withgames
          in pgn-format so that the games will be easy to “play up” as we say in Sweden (spela upp)
          and I assume you know that doesnt fit with any plugin making that possible
          (but does) Btw that game I uploaded was for me and also for some masters who
          explored it, a bit amazing cause my opponent was an ICC-program att blitzlevel around 2.800
          and I came to draw it with a terrible black opening from my side, but my favo-opening as white
          (the Grob) and also one of the masters told me I should continue and win it, not repeat moves.
          But I was so happy, I was at this point, 13 years ago, a typically 2000-player, both in blitz and
          regular. (And now even lower cause I play too many chess-variants like crazyhouse, atomic,
          kriegspiel which is the possibility that internet gives, always when returning to normal chess one is
          more or less affected)
          Very intresting is what you noticed in the area where you live, compared with what we all can notice
          on the internet if we join in discussions there. I dont know exactly where you live, I live in Sweden.
          Here I also notice the same, but its not a big difference and I dont know for sure if its cause of my
          own developement/change or if its a general degeneration. among humans.
          My father was a jew (grandfather the manager in the synagoga Krakow and killed during ww2) and
          my mother nothing but swedish. I dont know if I would find the mental situation better in Izrael cause I
          never was there, Im rather sure I would. Here the mentality is cold, like the clima.
          You dont often meet warm ppl here but if there is one, everyone can feel it so there is a big need of
          such persons.
          My main WP-blog subject was mainly about cheats (cant find another word now) in the governments
          and also in the parlament- among politicians -the absolutely worst among lawyers and in the courts.
          Sweden is as I believe assumed to be not a corrupted country but that is quite wrong. Our corruption
          is the same as almost everywhere but more sofisticated. Not so few here are intrested in and working against this corruption and in our country an advantage is that we dont get jailed or killed for that.
          But when something is debunked, people in general forget the problem very fast and most of it can
          go on in the same way as earlier.
          Its good to read that you met many real chess-masters and that you liked that. I share that feeling
          after my meetings with some of swedens best players (GM:s) and even if they also can be special
          like many players in general, they use to live on some type of higher dimension, not only in the
          aspect of chess. I could talk about in some way genuine persons. Im quite sure you got the same
          feeling. Ofcourse such persons are to be found in many areas outside chess, but some of the most
          intresting and genuine I met was inside chess.
          This summer I talked with Ulf Andersson the first time, we talked about two hours in a library and
          I got impressed from hes stable personality and great, warm behaving. He was very nice and serious.
          Due to Kasparov he was the best defence-player in the world or best player without queens (!)
          I held my own fastchess-tournaments in Stockholm in the middle of the 90:s but he never visited there.
          GM Lars Karlsson visited but didnt play, I got to know him a bit and hes also a very genuine person.
          Ferdinand Hellers, one of our best on latter years but passive now I think, well I only talked some
          words with him but at once noticed a huge genuinity.
          This became a long text but I saw we have much in common.

          Merry Christmas


          December 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

  2. OOPs, the WP-editor really works bad sometimes but I have never seen worse.
    Hope you can fix it..


    December 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm

  3. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my page chess beginners.


    January 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    • Dear Santoshwebseo,
      Many thanks for your comment. This coming weekend I will devote time to browse other blogs and will visit yours.
      All the best,


      January 24, 2014 at 7:56 am

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