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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Keres – Kotov Budapest 1950 featuring a Sac on e6

     After the 1948 World Championship was held FIDE began a series of cycles that would select Botvinnik’s challenger. The first Interzonal was held in Saltsjöbaden in 1948 and nine players qualified: Bronstein, Szabo, Boleslavsky, Kotov, Lilienthal, Bondarevsky, Najdorf, Stahlberg and Flohr.
     Bondarevsky later withdrew due to illness. Smyslov, Keres, Reshevsky and Euwe were also supposed to be included as they had been participants along with Botvinnik, who had won the World Championship match-tournament in 1948. Euwe declined his invitation and Reshevsky did not participate. Some reports say it was because the US State Department refused his request for a visa, but Reshevsky once said in an interview that it was his decision alone not to play.
     Bronstein and Boleslavsky tied for first with 12 points and Bronstein won the playoff. In an interesting side note, in 1984 Bronstein married Boleslavsky’s daughter 7 years after the death of Boleslavsky.
     Smyslov was clear third with 10 points followed by Keres with 9.5, Najdorf, 9.0, Kotov 8.5, Stahlberg with 8.0, with Lilienthal, Szabo and Flohr all at 7.0
     The following game between Keres and Kotov appears in Vukovic’s Art of Attack in Chess though he failed to give it much analysis or comment. The game was also annotated by Keres in his The Complete Games of Paul Keres. The opening was Keres’ home preparation, but Kotov's 9th move varied so the N-sac, 10.Nxe6, was found by Keres over the board. The game itself is instructive because it shows a common theme of a sacrifice on e6.


  1. When Keres got his kind of position, there was no one like him, was there? Just a lovely game.

    BTW: you mention that you wrote some articles for Chessworld, are they available online?

  2. I have not played at Chessworld for several years so do not know if the articles are still available. I think you have to be a subscriber to view them though. CW is a very good, well-run site. They also had, at least at that time, some very good forums with some very nice people...no snots! The only reason I left was that there were so many other free sites. For anyone joining though do NOT use a credit card, use Paypal. The last two times I renewed with a credit card I had charges from Belgium for video games, books and sex toys! Fortunately I didn't have to pay for them, but it was an annoyance.