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Walter Browne vs Paul Keres
Vancouver (1975), Vancouver CAN, rd 10, May-25
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Yes, that is me, Browne, and Keres, final game of the Vancouver Open. Wall doing the wallboard.
Jul-22-14  drnooo: the two greatest class acts in chess

Keres and Tal

no telling how far Keres would have gone
had he ever escaped from under the scythe
of the USSR He might have even lived to a ripe old age without the stress

a truly great good man

Aug-04-14  The Last Straw: What happens if 16...h5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: On 16....h5, the riposte 17.Nf6+ gxf6 18.Qxh5 looks tough to handle, with Rg3+ and devastation soon to come, one of the points of 16.Re3.
Sep-17-14  Vermit: I think the game was lost somewhere between moves 17 and 22. White had to waste another tempo with 21.Rh3 as Black was threatening g5 and g4. But 22.Nh4 just handed control of the d-file over, although by then it is hard to find a constructive plan.
Jan-15-15  RookFile: Keres played like a surgeon in this game, carving up Browne's position.
Oct-25-16  DrGridlock: Some interesting variations "behind the scenes" in this game.

In the position for black's move 16:

Walter Shawn Browne - Paul Keres

click for larger view

Instead of 16 ... Kh7, Black has an opportunity to gain a significant advantage with a "queen sac" line after 16 ... Nc6:

17 Nxh6 +
(if not this, then what are the knights doing in advanced positions on the kingside? 17 Nf5 Bxf5 18 exf5 h5 and White's knight is lost). 17 ... gxh6
18 Qh5 Re6
19 Rg3+ Kf8
20 Nf5 Qf6
21 Ng7

and White's attack looks intimidating:

Walter Shawn Browne - Paul Keres

click for larger view

but after:

21 ... Qxg7
22 Rxg7 Kxg7

Black has a rook, bishop and knight for a queen and pawn. White's fierce looking attack has been reduced to a "desperado queen" and computer evals give a .9 advantage to black.

While it's the best "computer line," inviting and surviving an attack like that was not Keres style, and he plays more cautiously, waiting for White to make a later mistake to give Black the initiative.

Sep-29-18  karik: The Monument to Paul Keres in Narva, Estonia, depicts the position after move 43.-Rd1+. The last move of his career.
May-23-21  tympsa: Usually after tournaments he played simuls against local chess amateurs and even overstayed time he was allowed to be abroad because of tournament. We have to remember that in Soviet Union people were not allowed freely travel abroad and return from there when they wanted like in West. One of his last meeting with his old friend Max Euwe he said that simuls abroad became his main source of income since he was not member of USSR national chess team any more and he was allowed to travel to tournaments outside of USSR only 2 times a year. Soviet Sports Committe officials were always angry when he stayed abroad longer than he was allowed, but he had to provide his family.

So if he played simuls after Vancouver, it explains why this game was played on May 25th, but he arrived in Helsinki and had heart attack there in June 1st, one week later. He died in hospital in Helsinki in June 5th . When he died he was #25 in FIDE rating list.

Jun-07-21  login:

Extreme worth


Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: I quite enjoy your posts <Login>!

However, it's difficult to imagine Paul Keres having a net worth of $20 billion. How would he acquire that amount back in the day?

For comparison, this site says Garry Kasparov has a net worth of about $6 million:

Feb-27-23  Baxer: <tympsa> <We have to remember that in Soviet Union people were not allowed freely travel abroad and return from there when they wanted like in West.>

Have you heard of Visas? Have you also heard of bookings/travel expenses? You cannot travel wherever/whenever you want in the west - you need to go through actual travel procedures like any reasonable country would.

Feb-27-23  Muttley101: <Baxer: <tympsa> <We have to remember that in Soviet Union people were not allowed freely travel abroad and return from there when they wanted like in West.>

Have you heard of Visas? Have you also heard of bookings/travel expenses? You cannot travel wherever/whenever you want in the west - you need to go through actual travel procedures like any reasonable country would.>

You're missing the point, Baxer. Sure, Western countries may require visas (formal approval) to travel, but that is from the country you are trying to travel to. THEY decide whether you can visit them or not. In the period being discussed, the USSR government decided whether you could travel abroad or not. That's oppression.

Mar-16-23  Baxer: <Muttley101> So would it be oppression if the country you are trying to visit for whatever reason didn't allow you to enter the country?

Plus I find it kind of comical that the example that is being used for oppression/travel restriction is Paul Keres - the man who died on the way back from Canada and spent his whole life traveling the world representing the (OMG SO OPPRESSIVE USSR).

And again, your own government that you live under could do the same in as much as canceling your passport or simply putting you on a no-fly list.

Might I also inform you that the only years (that I'm aware of) in which Keres wasn't allowed to leave the USSR was immediately after the end of WWII when Keres finished mingling with the Nazis.

Mar-17-23  areknames: <your own government that you live under could do the same in as much as canceling your passport or simply putting you on a no-fly list>

The Australian government did exactly that to most of its citizens during the recent pandemic. For some reason a lot of people travelling to family members' weddings in India were exempt from this.

<Keres finished mingling with the Nazis> He never did that, he was only trying to survive during the German occupation under which the Estonians fared way better than under the Soviet occupation. Maybe kindly tone down your grotesque pro-USSR rhetoric a peg or two?

Mar-17-23  Baxer: <areknames> regardless of the interpretation of what Keres actually felt - of which I too am obviously of the opinion he was trying simply to survive (though I can't entirely say the same about Alekhine) but that doesn't change he was mingling with Nazis. Including the governor of the 2nd General Government (occupied Poland Nazi puppet state).

And also, what an obscene take that the Nazis were better than the Soviet 'occupation'.

One committed mass genocide of Estonia's Gays, Romani, Jews, disabled people, socialists, resistance, and whatever category of Nazi "undesirable". And say what you will regarding the Soviet takeover of Estonia but not a single bullet was fired in the referendum and I can't say the same about the Nazis in 1941. In Estonia, they celebrate the Soviets as liberators, not the Nazis and anyone who thinks otherwise Is probably a Nazi.

"Prior to the war, there were approximately 4,300 Estonian Jews. During the 1940-1941 Soviet occupation of Estonia, about 10% of the Jewish population was deported to Siberia, along with other Estonians. Following the Axis invasion in 1941, approximately 75% of Estonian Jews, aware of the fate that awaited them from Nazi Germany, fled eastward into Russia and other parts of the Soviet Union. Virtually all of those Jews who remained (between 950 and 1,000 people) were murdered by German units such as Einsatzgruppe A and/or local collaborators before the end of 1941. The Romani people in Estonia were also murdered and enslaved by the Nazi German occupiers and their collaborators."

"The Nazi German occupation authorities also killed around 6,000 ethnic Estonians and 1,000 ethnic Russians in Estonia, either on the basis that they were communists or communist sympathizers. In addition around 15,000 Soviet prisoners-of-war and Jews from other parts of Europe were killed in Estonia during the German occupation.[1]" - Wikipedia

Regarding the Jews that were deported to Siberia - if you were to truly believe the Soviet Union is somehow "Just as bad or worse" or as in any way Anti-Semitic as Nazi Germany then why did they only deport 10%? i.e. 430 people. And once again if the Soviets were as bad or worse than the Nazis why did so many flee East and not West?

So may I kindly ask you to tone down your grotesque pro-Nazi rhetoric a peg or two hundred? And plus, the stuff I said as far as I'm aware is true so does that mean it's "Pro-USSR Rhetoric" then?

Mar-17-23  Baxer: <"The German occupation under which the Estonians fared way better than under the Soviet occupation">

Sure, maybe the Nazis in Estonia were treated well. That is it, are you attempting to call the Nazis good for rewarding the Nazis/Nazi Collaborators in Estonia?

Again I feel the need to say again, what a horrible take - just ask the Estonians! You should be disgusted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The Nazis were initially welcomed in the Baltic states as liberators from the yoke of Soviet oppression; once their intentions became clear, that changed.
Mar-17-23  areknames: <Baxer> My apologies and apologies to the other members, I really should know better than to engage with the likes of you. The only thing that can happen to you on here is that I put you on permanent ignore. If you called me a Nazi to my face of course the outcome would be very different.
Mar-17-23  areknames: Everyone has their own opinion about why Keres never became WC. When asked that same question Keres allegedly replied: "I was unlucky, just like my country".
Mar-17-23  Baxer: <areknames> Going around claiming that the Nazis were the "Good Guys" in comparison to the Soviets is an easy way to get called a Nazi - and it's typical to instead of face the music you would sooner simply block out the person who is showing you the numbers.

I would call you a Nazi to your face - you have done nothing to disprove the claim or make me think otherwise, most people don't find themselves for whatever reason defending Nazis.

I also love the Chess "History/Scholastic" Sub-Genre of all the things regarding Paul Keres and the many numbers of stuff he <allegedly> said.

It reminds me of when people like to assume that Paul Keres intentionally lost to Mikhail Botvinnik (who was in his Prime might I add) during the Hague-Moscow World Championship Match Tournament of 1948. Despite there being little evidence (as usual) and in fact, Paul Keres himself <allegedly> said to Bent Larsen (someone he would have no reason to lie to) the following: "Keres told Bent Larsen in private that the rumours were false and he lost fair and square to Botvinnik (J.Aagaard)."

Mar-17-23  Sally Simpson: None of us where there at the time, we have no idea of the pressure Keres was under. If it was a play chess or die situation then the game kept him alive.

Estonia forgave him (if indeed there was anything to forgive) He has a statue erected in honour, he is on their bank notes, a Euro coin...even an Estonian ship was named after him.

Regarding 1948. Botvinnik played the best chess. Kenneth Whyld said Keres confided to him that he was not directly ordered to lose but was told if Botvinnik failed to become world champion, it must not be the fault of Paul Keres.

Read into that what you will, maybe if Botvinnik played bad games v the rest but won v Keres there is a case. But Botvinnik had a plus score against all four of the players. (maybe those in search of a conspiracy can claim all four took a dive.)

Mar-19-23  Baxer: <Sally> Again, I have no qualms with Keres himself - World War II was difficult for many. I'm more annoyed when people pretend the Nazis were saviors.

Botvinnik has much of his career put into question by unsubstantiated claims, particularly regarding pressure and dropped games. Why should one of the greatest chess players be stained simply for being a Soviet champ?

Mar-20-23  Granny O Doul: Korchnoi reported in "Chess Is My Life" that Spassky said, in response to a question that "Keres, like his country, has not been favored by fate".

Spassky in general came off quite well in that book, as he may not have were it written a year or two later.

Mar-22-23  Baxer: <Granny> Once again, i would hardly use Korchnoi for a source about these kind of things.
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