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William Albert Fairhurst vs Paul Keres
Hastings (1954/55), Hastings ENG, rd 9, Jan-07
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Bronstein (Byrne) Variation (E45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Keres wrote:

"The game was played in the last round and was of decisive importance for the ranking order in the prize list. Smyslov had already finished play in the tournament and led me by a whole point, but I could still catch up with him if the adjourned game turned out well for me. It was therefore necessary for me to win at all costs. I was, however, so far in advance of my other rivals that they could not come abreast with me even if I lost the game. So I was only interested in a win; both the draw and the loss would have meant I should have gained second prize."

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Keres continued:

"A long series of exchanges had taken before the adjourment. I harboured the hope of gaining victory through utilizing my good Knight against my opponennt's inactive Bishop. I had little time for analysis as the game was due to be resumed after an interval of only two hours. Since however the position was considerably simplified I hoped to be able to extract the most important lines from it despite the shortness of time available. In this time trouble of mine, grandmaster Viacheslav Ragozin, who was also at Hastings, came to my help, and after some pondering over the position we soon hit upon the following idea."

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Keres continued:

"White had sealed the move, and it, was not difficult to discover his move, since the pawn attacked on Q4 can only be guarded in one way.

click for larger view


Our labours started with this position as our point of departure. It does not require much thought to realize that white is quite out of danger once he arrives at 37.Kf2. In that event, Black can in no way penetrate with his Knight, nor can he help matters in any way by advancing his King-side pawns. If Black wants to play for a win then only one move comes into question.


Apr-04-10  percyblakeney: One thing that surprised me when reading Keres' interesting analysis of this game was the fact that he mentions how he and Pachman discussed the ongoing game while waiting for Fairhurst to make his 42nd move. Pachman complimented Keres for his endgame play, Keres answered that he actually was lost and showed how 42. f4 was winning for white. Pachman soon agreed with the assessment, Keres returned to the game, but Fairhurst missed the winning line and instead lost the game. I wonder, if Pachman had seen an improvement for Keres, he also would have told him about it.
Jan-13-16  ToTheDeath: An impressive technique! The knight ties down white long enough to get a passed pawn rolling on the kingside... <The Principle of Two Weaknesses> in play here, overwhelming an otherwise defensible position with attacks on both sides of the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <... Keres answered that he actually was lost and showed how 42. f4 was winning for white. ...>

The point is this,

<42.f4> Kf7 43.Ke2 Ke6 44.Kd2 Na3 45.Kc1...

click for larger view

Black is now at an unpleasant cross-road. He can attack by <45...Kf5>, but his King then steps out of the square of White a-pawn. That leads to a fast loss via

<45...Kf5> 46.Kxa3 bxa3 47.b4 axb4 48.a5...

click for larger view

The White a-pawn is free to run while all Black pawns are still tied down.

Or Black may elect to keep his king in a defensive posture on the Queen side. In that case, Black just loses a pawn and the emerging pawn end-game is hopeless.

<45...Kd6> 46.Bxa3 bxa3 47.Kb1 Kc6 48.Ka2...

click for larger view

Jan-14-16  ToTheDeath: Nice analysis, Gypsy. Black can try 44...Kf5!? sacing the knight, but after 45.Kxc2 Kg4 46.Bc3!! White wins. So it seems the idea is flawed and Black had to satisfy himself with 40...g5 or 40...Kg7 with a likely draw. Score one for risk!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <ToTheDeath: ... Black can try 44...Kf5!? sacing the knight, but after 45.Kxc2 Kg4 46.Bc3!! White wins.>


click for larger view

Black has no time to pick up White Bishop. Not now, nor later. For instance,

<46...bxc3 47.b4...> etc.


<46...Kxg3 47.Bxb4 h4 48.Be1+ Kg4 49.Bxh4...>

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