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Raymond Keene
Photograph copyright (c) 2003 Bo Zaunders
courtesy of
Number of games in database: 1,813
Years covered: 1960 to 2012
Last FIDE rating: 2455
Highest rating achieved in database: 2510

Overall record: +1019 -165 =583 (74.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 46 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Reti System (142) 
    A04 A05 A06
 King's Indian (118) 
    E62 E80 E94 E63 E69
 Nimzo Indian (68) 
    E30 E41 E49 E42 E26
 English (65) 
    A15 A13 A12 A16 A17
 Grunfeld (49) 
    D91 D79 D85 D74 D76
 Queen's Gambit Declined (47) 
    D31 D35 D37 D30 D06
With the Black pieces:
 Robatsch (116) 
 Sicilian (108) 
    B32 B22 B25 B30 B20
 Pirc (95) 
    B09 B08 B07
 King's Indian (68) 
    E83 E73 E94 E62 E92
 French Defense (55) 
    C18 C05 C00 C16 C07
 Queen's Pawn Game (54) 
    A45 A40 A41 A50 A46
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Keene vs Miles, 1976 1-0
   Keene vs V Kovacevic, 1973 1-0
   S J Hutchings vs Keene, 1973 0-1
   Keene vs Robatsch, 1971 1-0
   Keene vs E Fielder, 1964 1-0
   E Jimenez Zerquera vs Keene, 1974 0-1
   M Basman vs Keene, 1981 0-1
   Keene vs S Kerr, 1979 1-0
   Keene vs Briant, 1988 1-0
   Hecht vs Keene, 1972 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Slater Young Masters (1968)
   Lugano Olympiad qual-1 (1968)
   British Championship (1971)
   Nice Olympiad qual-2 (1974)
   5th Lloyds Bank Masters Open (1981)
   Dortmund (1980)
   British Championship (1968)
   Hastings 1968/69 (1968)
   British Championship (1982)
   Esbjerg (1981)
   6th Lloyds Bank Masters Open (1982)
   Stevenson Memorial (1965)
   7th Lloyds Bank Masters Open (1983)
   Reykjavik (1976)
   First Lady's Cup (1982)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   K Players of Yesteryear by fredthebear
   ANNOTATED+ GAMES by Patca63
   ANNOTATED HUMAN GAMES by Rickdudester
   ANNOTATED+ GAMES by kafkafan
   franskfranz's 1. Nf3 by franskfranz

   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004
   Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006
   Kramnik vs Leko, 2004

   🏆 Simultaneous exhibition
   Keene vs A Pleasants (Aug-??-12) 0-1, exhibition

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Raymond Keene
Search Google for Raymond Keene
FIDE player card for Raymond Keene

(born Jan-29-1948, 74 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

He won the British Chess Championship in 1971, and was the first player from England to earn a Grandmaster norm, in 1974. In 1976 he became the second Englishman (following Tony Miles) to be awarded the Grandmaster title, and he was the second British chess player to beat an incumbent World Chess Champion (following Jonathan Penrose's defeat of Mikhail Tal in 1961). He represented England in eight Chess Olympiads.

Keene retired from competitive play in 1986 at the age of thirty-eight, and is now better known as a chess organiser, columnist and author. He was involved in organising the 1986, 1993 and 2000 World Chess Championships; and the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Mind Sports Olympiads; all held in London. He was the chess correspondent of The Times from 1985 to November 2019, and is a prolific author, having written over 100 books on chess. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to chess in 1985.

Keene is a controversial figure in the chess world. He has been accused of plagiarism, and his business dealings and the quality of his chess books, columns and articles have also been criticised.

Chess career
Keene won the London and British Under 18 Championships (shared with Brian Denman) in 1964, and represented England at the 1965 and 1967 World Junior Chess Championships, held in Barcelona and Jerusalem respectively. At the latter event he took the silver medal, finishing behind Julio Kaplan. He was educated at Dulwich College and Trinity College, Cambridge (where he studied modern languages and graduated with an MA). Keene wrote his first chess book whilst studying at Cambridge, and won the British Chess Championship at Blackpool 1971. As a result, he was awarded the International Master title in 1972, the first English player to achieve this since Jonathan Penrose in 1961. In 1974, Keene married Annette, the sister of International Master David S. Goodman. They have one son, Alexander, born in 1991.

Keene was the second British player to meet the necessary requirements to become a Grandmaster. He was pipped to the post by a few months by Tony Miles, the first British Grandmaster in 1976. Both he and Miles won financial prizes for this feat.

Miles and Keene were at the forefront of the English chess explosion of the next 20 years, and they were followed by other British grandmasters such as Michael Stean, John Nunn, Jon Speelman and Jonathan Mestel.

Keene represented England for nearly two decades in international team events, beginning with the 1966 Chess Olympiad in Havana at age 18. He followed with the next seven straight Olympiads: Lugano 1968, Siegen 1970, Skopje 1972, Nice 1974, Haifa 1976, Buenos Aires 1978, and La Valletta 1980. His individual performances at Lugano and Haifa merited bronze medals (although individual medals were not, in fact, awarded at Haifa) and he was undefeated in three Olympiads – these two and Siegen. His later performances, though, were less impressive, with just two draws from four games at Buenos Aires and losses in both his games at La Valletta.

He represented England four times at the Students' Olympiad (Örebro 1966, Harrachov 1967, Ybbs 1968 and Dresden 1969) and four times at the European Team Championships (Bath 1973, Moscow 1977, Skara 1980 and Plovdiv 1983). At Skara he won both a bronze medal with the team and the individual gold medal for the best score on his board.

Keene won the 1971 British championship and shared second place on three occasions, in 1968, 1970 and 1972. His tournament victories include Hastings Challengers 1966, Slater Challenge Southend 1968, Johannesburg 1973, Woolacombe 1973, Capablanca Memorial (Master Group) 1974, Alicante 1977, Sydney 1979, Dortmund 1980, Barcelona 1980, Lloyds Bank Masters 1981, Adelaide 1983 and La Valletta 1985.

Playing style
Keene's playing style tended toward the strategically original and positional. Strongly influenced by Aron Nimzowitsch and Richard Réti, he accordingly preferred hypermodern openings such as the Modern Defence, Nimzo-Indian Defence and King's Indian Defence.

Chess-related work
Keene worked as a chess event organiser. He was the originator and organiser of the annual Staunton memorial chess tournaments, one of the few regular events for masters held in London. The Oxford Companion comments: "By a combination of ability and shrewdness, Keene has attracted considerable sponsorship and has proved himself capable of efficient and rapid organisation of chess events".p196

Keene brought Victor Korchnoi and Garry Kasparov together for their 1983 Candidates' semi-final match in London as part of the 1984 World Championship cycle; the semi-final match between Vasily Smyslov and Zoltán Ribli was also played at the same site. He organised the 1984 Russia (USSR) vs Rest of the World match in London within two weeks, enabling the event to go ahead on time after the previous plans had fallen through, described by John Nunn as "a magnificent organisational achievement at such short notice."

Keene has also been involved in organising several World Championship finals matches. He arranged for the first half of the World Chess Championship 1986 return match between Kasparov and Karpov in London. The match, however, made a loss for the British Chess Federation (BCF) and, for reasons never clarified, he resigned from his position in the BCF shortly afterwards. He organised the 1993 PCA World Championship match between Kasparov and Nigel Short in London, for which he was one of the official commentators along with Grandmasters Jonathan Speelman and Daniel King. He was the instrumental force behind 'Brain Games', which organized the World Championship match in 2000 between Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. Following the match, however, he retained the trophy in lieu of money he believed he was owed by the collapse of Brain Games: Kramnik did not receive it until 2008. Brain Games later collapsed in controversial circumstances.

Keene became the chess columnist of The Spectator in March 1977. His column was terminated in September 2019, when he was replaced by Luke McShane. Following the retirement of Harry Golombek, Keene was appointed the chess correspondent of The Times in 1985. In November 2019 he was replaced by David Howell. In December 1996 he became the chess columnist of the Sunday Times. In August 2017 he was replaced by David Howell.

Television personality
Keene has appeared on television. He covered the world championships of 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1993, and 1995 for BBC 2, CHANNEL 4, and Thames TV. In the "Duels of the Mind" series which aired on the UK ITV network, Keene, along with South African author and civil rights campaigner Donald Woods, discussed and analysed what Keene regarded as the twelve best chess games ever played.

Magazine editor
From 1978 to 1982, Keene was the editor of Modern Chess Theory, a magazine on openings which included contributions from the Soviet world champions Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, and Mikhail Tal.

Keene claims to be "the author of 140 books on chess". He was the Chess Advisor to Batsford. His early books such as Howard Staunton (1975, with R. N. Coles) often dealt with players with styles similar to his own. Aron Nimzowitsch: a Reappraisal (1974) is much admired and was revised and translated into Russian in 1986,1 with an algebraic edition published in English in 1999. In 1989, he and Nathan Divinsky wrote Warriors of the Mind, an attempt to determine the 64 best chess players of all time. The statistical methods used have not met with wide approval, but the player biographies and games were regarded by one book as providing a good overviewbut also incurred criticism for inaccuracy. Much of Keene's later work has attracted criticism for sloppiness, plagiarism and the habit of copying passages, including errors, from one book to another.

Allegations of plagiarism
Keene has on several occasions been accused of plagiarism. In 1993 John Donaldson accused Keene of committing plagiarism in The Complete Book of Gambits (Batsford, 1992). Donaldson wrote "Just how blatant was the plagiarism? Virtually every word and variation in the four and a half pages devoted to Lisitsin's Gambit in Keene's book was stolen." After Keene refused to pay Donaldson a requested $200 for the use of his material, Keene's American publisher Henry Holt and Company ended up paying Donaldson $3,000.

In 2008, Keene was accused of plagiarising a column by Edward Winter for a piece published in The Spectator and subsequently on the website Chessville and on page 129 of his book The Official Biography of Tony Buzan. More than a third of the article was taken directly from Winter's column.

In 2013, Winter reflected on plagiarism in chess: "a particularly sordid corner of the chess world which will never be eradicated without maximum public exposure". He went on: "The latest instance is the discovery by Justin Horton that material from the first volume of Kasparov's My Great Predecessors series has been misappropriated by Raymond Keene in The Spectator."

Private Eye describes the plagiarism as involving "substantial amounts of text lifted from chess books, mainly Kasparov's but also other authors". One case involves Keene's notes to a game between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, which he annotated for The Times on 8 December 2011 and The Spectator on 5 January 2013.

These alleged plagiarisms, which Edward Winter calls "eye-popping" are catalogued at "a convenient 'plagiarism index' which is being kept updated".

Tony Miles
In 1985, Keene received £1,178 from the BCF for being Tony Miles' second at the Interzonal in Tunis; however, he had not actually been Miles' second but accepted the money and shared it with Miles. Miles had initially agreed to this plan but eventually told the BCF about it in 1987. Two months later, Keene resigned his posts as BCF Publicity Director and FIDE delegate. Keene said that his resignation was for different reasons, and that he was "furious" at his treatment after organising numerous events from 1983 to 1987. Brain Games Network
In 2000, Keene's former brother-in-law David Levy accused him of deceiving the directors of their company Mind Sports Olympiad Ltd (MSO) by setting up a rival company, Brain Games Network plc (BGN), without their knowledge and using £50,000 of MSO Ltd money to do so. Levy further alleged that Keene changed his story several times as to the purpose of the payment and the reasons why the new company had been set up. He complained that shares in the new company were held by Keene and an associate (Don Morris) but not by the company for which they had been supposed to be working, nor any of its directors other than themselves. Levy wrote:

As one would expect, our original investors were equally astounded at the news and extremely angry at Keene. They had by now invested £1.5 million (approximately $2.25 million at that time) partly or largely on the basis of their faith in Keene and myself. Now they had learned that one of their two key consultants, the one with money-raising skills, had been working to set up a rival company.

Nothing, however, was proven against Keene (who had swiftly paid an identical sum, i.e. £50,000 to MSO, making the subsequent explanation that this constituted a personal loan from himself) and his new company went on to organise the world championship match later that same year. (It was at this time that Private Eye started referring to him as "The Penguin", a nickname he had first acquired in 1966.)

Levy further criticised Keene for selling three of his own companies to BGN for £220,000 despite their being "virtually worthless". The three companies had between them "a total capital and reserves of only £2,300". At much the same time, according to Levy, BGN purchased a web site and two domain names from Chess and Bridge Limited. However, they made the purchase in two stages. The first of these stages was its sale to Giloberg Finance Limited, owned by Keene's associate Alan Lubin: the second was the immediate sale of the same items, by Giloberg, to BGN. The first sale was for approximately £60,000 (in fact $100,000) and the second was for £290,000, hence making Giloberg "an instant profit of approximately £230,000" and raising the question of why BGN should have paid a sum much greater than the original vendors considered the items were worth.

BGN collapsed in controversial circumstances. Shareholders were unhappy that sums amounting to at least £675,000 had been paid to directors in "fees and payments" despite the company swiftly becoming insolvent. Investors were also unhappy that Keene and Lubin had acquired 88% of the company "for a song" even though the remaining 12% had been sold for around £3 million.

During the course of the 2000 Braingames World Championship Keene was accused of heavy-handed behaviour in having journalist John Henderson removed from the press room with the assistance of bouncers. Korchnoi
Viktor Korchnoi alleged that when acting as his second in the 1978 World Championship match, Keene broke his contract by writing a book about the match (which appeared three days after the match finished) having specifically signed an agreement "not to write, compile or help to write or compile any book during the course of the match". Korchnoi commented: "Mr Keene betrayed me. He violated the contract. It was clear that while Mr Keene was writing one book and then another, Mr Stean was doing his work for him."

Attempts to defend Keene were rebutted by Michael Stean's mother, who stated that she was in a position to know what was in Keene's contract since she herself had typed it. Keene, she claimed, had signed this despite having already negotiated a contract with Batsford to write a book about the match. She described "a premeditated and deliberate plan to deceive" and noted that Keene's conduct had come under suspicion during the match.

User: ray keene Wikipedia article: Raymond Keene

Last updated: 2022-01-14 18:15:23

 page 1 of 73; games 1-25 of 1,813  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J N Sugden vs Keene 0-1481960MatchD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
2. Keene vs J N Sugden 1-0191960Dulwich CollegeB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
3. N Totton vs Keene 0-1381960Bromley tourneyE00 Queen's Pawn Game
4. J N Sugden vs Keene 0-1311960MatchC16 French, Winawer
5. H T Jones vs Keene  0-1241960Exhibition gameC55 Two Knights Defense
6. Keene vs J N Sugden  1-0241960Match game 8B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
7. Keene vs J N Sugden 1-0261960Match game, ClaphamA12 English with b3
8. Keene vs J N Sugden 1-0261960Dulwich CollegeA12 English with b3
9. J N Sugden vs Keene 0-1341960MatchD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
10. Keene vs J N Sugden 1-0281960Match game 1, ClaphamB23 Sicilian, Closed
11. J N Sugden vs Keene 1-0261961MatchA55 Old Indian, Main line
12. Keene vs L Bauer  1-0271961Clapham Common CCA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
13. A Ogus vs Keene  ½-½371961School matchC18 French, Winawer
14. J N Sugden vs Keene 0-1291961MatchE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
15. Keene vs J N Sugden 1-0341961Match game 21, Dulwich CollegeA17 English
16. J N Sugden vs Keene 0-1501961English Boys U-14E40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
17. G K Sandiford vs Keene  0-1521961Match, game 5B16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation
18. Keene vs Orly 1-0101961Clapham Common CCB02 Alekhine's Defense
19. Keene vs J N Sugden 1-0261961MatchD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. T D Baldwin vs Keene  0-1351961Olympia ExhibitionC17 French, Winawer, Advance
21. G K Sandiford vs Keene 0-1271961Dulwich CollegeB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
22. J Regruto vs Keene  0-1331961Clapham Common CC ChampsA47 Queen's Indian
23. J N Sugden vs Keene  0-1381961MatchD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
24. Keene vs J N Sugden 1-0251961Match game 6, Bognor RegisD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. J N Sugden vs Keene 0-1301961Match game 6, BeckenhamE40 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
 page 1 of 73; games 1-25 of 1,813  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Keene wins | Keene loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 400 OF 400 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-05-22  Albertan: Thé last Olympiad:chess on the eve of war:

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I was hoping that chess might somehow be involved


best wishes GM Keene! If you have a moment, could you please send two (2) copies of <Petrosian vs. the Elite> to the New York Public library system? Two copies would be nice because when only one copy of a work is available it gets tabbed "For research only", meaning that you can look at such book at the branch library that has it but it cannot be checked out. That is done to prevent collectors from stealing rare books by checking them out and saying, "I'm so sorry I lost the book!"

Of course, I would never resort to doing such a thing...

<Ray Keene, Britain’s senior grandmaster, believes that chess history has been unfair to world champion Tigran Petrosian, whose brilliantly subtle style of play and long record of tournament successes were unjustly overshadowed by the much-publicized career of Bobby Fischer. Now, in collaboration with Julian Simpole, Keene puts Petrosian’s great achievements in their proper perspective, with a fully analyzed collection of 71 of his dazzling victories against the leading players of his time, Fischer included. Other chess books may instruct, entertain, and inform. This one does all of the above—but it also does something much more important: it sets the record straight, letting us fully appreciate the achievements and the genius of one of the game’s greatest players.>


this book gets high marks from chessers who have bought it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: If I get hold of some spare copies I will but it’s hard to acquire without paying the insane Amazon price.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hi GM Keene, thanks for responding. I just sort of thought that authors were gifted a box or two of each published work to hand out to friends, co-workers, et al. I didn't realize you would have to buy such things at retail price.

I think <one> copy of your excellent Petrosian book is in the massive NYC public library system but cannot be checked out for the reasons I mentioned above. More's the pity--a terrific selection of chess books are somewhat rotting away because only one copy is in circulation so it can't be checked out by a library patron.

I really see the future of chess books as all digital. No one has the patience anymore to set up positions on a chess board. People just want to click away and do things faster. That seems to be the trend--chess books that you download and play through games and notes with an on-screen board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: We were given authors copies but a long time ago. Long exhausted 🙁
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I may be able to get my hands on a copy in October. If I do manage it (pretty sure a friend has a copy he no longer needs), I'll offer it to the NY Public Library donations scheme and let you know :-) D
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: Great thanks
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <ray> I want to thank you for your contributions to this site. I think I'm not alone in taking it for granted such a strong player/administrator/author give so much to the site for apparently nothing except your love of the game.
Aug-29-22  Ron: I looked in WorldCat
and although Petrosian vs The Elite are in some school libraries in the US, no copies in a US public library. A purchase suggestion to a public library might be possible.
Aug-29-22  Ron: But then again, Amazon says the book is out of stock.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I guess there are no copies in the NYC public libraries; thought I had seen it once. 109 search hits for Raymond Keene at, but not the Petrosian book.

I didn't know Ray had written a book on Fischer/Spassky II. The Keene book I have most seen on shelves over the years is <Warriors of the Mind>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Not sure of the point of me trying to get a copy for NYPL then - it wouldn't free one up for lending. What do you think <HeMateMe>?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm pretty sure the NYPL needs at least two copies of a book before they allow patrons to check one out. It may be that they never had this book to begin with. Chess is enough of a niche pursuit that even a book about a giant like Petrosian isn't stocked. I'm sure you could email them and get clarification. They have all kinds of chess books I'd like to look at but are tagged (research only), and I have no interest in having to stay inside the library to read.

Down the road I expect more things to be available at the public library as Ebooks and not just books that are past the 50 year copyright line, which become free. Naturally, authors aren't thrilled about their work being made free online, cutting into $$ sales. Everything takes time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: Thanks for all the kind words. I will see if it’s possible to get my Petrosian book back into print.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ham204: 2 copies available on Ebay right now and at reasonable prices.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: When is £28 a reasonable price? Nice world you live in!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Will always have fond memories of the first edition of Flank Openings. Blundered into it at an open-air book stall in Paris. Played a decisive part in the ensuing 300 point jump in my rating.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Good morning <An Englishman> The bouquinistes? Lovely rare Anglfrais formation. They're still there too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Dionysius1>, had made plans to revisit Paris in the spring of 2020, but....Some day. Some day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: See this on TheArticle:

Here is my analysis of the current cheating or not scandal which is polarising opinion in world chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Thanks <GM Keene> - that's a great read. At the end you refer to the 3 wins by Niemann against Carlsen and invite us to examine some data, with links to the games here on

Is there any chance that you might provide analysis in the (well, 2 out of the 3) games here? It would be amazing to have a combination of yours and Professor Ken Regan's.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: Analysis of two of Niemann’s wins v Carlsen. Yes, good idea, but it may take me some time. Watch this space. Thanks for a useful idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: It would be great if you did, and I'll watch this space :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Yes indeed. I am working on a sequel to my book Fifty Shades of Ray. I hope that it will be available by Christmas. Possible titles: My 60 Memorable Columns.>

Hmm...My Great Publishers? The Viktor Korchnoi I knew and other stories?

Well, I was thinking maybe a book of 45 games, heavily annotated (new annotations with search engine), including five losses against some heavies:

1. Keene v. Smyslov, Buenos aires '78

<Keene vs Smyslov, 1978>

2. vs Karpov, Eur ch. '77

<Karpov vs Keene, 1977>

Here, a draw with world championship contender Zoltan Ribli

<Ribli vs Keene, 1974>

3. Keene v. Mecking, Hastings '66

<Mecking vs Keene, 1967>

4. vs. Stein, Hastings '66

<Keene vs Stein, 1968>

5. vs. Boris Spassky, '73

<Spassky vs Keene, 1973>

I'm surprised more game collections don't include a few losses. Some of the losses against prominent opponents are the most interesting, well known games.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a win against Paul Morphy!

<P W Murphy vs Keene, 1964>

I suppose 'Morph was getting up there in years a bit, but still...

Finally, a win against Mikhail Tal! simul, 1964

<Tal vs Keene, 1964>

ok, a 20 board simul, but still it must have been thrilling to beat a world champion. An extra ration of grog for Mr. Keene!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: My loss to Stein was remarkable. It appears in my first anthology: Fifty Shades of Ray
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