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Old May 23rd 05, 06:22 PM
Don C. Aldrich
 
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Default Keres-Botvinnik A Middle Ground?

This Keres-Botvinnik debate is a good example of what is wrong with
discourse around here. It has been been pounded into a white/black
issue--Either Keres threw the games, or he did not. However, there is
a gray area...

Several years ago I was the Chessco Chess Festival in Davenport. One
of the speakers was the late Ken Whyld, British Chess historian of
some repute. He told a story of how he had the privilege of hosting
Keres in his home for a tournament. One night they were sitting and
talking, and this subject came up.

Whyld says that Keres told him he was never overtly threatened over
the games in the Match Tournament or in particular with Botvinnik, but
it was also very clear to him what would happen if he won. He further
stated that he did not intentionally lose any games, but it was
impossible to play one's best under the circumstances.

This sounds fairly credible to me. He didn't intentionally lose, so
the Evans/Parr group is not right, but he did play poorly due to
perceived political pressure, thus the other side is also incorrect.

Finally, I find it interesting that no one has ever quoted what Keres
said about these games in the book he wrote about the tournament, you
know, the book that was the model for Bronstein's Zurich tome? I
certainly understand that what was written was under the aegis of the
Soviet government, so he certainly is not goint to say I threw this
game on purpose, but nonetheless, one would think looking at his
explanation of these blunders would be worthwhile.

And no question, the example Evans cites in the link given by Parr is
a howlder. Of course, top level GMs do blunder when under all sorts
of different pressure. Look at the Topalov-Kramnik game from Sunday!
Nc1 must be one of the most amazing top level blunders of all time.
And this followed a major blunder by each side. It really does not
take too much to throw a top player off his stride, and concerns over
his own or famial safety, even if vague and amorphous, would certainly
be more than enough to do it.

So my conclusion is fairly simple and straightforward--Keres did not
'throw' any games, i.e., lose on purpose, but he was doomed from the
start due to the political realities of the time.

Now if this merits further discussion, it would be nice to see it done
without any name calling

==Dondo


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Old May 23rd 05, 06:38 PM
Mark Houlsby
 
Posts: n/a
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Finally... someone presents a balanced, informed, *accurate*
assessment.

Keres *never* threw any games, EVER, but at the time he *was* under
*severe* personal pressure from powerful people in the Soviet
hierarchy. At the very least, this *significantly* affected his
performance.

I wish "journalists" like Larry Parr would actually *do some relevant
research* BEFORE posting their nonsense.

Thank you, Mr. Aldrich.

-Mark

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Old May 23rd 05, 06:59 PM
Taylor Kingston
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Don C. Aldrich wrote:
Several years ago I was the Chessco Chess Festival in Davenport. One
of the speakers was the late Ken Whyld, British Chess historian of
some repute. He told a story of how he had the privilege of hosting
Keres in his home for a tournament. One night they were sitting and
talking, and this subject came up.

Whyld says that Keres told him he was never overtly threatened over
the games in the Match Tournament or in particular with Botvinnik,

but
it was also very clear to him what would happen if he won. He

further
stated that he did not intentionally lose any games, but it was
impossible to play one's best under the circumstances.


Thank you for your thoughtful post, Mr. Aldrich. I did not attend
that gathering, but Ken and I were in frequent e-mail touch around that
time. He told me much the same story as you heard there. I incorporated
it into my second article on Keres and Botvinnk (see
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles165.pdf.).
It seems unlikely we will ever now in full exactly what happened with
Keres around that time. I have long thought the Whyld scenario is one
of the more reasonable possibilities.

Now if this merits further discussion, it would be nice to see it

done
without any name calling


That will be almost entirely up to Messrs. Parr and Sloan.

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Old May 23rd 05, 07:27 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I wish "journalists" like Larry Parr would actually *do some relevant
research* BEFORE posting their nonsense.

Calling Larry Parr a journalist is like calling the kid who just
fingerpainted your walls an artist. Its really just a mess.

The middle ground story has always made the most sense; how many times
have we, in life, been confronted with similar (though lesser!)
circumstances... Coercion does not have to be overt to be felt, or
real.....

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Old May 23rd 05, 08:54 PM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Don you make a good post - and there is much more to be said on it. There
are indeed other views of Keres/Botvinnick, but the participants here are
concentrated on Kingston/Evans. I should like to take up the points you make
below in a subsequent post. Cordially, Phil Innes

"Don C. Aldrich" wrote in message
...
This Keres-Botvinnik debate is a good example of what is wrong with
discourse around here. It has been been pounded into a white/black
issue--Either Keres threw the games, or he did not. However, there is
a gray area...

Several years ago I was the Chessco Chess Festival in Davenport. One
of the speakers was the late Ken Whyld, British Chess historian of
some repute. He told a story of how he had the privilege of hosting
Keres in his home for a tournament. One night they were sitting and
talking, and this subject came up.

Whyld says that Keres told him he was never overtly threatened over
the games in the Match Tournament or in particular with Botvinnik, but
it was also very clear to him what would happen if he won. He further
stated that he did not intentionally lose any games, but it was
impossible to play one's best under the circumstances.

This sounds fairly credible to me. He didn't intentionally lose, so
the Evans/Parr group is not right, but he did play poorly due to
perceived political pressure, thus the other side is also incorrect.

Finally, I find it interesting that no one has ever quoted what Keres
said about these games in the book he wrote about the tournament, you
know, the book that was the model for Bronstein's Zurich tome? I
certainly understand that what was written was under the aegis of the
Soviet government, so he certainly is not goint to say I threw this
game on purpose, but nonetheless, one would think looking at his
explanation of these blunders would be worthwhile.

And no question, the example Evans cites in the link given by Parr is
a howlder. Of course, top level GMs do blunder when under all sorts
of different pressure. Look at the Topalov-Kramnik game from Sunday!
Nc1 must be one of the most amazing top level blunders of all time.
And this followed a major blunder by each side. It really does not
take too much to throw a top player off his stride, and concerns over
his own or famial safety, even if vague and amorphous, would certainly
be more than enough to do it.

So my conclusion is fairly simple and straightforward--Keres did not
'throw' any games, i.e., lose on purpose, but he was doomed from the
start due to the political realities of the time.

Now if this merits further discussion, it would be nice to see it done
without any name calling

==Dondo






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Old May 23rd 05, 10:29 PM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Mark Houlsby" wrote in message
oups.com...
Finally... someone presents a balanced, informed, *accurate*
assessment.

Keres *never* threw any games, EVER, but at the time he *was* under
*severe* personal pressure from powerful people in the Soviet
hierarchy. At the very least, this *significantly* affected his
performance.


I do not think this is any necessary implication Mark, following Don's post.
It is more subtle. Taimanov said to me in an interview that there was an
expectation that one's effort's should be focussed on other potential
players and challengers, mostly internal and not international ones, rather
than on the Leader/Hero of the Soviet Union.

This is not the same as throwing games, but the broadcast expectation of how
one should behave and prepare toward the champion must be noted. I thought
that Don Aldrich's post accepted this sort of actual report, rather than any
more explicit sense of 'throwing games' as a theoretical report.

I wish "journalists" like Larry Parr would actually *do some relevant
research* BEFORE posting their nonsense.


One would wish that there were more insider Russian reports on which to base
one's assessment - without which we all guess - even though from Larry Evans
who might be expected, in respect of his chess skill, to have a better sense
of what happens at high level engagements than the rest of us.

this is the level of engagement that we would wish to be 'on the record',
no?

Thank you, Mr. Aldrich.


Yes - he made a good post, and food for thought.

Cordially, Phil Innes

-Mark



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Old May 23rd 05, 11:38 PM
Mark Houlsby
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Calling Larry Parr a journalist is like calling the kid who just
fingerpainted your walls an artist. Its really just a mess.

Yes, you may be onto something there....

The middle ground story has always made the most sense;


Exactly... and if it didn't go down like that... so what?

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Old May 23rd 05, 11:51 PM
Mark Houlsby
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Houlsby wrote:
Finally... someone presents a balanced, informed, *accurate*

assessment.


Keres *never* threw any games, EVER, but at the time he *was* under

*severe* personal pressure from powerful people in the Soviet
hierarchy. At the very least, this *significantly* affected his
performance.


Innes wrote:
I do not think this is any necessary implication Mark, following

Don's post.

Certainly not *necessary*... neither is it necessarily true.... but
there seems a paucity of plausible evidence for Keres' having behaved
this way, unless one trawls Parr's rather confused mind, and, let's
face it, who would want to go *there*...

Innes:
It is more subtle.


Almost certainly.

Innes:
Taimanov said to me in an interview that there was an

expectation that one's effort's should be focussed on other potential
players and challengers, mostly internal and not international ones,
rather
than on the Leader/Hero of the Soviet Union.

This is not the same as throwing games, but the broadcast expectation

of how
one should behave and prepare toward the champion must be noted. I
thought
that Don Aldrich's post accepted this sort of actual report, rather
than any
more explicit sense of 'throwing games' as a theoretical report.

Uh huh..... your point being...?

Houlsby:
I wish "journalists" like Larry Parr would actually *do some relevant


research* BEFORE posting their nonsense.


Innes:
One would wish that there were more insider Russian reports on which

to base
one's assessment - without which we all guess - even though from Larry
Evans
who might be expected, in respect of his chess skill, to have a better
sense
of what happens at high level engagements than the rest of us.

The guy spotted a blunder. So what? GMs blunder all the time. Doesn't
mean they don't play pretty well when they're not blundering...

Innes:
this is the level of engagement that we would wish to be 'on the

record',
no?

Well... frankly... no. I couldn't really care less about what actually
happened. I care only:

1) that we have the games and may study them

and:

2) that imbeciles like Parr get away with writing the same old BS over
and over and over and over in this cesspit... sorry... newsgroup.

Houlsby:
Thank you, Mr. Aldrich.


Innes:
Yes - he made a good post, and food for thought.


Cordially, Phil Innes


Bitter Lemonly, Mark Houlsby

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Old May 24th 05, 12:34 AM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Mark Houlsby" wrote in message
oups.com...
Houlsby wrote:
Finally... someone presents a balanced, informed, *accurate*

assessment.


Keres *never* threw any games, EVER, but at the time he *was* under

*severe* personal pressure from powerful people in the Soviet
hierarchy. At the very least, this *significantly* affected his
performance.


Innes wrote:
I do not think this is any necessary implication Mark, following

Don's post.

Certainly not *necessary*... neither is it necessarily true.... but
there seems a paucity of plausible evidence for Keres' having behaved
this way, unless one trawls Parr's rather confused mind, and, let's
face it, who would want to go *there*...

Innes:
It is more subtle.


Almost certainly.

Innes:
Taimanov said to me in an interview that there was an

expectation that one's effort's should be focussed on other potential
players and challengers, mostly internal and not international ones,
rather
than on the Leader/Hero of the Soviet Union.

This is not the same as throwing games, but the broadcast expectation

of how
one should behave and prepare toward the champion must be noted. I
thought
that Don Aldrich's post accepted this sort of actual report, rather
than any
more explicit sense of 'throwing games' as a theoretical report.

Uh huh..... your point being...?


....more subtle than anyone here has yet taken in

phil

Houlsby:
I wish "journalists" like Larry Parr would actually *do some relevant


research* BEFORE posting their nonsense.


Innes:
One would wish that there were more insider Russian reports on which

to base
one's assessment - without which we all guess - even though from Larry
Evans
who might be expected, in respect of his chess skill, to have a better
sense
of what happens at high level engagements than the rest of us.

The guy spotted a blunder. So what? GMs blunder all the time. Doesn't
mean they don't play pretty well when they're not blundering...

Innes:
this is the level of engagement that we would wish to be 'on the

record',
no?

Well... frankly... no. I couldn't really care less about what actually
happened. I care only:

1) that we have the games and may study them

and:

2) that imbeciles like Parr get away with writing the same old BS over
and over and over and over in this cesspit... sorry... newsgroup.

Houlsby:
Thank you, Mr. Aldrich.


Innes:
Yes - he made a good post, and food for thought.


Cordially, Phil Innes


Bitter Lemonly, Mark Houlsby



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Old May 24th 05, 02:20 AM
Mark Houlsby
 
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....more subtle than anyone here has yet taken in

phil


....guess again

mark

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