50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
by Tigran Perosian and Aleksandar Matanovic
The 1970 match between the USSR and the Rest of the World was an epoch-defining event that featured many of the greatest names in the history of chess. Five World Champions, and all of the world’s highest-rated players – without exception – took part. Not for nothing was it billed as the “Match of the Century”.
On the 50th anniversary of the great event in Belgrade, we invite the reader to take a step back to those years and to re-live the match as it was experienced at the time, in the words of its participants and some of the leading journalists of the day...
This edition is revised, extended, and compiled by Douglas Griffin and Igor Zveglic.
75th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
In 1946, with the world of chess mourning the loss of Alekhine, FIDE took the helm of the World Chess Championship. The organization resolved that the new World Champion would be crowned via a tournament. Among the contenders were chess greats like Botvinnik, Smyslov, Reshevsky, Keres, and Euwe. The tourney concluded with Mikhail Botvinnik claiming the championship title. The grandmaster Paul Keres, who himself had participated in the tournament, spent the subsequent months chronicling the event, leading to the creation of this highly praised tournament book - a true cornerstone of chess literature.
The book's reputation is bolstered by endorsements from significant figures in chess. Former World Champion Gary Kasparov named it as one of the top three chess books in history, a sentiment he repeated in 2016. Another notable endorsement comes from Boris Gelfand, who had his own World Championship match against Anand in 2012.
Readers will find themselves guided by Keres' sharp intellect as he illuminates complex strategies with remarkable clarity. His analytical accuracy is unsurpassed, providing a challenge even for today's top-notch chess engines. By combining thrilling gameplay and Keres' in-depth understanding of the game, this book provides a pathway to a more profound grasp of practical chess.
It is exactly 75 years since one of the most significant events in chess history – the 1948 Match-Tournament for the World Chess Championship – took place in The Hague and Moscow. To mark this anniversary, my colleagues at Chess Informant have agreed to publish a new English translation of Paul Keres’ book on the tournament.
The original work has been extended to include historical context to the event – in this case, excerpts from the contemporary Soviet chess press and from the memoirs of Mikhail Botvinnik. Keres’ book on the event was first published in his native Estonian language in 1949. A year later it appeared in Russian translation and it came to be regarded as one of the best books on chess ever written. For instance, the likes of Garry Kasparov and Boris Gelfand are both on record as listing it among their favourites.
In this book, Keres’ annotations to the games have been faithfully reproduced. They have not been corrected by computer analysis; instead, they have been supplemented in some cases by the analysis of other masters – generally with that of the other players. In addition, historical context has occasionally been added in those cases where Keres’ assessments of certain openings have been overturned, or at least challenged, by many decades of tournament practice.
It has been a considerable pleasure to work on this project. Keres, as well as being an outstanding grandmaster, was also a superb analyst and annotator. His notes to the games represent a fine blend of general considerations and concrete variations; unlike in many books published today, the latter are never allowed to dominate. It is my sincere hope that the combination of these notes with the additional historical context will succeed in bringing Keres’ work to a new audience, and that this book will be a valuable addition to the libraries of chess enthusiasts of all abilities.