Candidates Tournament

Pal Benko vs. Paul Keres

Curacao - 1962

An extremely important game in Chess History. Going into the 27th round of the 1962 Curacao Candidates Tournament, there was a tie for first between Tigran Petrosian, and "the eternal challenger" Paul Keres, who had finished in 2nd place in three consecutive Candidates tournaments, but never been able to break through and earn a title shot. Here are the pairings for the last two rounds:

Round 27

Round 28

On the face of it, here was an excellent chance for Keres to take the lead going into the final round. While Petrosian had to duke it out with Fischer, Keres had Benko, a man that he had a perfect 7-0 score (!!) against in previous Candidates Tournament encounters.

But if Caissa herself were out to create a Greek tragedy for Keres, she could hardly have chosen a better time. Sure enough, Keres got creamed by Benko. Petrosian obtained a slight edge against Fischer, but was too distracted by the events on Keres' board to pursue it, and agreed to a draw. In the final round, both Petrosian and Keres drew. Petrosian went on to play Botvinnik in 1963. Keres, for the 4th consecutive time, finished second.