Keres in Scotland - 1955

Paul Keres visited Glasgow as part of a tour sponsored by the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR. His tour also included exhibitions in London, Ilford, Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool and Bristol.

His first simultaneous display was at the Glasgow Jewish Institute, 95 South Portland Street, Glasgow on the evening of Monday, 26 December 1955, where he faced the following 20 opponents:

E. Knopfler, R. Spencer, M. Burden, M. Esterson, M. Freeman and H. Raiguff (Jewish Institute). Miss Hogarth (Glasgow Ladies'), DH Beattie and J. Logan (Polytechnic), A.R. Cormack (Central CC, Glasgow), J. Johnstone and J. Crossan (YMCA Griffin), E. Kanantas (Bridgeton Working Men's Club), T. Logan and RM Fisher (East Kilbride), R. McMiechin (University Union), OWA Dilke (College), K. Manina (Shettleston), D. Henry and A. McAllister (St. Mungo's).

According to the Daily Record of the following day, Keres only took two hours for all the games, scoring 19 wins and conceding a lone draw to Miss L. Hogarth.

Here is the score of one game as given in the Glasgow Herald of December 27, 1955.

Keres - Cormack [C10]
Glasgow 1955 (Simultaneous Exhibition)

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ Qxf6 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Bc4 Be7 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Bf4 b6 10.Bb5 Bd7 11.c4 a6 12.Ba4 Rg8 13.Re1 g5 14.Bg3 g4 15.d5 Bb4 16.dxc6 gxf3 17.cxd7+ Kf8 18.Rxe6 fxe6 19.Qxf3+ Ke7 20.Bh4+ 1-0

The next night, Tuesday, 27 December, Keres again faced 20 opponents, at Craig's Tea Rooms, 453 Sauchiehall Street. A social evening had been arranged by the Glasgow CC, the simultaneous display being the special feature.

Keres registered 16 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. His opponents on this occasion were Hugo Rey (Bohemian CC), Mrs Foggie (Edinburgh Ladies'), Mrs SM Steedman (YMCA Griffin), Miss LM Hogarth - again! - (Glasgow Ladies'), MD Thornton (Central CC, Glasgow), G. McGowan (Polytechnic, with all the other players from the Glasgow CC:- JP Fergus, E. Fitzjames, M. Fallone, J. Hennigan, K. Joerg, D. Kilpatrick, J. Lawson, JG McGregor, RHJ Malone, D. Morning, J. O'Sullivan, J. Gibben, T. Russell Jnr., and Dr. G. Will.

The draws were obtained by JG McGregor and Dr. G. Will, with Keres losing to MD Thornton and Fallone.

Here is Michael Fallone's win against the great Master. Michael turned 17 years old a month before this game. He would later represent Scotland at the Olympiads of Moscow 1956, Tel Aviv 1964 and Havana 1966. He was Scottish champion on one occasion, in 1963.

Keres - Fallone [C16]
Glasgow 1955 (Simultaneous Exhibition)

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 5.a3 Ba5 6.b4 Bb6 7.Na4 Bd7 8.Nc5 Bxc5 9.dxc5 Nbc6 10.Nf3 Ng6 11.Be2 a5 12.b5 Nce7 13.h4 Nf5 14.h5 Nge7 15.g4 Nh6 16.Nd4 c6 17.b6 Nc8 18.Bf1 Qe7 19.Be3 f6 20.exf6 Qf8 21.fxg7 Qxg7 22.g5 Nf5 23.Nxf5 Qc3+ 24.Bd2 Qe5+ 25.Ne3 d4 26.f4 Qxf4 27.Ng2 Qg3+ 28.Ke2 Rf8 29.Bf4 Rxf4 30.Nxf4 Qe3# 0-1

Glasgow Herald columns of December 16, 23, 27 and 28, 1955.
BCM 1956, p 38.
Daily Record for photograph.
Brian Allan and Bryan Hunter, for the Keres-Fallone game.
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre for the Daily Record cutting.

Alan McGowan
Historian, Chess Scotland