Player(s): Paul Keres
In a new series of his weekly show, GM Ronen Har-Zvi presents us with one of the greatest players of all time to never play a world Championship Match: Paul Keres. Keres, almost incredibly, missed by a narrow chance to play for the World Championship five times. WWII broke loose while Keres was negotiating the match with Alekhine, after his triumph at the famous AVRO 1938 tournament. After the war, and Alekhine's death, Keres was the runner-up in four consecutive Candidates' tournaments. Chess historian nicknamed the strong Estonian "Paul the Second", not without some bitter irony. He was one of the top players from the mid-30's to the mid-60's. After some dangerous circumstances at the end of the war, related to his playing in tournaments organized by Nazis, Keres was forced to become a Soviet citizen. and he represented Soviet Union in seven Olympiads, winning 7 consecutive team gold medals, 5 board gold medals and 1 board bronze. His record of four consecutive board gold medals is still unmatched. Listing all his successes would be impossible, but history and statistics place this amazing player in the top 10 between 1936 and 1965, with overall one of the highest winning percentage of all grandmasters.