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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Efim Geller
Belgrade (1969), rd 2, Nov-??
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Classical Main Line (E69)  ·  0-1


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Given 20 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-06-02  Kulla Tierchen: Many chess champions are controversial and quite a few are crazy. But Fischer is the most compelling by far, provoking passionate responses. To those of us playing at the time, his departure was extremely depressing. When he ended his anchortic existence in 1992, it was too little, too late. However, after reading material from the Soviet chess archives recently, my contempt is directed at Botvinnik (avec cette morgue), Petrosian (faire du bruit autour de son nom), and Karpov (le comme il faut tout pur).
Dec-06-02  Kulla Tierchen: History has proven that Fischer was correct about the draw conspiracy. At the time he wrote an article called How the Russians Have Fixed World Chess. That effectuated a rules change to the matches, and Fischer being Fischer, still did not play in the cycle.
Dec-06-02  ughaibu: I imagine that Tal had an equally passionate contemporaneous following. As has been pointed out, the strength of feeling aroused by Fischer finds it's roots in his retirement. Compare Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, etc. Had Fischer played with and lost to Karpov the views expressed would be far more sober. I'm not saying Karpov would have beaten Fischer, I dont believe the question even arises.
Dec-06-02  PVS: In the wake of this scandal, Fischer also got a rule set for the minimum number of moves before a draw was permitted. He was the first one to violate it, and when an official called him on it, he retorted, "That rule is for Commie cheats, not for me." Great stuff!
Dec-06-02  ughaibu: I have still to see how sacrificing half a point is an advantage. If Fischer was the strongest player his opponents would have been happy to take draws with him too.
Dec-06-02  PVS: The point is not who was the strongest player but that three Soviets cheated, they cheated Tal and Korchnoi too. Fischer was not the strongest player there in my opinion. The draws let you rest, a tournament like that is incredibly grueling. The fact they agreed to it demonstrates that they thought it was an advantage, and that they finished one, two, three seems to indicate it was. They could freeze out non-Soviets and Soviets who were not their friends.
Dec-06-02  ughaibu: Fischer and Tal started very badly, naturally they had to try to catch up. Korchnoi fell away later in the tournament after which the top three put pressure on him as well. It is quite natural to husband your strength and for the leading players to fight harder (and to win) against those lower in the table. As you say this was a very tough event, particularly for the older players. If Fischer or Tal had got off to a flying start the eventual top three would not have had the luxury of being able to sacrifice half-points. This is tournament tactics and happens all the time. The USSR didn't become champion as a consequence, Petrosian did, and I doubt very much that either Geller or Keres was over the moon about that.
Dec-06-02  PVS: Tal of course was ill and had to forego the final round. Interestingly, the idea of the three men drawing was proposed by Petroysan.
Dec-06-02  ughaibu: I can imagine, Petrosian wasn't much of a tournament player compared with most world champions.
Dec-06-02  Kulla Tierchen: Petrosian wasn't much of a player compared with most world champions.
Jul-12-08  M.D. Wilson: <Kulla Tierchen: Petrosian wasn't much of a player compared with most world champions.>

It also appears that Kulla Tierchen wasn't much of a kibitzer compared with most kibitzers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  arsen387: what's wrong with 16.Bxh3? any help, please

<M.D. Wilson> LOL, agreed!

Jul-12-08  hcgflynn: arsen387: 16. bxh3 nf3+ then bxc3 and nd4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  arsen387: <hcgflynn> great, thanks, I missed that after Bxc3 the R is under attack
Jul-21-08  notyetagm: <arsen387: <hcgflynn> great, thanks, I missed that after Bxc3 the R is under attack>

Yes, the threat of <CONSECUTIVE CAPTURES>, ... ♗g7x♘c3 followed by ... ♗c3x♖a1, capturing the <UNDEFENDED> White a1-rook.

A powerful tactical display by Geller in his favorite King's Indian.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Bad tactical oversight by Botvinnik.
Jul-21-08  notyetagm: <Marmot PFL: Bad tactical oversight by Botvinnik.>

Yes, and Geller or Tal was probably the strongest tacitcal player in the world back in the 60's.

Jul-21-08  RookFile: This game also shows Geller's strength in the opening, I think. He was one of the strongest opening theoreticians.
Jul-22-08  notyetagm: <RookFile: This game also shows Geller's strength in the opening, I think. He was one of the strongest opening theoreticians.>

Yes, between his excellent opening preparation and outstanding tactical skill you can easily understand why no one wanted to face him.


Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: Geller makes defeating a former World Champion look easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <hcgflynn>arsen387: 16. ♗h3 ♘f3+, followed by 17...♗c3 & 18...♘d4

15.b3? left the knight on c3 undefended - I remember a chess coach saying to me that you should always look for loose or unprotected pieces in a position.

Oct-13-11  jerseybob: Something happenin' here; what it is ain't exactly clear. Well, Buffalo Springfield could have been talking about this game! In Geller's game collection, he has the final moves listed as 21..Bxc3 22.Bxc3,Ndxf4ch 23.0-1, leaving out the queenside pawn play initiated in this version with 21..a5. So who's telling the truth?
May-28-12  YoungEd: This is the shortest game in the database in which Botvinnik lost with the White pieces. Neat tactics by Geller!
Jun-28-12  RookFile: Well, it is really unbelievably strong play by Geller. Nobody does this to Botvinnik, but on this day, he did.
Dec-19-12  jerseybob: This game is a throwback to the early days of the modern K.I.D., when Bronstein and Boleslavsky steamrollered hapless opponents who didn't know what was hitting them.
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