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Efim Geller vs David Bronstein
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 25, Oct-14
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation (D35)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-24-03  Rookpawn: This game was the first of a four-game winning streak for Geller, an admirable achievement in the extremely strong Zurich Candidates tournament of 1953.
Jan-31-04  ughaibu: In various openings black's queen's bishop is thought of as a problem if it remains trapped inside by a pawn on e6, on the other side of the coin, bringing it out often results in what Benjamin Lau has aptly called "psuedo material".
Mar-31-04  ughaibu: Someone (maybe Evans) has claimed that black's 12th move shows that he was playing for a draw as it aims for opposite coloured bishops. This is a shameless attempt to pull the wool over the reader's eyes, in unbalanced middlegame positions opposite coloured bishops increase attacking chances and reduce the likelihood of a draw.
Apr-06-04  ughaibu: Sorry, the notes are by Soltis not Evans. He also points out that in the tournament book Bronstein says that 2....f5 would've been more aggressive, according to Soltis this is Bronstein hinting that he was actually playing for a draw in this game. Again this doesn't hold water, according to this database Geller at this point in his career had never lost to the Dutch, on the other hand he had lost several times to the QGD including his previous black two rounds before in this very tournament, for psychological reasons alone this was not the choice to play for a draw. In this tournament Bronstein chose several responses to 1.d4, Kings Indian, Nimzo Indian, Queens Indian, Benoni wing gambit and even one Dutch against the Dutchman Euwe, a 27 move draw.
Sep-12-05  ughaibu: Here's a game annotated misleadingly by Soltis to further his extraneous theories.
Aug-31-09  laskereshevsky: Bronstein play for a draw for psychological reasons, or cause this was ordered at the 2 players by a Commies "functionary"?!.....

Unfortunatly for David, looks like Geller changed his mind during the game....

A Conspiracy to avoid another match between the Sovietic's chess patriarc Botvinnik and the not "politically correct" Bronstein?!...

Jun-30-12  Howard: Geez !

Hard to believe no one's posted a comment regarding the rather well-known story as to what REALLY had gone on behind the scenes regarding this game!

For further information, read either "Treachery in Zurich" (by Andy Soltis) on the chesscafe.com website, or you can read Taylor Kingston's excellent article in the latest issue of New in Chess--2012, Issue 4.

Bottom line.....Bronstein was actually the victim of a sneaky double-cross in this game ! It had to do with the Soviet collusion to ensure that Reshevsky would not win this tournament.

Jun-30-12  King Death: <Howard> Why not just post a link instead of berating those of us that haven't posted? Actually I didn't know the full story behind this, I'm so sorry for not keeping my reading up to your high standards. It's the kind of thing that happens when you have interests outside of chess.

As for the ECO code this is a QGD Semi Slav and if Bronstein had played 6...g6 he'd have gotten a position similar to the Exchange QGD where White hasn't even managed to play Bg5 yet. Black's already equal.

Jul-01-12  Howard: With apologies to KingDeath and anyone else whose toes I may have stepped in by accident.....

First, I'm not good at posting links. But if you Google "Treachery at Zurich" you can easily locate Soltis's two-part article.

However, to be fair, let me briefly explain what happened behind the scenes in this game.....

1) The Geller-Bronstein game took place roughly about Round 25 in this 30-round tournament.

2) At the time the game took place, Reshevsky still had a small chance to catch up with Smyslov--who was leading the tournament--and thus become Botvinnik's next challenger....

3)...that is, if the Soviet contingent was willing to allow Reshevsky that chance ! But they were apparently determined to make sure that didn't happen.

4) Bronstein was approached before his game with Geller by a few high-ranking Soviet officials and told that Geller would purposely lose his game with him (thus helping Bronstein's own chances of catching up with Smyslov) IF Bronstein agreed that in return, he would allow Smyslov a short, easy draw in the following round after Bronstein had just played Geller.

5) But Bronstein wanted to have his cake and eat it too ! That is, he was due to play White against Smyslov---after playing Black against Geller. He didn't want to allow an easy draw--rather, he not only wanted Geller to lose to him on purpose, but he also wanted to hopefully beat Smyslov as well---thus, really helping his own chances for first place.

6)The Soviet authorities didn't exactly appreciate Bronstein's lack of cooperation here. So they apparently decided to trick Bronstein....by giving him the impression that Geller would indeed lose to him deliberately, thus giving Bronstein an easy win....

7) So what happened in that game?! Turns out Geller had been told to GO FOR A WIN against Bronstein. But when the two of them sat down to play, Bronstein was under the assumption that Geller would lose to him on purpose !

8) So Bronstein turned out to be the victim of a double-cross ! By the time he realized that Geller was going for a win, it was too late for Bronstein to save the game. Plus he was naturally upset when he suddenly caught on that he'd been duped, so that killed his concentration.

Jul-01-12  Dr. Pipit Wagtail: The less well known denouement to this game is that as the infuriated Bronstein rose from the table he ripped his scoresheet to pieces, then kicked over his chair and cursed loudly,

"Ef'n Geller!"

Jul-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Howard: Geez !
Hard to believe no one's posted a comment regarding the rather well-known story as to what REALLY had gone on behind the scenes regarding this game! For further information, read either "Treachery in Zurich" (by Andy Soltis) on the chesscafe.com website, or you can read Taylor Kingston's excellent article in the latest issue of New in Chess--2012, Issue 4.>

Soltis' article has been discussed at enormous length on this website. (If you don't even know what round this game was played in, you have a lot of catching up to do.) I think the article is utter horseshit. And Bronstein's story about this game is the most nonsensical part of the whole article.

If Kingston has anything new to add, I'd be happy to hear it.

Jul-03-12  Howard: To the individual labeling himself as "keypusher".....first, to call Soltis's article "utter h-------t" is being unnecessarily blunt.

However, if you would care to provide a valid mailing address, I would be quite pleased to send you a copy of Kingston's article. I entirely mean it.

Or....if you're gonna be at the World Open, in a few days, let me know. I plan on being there.

Jul-03-12  pericles of athens: why 11...Bxc3? Since black's pawns are on light squares, wouldn't you want to keep the dark-squared bishop?

I thought the conventional idea was to (1) try to retain the bishop pair, and (2) if you have a "bad" bishop, try to get rid of it (and conversely, if you have a "good" bishop, try to keep it).

Thanks guys.

Jul-04-12  Kinan: What kind of nonsense is this?
I didn't know the Soviet officials had the ability to read one's mind, as they managed to know that Bronstein planned to beat Smyslov later.
Jul-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Howard: To the individual labeling himself as "keypusher".....first, to call Soltis's article "utter h-------t" is being unnecessarily blunt. However, if you would care to provide a valid mailing address, I would be quite pleased to send you a copy of Kingston's article. I entirely mean it.

Or....if you're gonna be at the World Open, in a few days, let me know. I plan on being there.>

I'll find it myself if I care to. Given that everyone involved except Averbakh is dead, I doubt it will have anything new.

You can look at the top of my bio page to see who the person who calls himself keypusher is.

Jul-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Naniwazu: <ughaibu> If you read the tournament book you can see that Bronstein introduces this game with the words <...I played this important game with Geller in a manner far beneath any possible criticism>. Later in his annotations to the move 2...Nf6 he states <f5 was a more suitable move in order to play for a win, but Black was peacably inclined>. And again after the move 23. Rc1 <Black may already have gone too far in his unwillingness to undertake anything active>. These statements would suggest that Black wanted to win this game, but lost due to his passive play.
Jul-18-12  BUNA: <Naniwazu These statements would suggest that Black wanted to win this game, but lost due to his passive play.>

Bronstein explicitly states that he blundered a pawn with 23. ... a5. Well, at least in the russian edition of "Zurich 1953". And adds the following explanation: <24. Qxb7 Of Course! I had completely forgotten that the bishop on g3 controls the square b8.>

Apparently Bronstein had planned along the lines of
24. Qxb7 Nb4
25. Nc4/b3 Rfb8
26. Qc7 Nd3
with quite some initiative.

Now would you call that passive play?

Btw Geller finished the tournament with 5 of 6, winning successively against Bronstein, Gligoric, Taimanov and Najdorf. He certainly was on a roll.

Aug-09-12  Everett: <I'll find it myself if I care to. Given that everyone involved except Averbakh is dead, I doubt it will have anything new.>

Averbakh's opinion

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skitt...

Here is the bit about this game:

<Averbakh: I heard this story about Bronstein, that they told him Geller will make a draw with him, and they did not tell Geller, and Geller won the game against Bronstein. I doubt this is a real story.

TK: So you do not agree with Bronsteinís view of the
tournament? He has described it as Ďa splinter in his heart,í as something that bothered his conscience. Do you not agree with his interpretation of the events there?

YA: Not completely. No, because I have known Bronstein so long. Sometimes, for instance, he may speak about his match with Botvinnik, and he says he did not want to win this match, or some such thing. He may not be truthful every time. I cannot say, or course, exactly how much, but what he says is not 100% true, about anything, really. This is my experience based on many contacts with him.>

If you read the entire interview linked, you'll get some interesting thoughts about Keres' performances vs Botvinnik over the years, and how Smyslov was indeed favored by the authorities to become WC, at least at some point.

Also, after all this talk of the importance of documentation and "historical facts," Averbakh believes that Botvinnik was lying in an interview in 1991 when he describes Stalin giving orders to Keres and Smyslov to play poorly vs Botvinnik in '48. This is a documented interview, and Averbakh says "this can't be true." All very amusing, how "historians" insist on documentation, but then ignore or rationalize away some documentation that is inconvenient to their beliefs.

Aug-09-12  Everett: Here is some more kibitzing from me, <keypusher>, <bronkenstein>, and <gypsy> regarding "Treachery in Zurich."

David Bronstein

Oct-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Dr. Pipit Wagtail: The less well known denouement to this game is that as the infuriated Bronstein rose from the table he ripped his scoresheet to pieces, then kicked over his chair and cursed loudly, "Ef'n Geller!">

After some of Fischer's defeats against Geller, he probably muttered the same sort of thing and laid waste to his hotel rooms into the bargain.

Dec-31-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Howard> FWIW: Thats what <keypusher> is full of: "utter h-------t"

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