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Robert James Fischer vs Efim Geller
Skopje (1967)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Main Line (B89)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: If you are interested, I have annotated this game ... the link is given earlier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <leka> Oh, yes.

Guess fish like that there Petrosian, Spassky (y'know, them two that played fer the world title twice), Keres and Tal jes' couldn't play a lick.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Simply ridiculous. Yes, Fischer was a genius. However, Spassky, Petrosian, Tal, Botvinnik ... they were all worthy champions.

And - as I remember things - the Vegas odds-makers had Spassky as a huge favorite in 1972 ... Fischer (prior to then) had never beaten Spassky. (FACT!!!)

And Spassky was also a gentleman. I feel quite sure if Spassky had stood his ground and refused to play game #3 in a PING-PONG ROOM, (he origianlly had said that he would not play under such conditions); then Fischer would have probably run off and stuck his head back in the sand, never to be heard from again.

Dec-18-12  EdZelli: Leka wrote:'The chess era 1962 to 1972 was a weak one.'

Oh please !! Creativity was the best in that era. Boris, Tigran, Bobby, Tal, Geller, Keres, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Sammy... were all active and fantastic players. They all had a unique style of their own unlike now.

You need to take the time to re-visit
the games from that era.

Dec-19-12  RookFile: Right. Just a list of players you didn't mention is impressive:

Larsen, Najdorf, Polugaevsky, Korchnoi, Stein, Bronstein, etc.

If there was a golden age of chess, the time from 1955 to 1972 was it.

Jan-11-13  leka: I do count Sammy Reshevsky Mikhail Botvinnik Paul Keres M.Najdorf as players from 1960s they were the older generation.There were from 1962 to 1972 players like Fischer Spassky Tal Leonid Stein Portisch.Petrosian was his best 1961-63. Fischer was the world number one from 1966 to 1972 straight years
Jan-11-13  leka: Sorry i do not count players Botvinnik Reshevsky Paul Keres M.Nafdorf as 1960s players.They were the older generation
Aug-15-13  Chessman1504: This game seems awfully complicated. Naturally, I was drawn to this game on account of Geller's impressive score against Fischer. However, this game and others I've seen show that Geller is a player with games that demand further study!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile....If there was a golden age of chess, the time from 1955 to 1972 was it.>

So many terrific players in those days.

Nov-25-13  Petrosianic: The Golden Age probably lasted until 1990. The last Kasparov-Karpov match closed it out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: So the upshot is that Fischer could have drawn with best play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A similar game is Stein vs V Osnos, 1959.
Dec-14-13  DrChopper: To me there are 7 ages. Before 1851 - The beginning: A lot of known openings are created. Exploration on the tactics and weaknesses of the structure.

1851 to 1895 - Romantic era: Morphy, Andersen, Blackburn, Bird playing a lot of gambit and going right to the attack.

1895 to 1946 - Scientific (modern) era: Capa, Lasker, Alekhine, Nimzo: Right when Lasker become WC, the game pass to another level (Steinitz, Zukertort and Tarrasch helped a lot but Lasker was really dominating). The game become a lot more positional and 1.d4 is much more played. Hypermoderm openings and the dynamism is much more theorized.

1946 to 1975 - Golden era: a lot of creative players (Bronstein, Tal, Fischer, Stein) with sharp openings (KID, sicilian). A lot of variations and ideas are tested.

1975 to 1992 - Soviet era: Stein, Nezhmetdinov and Keres are dead. Fischer stop to play while Spassky and other GM are surpassed by Korchnoi, Karpov and Kasparov. In 1992, Tal dies and Fischer make his last match. End of the USSR.

1992 to 2006 - International era: While Karpov and Kasparov are still at the top, other great players out of Russia fight for the crown (Anand, Short). Kasparov retires in 2005. Return of FIDE.

2005 to now - Computer era: A lot of great players come from everywhere and the WC comes from India. Most players use computers for training. Openings are less sharps (big return of 1.d4) and games are less creative overall.

Dec-26-13  qqdos: <offramp> the upshot is that Fischer could have won with the move 20.Qf4! as analysis above shows.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<qqdos> the upshot is that Fischer could have won with the move 20.Qf4! as analysis above shows.>

Maybe. But the real upshot is that Fischer didn't find the right move and he didn't play it, so he lost.

Dec-26-13  Petrosianic: It's like Tal's comment. Heavily paraphrased, it was something like "The difference me and Lasker is that people said Lasker was lost in about half the games he won, but with me, it's ALL of them."

But this is precisely why Geller was a difficult opponent for Fischer. Fischer preferred clear complications. Difficult ones, yes, but ones that were ultimately clear and analyzable. Geller was one of those that specialized in creating very unclear combinations, which Fischer (and most players for that matter) didn't navigate as well in.

What players like Tal and Geller realized was that moves that might be theoretically possible to find with infinite time and resources were not always findable during a game with the clock ticking. Somebody like Petrosian played just the opposite way. He always wanted to find the "right" move. Fischer was more like Petrosian than Geller in that respect, although Fischer's actual style was more dynamic and aggressive.

And it isn't clear that 20. Qf4! wins in this game, although the analysis shows White clearly better, and certainly not losing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  woodthrush: <DrChopper>, you're choices of era names and dates are variously uninformed, arbitrary and incorrect. For example, the scientific era was ushered in by Steinitz, his positional play was evident in the mid 1860s, was well developed in the 1880s, and adopted by Lasker in the early 1890s. I would say the scientific era began in the 1880s, ten years earlier than you say. <Another example>: it is well known that Fischer broke several decades of Soviet domination, a domination that began with Botvinnik in the late 1940s, extended through the 1950s and 1960s with Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian and Spassky, and continued after Fischer through the 1970s, 80s and 90s headed by Karpov and Kasparov. I would say the Soviet era began in the late 1940s, thirty years earlier than you say. Another example: the terms "golden age" and "golden era" usually refer the "high point" of a culture. You characterize your golden era as a time of many creative players, use of sharp openings many variations and ideas tested. This characterization just as aptly applies to the hypermodern period which blossomed prior to WWI and reached full bloom in the 1920s and 30s, was filled with creative players such as Reti, Nimzowitch, Alekhine, and saw the development of many new openings, variations and ideas. Quoting the Wikipedia article on Hypermodernism: <Hypermodern openings include the Réti Opening, King's Indian Defence, Queen's Indian Defence, Nimzo-Indian Defence, Grünfeld Defence, Bogo-Indian Defence, Old Indian Defence, Catalan Opening, King's Indian Attack, Alekhine's Defence, Modern Defence, Pirc Defence, Larsen's opening, Sokolsky Opening, and to a lesser degree the English Opening.> Experimention and creativity were the hallmarks of the hypermodern period. <Another example>: the name "international era" applies to any timeframe from the 1850s to present. In the 1850s one sees mainly European players, yet quite "international". By the 1900s one sees increasing numbers of players from the Americas. You could say that we are now in the "global era" of chess with the inclusion of many Indian and Asian players. <In summary>, eras of chess are demarcated by the reigns of great players, the introduction of schools of thought, advances in transportation resulting in geographical inclusion, the stirrings of great tournaments, and social upheavals, unfortunately in the form of world wars. With such an array influences, at times competing with one another, eras overlap and become blurred. One thing is for certain: overall there has been a gradual increase in the understanding and quality of chess play, and in regional participation.
Dec-26-13  qqdos: the original debate going back to April, 2012 was whether 20.Qf4! was winning as asserted by Fischer. The analysis does clearly show that: although a semantical objection as stated above by <Petrosianic> is permissible.<AK's> comment is beside the point.
Dec-26-13  Petrosianic: I think AK's comment has some sporting relevance, because Petrosian's writings show him wrestling with the same conundrum. In analyzing the 1959 Candidates Tournament, he concluded that Tal had, "beyond all shadow of doubt" incorrectly sacrificed pieces in two games against Smyslov, yet had won one and drawn the other. The idea was that if this kind of thing happens repeatedly (and it happened to Tal with great regularity in those days), it can't be dismissed as mere accident, so should he adjust his own playing style to meet the new trend. (He eventually decided no, because someone with a style like Capablanca would eventually become world champion and restore balance to the force... I mean restore order to chess.)
Dec-26-13  Petrosianic: <qqdos>: <the upshot is that Fischer could have won with the move 20.Qf4! as analysis above shows.>

The analysis doesn't seem to show that. The line ending with 30. Bxe7 shows White clearly better, but not clearly winning.

It also fails to appreciate the playing style of a Tal or Geller. The way they played, it was of no consequence if you could find an improvement 40 years later. What mattered was whether you could find one in the 2 hours you had for the game. Tal, Geller and other players excelled in created wild, unclear positions where everything is hanging, and with threats on both sides of the board. Players like Fischer, Petrosian, and others, who preferred clear, calculable complications, didn't play at full strength in these kinds of positions, and so when they went wrong, it was no accident.

For another example of this kind of thing, check out one of Tal's more famous wins. Beyond any doubt, he incorrectly sacrifices a piece in this game, and would have lost with perfect play on both sides after Move 14. But the piece was sacked in order to create the kind of position that Tal excelled in and Smyslov didn't. It wasn't a fluke that Tal won the game.

Tal vs Smyslov, 1959

Dec-27-13  ughaibu: If Petrosian specified two games, the above wouldn't have been one of them.
Dec-27-13  Petrosianic: Why not?
Dec-27-13  ughaibu: "Petrosian's writings show him wrestling with the same conundrum. In analyzing the 1959 Candidates Tournament, he concluded that Tal had, "beyond all shadow of doubt" incorrectly sacrificed pieces in two games against Smyslov, yet had won one and drawn the other."

The game you posted above is one of two wins by Tal against Smyslov in the candidates, but it is not the one in which he "beyond all shadow of doubt" incorrectly sacrificed a piece.

Dec-27-13  DrChopper: @Woodthrush I think there's a lot of ways to interpret it. Yours is fine too and other authors too. My opinion is based on which players are at the top and which kind of games and opening they play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: Without going back through the pages of kibitzing, I think 17.Rxf7 more than evens things up. If black takes with the Bishop you can get e7 in at some point, forking the rooks. If black takes with the g pawn then white has some aggressive counterplay on blacks kingside.
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