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Efim Geller vs Ratmir Kholmov
USSR Championship (1949), Moscow URS, rd 19, Nov-19
Spanish Game: Bird Variation (C61)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
May-26-05  Kangaroo: What a game! If Geller won it, he would have become the champion.
Jun-03-05  vonKrolock: <10...b5> The idea of, while teasing the white ♗, to advance the ♙♙'s thus freeing the 7-line for the ♖a8 and enabling the 0-0 is an attempt of improvement over 10...♔f8, as played in a '46 game Smyslov vs Alartorsev

<14.b6> white's delay in mobilising the ♕-side pieces, in contrast with black's efficient evolutions, is evident. If 14.bc6, then 14...♗d6! and black's activity through the e-line and against white's castle will become soon overwhelming

(notes by zk - to be continued)

May-13-06  Resignation Trap: This was one of Kholmov's best games from his early years using the Opening of the Day against Geller. Ratmir would have turned 81 today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This game was played in the last round of USSR Championship 1949. Before this game Geller was (then surprisingly) a sole leader of the tournament being a half point ahead of Smyslov and Bronstein and one point ahead of Mark Taimanov. Draw with white pieces against Kholmov would have secured him title of Champion (in worst case shared with Smyslov and/or Bronstein depending on result of their last game) but he was trying to play aggressively to win and lost in the end. Unfortunately for him all three main competitors managed to win their respective games and so finally he shared only the third place with Taimanov behind Smyslov and Bronstein who shared the title.
Aug-15-14  Whitehat1963: Excellent game. Great players can often beat other great players even when employing dubious defenses.
Jun-03-17  Saniyat24: Kholmov's wings of fire...!
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