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Efim Geller vs Donald Byrne
URS-USA (1955), Moscow URS, rd 3, Jul-03
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Modern Line (B76)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-17-04  iron maiden:, this is the same game as Geller vs D Byrne, 1955 but with 14 fewer moves.
Jun-09-05  aw1988: Tripled pawns from move 17 onward.
Jun-09-05  Everett: A "trapped piece" and "tripled pawn" game. High aesthetic value.
Feb-08-06  jackmandoo: Maybe one good thing about losing the "Game of the Century" is that people might underestimate you. I bet Donald always looked for a brilliant queen sac when things got complicated in his games.
Feb-08-06  Fan of Leko: Game of the century was still a year away when this one was played. What's wrong with 17 fxe5?
Mar-29-07  samikd: <Fan of Leko>

17) fxe5 Nxd4 18) Qxd4 Bxe5 19)Qd2 (or something) Rxc3! 20) bxc3 Bxc3 looks bad for White

Mar-29-07  Marmot PFL: <samikd> 19.Qd3 Rxc3 20.bc3 Bxc3 21.Qc4 stops black, but he can play 20...Rc8 instead with advantage. (21.c4? Bc3 , 21.Qe3 Rxc3 Rd3 Qb2+!).
Mar-29-07  Whitehat1963: A very strange game. Looking at it quickly, I thought black was doomed with the tripled pawns and inactive, virtually "trapped" bishop. And yet ....
Jun-12-12  vinidivici: <samikd> im just curious, why is it bad.....after you proposed 17.fxe5 Nxd4 18.Qxd4 Bxe5 then

19.Qb5(intending trade the queen) Qa3
20.Qb3 and now...????

Jun-12-12  Shams: <vinidivici> In your line 19.Qa4 (I assume this is what you mean) ...Bxc3 and in the Queenless ending Black is much better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 17.fxe5 Nxd4 18.Qxd4 Bxe5 19.Qe3 Rxc3 20.bxc3 Rc8 21.Rd3 Bxc3 seems to be a bit too optimistic as after 22.Rf1 I see nothing for black. Of course, if black Queen gives check, then white King escapes via c1 and d1 to safety, and after 22...Qa3 white can return the exchange 23.Rxc3 with clear advantage as 23...Rxc3 loses for 24.Qf4 with decisive counter-attack. Of course, after trade of Queens 23...Qxc3 24.Qxc3 Rxc3 the ending with Bishop for two Pawns is not an easy win for white due to many Pawn weaknesses and active Rook of the opponent but the win it should be anyway. Of course, black is not obliged to go for sac of exchange on c3, and for example 19...Bxc3 20.bxc3 Rxc3 21.Qd4 Rfc8 22.Bd3 b5 looks quite unpleasant for white, and also to find otb a precise defense against proposed Rxc3 idea was very difficult task and so it was a reasonable decision from Geller to decline the sac of piece. He lost the game only in consequence of two tactical mistakes 25.Qh3 and 26.Rxf3, when he simply overlooked idea of Rxd3 with removal of guard of c2.
Jun-12-12  vinidivici: <shams> sorry i made an annotation errors. This is supposed to be 17.fxe5 Nxd4 18.Qxd4 Bxe5 19.Qd3 Rxc3 20.bxc3 Bxc3 21.Qb5 Qa3 22.Qb3.....whats now?

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <vinidivici: <shams> sorry i made an annotation errors. This is supposed to be 17.fxe5 Nxd4 18.Qxd4 Bxe5 19.Qd3 Rxc3 20.bxc3 Bxc3 21.Qb5 Qa3 22.Qb3.....whats now?> 20...Bxc3 is bad but 20...Rc8 looks unpleasant for white. Of course, 21.Qb5?? is not an option here for 21...Qxc3.
Jun-12-12  vinidivici: <Honza Cervenka> why 21.Qb5 is bad? and 21...Qxc3 is impossible according to my line above because the square occupied by friendly piece (black bishop)......
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <vinidivici: <Honza Cervenka> why 21.Qb5 is bad? and 21...Qxc3 is impossible according to my line above because the square occupied by friendly piece (black bishop)......> It is not occupied by friendly piece, if black plays 20...Rc8!? instead of 20...Bxc3(?). In your line 21.Qb5 is fine but it loses after 20...Rc8 because of 21...Qxc3.
Jun-12-12  vinidivici: <Honza Cervenka> Thats deep. Yeah, 20...Rc8 looks like good, didnt have much time when calculated it. missed some good line.
Jun-12-12  vinidivici: Whats next after Rc8...
Aug-10-16  clement41: Splendid game. As <Everett> pointed out 11y ago (!), it is one of high aesthetic value to me too, due to the tripled black pawns as well as the subsequent trapped black fianchettoed bishop.

Nice 16...Ndc6! idea. I noticed that in the event of 17 fe, then 17... Nxd4 Qxd4 Bxe5 and e.g. if Qd3 Rxc3! bc Bxc3 , or if Qa4 black has the spectacular removal-of-the-defense tactics ...Bxc3! (Qxa5 Bxa5)

I was delighted to find 18 f5! preventing ...exf4 giving the Bg7 rebirth.

Last, after 20...Rf4!, I was happy to find 21 g5! used to trap even more black's bishop (e.g. preventing ...Bh6 ideas) and to remove a target for black.

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