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David Bronstein vs Efim Geller
USSR Championship (1960), Leningrad URS, rd 19, Feb-25
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-15-04  Bluelapis: Rook will exchange with pawn for Queen promotion...
Apr-02-06  Kangaroo: There is an interesting story behind this game. See Viktor Korchnoi 's book.

David Bronstein many years later confessed that he <intentionally lost to Efim Geller; in the last round> of the Soviet championship. There were two reasons: Viktor Korchnoi position against Alexey Suetin did not look good, while Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian had already won his game. With the <gift> from Bronstein, Efim Geller would catch Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian.

The reality has been even better than Bronstein had thought! Viktor Korchnoi won his game - see Korchnoi vs Suetin, 1960 to learn how. As a result, Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian and Efim Geller were tied for the ... 2-nd and 3-rd places, and the winner was Viktor Korchnoi

This was his first victory (out of 4) of Viktor Korchnoi in the soviet championships!

Jun-07-08  sitzkrieg: Thanks for that story Kangaroo!
Bronstein seems to have made a habit out of making these comments long after games. When did he say this and was Geller still alive at the time? And why would Bronstein have a grudge against Petrosian, and not against Petrosian's friend Geller?
Jun-07-08  crwynn: I don't know if Bronstein's claims of this sort are reliable, but if I had to imagine Bronstein throwing a game, it would look a lot like this. I mean, his Nf5 sack might be playable if the pawn were on c3, it might even be good, but as it is the move is downright bizarre.

On the other hand, Bronstein made a lot of bizarre moves in his day, some good and some not so good.

Jun-07-08  Kangaroo: < <sitzkrieg>: Thanks for that story Kangaroo! Bronstein seems to have made a habit out of making these comments long after games. When did he say this and was Geller still alive at the time? And why would Bronstein have a grudge against Petrosian, and not against Petrosian's friend Geller?>

I read this story in the Russian edition of the book by Viktor Korchnoi "Chess With No Merci" - Bronstein did not like Petrosian's style and was too much opposed to the idea that Petrosian would become the champion. In his game against Suetin, Korchnoi experienced tremendous troubles, but his opponent did not know what would be better - to keep playing or to accept the draw if it were offered by Korchnoi. Hence Suetin went to Petrosian and Geller (walking from his board while Korchnoi was thinking about his next move) and asked for advice. One of them (most likely, it was Petrosian) suggested to accept a draw offer if such a possibility emerges. But the other (Geller) said that Suetin should play for a victory. The victory has eventually shown on the board, but it was the one by victorious Viktor Korchnoi!

Jun-07-08  sneaky pete: In a 1977 Dutch edition of his story, (sub)titled <30 years chess professional in the USSR>, Korchnoi writes that Bronstein, with whom he had good relations, told him this in 1974, Bronstein's reason being that, in that same round, Krogius threw his game to Petrosian (that game is not in this database). Korchnoi also confirms it was Petrosian who adviced Suetin to accept the draw, while Geller encouraged him to play for a win.
Jun-07-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Korchnoi also says that Gufeld threw his game against Geller in the previous round. Korchnoi partially blamed his loss in that round (he touched the wrong piece Bagirov vs Korchnoi, 1960 ) on being upset about the fixed game. The Geller-Gulfeld game is not in the DB.
Jun-07-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Minor correction: the Geller-Gufeld game was in the 16th round, not the previous round as I stated.
Jun-08-08  sitzkrieg: It sounds like half the tournament was fixed. Anyway, I looked at the tournament table and Bronstein was not having a good tournament; he lost against the numbers 2-5
Jun-08-08  ughaibu: Here you go:[Event "URS-ch27"]
[Site "Leningrad"]
[Date "1960.??.??"]
[Round "16"]
[White "Geller,Efim P"]
[Black "Gufeld,Eduard"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "D17"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Na6 6.Ne5 Bf5 7.e3 Nb4 8.Bxc4 e6 9.0-0 Be7 10.Qe2 0-0 11.e4 Bg6 12.Rd1 a5 13.Nxg6 hxg6 14.e5 Nfd5 15.Ne4 Rc8 16.Qg4 c5 17.dxc5 Bxc5 18.Bg5 Be7 19.b3 Nc6 20.Qh4 Qc7 21.Bxd5 exd5 22.Bxe7 dxe4 23.Bxf8 Rxf8 24.Qxe4 1-0
Jun-08-08  sitzkrieg: I don't think Gufeld needs to throw his games in order to lose to Geller:p. Sounds a bit like Korchnoi-paranoia to me.
Jun-08-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Thanks, Ughaibu. I will say that Gufeld makes some suspicious moves. He should not allow 11.e4, so 10...Nc2 or Nbd5 is indicated. Now with a cramped game he plays 16...c5? which puts his queen on the open file with White's rook. In short, Gufeld's play is not up to GM level. Draw your own conclusions.
Jun-08-08  sitzkrieg: mwa, maybe..But if Gufeld was like Korchnoi he would have said that the latter threw his game against Bagirov. Even GM's play badly now and then.
Jan-24-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Let's get these rumors sorted out proper...

Since rumors seem to be big these days.

It's interesting to see how the story morphs from one post to another in the above.

<sneaky pete>'s corresponds most closely to the version I heard.

That version, afaik, has but one source - Korchnoi.

Doesn't anybody have another, independent, source?

Oh never mind, let's just use the Gospel of Korchnoi - it's much more entertaining...

Jun-12-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

I'd trust Korchnoi on this one.

It appears in 'Chess is My Life' (1978) when all those involved were still alive.

Bronstein was appalled at watching Krogious throw his game v Petrosian (this game is now here) - Petrosian vs Krogius, 1960.

So he threw this game v Geller to stop Petrosian from being the sole winner.

14 years later Bronstein told Korchnoi what he had done. Korchnoi said but you also betrayed me! (if Korchnoi had lost to Suetin he would have finished 3rd. Korchnoi vs Suetin, 1960)

Bronstein replied that you were losing and I could not leave Petrosian as the sole winner.

The book is full of interesting revaluations and quite a few of them show Korchnoi in not a very good light with him admitting he behaved badly. (he admits Korchnoi vs Taimanov, 1956 was composed in a Hastings hotel.)

Taking onboard that Korchnoi had a massive axe to grind, it's due to the negative words about himself, and the fact those involved could have challenged him, I'd go along with the Korchnoi version of events.

***

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