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Boris Spassky vs Efim Geller
"Give 'em the Runaround" (game of the day Jan-31-2017)
Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968), Sukhumi URS, rd 6, Apr-13
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B25)  ·  1-0


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Given 27 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-09-15  Howard: Wasn't this game analyzed by Kasparov in his MGP ? He said it was the best game of the match.
Feb-10-16  Zhbugnoimt: <moronovich>: Practically it is certainly very easy for black to screw up and get crushed on the K-side, but objectively White's attack is a bluff. Bent Larsen made a mistake in his evaluation because he didn't calculate at 500k nodes per second, I have something to do that for me.
Feb-10-16  RookFile: I think Geller thought the attack was a bluff too. There is a place for bluffing in poker. Maybe in chess, too?
Jul-30-16  tigreton: It seems so easy... concentrate pieces on the kingside, hold the enemy as long as you can on the queenside (b3 and Rc1), make a breakthrough (f5), eliminate the defender (Rxf6), and invade, mainly with the Queen. Why does it only work for players as Spassky?
Jan-31-17  Robyn Hode: Interesting how Spassky's opening evolved into a Leningrad Bird with the thematic g4 expansion.
Jan-31-17  Abdel Irada: ∞

I'm no expert on the Closed Sicilian, but 13. ...Bb7 looks out of place. Could Black have considered 13. ...Ne8, with the idea of the maneuver Ne8-c7-b5?

Jan-31-17  RookFile: Maybe. After 13....Ne8 Spassky has the option of 14. d4, making it an open Sicilian again. Chances for both sides in an equal game.
Jan-31-17  AlicesKnight: Admire the strategic judgement that the Black Q-side sally can be ignored. 23.Rxf6 combined with 25.Nxf7 make a fine break-in to the K's position which looked superficially quite firm.
Jan-31-17  Abdel Irada: ∞

<RookFile: Maybe. After 13....Ne8 Spassky has the option of 14. d4, making it an open Sicilian again. Chances for both sides in an equal game.>

The entire purpose of 13. ...Ne8 is to provoke such a move, which gives Black a target and ready counterplay.

If d3-d4 is the best White can do, I would say maybe the idea *is* an improvement.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Today's pun - a lot of you won't believe this - is based on the loser's first name. The punster detected a consonance between the name Efim and the phrase "Give 'em..." Then a suitable ending to that sentence was found, in this case, "the runaround".

<The Runaround> is an amusing aspect of playground fisticuffs. It occurs when two antagonists are separated by a tree. When the agressor tries to approach the defender, the defender relocates rapidly to a point 180° opposite the aggressor's new position. (Outside the playground, this activity takes place while using parked cars as a pivot.)

This diversion continues until either (a) playtime ends or (b) one or both participants dies of illness or old age.

Fascinating to watch, for a while.

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: 29.e5 is even faster.
Jan-31-17  RandomVisitor: After 14.b3 what if black avoided the queenside nonsense

click for larger view


-0.57/29 14...Nd7 15.Ra2 Qc7 16.f5 Ra8 17.Rxa8 Rxa8 18.Qd2 Ra2 19.Bh6 Nde5 20.Nxe5 Bxe5 21.Kh2 Qd8 22.Bf4 Bg7 23.Be3 Bf6 24.Nc1 Ra1 25.Ne2 Rxf1 26.Bxf1 gxf5 27.exf5 Qd7 28.Bg2 Qxf5 29.Be4 Qe5 30.Bf4 Qb2 31.Bg5

-0.50/29 14...Qc7 15.Qd2 Ra8 16.Rxa8 Rxa8 17.f5 Ra2 18.Bh6 Bxh6 19.Qxh6 Qd8 20.Qd2 Qa8 21.g4 Nd7 22.Nf4 Qf8 23.g5 Nde5 24.Nxe5 dxe5 25.Ne2 f6 26.Bf3 Qg7 27.h4 Qf7 28.Nc1 Ra3 29.Ne2 e6 30.gxf6 Qxf6

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Zhbugnoimt: <moronovich>: Practically it is certainly very easy for black to screw up and get crushed on the K-side, but objectively White's attack is a bluff. Bent Larsen made a mistake in his evaluation because he didn't calculate at 500k nodes per second, I have something to do that for me.> That's interesting you say Spassky was bluffing, because when black played 14...Ra8 white could have responded with Qd2 or something to challenge the file but Rc1 was like saying: Okay, you do your thing, I'll do mine: you pfutz around trying to win that stupid pawn on the queen side while I checkmate you on the king side.
Jan-31-17  Saniyat24: Spassky at his best...!
Jan-31-17  The Kings Domain: Impressive attacking game by Spassky. 25) Nxf7 was a particularly nice touch which sent Geller's kingside crumbling irreparably.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black tries to run, but can't fast enough.
May-30-17  Howard: Would someone please verify that 29.e5 would have won quicker? Kasparov--if I remember correctly---doesn't mention this move in MGP.
May-30-17  Retireborn: 29.e5 is evaluated higher by Houdini, but both moves win quickly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 29 e5 or 29 g5 is like choosing either a smash or a placement when your opponent has thrown up a defensive lob, and is in the neighboring court flat on his back.

29 e5 is faster, mainly because it attacks the bishop on b7 and threatens to take on f6 with the pawn with mate coming.

The best Stockfish can see is 29...d5 30 exf6 Qe6 31 Qxb7 and the rout is on.

But 29 g5 is a sure win also. There is still a threat of exf6, and 29...fxg5 30 Bg5 is mate in 5. So Black has to delay the inevitable with 29...f5 when White takes the K-side pawns and queens his g pawn

Jun-17-17  edubueno: Una brutal paliza.
Dec-13-17  Howard: To be honest, I just don't understand why 14.b3 is an improvement over a different move that Spassky played in Game 4. Kasparov states that it saves a tempo--but exactly how?
Dec-13-17  WorstPlayerEver: SF gives 14... e6
Mar-01-18  tgyuid: its a completely different style of play; one wonders....
Premium Chessgames Member
  FreeRepublic2: I played through the closed Sicilians of this match. Spassky won the first three, and drew the final game to win the match. Very impressive.

It seems to me like Spassky improvised for his first two victories. Good examples of gutting it out, and that is something one has to do sometimes in the closed Sicilian.

Only in this game does it seem that Spassky powered his way to victory. This is the way white players want to play.

Aug-28-18  Howard: Spassky played the closed Sicilian six times in the 1968 Candidates, and he scored 5.5/6 !
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