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Boris Spassky vs Efim Geller
Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B25)  ·  1-0
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Given 17 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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sac: 23.Rxf6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-29-13  galdur: <al wazir> After 27..Bc8 28.e5, threatening Bd5+. Crushing.
Sep-29-13  morfishine: After <23.Rxf6> White breaks in at h7

<23.Rxf6 exf6> forced due to 23...Bxf6 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Qf7#

<24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Nxf7 Kxf7 26.Bh6 Rg8 27.Nf4> With the dual threat 28.Ne6 Kxe6 29.Qxg8+ and 28.Qxg6+

PM 1: If instead 25...Rxc2 26.Nf4 Rxc1+ 27.Bxc1 Kxf7 28.Qxg6+ Kg8 29.Ne6 and mate at g7

PM 2: Other defensive tries fail, for example: 23.Rxf6 exf6 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Nxf7 Qc6 26.Nf4 Qd7 27.Nxd6 Qxd6 28.Nxg6+ Kf7 29.Bh6 Rg8 30.e5 fxe5 31.Rf1+ Ke8 32.Qxg8+ Kd7 33.Rf7+ Ke6 34.Rxg7+ Kf6 35.Qf7#

<alwazir> I guess something like 28.Qxg6+ Kf8 29.g5 Bxh6 30.Qxh6+ Ke8 31.Qxf6 Rf8 32.Qg6+ Ke7 33.Qg7+ Rf7 34.Nd5+


Sep-29-13  Nick46: Insane, hey? Notwithstanding my ELO rating of about 75 I actually got the sacrosanct first move and quite a few of Spassky's following moves too. What my mind baulks at is trying to figure out what the loser played; not schizophrenic (insane) ENOUGH.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: I once analyzed this game with B.Larsen.

He didnīt believe in the black concept.

Sep-29-13  SimonWebbsTiger: My usual gripe: too famous! Know it too well.

Kudos to those who found the brutal denouement.

@<moronovich> What precisely did Bent dislike? Improvements, notably via Kasparov in "On My Great Predecessors", have been made in Geller's play and the ...Nf6 lines of the Closed are advocated by Palliser in his book on anti-Sicilians. The lines with ...e7-e6/...e7-e5 and ...Ng8-e7 are more popular as a result of this game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <@<moronovich> What precisely did Bent dislike?>

He simply weighted Whites attackingchances higher on the K-side,than Blacks do on the Q-side.

I agreed and still do.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The first move is pretty simple (removing the defender), but I can not believe I missed at least that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <sevenseaman: .... In full attack he is mindful of the small details ...>

Absolutely! That was Spassky's trademark, and it's those small details that make 23 Rxf6! such a killer. Superficially obvious but I couldn't see a way to stop the BK escape to safety. My engine had to go to d=13 to show it was completely winning, even had to d=10 before getting any positive eval.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: This is game #82 in Cafferty's "Spassky's 100 Best Games" and game #148 in Soloviov's "Boris Spassky's 300 Wins".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <morfishine> <24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Nxf7 Kxf7 26.Bh6 Rg8 27.Nf4

With the dual threat 28.Ne6 Kxe6 29.Qxg8+ and 28.Qxg6+>

click for larger view

I think that this is a better defense for black as taking the knight first at 25...Kxf7 allows 26...Rg8. But black is still losing.

It's still very tricky to find a winning path after 27...Rxc2.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Saddled f1 bod feels f6 knight a lent in thin,

picking g8 knight f6 effect basically I can stand f6 and deliver h4 up in h7 it seem like for one da mage g7 hug king f8 bovver h7 big cordial agreement bade over he takes the biscuit queen eg bide chink of f1 light jackal alive f6 no more sees kind a post amp h4 in h7+ king slide at f8 dine goof ball line delve f6 off e7 takes f6 light in ascendancy juicy I suppose be armed 25.Nxf7 go seek I mislead edge g5 knight be backs 25.Nf4 feed again page hoofed has if calls 25...fxg5 then of course.

26.Nxg6+ see rook came over mate 6 long pan da mage g6 doomed rookc1 in alledge 27.Rf1+ bully all the way 32.Qxe7#. Longer bill to rights again g6+ so duress kingf8 apostle suffix g7 will fall a oomh in recky 25.Nxf7 line delve in had judge dash in f7 hits jaffa bled g5 a fog be aorta 25.Rxc2 instead you have f8s right recaptures a tide of f7 in hoofed 26.Bh6 Rg8 27.Nf4 g6 pawn under surveillance ogle a mind enough for queenh7 dominates abide at foots 25...Rxc2 enough fire-power left in the tank be choose a wave in blew extra back at enacts,

26.Bh6 Rxc1+ hoofed me chain knight mission struck off c1 dutifule a foilable king he fingers cabled f7 light in a bit surmount 28.Qxg7+ vilificates,

right rook off e8 in demanding 29.g5 or ingressed 29.e5 foot d5 hedge f6 a queen guessed eline minted boggle b7 recapture piece supplicated after e6 to defend f7 inchy I jostle g7 toed in flurrying 29...f5 30.Qxg6+ bowing devious at tergid hive cascade d7 her a 31.Qf7+ bind hammers light escaped king over now a 31...Kc6 da bed capped one lovely king cradle rookc8 negligent allowing b8 caged still huffed over straight f1 duress a blemish c8 otherwise rook a fine aced for eddy clink con downed got cuffed f6 knight go giving led pawn e7 bishop g7 farm f1 light rook in fan good hoodwin koinus agreed rook bullshin het uppers h7 being jackal aim alive beck and bind free pawn knee deep,

bishop believe bet rook f1 f6 affable almighty see one croak f6 ar grab good iffy oh door it book in path for qu in ah good quag-mire afraid nagging doubts safe fetch being knight f7 too goofed bang g5 nack queen hind rook churlish to big 23.Rxf6 exf6 24.Qh7+ ie arrangge hog a2 led astray in c2 juicy bind at huffed 26.Bh6 ie arranges he crook in f8 king exposed finest queen hour inclusive bishop rook knight pawn all combine to finish him off.

Sep-29-13  Patriot: I would go with 23.Nxf7 here without much worry.

23...Kxf7 24.g5 or maybe even 24.Qh7 to tie him down a bit.

I also looked at 23.Rxf6 exf6 24.Qh7+ Kf8 and then I'm not sure how to continue.

Sep-29-13  Patriot: So 23.Nxf7 Kxf7 24.g5 isn't too bad, but 24.Qh7 loses to 24...Rh8.
Sep-29-13  morfishine: <Jimfromprovidence> Yes, it is tricky; But after 25.Nxf7 Kxf7 26.Bh6 Rg8 <27.Nf4 Rxc2 28.Rxc2 Nxc2 29.Qxg6+> Black is forced to play <29...Ke7> since 29...Kf8 allows 30.Qxf6+ for an exchange, White recovers the piece, is up a pawn and has the attack

White continues <30.Bxg7> threatening 31.Qxf6+

click for larger view

I guess Black defends f6 with <30...d5> and we could see something like <31.exd5 Ne3 32.Ne6 Nxg2 33.Qxf6+ Kd6 34.Bf8+ Rxf8 35.Qxf8+ Kxd5 36.Nxc5 Qa1+ 37.Kxg2 Ke5+ 38.Ne4 Bxe4+ 39.dxe4 Kxe4> who knows!

Thanks for looking!


Sep-29-13  barryh1976: Why not 25...Kxf7?
Sep-29-13  Marmot PFL: I didn't see a mate, but I guess there was none, make the king run and then force the winning ending. This must have been Spassky near his peak before the strain of being champion got to him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  rinkol: Morfishine I examined your suggestion.

"25.Nxf7 Kxf7 26.Bh6 Rg8 <27.Nf4 Rxc2 28.Rxc2 Nxc2 29.Qxg6+> Black is forced to play <29...Ke7> since 29...Kf8 allows 30.Qxf6+ for an exchange, White recovers the piece, is up a pawn and has the attack. White continues <30.Bxg7> threatening 31.Qxf6+ "

This line falls short since Black checks at a1 with his queen and defends f6. If Kh2, Qe5 pins the Knight. It looks like White can win with 28. Rf1, though even here white has ways of going wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Marmot>: This was the beginning of Spassky's second consecutive run in the Candidates Matches.

As to 'the strain of being champion', he was no more or less susceptible than his compatriots who held the title during the postwar era. One need only turn to examples such as Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966), where the reigning champion managed to break even, as proof.

Sep-30-13  Kikoman: I see <23. Rxf6!> but failed to see the line behind <Nxf7>. I choose this line 25. Nf4 with an idea of Nxg6.


Sep-30-13  Moszkowski012273: 29.g5... was a relatively weak move compared to all the other strong ones before it. Correct was 29.e5!... which is absolutely crushing. Wish Spassky woulda seen it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Notes from Cafferty's book on the Candidates Matches:

Spassky improves on Game 4 with 14.b3.

16....Qa8 is "an unfortunate maneuver." Vasiukov suggests 16....e6 to hold up 17.f5.

Geller's idea was to meet 18.Qh4 with 18....Nxe4 but black's queen proves misplaced.

25.Nxf7! is a "crushing blow." Clearly, Geller missed the whole idea.

Apr-09-15  Howard: Wasn't this game analyzed by Kasparov in his MGP ? He said it was the best game of the match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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?
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