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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 GEO, rd 6, Apr-13
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B25)  ·  1-0


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Given 20 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
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.
Mar-09-15  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.
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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
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