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Efim Geller vs Viktor Korchnoi
Korchnoi - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), Moscow URS, rd 8, May-31
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-16-09  madlydeeply: Awesome defense. move pawns to h5, g6, move all pieces to the back rank, put rooks on open/semi open file with queen and then wait.

makes Geller look like a pansy.

Sep-28-12  scormus: Geller's game went from the exquisite to the dire, making painful watching. 24 h3 was an absolute lemon, and he followed up by retreating on his next 3 moves, while Korcnoi advanced.

Or putting it another way "its a game of 2 halves, Brian."

Nov-11-12  The Last Straw: White definitely wins with 24.♗xh5! gxh5 25.♖f6!!.
Lines:
1)25♘xf6? 26.exf6 (Δ ♗xc7) followed by 27.♕xh5 mates quickly.

2)25...♗xf6!? 26.exf6 ♘xf6 (if not this then again white wins with ♕xh5) 27.♗xc7 ♘xe4 28.♕xh5 ♖axc7 29.♗xe4 leaves white with ♕ against 2♖. However, black's ♔ is extremely unsafe and white suddenly has a passed ♙!

3)25...other 26.♕xh5! (move order is important: 26.♖h4 allows 26...♗xf6):

3a)26...♗xf6 27.exf6 and black must give up his queen; 27...♕b7 28.♕h6! forces mate.

3b)26...♘xf6 27.exf6 and again black must give up his queen.

3c)26...♗f8 27.♖h4! ♗g7 28.♖h6! and mates.

3d)26...other 27.♖h4

...and white wins

Nov-11-12  The Last Straw: Maybe black should decline the sac if white plays 24.♗xh5!.
Nov-11-12  BwanaVa: Key fact-Geller, on the brink of elimination and not a speed expert, had ten minutes to make his last seventeen moves. Annotators have speculated that after 22...h5 black is probably lost objectively-it is just too ugly a gash to the Black kingside-but there was not time to figure out how to take it apart. The move further complicated an already unbalanced game, and Geller just got too deep in the weeds...
Nov-11-12  King Sacrificer: <The Last Straw: White definitely wins with 24.xh5! gxh5 25.f6!!>

I checked your lines with Fritz. Simple <25...Nf8> and <26...Ng6> stops any mate threat. Black is okay even after <25...Nxf6 26. exf6 (any Queen move) 27. Qxh5>. Black has Bxf6 - Bg7 - f5 (or f6) protecting the bishop with rook at a7.

Nov-11-12  Nerwal: This position is driving me crazy, the fact that black seems ok after 24. ♗xh5 is really bugging me. But maybe 23. ♖e4 is already unaccurate. For instance, after 23. ♖d4, 23... g6 24. ♗xh5 gxh5 25. ♘d5 looks much more dangerous for black, although it's not clear whether white can win.
Nov-11-12  RookFile: I don't have a doubt in the world that Tal plays 24. Bxh5 and takes his chances.
Nov-12-12  The Last Straw: Just look at how silly this game makes Geller look -- Compare his position after 17.♗g3 with his position at the end.

After 17.♗g3:


click for larger view

White has gotton a great position out of the opening.

At the end of the game:


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White is definitely inferior here. After white plays 38.♕f3 black simply responds with 38...♘xb4, when he is two pawns up and should win this endgame, especially because his passed b-♙ will do him good.

...except Geller lost on time over here...

...sometimes you never know about people and chess.

Nov-12-12  The Last Straw: <The Last Straw: After 38.♕f3.......> 38.♕g4 ♕xg4 39.hxg4 ♘xb4 doesn't change the result.
Nov-12-12  The Last Straw: <The Last Straw: Position after 17.♗g3....> That is, 16.♗g3.
Nov-12-12  The Last Straw: <King Sacrificer> You probably shouldn't worry: aren't you a king sacrificer?
Nov-12-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <King Sacrificer> <<The Last Straw: White definitely wins with 24.xh5! gxh5 25.f6!!>

I checked your lines with Fritz. Simple <25...Nf8> and <26...Ng6> stops any mate threat. Black is okay even after <25...Nxf6 26. exf6 (any Queen move) 27. Qxh5>. Black has Bxf6 - Bg7 - f5 (or f6) protecting the bishop with rook at a7.>

I am not sure that it is safe for black to play 24.Bxh5 gxh5 25.Rf6 Nxf6, because after 26.exf6 Qd8 white can play 27.Rg4+! Kf8 (of course, the Rook cannot be taken) 28.fxe7+ Qxe7 (the only move) 29.Bh4 f6 30.Rf4 with powerful attack.

And if 24.Bxh5 gxh5 25.Rf6 Nf8, then what black would play after 26.Rh4 Nxh4 27.Bxh4?

Sep-10-13  BwanaVa: Follow up to my comment above...further review of the Cafferty book shows a comment from Tal that 22...h5 surely lost but deserved two (2) exclamation points for complicating the position in Geller's time trouble.
Sep-10-13  vasja: Why does not Viktor take the lone pawn like 19...Something x e5?
Sep-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I'm betting it's to do with the Nc6 being pinned to the Ra8 but I haven't worked it out yet.
Sep-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <vasja: Why does not Viktor take the lone pawn like 19...Something x e5?>

19...Ncxe5 20.Bxa8 Rxa8 21.Rxd7 Bxd7 22.Re1;

19...Bxe5 20.Bxc6 Qxc6 (20...Bxg3 21.Bxa8) 21.Bxe5;

19...Ndxe5 20.Bxc6 Bxc6 21.Rfe1.

Sep-10-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hmm - that 3rd variation is nice!
May-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This is the critical position:


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Geller now played 24.h3. But he could have played 24.Bxh5:


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Here is a sample line:
24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Rf6 Bxf6 26. exf6 Qd8 27. Rg4+


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27...Kh8 28. Rg5 Nxf6 29. Be5 Kh7 30. Ne4 (Δ31.Nxf6+)


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30...Ng4 31. Rxh5+ Nh6 32. Rxh6+! Kxh6


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33. Qe3+ Kg6 34. Qg3+ Kf5 35. Qf4+ Kg6 36.Qg4+ Kh6 37. Qg7+ Kh5 38. Qh7+ Kg4 39. Qh3!#


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The trouble is that black's moves are hardly forced at the beginning of this line. 25...Nf8! is better than taking the rook by 25...Bxf6


click for larger view

...and what does white do now? No wonder Geller lost on time!

Nov-17-15  RookFile: This is why Tal said you sacrifice first and ask questions later. Naturally you have to see some stuff but there comes a time and place to take your chances.
Mar-27-18  Adenosina: Interesting game. Geller got a very nice position out of the opening but according to MGP, at a given point Geller had to sacrifice material (24. ... Bh5! followed by Rf6!! which is a very nice move to make) but it seems he was not in the mood for such aggresion.

Nonetheless, the counterplay that Korchnoi employed in the queenside is very thematic and the 32 ... Nd3! idea I have never seen it before.

Mar-27-18  Boomie: <offramp>

26...Qd8 seems a bit lame. 26...Qc5 puts up more resistance. It defends the h-pawn, prevents Rg5, and pins the Nc3 as Qxc2 is a mess for white.

I haven't checked this on the engine so there is probably a simple solution to Qc5 but I haven't found it just using my spidey sense.

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