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Efim Geller
Number of games in database: 2,228
Years covered: 1946 to 1995

Overall record: +802 -341 =1078 (60.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 7 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (292) 
    B83 B92 B84 B42 B33
 Ruy Lopez (177) 
    C92 C95 C96 C78 C84
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (99) 
    C92 C95 C96 C84 C93
 French Defense (81) 
    C07 C09 C05 C03 C04
 Sicilian Scheveningen (74) 
    B83 B84 B85 B81
 French Tarrasch (70) 
    C07 C09 C05 C03 C04
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (212) 
    C84 C93 C89 C85 C92
 King's Indian (186) 
    E92 E60 E67 E73 E70
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (169) 
    C84 C93 C89 C92 C85
 Sicilian (153) 
    B52 B64 B62 B88 B22
 Orthodox Defense (87) 
    D58 D55 D59 D53 D50
 Queen's Gambit Declined (87) 
    D31 D37 D35 D30 D39
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Geller vs Smyslov, 1965 1-0
   Geller vs Karpov, 1976 1-0
   Fischer vs Geller, 1967 0-1
   Fischer vs Geller, 1967 0-1
   Geller vs Keres, 1973 1-0
   Geller vs Portisch, 1967 1-0
   Geller vs Panno, 1955 1-0
   Geller vs Anikaev, 1979 1-0
   Kotov vs Geller, 1949 0-1
   Geller vs Tal, 1975 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1955)
   Budapest (1952)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   USSR Championship (1949)
   USSR Championship (1951)
   Havana (1965)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   Skopje (1967)
   Palma de Mallorca Interzonal (1970)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1952)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   USSR Championship (1969)
   Zurich Candidates (1953)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Efim Geller and 23 USSR Ch tournaments by Chessdreamer
   The Application of Chess Theory by xajik
   Application of Chess Theory (Geller) by Qindarka
   The Application of Chess Theory by Benzol
   Geller beats the world champions and pretenders by ughaibu
   Grandmaster Geller: The First Quarter Century by Resignation Trap
   Power Chess - Geller by Anatoly21
   Efim Geller's Best Games by KingG
   E F G Players by fredthebear
   Chess in the USSR 1945 - 72, Part 2 (Leach) by Chessdreamer
   Legend Geller by Gottschalk
   Geller and Tal beat the French by ughaibu
   King's Indian pioneers by keywiz84
   Zurich International Tournament (Bronstein) by uril

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Efim Geller
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(born Mar-08-1925, died Nov-17-1998, 73 years old) Ukraine
[what is this?]
Efim Petrovich Geller was born in Odessa, Ukraine. He learned how to play chess as a young man, and arrived on the international scene quickly by qualifying as a World Championship Candidate in 1952, thereby earning the grandmaster title. During Geller's career, he appeared in the Candidates five more times and competed in a record 23 Soviet Championships (winning two, in 1955 [rusbase-1] and 1979 [rusbase-2]). His aggressive playing style and expertise in double-edged positions culminated in a positive score against four World Champions over the course of his career (Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, and Robert James Fischer). He also scored victories against Max Euwe, Boris Spassky, Mikhail Tal and Anatoly Karpov, bringing his total of World Champions beaten to eight--a record he shares only with Botvinnik, Petrosian and Viktor Korchnoi. He won the 1992 World Senior Chess Championship.

Wikipedia article: Efim Geller

 page 1 of 90; games 1-25 of 2,228  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Geller vs Kogan 1-0341946OdessaB53 Sicilian
2. Geller vs Lubensky ½-½161947Kiev ch-UkraineC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
3. Geller vs Koblents ½-½311947SverdlovskD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
4. Furman vs Geller 1-0411947LeningradD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
5. Geller vs V Saigin  0-1371947SverdlovskB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
6. Geller vs G Ilivitsky 1-0261947SverdlovskB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
7. Geller vs P Dubinin 1-0321947SverdlovskC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
8. Geller vs V Zagorovsky 1-02619481st Soviet Team-ch finalD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
9. Konstantinopolsky vs Geller  0-14819481st Soviet Team-ch finalE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
10. S Kotlerman vs Geller 0-1311949OdessaE70 King's Indian
11. Geller vs M Grozdov 1-0161949Soviet UnionD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
12. Lubensky vs Geller 0-1341949URS-ch sfE70 King's Indian
13. A Pirtskhalava vs Geller  1-0291949URS-ch sfA47 Queen's Indian
14. Geller vs I Aramanovich  1-0641949URS-ch sfB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
15. Geller vs Novotelnov 0-1201949URS-ch sfC77 Ruy Lopez
16. Geller vs V Makogonov  1-0361949URS-ch sfC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
17. G Ilivitsky vs Geller  0-1711949URS-ch sfD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
18. Chistiakov vs Geller  ½-½561949URS-ch sfC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
19. A Ebralidze vs Geller  ½-½411949URS-ch sfD76 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O Nb6
20. Geller vs K Klaman 1-0711949URS-ch sfC61 Ruy Lopez, Bird's Defense
21. Petrosian vs Geller ½-½301949URS-ch sfC01 French, Exchange
22. D Grechkin vs Geller  ½-½311949URS-ch sfC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
23. Geller vs Nezhmetdinov 1-0271949URS-ch sfC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. Geller vs V A Vasiliev  ½-½501949URS-ch sfC78 Ruy Lopez
25. Geller vs Kasparian  1-0421949URS-ch sfB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
 page 1 of 90; games 1-25 of 2,228  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Geller wins | Geller loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 26 OF 26 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: How did Kortschnoi know what was going on inside Geller's head?>

Perhaps Kortschnoi was secretly a member of the thought police.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, GM Efim Geller.

Close, but no cigar.

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Geller could have said the same thing about Korchnoi :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <brankat: Geller could have said the same thing about Korchnoi :-)>

The image in my brain is of Geller and Korchnoi simultaneously pointing to various squares on the chessboard while saying in ever-louder voices,

<"He goes here NO he goes there then I go here NO I go there then he goes NO I've lost it He goes there NO he goes over there whose move is it? He goes there...">

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <offramp> Speaking of look-alikes, I always thought Robert Vaughn looked like Efim Geller:

Perhaps Geller was a KGB spy chess playing actor all along lol


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <morfishine>. Wow. You are right. He is the uncle from Murmansk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <offramp> Vaughn and Geller both have that dimple on the chin that makes them appear virtually indistinguishable. According to ancient Persian Lore, the dimple on the chin is a sign of great beauty, though in this case, I find neither Vaughn or Geller beautiful

Whats that dimple on the chin called medically? Oh yes: chin dimple or dimple chin; or the less popular cleft chin or chin cleft

Thats all I've got


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Dimplus simplex normalis mandibilis.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Quote of the day:

<Players who are devoted to certain opening systems know how unpleasant it can be to play against oneself in the purely psychological sense> - Efim Geller.

So says the man who beat Fischer with his own pet variation, the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Sicilian.

Fischer vs Geller, 1967

Dec-16-16  maelith: <How did Kortschnoi know what was going on inside Geller's head?>

Perhaps it is based with Korchnoi playing many times against Geller. There maybe situations against Korchnoi where Geller took lots of time before making a move,and that move is a mistake.

Classical games: Viktor Korchnoi beat Efim Geller 11 to 6, with 15 draws.

This positive score by Korchnoi against Geller is maybe because Korchnoi is a great defender. Korchnoi also loves complication. Tal also has a negative score against Korchnoi. I am impressed that even a young Kasparov can dominate Korchnoi.

Mar-08-17  CountryGirl: Happy birthday in heaven, Efim Petrovich.
It's interesting that Geller had plus scores against the great 'strategists' Petrosian, Smyslov and Botvinnik, but minus scores against those with a more similar style to himself, including Keres and Spassky.
Mar-08-17  RookFile: Geller was one of the more prepared players in the world with regard to his openings.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sularus: One of the greats who didn't become world champion. happy birthday!
Mar-08-17  Howard: Regarding CountryGirl's comment, Geller also had a plus score against Bobby-what's-his-name.

In fact, he beat him in tournament play more often than anyone else, including three times in a row from 1965-67.

Mar-08-17  Petrosianic: You can't always go by that kind of thing, due to the fact that top GM's often simply stop playing real games with each other after a while.

When Petrosian and Geller drew their final game in 1983, they hadn't had a decisive result with each other in 20 years, and most of their games stopped being real ones. There are a lot of other long-time opponents who do the same thing.

One who DIDN'T do it was Tal vs. Spassky. After Spassky won their Candidates Final in 1965, he never won another game from Tal in his life. Spassky turned Russian Bear against him. Tal, on the other hand, still had a lot of fight left against Spassky, and managed to win 5 games in that time. As a result, he reduced his lifetime deficit against Spassky from 9-1 to 9-6.

Mar-08-17  Petrosianic: Another funny thing about Petrosian and Geller. They drew most of their games through their whole life. But they had two decisive games in the 1956 Candidates.

Vasiliev's book explains that in their Round 1 game, Petrosian was amenable to another draw as usual, got a slightly superior position, and offered it. But Geller was in a fighting mood, said no, Petrosian got rattled and lost.

The next time they played, Petrosian had to avenge that loss, of course, so he went out and played one of his all-time best games. So, two decisive results. But had Geller taken that draw offer in the first game, probably both games would have been drawn.

Petrosian vs Geller, 1956

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: OK - so I had to check - it is true that all their games after 1963 were drawn but from 1949-63 they played 8 decisive game which is mot unusually low.
Mar-08-17  Petrosianic: True, they did play a decent number of real and decisive games before 1963. But they also had plenty of non-games. I show they played 20 draws in 30 moves or less between 1949 and 1963. In fact, I only see ONE draw that went more than 30 moves in all those years, and only three lifetime (out of 32 total draws).
Mar-08-17  Petrosianic: It's always tough when friends play each other. Aren't there those two sisters (I forget their names), who not only draw all their games, but play the SAME game each time, move for move?
Mar-08-17  Petrosianic: The Kosintseva sisters, that's it. But it's been a few years since I last checked them out (figuratively speaking) and I see that they were actually forced to play real games (with some decisive results), when they met in the 2012 FIDE Knockout Women's Championship.

Premium Chessgames Member
  The Boomerang: Dominated Fischer...are rare feat.
May-16-18  Senk:
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: According to Bronstein's widow her late husband thought that the greatest KID player was Efim Geller.
Jul-01-18  ughaibu: Stoy! You posted the same comment on March the eighth 2014!
Jul-01-18  ughaibu: And on the first of October 2009!!
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