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Robert James Fischer vs Efim Geller
"Monte Carlo Simulation" (game of the day Apr-16-2018)
Monte Carlo (1967), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 11, Apr-04
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Poisoned Pawn Accepted (B97)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Found some more background on this game.

Gligoric and Smyslov agreed a draw just as Fischer played his 10th move.

click for larger view

Fischer was now sure of first place even if he lost.

Now according to CHESS July 1967 Gligoric writing in the June 1967 Chess Review:

"The consensus of opinion among all the masters is that Fischer, now certain of first place even if he lost, probably concealed the best play he had ready in this variation.

In the Interzonal at Stockholm 1962, he wasted precious innovations against weaker players. He registered a record score but by the time the Candidates Tournament at Curacao came along a few months later, had not had time to work out many more.

The last round at Monte Carlo may be an indication he has learnt his lesson."

I have all the Chess Reviews but have lent them out to a researcher, did Gligoric really write that or have CHESS added a comment from 'In the Interzonal at Stockholm 1962...' bit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <NeverAgain> Great comments, thanks a lot! It's like reading an excellent chess book. BTW, your name reminds me of a surrealistic criticism of Poe's "The Raven". The poem is completely unrealistic: everybody knows ravens say "NeverAgain!", not "Nevermore!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Korchnoi said that Geller calculates variations badly, and Geller said Fischer lost his head in irrational positions, and Fischer said Korchnoi was a big poo-poo head.

It must have been quite a party.

Apr-16-18  SChesshevsky: My general take on the game and Fischer's dealing with wildly complicated or unbalanced positions, which may be way off, is:

Fischer would never be OK with losing to a Soviet, especially in the white side of the Sicilian poisoned pawn.

Fischer doesn't feel comfortable being material down unless clearly seeing at least equivalent compensation.

In the game, at my key position 16. 0-0, I'm guessing Fischer feels he's positionally better. Maybe winning. But he also realizes he's two pawns down, so if Black can get some active positions with his undeveloped Bishops with simplifications, white could simply end up with a losing endgame.

Apparently, Fischer did not see a clear winning continuation after the tempo loss 16...Bc5+. That continuation relying on taking advantage of blacks king position with some checks I'm assuming. So he went to first get some material back but looks like he got crossed up or missed something and was busted by 22.Qe1.

Could be Fischer's materialism, he feels uncomfortable without concrete compensation, works against him in complicated, unbalanced positions?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: If Fischer had won they would have said he was great in 'irrational' positions.

Tal springs to mind or possibly the young Kasparov or even Aronian for such irrationalities. I doubt this is quite true. I think here are shown three things:

1) Geller was a great player (recall he won games against all of the World Champions of his time I think starting from Botvinnik. So we have Euwe, Tal, Bronstein, Smyslov and others...something like that).

2) These really complex, difficult to evaluate positions arose from Fischer's favourite openings (the Najdorf here and he more or less 'pioneered' the Poisoned Pawn). But the Najdorf is an opening that takes no prisoners. The lines are labyrinthine. The tactical complexities mean that it becomes very difficult to make clear plans in some situations. It is not an opening players scared to lose will play.

3) Following from that Fischer, underneath loved the Classical concepts of chess. His calculations were superb as were those of Karpov. What is the difference? Fischer was courageous. He didn't take the unreasonable risks but was prepared to go into sharp positions. Karpov would too but liked (more) to be in control.

Added to that, what might a "classicist" be doing in such an opening? I think that this opening is actually based on sound positional ideas. Black exchanges time and development to weaken the base of Black's position. I suspect that Tarrasch wouldn't officially approve (but might play such a thing in any case if he had seen it). But Lasker would for sure, while Capablanca wouldn't go there, but he would understand. Steinitz would probably go for it, as might Tchigorin.

But Fischer had learned from those earlier masters.

And here he goes into an opening and a variation that is very complex. I suspect Carlsen might have defused Geller with something neutral. But Fischer didn't back away. No point spending hours analysing this game.

So even though he lost he would have played into this again as he would have improved his moves and that it was unbalanced it not really a fact. It is balanced by that exchange of a weakness and a pawn in the White camp for some time and activity for White. If Karpov is another example, he could attack, but definitely preferred more classically balanced positions. Both he and Fischer of course could play the Ruy Lopez, close the centre and attack down both sides. But Karpov tended to keep his Keres Attack (as an example) for games where he needed a win in a tournament.

Fischer didn't thus possess 'materialism'. That was a joke made by some of the Soviet players when Fischer started playing the Poisoned Pawn with a lot of success. Karpov also played it once as Black and won. Levy in his book about Fischer and his games called it a "terrible psychological weapon". Possibly playing against his own opening was a little difficult.

But the other thing was that Geller on a good day was a formidable player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Fischer got on mostly very well with the Soviet players. He and Tal were friends and the Soviets such as Taimanov, Smyslov and others liked Fischer.

Later Fischer got into this "Soviet conspiracy to draw" thing which is problematic. But mostly he was admired by the Soviets. Before his match Spassky wrote enthusiastically [of course they had to not appear too enthusiastic, but some of he criticism was valid] in favour of Fischer and others indeed criticized some of his openings and his (a little) limited repertoire but they knew he was one of the great players. Of course Botvinnik and a few others were more critical but they knew his abilities. On the other hand Fischer wasn't so foolish he didn't study Shakmaty and the Soviet games.

In the end Fischer turned his back on the US extolling 9/11 with glee. And raging on the Phillipine radio: 'Just shows you that what goes around comes around.' Fischer has something of a point but then he descended into paranoia and obsession in a big way. It started earlier of course.

His mother was quite left wing and probably a Communist but Fischer never really understood politics. It was all in some crazy anti-Semitic books he read.

But leading up to 1972 he was pretty well liked by the Soviets. Not no doubt by the Stalinists and others but probably by many chess GMs and chess fans in the USSR. I think they liked his eccentricities. Spassky certainly did. He went so far as to say to us when we asked his view of Fischer:

"I love Fischer." This was after a simul in 1988 in Auckland, NZ.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Richard Taylor: If Fischer had won they would have said he was great in 'irrational' positions.>

Also, it is worth mentioning that if my auntie had a Vas Deferens tube she would be my uncle.

Apr-16-18  SChesshevsky: <Richard Taylor>

Fischer was clearly materialistic. Plenty of sources describe it. R Byrne, Soltis, Kavalek, etc. The old story where I think it was Hort was down a pawn but maybe was better but not clear offers a draw saying "Bobby, I don't know who's better but I offer a draw." and Fischer responds, " Naw, I don't know whose better either but I've got the pawn. "

Fischer didn't want to lose to the Soviets because he disliked them personally. Though it appears he didn't care a whole lot for Botvinnik. He didn't want to lose to them because they were the best. That is the best next to him, of course. Even in 1958. Evans tells that Fischer drew a game with I think Averbakh with plenty of play left. When asked why the game was drawn, Fischer said he didn't want to lose to a Russian GM and Averbakh didn't want to lose to a kid.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <offramp: <Richard Taylor: If Fischer had won they would have said he was great in 'irrational' positions.> Also, it is worth mentioning that if my auntie had a Vas Deferens tube she would be my uncle.>

Extraordinary! I hadn't thought of that! Incredible!

The wonders of the Vas Deferens...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <SChesshevekey> Ah. But in strict terms the Soviets were materialists, or more technically, in Marxist terms they should have been Dialectical Materialists. Materialism was the term used to oppose Idealism in philosophy.

Nowadays it is confused with 'materialism' which is a dubious term.

Well if he attacked and sacrificed he wasn't a materialist. He was, more or less, a classicist in chess.

I don't think Fischer was necessarily the best but in general he knew that the best chess at the time was played in the USSR.

There is a YouTube on Botters.

In the end the records showed that Fischer was followed and kept under surveillance by the CIA because of his contacts with Soviet players and his mother and he by both the FBI and the CIA, she for her left wing political protests etc. Fischer would have done better to have abandoned chess, a terrible, obsessive game, and taken part in socially responsible protests. And to learn how to live. Not to waste it crouched over a chess board muttering about Jewish and other conspiracies.

But his obsession with those two groups and his anti-Semitism became a kind of disease. He is one of the tragic cases of a talented human being going very wrong in life. His success in chess didn't help to cheer him up shall we say...

But of course the chess discussion of Fischer goes on ad infinitum.

Re Averbakh. I drew with Averbakh and lost to Spassky. I have my game with Spassky but I think I have lost the one by Averbakh. I was about 16 when I played him in a simul when he visited NZ. I think the game just swapped off to a pretty tame ending with no weaknesses so he offered a draw, probably to have fewer other games to play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <offramp: <Richard Taylor: If Fischer had won they would have said he was great in 'irrational' positions.> Also, it is worth mentioning that if my auntie had a Vas Deferens tube she would be my uncle.>

Your Aunt wasn't named Vas by any chance was she?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Richard Taylor: ..Your Aunt wasn't named Vas by any chance was she?>

She might have been. Would it make a vast difference if she was?

Apr-16-18  Strelets: Diamond cutting diamond. Two of the most important theorists of the Sicilian Defense meet and the point goes to... Geller!
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Richard Taylor> I had an uncle once and he was referred to as "Vas the Impaler" but I was too young and uneducated to know what that meant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <kevin86: Geller plays the poisoned pawn vs Fischer and wins! Need I say more?>

yes !

SAY MORE pleeesz

GELLER was a COMMIE cheat who got lucky against Bobby.

Bobby v The WORLD.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I'd love to have seen Fischer playing a few games with Nezhmetdinov. Pity they never played one another.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Fischer lost a game.


And yeah I know...


Bobby was on his own.

Apr-16-18  RookFile: Geller reminds me of Marshall. Not so much a strong match player as a terrific tournament player. In any one game Geller was extremely dangerous against anyone.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: In a match Fischer would have chewed up and spat out Geller like the non entity he was.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Geller was one of the most dangerous players. If his discipline was "tweaked", he may have ascended the heights of Chess lore

Yet he, as Spassky's second, pointed out Spassky's lack of discipline in preparing for Fischer in 1972

Ironic, don't you think?


Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <morfishine> is a an example of the delusion and fantasy surrounding modern chess.

I say modern. But Fischer is the most modern chess player ever.

Fischer would have absoluteley destroyed GELLER in a match .. and Bobby would ofcourse have not been playing just GELLER....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <AylerKupp: <Richard Taylor> I had an uncle once and he was referred to as "Vas the Impaler" but I was too young and uneducated to know what that meant.>

What a pity! He was a wonderful chap! He was a Leader of Transgenderalia and was, a great blood man, full of blood, of great stock. He stood 200 cubits high and could imbibe 20,000 bales of hay, 2000 quaffs of blood seasoned with spermati, and twenty million quarters of human, 100 millions of pig roasted and spiced, and was a great, immensely large man who bestrid the world like a Colossus. As he did tread he shook the earth and the seas rose up to celebrate even from 100000 miles afar. He did the world the great service of removing from it 100 million degenerate Bulgarians and other savages. The method was wonderful. He and his fellow one-eyed Gigantoids hoisted them up with the aid of thousands and thousand of insane Orks onto crosses where they were hooked and allowed to hang. The they were pricked, spat on, pissed on, ejaculated upon and forced indeed to ejaculate. Then after some seasoning the Impalers, of which there were 200 million proceeded to both torture and skilfully impale each of those (not all were Bulgarians of Transgenderanians, there were also other degenerates who were rightly dealt to). Then the ritual Impaling took place.

Your Uncle was the centre of 20 hundred hundred hundred years of celebrations and 500 thousand years of feasting and orgies and rampaging. Meanwhile thousand of Deferens were forced to confess. These false prophets were immediately after 20,000 thousand years in suspension, impaled also. So in all about 2000 million million human vermin were impaled. The impaling your Glorious Uncle had prepared was exquisite (as a hobby he practiced butchery): Vas the Deferentier he was called (no one knew what this meant but it caused all who heard this, and witnessed the Impaling, to have instant and endless ejaculations. And those to be impaled were also vastly aroused). (Though a Deferenter he deferred not! Ha ha..)

Then a great dance by a chosen Virgin took place to rythmically insane music by on Stavarensky...(this was played for 2,000 hundred twenty twenty twenty twenty years on average...)

The net result was that the land all around those who were impaled by Vas was greatly enriched and made fertile. Beings sprang from the very ground as the ejaculate drops dropped and thus sprouted like the Dragon teeth of Cadmus into thousands of cleansed and healthy Transgenderanians.....A new and boundless race possessed of enormous bowls and of Engendering equipage emerged to populate the Earth...

As nephew of the Great Vas I feel you should know this history.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <offramp: <Richard Taylor: ..Your Aunt wasn't named Vas by any chance was she?> She might have been. Would it make a vast difference if she was?>

Yes, yes, she was nearly a Vast!

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Richard Taylor> What a pity!.>

Thank you immensely. I can hardly think of words to express my gratitude and, as you and others know, to render me speechless is a considerable accomplishment, and worthy of everyone's gratitude. Anyone that was the centre [sic] of 20 hundred hundred hundred years of feasting and orgies and rampaging is worthy of our admiration, or at least worthy of having a chess opening named after him. Yes, you have opened my eyes. I was clearly not aware of this aspect of my genealogy. Again, the things you learn by visiting <>!. I only hope that I can be considered at least a little bit worthy of his legacy. And I hope to be able to visit Transgenderalia soon. Do you know if they accept American Express?

BTW, I suffer from bronchitis and need to periodically squirt Symbicort up my nose for relief. I was so impressed with your research that I have named the device I use "Vlad the Inhaler".

Dec-21-19  Howard: In the latest issue of CL, a review is given of a book on Geller's best games. In it, the move 20.Bf3 is analyzed to a win.

It also states that detailed analysis is on's pdf file---whatever that means.

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