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Samuel Nutovich Kotlerman vs Efim Geller
Odessa (1949)
King's Indian Defense: Normal Variation (E70)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-06-05  ughaibu: A game in which almost every move looks like a mistake and virtually impossible to predict three in a row.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: With game like this one it is no wonder that Geller was not Bobby Fischer's cup of tea...:-D
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: White missed a chance in the 18th move: 18.Nd5! Qa7 (18...cxd5?? 19.Qxd5+ xa8) 19.Ne7+ Kh8 20.Nxc6 Qc7 21.Ne7 with advantage. The rest of game from Geller's part is a chess from another planet. The only thing, which I can say with certainty, is that he was all the time in full control of events. Amazing game!
Dec-03-06  ToTheDeath: Geller definitely played other worldly chess. His tactical vision was among the best of the twentieth century.
Mar-30-10  birthtimes: Geller was the true originator of the KID, according to Bronstein. In this game, Geller remarks after White's 10th move, "White decides to open the centre, hoping to exploit the weakness of the d6 pawn, but this plan is erroneous. He should have seen through Black's plan and found the following manoeuvre: 10.g3 a6 11.Be2 Ndf6 12.a4 Bd7 13.Kf1!!, parrying the threat of 13...Qc8, carrying out artificial castling, and preventing the freeing advance...b5."

Geller goes on to say that the "most interesting and correct continuation was 18.Nd5 Qb7 19.Ne7+ Kh8 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.c5 d5 22.exd5 with a complicated game."

The Application of Chess Theory, 1984, p. 119.

Mar-30-10  xrt999: after 20...Nf4, white starts to fall apart; he cant castle. From a purely psychological perspective, this is always unfomfortable. Dealing with the night indirectly doesnt work and white's kingside quickly crumbles; two moves which I am looking at in more detail are the more direct 21.Bxf4, or even just 21.O-O?

At first glance, castling into the night ostensibly fails, but white may be able to get some counterplay. For example after the exchange 21.O-O Nxe2+ 22.Nxe2 Qxe2 23.Rxd2 Bxb3 axb3 white seems to have some lines and on a cursory glance the game seems to be even.

21.Bxf4 seems more likely to fail on multiple levels; after 21...exf4 white's queenside is under intense attack. White might be able to figure something out with the in between move 22.Nd4. After an exchange of, say, 22...Bxd4 (the black bishop on e6 is being attacked) 23.Qxd4 black can simply take on a2 with 23...Bxa2 and black is up a pawn.

White's passed pawn on d6 really isnt a threat yet, AND white still has to castle, the whole point to 21.Bxf4.

21.Bxf4 seems like that type of move that you may initially consider, then quickly discard OTB.

Mar-30-10  birthtimes: Also note that mate results from 23.Qxd6 Qxc3+ 24.Qd2 Qxf3! 25.gxf3 Ng2#. And if 26.Rxg6+ hxg6 27.Bxb4 Nxg2+ 28.Kd1 Rfd8+ and mate follows.
Mar-30-10  birthtimes: If 21.O-O, Geller says he would have played 21...Qxc3!
Mar-30-10  birthtimes: It is also interesting to note that Geller gave himself a ? after his 26th move! He candidly states, "The explanation for this move is the author's false romanticism, which he had not yet managed to overcome...The prosaic 26...Qb2 would have immediately concluded the game."

ibid., p. 120.

Mar-30-10  birthtimes: And last but not least, Geller writes, "Of course, 30.Bxe5 would also have lost to 30...Re8, but more tenacious was 30.Ng1, and if 30...Bd5, then 31.Nce2. However, White's position is nevertheless untenable, in view of the inevitable opening of the centre after ...e4 (in reply to the necessary f2-f3)."


Sep-09-11  Whitehat1963: Baffling on Guess the Move. At least it was for me.

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