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Efim Geller vs Boris Spassky
"In the Zonal" (game of the day Sep-10-2009)
USSR Zonal (1964), Moscow URS, rd 10, Mar-02
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Modern Steinitz Defense (C72)  ·  0-1



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Given 23 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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sac: 23...Qxc7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-23-04  ughaibu: Any obvious explanation for Geller's 14th move? It's a nice queen sacrifice by Spassky but surprising that Geller didn't appreciate the danger.
Jan-23-04  Almanzor2: No, I think it is a mistake...But isn't Spassky's last move glorious? It reminds me of moves that Anderssen ued to make!
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: Queen sacrifice on 14th move?! How?
14.Nb1 attacks d5. In fact, y not 15.Q:d5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <Catfriend> ug and al are talking of two different events. One is whites 14.Nb1 and the other is blacks queen sacrifice, 23..Qxc7.
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: :) Yes, I understood it too late:) THX!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kamalakanta: Quite often against Spassky, Geller's sense of danger let him down. In their Candidate Matches, where Spasky played White in the Closed Variation of the Sicilian Defense, Spassky was able to win by direct attacks on Geller's King, while Geller was busy hunting pawns on the Queenside.

What a game! I love the way Spassky plays the Ruy Lopez with Black!


Sep-10-09  zdigyigy: This is a fine sacrafice...I wonder how many masters could find this sac over the board?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: When did the game switch?
Sep-10-09  MohdSalah: It was not a sacrafice, spassky forced to exchage his queen with the rook or otherwise he may loose the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Pretty sexy, reminds me of Kasparov, trading the Queen for 2 or 3 pieces, and going into a forced winning line.
Sep-10-09  nolanryan: one possible mate after g5 is pretty sexy. g5 Bf2 Kg4 h5#
Sep-10-09  ungeneral: I think if white had played 27. Qe2 instead defending the f2 square and preparing to potentially exchange the queen for a rook and minor piece, white could have emerged with a slight advantage. I tend to think the queen sacrifice was not entirely sound...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Ungeneral> If <27.Qe2>:

click for larger view

<27...Be4+ 28.Kg3> (28.Kh2 Rf2+ and Black winds up a piece ahead) <28...Nf1+ 29.Kh4 g5+ 30.Kh5 Ng3+ 31.Kh6 Rf6#.> 27.Bxd5 was played to stop this line.

Sep-10-09  desiobu: Phony Benoni, slight error in that otherwise excellent line, 30...Ng3+ 31. Bxg3.

I still agree 27. Bxd5 was a better try

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Oh drat. Well, my lunch hour is over and I can't work on it now. Somebody find something!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Somebody> has said, that a ♔ may make a nobleman but he cannot make a gentleman.
Sep-10-09  ungeneral: <desiobu> Why do you think 27.Bxd5 was a better try? After 27 .. Be4+ 28. Kg3 Nf1+ 29. Kh4 g5+ 30. Kh5 Bg6+ 31 Kh6, black has no further checks and white can begin to rebuild.

What am I missing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Phony Benoni> Herr Fritz offers this finish to your otherwise excellent line:

27. Qe2 Be4+ 28. Kg3 Nf1+ 29. Kh4 h6!

click for larger view

And now white is royally stuffed. Like a kipper. Done for. An ex player. Pining for the fyords, etc.

Black's threat is 30...Bg5+ 31. Kh5 g6#

Fritz reckons that the least worst from here is 30. Qxe3 going a rook down. Everything else leads to a forced mate.

Sep-10-09  ungeneral: what about 30 Be5 though? This prevents 31..g6#
Sep-10-09  SuperPatzer77: <ungeneral: what about 30 Be5 though? This prevents 31..g6#>

30. Be5 Bg5+, 31. Kh5 Ng3+! (deflects the White Bishop from the e5 square) 32. Bxg3 (forced) g6# 0-1

<ungeneral> You've overlooked the deflection with 31...Ng3+! - this move unpins the Black g-pawn and forces mate with 32...g6#.

Kudos to you, <Once>!!


Sep-10-09  WhiteRook48: a fantastic queenless attack by Spassky
Sep-10-09  SirChrislov: The white Q remains in her original square the entire game. she is useless!! 31...Bf2#
Sep-10-09  ycbaywtb: that is an excellent point, how many GM's have resigned without moving their queen once in the whole game, and with 30 moves played?
Sep-10-09  Eduardo Leon: Perhaps

<13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nxe4 15. f4>

was better.

Sep-11-09  RandomVisitor: <Eduardo Leon><13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nxe4 15. f4> might continue 15...Nxd2 16.Qxd2 Be4 17.Bc2 Bxc2 18.Qxc2 Qd7 or 18...c6 with chances to withstand the pawn storm.

Better in that line might be <15.Nxe4> dxe4 16.Qd5 c5 with a white advantage.

The last chance for white might be <21.Nxe4> Bxe4 22.Bc2 fxe5 23.Rxf8+ Rxf8 24.Bxe4 dxe4 25.dxe5 Qe6 26.Qd4 Qxa2 27.Rc7 Bd8 28.Rc8 Qb1+ 29.Kh2 Qd3 30.Qd6 with a balanced position.

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