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Boris Spassky vs Efim Geller
Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968), Sukhumi URS, rd 2, Apr-05
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation (B25)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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  offramp: The pouvoir is there but not the vouloir.
May-12-05  RookFile: He just got older.

Also, there is one other thing. You don't hear about this now, but they say: "Spassky never made it out of Reyjavik."

Spassky had to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, when playing Fischer. It was crushing when he lost, and he was never the same player again. Kasparov would have you believe that Spassky in 1974 was as strong as Spassky in 1969, which simply isn't true.

Poor Spassky. In 1974, he had a choice of being beaten by Karpov, or winning, and going on to play Fischer,
and get stomped. (He probably would have agreed to the 10 win thing.)

Somewhere around here, he decided it was checkout time, time to coast....

Maybe he was right. Why kill yourself when you were already champ once?

May-12-05  Badmojo: The mid sixties were his prime. He was past it even in 1972.
May-14-05  Fulkrum: Why does Geller start playing on the Kingside. It seems he has a bit of play on the queenside after move 21.
Jun-03-06  Everett: Spassky won the '73 USSR championship. He made it out of Iceland just fine.

Fischer, however, did not.

Spassky's breif time when he was willing to work occurred with Bonderevsky (sp?) leading up to his matches with Petrosian. After that, he didn't have the drive, it seems.

Jun-03-06  Everett: As far as this game goes, Geller gives up his dark-squared bishop for a rook in a position where there are no open files, leaving white with a dark-squared bishop, no less. Probably wasn't hard for Spassky to make the decision to let the sac exchange happen
Sep-06-07  drukenknight: does it not strike anyone that 29...g3 is a waste of a move? What happens if 29...Qg8?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: At move 30, it's hard to believe that White's Bg2 will be poised to strike the decisive blow just a few moves later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Another example of an h5 super♗ Chigorin vs Rubinstein, 1903
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Wonderful game. So many things to analyse widely.

What if 13...h6 14.Be3 g5 15.Nhf3 Nxf3+ followed by Bxb2. Black wins a pawn. Is there enough compensation for White? Maybe White should play 16.Qxf3 Bxb2 17.Rab1 followed by h4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 18...gxf5!?, although a bit sharp because it weakens Black's King side, could be interesting.
Mar-22-08  ughaibu: Mateo: after 13....h6, how about 14.fg6 hg5 15.Rf7 Rf7 16.Qh5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 20.Rbe1!? was of course a wild decision, but it seems that Geller lost his way later. For instance, 26...exf5?! seems dubious because the opening of the 'g' file will be useful for White only.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <ughaibu: Mateo: after 13....h6, how about 14.fg6 hg5 15.Rf7 Rf7 16.Qh5?> On move 15 of your variation, 15...gxh4 wins another piece. And, I guess, the game.
Mar-22-08  ughaibu: Yes, it doesn't look so good.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Calli: Supposedly the save for Geller is 1...Nd4! 32.Bf1 Rbb7 33.Ng4 Bxf5!> Or 33...Rg7 giving back the exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <drukenknight: does it not strike anyone that 29...g3 is a waste of a move? What happens if 29...Qg8?> Simple and good. But, like Calli pointed, 31...Bb7? is the losing move.
Jul-22-08  Marmot PFL: The knight that black could have exchanged on move 17 comes back to punish him on move 36. Objectively 17...Nb5 was probably best but the game is very difficult and facing a kingside attack I would trade down. Geller plays like Fischer here, all out to win with black, and with similar results vs. Spassky at this time. Near the end I think Geller still had a chance with 35...Rxe4 36.de4 Bxe4+ 37.Kh2 Qe7 followed by Nd4, but he must have been very short of time.
Mar-18-09  Paraconti: Spassky HAS to be one of the REAL attacking geniuses!
Mar-18-09  Jim Bartle: Nice observation on the pawn structure at move 22, TD. (Five years ago...)
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: Around 1969 Korchnoi said that he considered the true "masters of attack" to be Alekhine, Keres & Spassky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Notes from Cafferty's book on the Candidates Matches:

Geller was prepared for the Closed Sicilian and actually achieved the initiative out of the opening.

20.Rbe1 is a somewhat desperate attempt to give back material in exchange for complications. White threatens 21.e5 and the quiet line 20....Nb5 allows white an attack. There's a long inconclusive analysis of 21....f6 22.exf6 exf6 23.fxg6!? fxg5 24.Nxg5.

24....e6 gets a question mark. 24....e5 followed by ....Rbb7 is supposed to be better.

Spassky thinks 25....g5 is the decisive error. Both 25....Qe8 and 25....Rbb7 are better.

26....Nb5 may also be an improvement.

Geller thought he was doing fine but should have played 29.....Qg8 and given back the exchange with 30.Qg3 Nb5 31.Nxg4 Rg7! but white could improve with 30.Re3.

Aug-12-16  tigreton: I think Spassky, suffering a strong pressure on the queenside, simply decided to turn the tables and being the one who attacks. You know how much more difficult it is the defense, specially when there are a lot of choices, even for Geller.
Jun-17-17  edubueno: Antes de esta partida el score era BS 7 vs EG 4, con 13 tablas, es decir 50% de partidas definidas. EG quiso jugar a ganar y fue sobrepasado por una fuerza superior.
May-22-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: It is clear that 37 ... Qd8

is refuted by

38 Be8,

not 38 Ne8

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