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Efim Geller vs Hans Ree
"Geller Journalism" (game of the day Nov-10-2007)
Hoogovens (1969), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 6, Jan-20
Modern Defense: Geller's System (B06)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-10-07  Ultra: Smothered mate coming up!
Nov-10-07  orior: I think Bh8 saves the smothered mate, but anyway black is pretty much lost..
Nov-10-07  wouldpusher: The smothered mate can be avoided, however. But it's a lost game all the same: 26. ... ♗h8 27. ♘xe5+ ♔g7 28. ♘e6+. If the Black ♔ goes to f7 or g8, 29. ♘xf8+ wins a ♖ since if the ♔ takes back, 30. ♘d7+ forks the ♕, while 28. ... ♔h6 walks into 29. c4! g5 (not the self-blocking 29. ... ♘h5?? 30. ♘g4#) 30. ♕h3+ ♘h5 31. g4 ♕xf2+ 32. ♔h1
Nov-10-07  t3hPolak: Bam! Geller's a monster with those knights!
Nov-10-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Black could have defended with 24...Rxb6. If 25. Qa5, then 25...Bh6 26. Nf7+ Kg7. But after 25. Qa7 I think black is lost.
Nov-10-07  sanyas: Why not 11...d5?
Nov-10-07  patzerboy: Nifty how White uses the weakness at d6 as a pivot point for his attack. When Black declines the Queen trade, the two long diagonals to f8 and g8 become like spears pointed at the Black King.
Nov-10-07  wouldpusher: I consulted Rybka and it seems that there are other moves like 26. ... ♘d5 or ♗h6 which save the mate but immediately lose material. On the other hand, 26. ... ♕c7 27. ♘xe5+ ♔h8 28. ♘gf7+ ♔g8 29. ♘h6+ ♔h8 30. ♘ef7+ ♖xf7 31. ♘xf7+ ♔g8 32. ♘g5+ ♔h8 33. cxb4 yielding the exchange and three pawns with a dangerous passed e-pawn.

Rybka also suggests (to the line above) that 26. ... ♗h8 27. ♘xe5+ ♘d5 28. ♘d7 ♕xf2+ 29. ♔h1 holds longer for Black, but will eventually lose more material.

Nov-10-07  Erdkunde: 19. Bxf7+! is a very nifty little tactical shot.
Nov-10-07  RandomVisitor: As <sanyas> points out, 11...d5 or 10...d5, 9...Nb6 or 9...a5 all keep Black in the game.
Nov-10-07  parisattack: < As <sanyas> points out, 11...d5 or 10...d5, 9...Nb6 or 9...a5 all keep Black in the game.> The theory of the Pirc was not particularly well-developed in 1969. But from 13.ab: I doubt poor Ree knew what hit him! A nice Geller power-play game.
Nov-10-07  sallom89: good game , threatening a smothered mate or lose pieces.
Nov-10-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Ut Oh! I think I smell a smothered mate on the horizon. The two white knights certainly became boss in this one.
Nov-10-07  xrt999: < parisattack: RandomVisitor: <sanyas> points out, 11...d5 or 10...d5, 9...Nb6 or 9...a5 all keep Black in the game>

9...e5 offers a pawn which Geller would not take, if you even remotely studied any of his games up to 1969. Its almost as if Gee gave up a turn. At the end of the game there is a pawn still sitting there on e5, doing nothing, except blocking any chance of dark square attack for black. Click back and forth from black's move 9 and move 26.

after 12...e5, Geller would probably then play dxe5 and after the series of exchanges the game is materially even, except white has the bishop on c4 in an open game, pinning the f pawn. White has the advantage, spatially.

11. a5 Rb8
12. Nc4 d5
13. dxe5 dxc4
14. exf6 Nxf6
15. Bxc4 Nxe4

Going back to black's first move, though, 1...g6 in response to the King Indian attack, you would probably guess that black would <not> be inclined to play a move like 10...d5, 11...d5, or 12...d5, since it is not of the theme of 1...g6.

Nov-10-07  parisattack: <Going back to black's first move, though, 1...g6 in response to the King Indian attack, you would probably guess that black would <not> be inclined to play a move like 10...d5, 11...d5, or 12...d5, since it is not of the theme of 1...g6.>

Excellent point; especially given the time frame. The Gurgenidze Robatsch with ...d5 and hybrid Caro-Kann were hardly known at the time. I think the 'Pirc' move would be ...a5 gaining some space on the Q-side, waiting.

Geller was death on the Pirc-Robatsch although he did lose a few of them. Would not be my first choice defence against a power-player, that's for sure! There's a reason you don't see either of those defences in Top-10 or even Top-20 games very often.

Nov-10-07  AniamL: If 22...b4 then 23. Ndf7+ Kg8 24. Qb3 in a line similar to the game.
Nov-10-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Geller beat his own defense?
Nov-10-07  unfforce: Ree GM ???
Nov-10-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <unfforce> Ree is a GM see Hans Ree
Nov-11-07  sanyas: <<Going back to black's first move, though, 1...g6 in response to the King Indian attack, you would probably guess that black would <not> be inclined to play a move like 10...d5, 11...d5, or 12...d5, since it is not of the theme of 1...g6.> Excellent point; especially given the time frame. The Gurgenidze Robatsch with ...d5 and hybrid Caro-Kann were hardly known at the time. I think the 'Pirc' move would be ...a5 gaining some space on the Q-side, waiting.>

11...d5 is just good positional chess. Otherwise, black loses. I can't see a GM deliberately eschewing such a simple centralizing move, unless he saw something that wasn't there.

Aug-08-08  euripides: <sanyas et al.> 11...d5 is interesting. It was already a familiar idea in the Ruy Lopez in similar structures. But curiously Gligoric in his notes at the time doesn't suggest d5 at any stage.

White may have some chances for an initiative though. What about <11...d5> 12.de Nxe5 13.Nxe5 ?

Black can choose between 13...Qxe5 when White can think about exploiting the black rank to isolate the d pawn though perhaps Black can go in for 14.Nf3 Qh5 15.exd5 Rxe1 16.Qxe1 Nxd5 17.Qe8+ Bf8 or (more riskily) 14.Nf3 Qc7 15.exd5 Rxe1 16.Qxe1 Nxd5 17.Qe8+ Bh6 18.Bh6 e.g. Qe7 19.Re1: and 13...Rxe5 14.f4 Re8 15.e5 with some initiative for White or possibly 14...Rxe4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 when perhaps Black doesn't have quite enough for an exchange and pawn.

Apr-17-09  xrt999: After looking at this game again, I think the theme is that psychologically, a player who is going to play the 1...g6 system is <not> going to be inclined to play a central break move like 11...d5; they are two different systems.

Whether or not Geller perceived this and used this nuance to his advantage is a mystery.

That being said, the game plays right into the idea that had black in fact played 11...d5 it would have improved his chances, while black instead opts for the flank break, which fails; Geller simultaneously seizes the opening as if just sitting there waiting and expecting it.

So, did Geller intuit that black would not play 11...d5 and use this to his advantage with the moves 10.a4 and 11.a5? If so, it would rationalize my theory that Geller was superhuman and beyond the scope of most chess players, and could seize on the most minute advantage and extract a a win from them.

This level of chess is so far out into the stratoshpere that I have trouble grasping its beauty, and then it hits me -for a moment I think I understand Geller- and then its gone.

Apr-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: 18....h6 or (sharper) 18....Nc5 are forced.

It seems hard to pass up 23.Ne6. I guess the point is 23....Qe7 24.Nxf8 Ra8 25.Qxa8 Nxa8 26.Rxa8 Bxf8. I feel like white is still completely winning after 27.Bh6, but Geller must have decided that 23.Be3 is cleaner.

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