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Viktor Korchnoi vs Efim Geller
Korchnoi - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), Moscow URS, rd 5, May-22
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. General (D58)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-30-06  MadBishop: Very nice game! Geller never stood a chance!


11. ...c5!? 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Qb3 +\; 11. ...Nc6 aiming at 13. ...Ne7; 11. ...Qd6!?)

12.Qb3 +\\

13. ...c5!?(13. ...c6 14.Rfe1 Nd7 15.Bd3 Nf8 16.e4 +\)

17.Rab8(17. ...Qd6 aiming at 18. ...Qb6, 19. ...a5; 17. ...Qe6?! 18.b4!; 17. ...Rdc8!? aiming at 18. ...Nf6, 19. ...Rbc8)

19. ...Qb6?(19. ...Rbc8!?)

20.Ne1! +\ Rbc8?!

Oct-30-06  MadBishop: Carrying on...

22. ...d4 23.exd4 cxd4 24.Qg3! +\--; 22. ...c4 +\)

23. ...Nf6(23. ...c4 24.Nf4 Qg5 25.Qa5 +\--)

24.Qa5 +\--

26.Nxc5(26.Qxd8? Qxd3!)

A model Queen's Gambit Declined played by Korchnoi!

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <MadBishop> You give 9.Bxf6!?, though I'm not sure why-this has been oft-played at grandmaster level, and even a weak player like me has played it on occasion.

The common alternative to 11.0-0 became 11.b4 c6 (11....c5 is also played).

Aug-16-11  bobbylee: Early on, Korchnoi use to play 8.Be2 consistently. Then he switched to 8.Rc1. Then in his notes to his seventh match game with Spassky in 1977, another brilliant Tartakower win, he noted that after 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.b4 if Black replied with ... c5 the rook might be better placed on b1. This seems to indicate that 8.Be2 is the more accurate and flexible move. I notice that against Karpov Kasparaov always chose 8.Be2 before playing the exchanging line followed by b4. Karpov always played ... c5 and after exchanging the white queen rook went to b1 in one move. In this game, Rfd1 seems the better move over Rad1; any thoughts on why Korchnoi chose the Ra1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <bobbylee> In 1982, I also played the Black side of the Tartakower a few times, the last of which was against Igor Vasilievich Ivanov and, unbeknownst to me at the time, followed this game to Black's fifteenth move: Karpov vs Geller, 1981, in which White tried the older 8.Rc1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:


You wrote <<MadBishop> You give 9.Bxf6!?, though I'm not sure why-this has been oft-played at grandmaster level>

Interestingly, <Mad Bishop's> annotation of this move has an historical back story- it was a prepared innovation by Korchnoi, who was the first to play it at master level:

Position after 9.Bh4xf6

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"I prepared an interesting innovation in a well-known variation of the Queen's Gambit, which was quite often adopted by Geller... In the fifth game... Geller played not the King's Indian, but the Queen's Gambit, hoping for a draw as quickly as possible. I played my prepared innovation. I personally consider it to be quite an important one, but for some reason it did not even appear in the list of thirty innovations mentioned in the appropriate issue of'Informator.'"

-<Victor Korchnoi, "Chess is My Life" (Edition Olms 2004), pp.75-76>

Here's what Keres had to say about the move:

"9.BxN! (an interestng idea. Usually White exchanges on KB3 immediately on the 7th move, if he decides to do so at all. The text has the idea of forcing the Bishop to QN2 first, where it does not stand very well)"

<Paul Keres, "Korchnoi 5½ Geller 2½" "Chess Life and Review" (August 1971), p.426>

Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Faced with a major TN, Geller reacted well but consumed too much time. Black was doing fine up to 21..Qg6 and 23..Nf6 which fatally weakened the Q-side. Just 21..Rc7 and White has little to show for his new move except an advantage on the clock.
Dec-29-18  cunctatorg: <Just 21..Rc7 and White has little to show for his new move except an advantage on the clock.>

@ woldsmandriffield: which engine says that?!?

Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: >cunctatorg< GM Ivan Sokolov says so! He gives two lines: 21..a5 22 Nd3 d4 23 Qd2 a4 = and 21..Rc7 = “with ..Nf6 to follow” (Chess Middlegame Strategies, vol. 1 p.41).

Sokolov praises the retreat 20 Ne1 but also thinks Black can maintain dynamic balance.

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