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Efim Geller vs Paul Keres
USSR Championship (1973), Moscow URS, rd 10, Oct-15
Spanish Game: Closed. Averbakh Variation (C87)  ·  1-0



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Given 31 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-08-08  TheCap: Got 20. Nd6 and hxg5, but then my lines were different: either 21. Qb3 or 21. Nxg5. I did not spend much time analysing, because these GM guys do different moves and I waste time on my "dream" lines... c a later
Aug-08-08  zb2cr: Missed, missed, missed. I was unable to see how White could make anything of 20. Nd6, due to Bishop hanging.

I note that <newzild> claims to have seen the entire problem in 20 seconds. Congratulations.

Aug-08-08  Jesspatrick: Too early in the morning for me to get this one. I looked at the remains of the Pawn structure on move 20 and wondered what opening this position came from. My first guess was a Gruenfeld, and my second choice was a King's Indian.

Anyway, this is a great example of what can happen with active Knights and weak squares. One frisky hopper can shred a whole flank if he isn't restrained.

Aug-08-08  zooter: Black should have thrown in the towel earlier. By the time 27.Qd7 was played his position had deteriorated rapidly. 27...Nf5 was a mistake that lead to forced mate. He could have held on for some more time by 27...Bf6 in keeping up with the spirit of the fight
Aug-08-08  Longbrow: I think the theme/vision here after 19 ♘e4 is that with attacking threats with one knight, at least one of white's knights will be able to post at g5 -especially after 20...hxg5. This effectively corners the black king with numerous threats to follow.
Aug-08-08  Magic Castle: 21. Nf7 is the Star move. I guess this is what Geller missed, although it looked too late at move 19. I supposed the strategic blunder occurred as early as the 8th move by 8....Nd7. This move I think cramped black's position and put him far behind in the development of pieces.
Aug-08-08  456: Thursday puzzle Aug-07-08 <21. ?> A Lukin vs G Timoshchenko, 1979
Aug-08-08  Frankly: Well, I had Nd6, but for the prosaic reason that it ends up winning the exchange after 20...hxg5 and 21. Nxc8, since whether Queen or Rook re-takes, Bxd7 ends up winning the exchange by forking either two rooks or rook and queen. I had absolutely no idea of the even better stuff after Nxf7, but the more prosaic line also wins. Not only is White the exchange up, but he is looking good. It's really move 21 rather than move 20 that is the gem, it seems.
Aug-08-08  notyetagm: <ToTheDeath: There's such a thing as cashing in too early. 16. d6 b5! 17. Bb3 c4 gives Black reasonable compensation- Rybka asseses it as only +.55 for White, whereas in the game White kept all his trumps and virtually forced Black into the winning combination.

Geller's play was amazingly accurate and holds up well under computer analysis.>

This game is a _MAGNIFICENT_ achievement by Geller.

Beating Keres' Ruy Lopez was no easy feat and here Geller does so in brilliant tactical style.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult): White to play and win.
Material: Down a P. White has heavy pieces active on the central files, with Qd1 aligned with the Black Nd7 and Qd8. The White Nf3 and Ne4 are also centralized. The White Ba4 pins Nd7 to Re8; Bg5 pins Ne7 to Qd8. All White pieces except Nf3 are fully activated. The Pc5 can support an outpost at d6. Black threatens Bg5. White has 1 check, 2 feasible captures, and several possible threats.

Candidates (20.): c6, Nd6, Bxh6

I could not make anything work. I figured 20.Nd6 as the key move, but overlooked the follow-up 21.Nxf7 completely.

<<lost in space> wrote: If this was a friday, what will they come up with on Sunday?>

Amen, brother.

Aug-08-08  Rama: I always look first at the quote of the day, "The Pin is mightier than the sword."

Aha! Look for pins today. Behold, two black Knights are pinned. How to exploit? The usual idea is to attack the defenders, and 20. Nd6 ..., came to me right away. I saw this would cost white the Bg5 but after 21. Nxf7 ..., there is the beautiful diagonal AND prospects of having TWO Knights dancing around in front of the black King.

That's as far as I got. Playing over the whole game, white's 15. c5 ..., looks like the key move. Geller sacs a pawn for piece activity and all the pins. I've done the same, sac a pawn to open up the posish with advantage, but this was a very important game against a top-notch opponent. Very dangerous technique!

Aug-08-08  YouRang: After some careful analysis, I concluded that this was a complicated puzzle.

Unsatisfied with the results of my careful analysis, I did some further research and found out that guessing didn't work so good either.

I won't bore you with the details. :-p

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: What’s the best play for black?

20…Rf8 21 Nxc8 Rxc8 22 Bxe7 Qxe7 23 Qxd7 Qxd7 24 Bxd7 Rc7, could be the best scenario from a bad situation, losing a knight for a pawn.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: In this one,white lends black a piece in order to chase the adverse queen away. Once this is done,the attack can begin.
Aug-08-08  karnak64: I might have ranked this one in the "insane" category. Heck of a shot by Geller against top competition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <YouRang> LOL - funniest post I've read for ages! Thanks.
Aug-08-08  euripides: Geller enjoyed combinations on f7.

Geller vs H Ree, 1969

Aug-08-08  euripides: ... or f6:

Geller vs Velimirovic, 1971

Aug-08-08  MiCrooks: To me the best part of all of this is that it was Geller pulling it on Keres! (though certainly past his prime a couple of years before his death) I wonder if that had something to do with Geller going into this line? Sometimes the best thing to do against a sharp attacking player is put them on the defensive.
Aug-08-08  Marmot PFL: Black's position is extremely cramped and undeveloped, so winning for white should not be too difficult. 20.Nd6 looks very strong (though an obvious move) and if 20...hg5 21. Nxg5 with major threats and big compensation. 22.Ng5xf7 is coming and Rf8 fails as Nxf7 Rxf7 is met with Bb3. Otherwise what can white do about threats of Qd3xg6 etc? He can't break the pin of the Ba4 and even returning the exchange still leaves white with one dominating knight on d6.

Geller finds a better move order but this a totally winning position, not what you would expect to get against Keres.

Aug-08-08  Stara Zagora: This is a very complicated position. I spent more than an hour analyzing the consiquences of 20. Nd6 but I totally missed the weakness of the a2-g8 diagonal and thus the sacrifice on f7. You can always learn new things from Geller - the Maestro of the attack.
Aug-08-08  DarthStapler: After Nxf7, Kxf7 Ng5+ Kf6 and then what?
Aug-08-08  Woody Wood Pusher: I totally missed this one, but Master Chess (32 bit 20 MHz) gets it in a few seconds. If 21... Kxf7 then 22 Nxg5+, Kf6 leads to a mate in 4 which is hard to see itself!
Aug-08-08  melv: White eliminated all three of the pawns that were protecting the king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's my anaysis using the Opening Explorer and Fritz 8:

<1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 d6>

Much more frequently played is the mainline 6...b5 as in Karjakin vs E Inarkiev, 2008

<7. c3 O-O 8. d4 Nd7>

Worth consideration is the mainline 8...Be7, as in Tiviakov vs K Miton, 2007

<9. Be3 Bf6>

This is the only move played in the six games given in the opening explorer (including this one). However, I can't help wondering if 9... b5 10. Bc2 Nf6 might be a better choice here for black.

<10. Nbd2 Re8 11. d5 Ne7 12. b4 g6 13. c4 c6 14. Rc1 Bg7?>

Against Geller, this was probably the losing move. Offering more resistance IMO is 14... Rb8 15. Qc2 Bg7 16. a3 cxd5 17. cxd5 b5 18. Bb3 f5 .

<15. c5! dxc5 16. bxc5
cxd5 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Bg5 Ne7 19. Ne4 h6 20. Nd6!!>

This move solves today's difficult Friday puzzle and prepares a winning demolition of the weakened Black King position.

<20...hxg5 21. Nxf7!>

This pawn demolition sacrifice is the key follow-up move in Geller's combination. Offering only equality is the much weaker 21. Nxc8? Nxc8 22. Bxd7 Re7 23. c6 b5 24. Nxg5 Bh6 25. Qg4 Bxg5 26. Qxg5 Rxd7 27. cxd7 Qxg5 28. Rxc8+ Kh7 29. Rxa8 Qd2 30. Rf1 Qxd7 31. Rxa6 =.

<21... Qa5>

Black loses his Queen or gets mated after 21...Kxf7 22. Nxg5+ Kf6

[22... Kf8 23. Ne6+ ;

22... Kg8 23. Qb3+ Nd5 24. Qxd5+
Re6 25. Qxe6+ Kh8 26. Qh3+ Kg8 27. Qh7+ Kf8 28. Ne6+ Kf7 29. Qxg7+ Kxe6 30. Bxd7+ Bxd7 31. Rxe5#]

23. Nh7+ Kf7 24. Bb3+ Nd5 25. Qxd5+ Ke7 26. Qd6#

<22. N7xg5>

This wins, but also decisive is 22. Bxd7 Bxd7 23. Qxd7 Qxa2 24. Nd6 Rad8 25. Qc7 Qe6 26. Nxg5 Qd5 27. Rcd1 Qb3 28. Ngf7 Rc8 29. Qd7 Rb8 30. Nxe8 .

<22... Rf8 23. Bxd7 Qxa2 24. Re2 Qa3 25. Re3 Qb4 26. Bxc8 Raxc8 27. Qd7 Nf5 28. Qe6+ Kh8 29. Qxg6> 1-0.

Black resigns as he can't avoid mate, such as, for example, occurs after 29... Qe1+ 30. Rexe1 e4 31. Qh7#.

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