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Efim Geller vs Anatoly Karpov
"Efimeral Advantage" (game of the day May-29-2005)
USSR Championship (1976), Moscow URS, rd 3, Nov-29
French Defense: Winawer. Petrosian Variation (C16)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-16-12  Albanius: Karpov's Spanish would make Torquemada proud:
Karpov vs Geller, 1983
Karpov vs Gligoric, 1972
Karpov vs Spassky, 1973
Jan-03-13  tjipa: Computers go on and on. My own shows Karpov being deep in trouble as early as his 9...Be7 (instead of the preferable 9... Bxd2). Anyway, I enjoyed this Geller's game immensely, and I had this moment of returning to Geller upon reading Sosonko's essay on him in the book 'I Knew Capablanca'. A great chess essayist that guy is, that much I can say, being a writer myself.
Oct-21-13  tedceldor: karpov is good with the Spanish
Mar-16-14  LIFE Master AJ: What a brilliant game by Geller!!!!!
Mar-16-14  LIFE Master AJ: Game Collection: USSR Championship 1976

#1.) A. Karpov (2695) 12.0 / 17
#2.) Y. Balashov (2545) 11.0 / 17
#3.) T. Petrosian (2635) 10.5 / 17
#4.) L. Polugaevsky (2635) 10.5 / 17
#5.) J. Dorfman (2405) 9.5 / 17
#6.) M. Tal (2615) 9.0 / 17
#7.) V. Smyslov (2580) 9.0 / 17
#8.) E. Geller (2620) 8.5 / 17
#9.) E. Sveshnikov (2510) 8.5 / 17
#10.) O. Romanishin (2560) 8.5 / 17

Mar-16-14  LIFE Master AJ:

A web page on the USSR Champ. (1976)

Aug-22-15  jerseybob: The same line Geller destroyed in Geller-Petrosian, Spartakiad 1963; here he deals with it equally harshly.
Sep-25-15  dehanne: Is this whole black plan of b6-Ba6 idea refuted nowadays?
Jan-07-16  WDenayer: Pure genius! What a game! Against Karpov. I don't want to open a can of worms, but I sometimes thought that Geller would have done better in 1972 than the WC himself. Geller was an unbelievable chess player. And he sure hated Fischer. And he hated Spassky for losing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Odd opening selection by Karpov.
Mar-09-18  capafischer1: Geller was Karpovs second at that time, So he knew his openings. Karpov tried to surprise him, but it backfired. Incredible attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It was a shrewd blow by Geller to opt for 3.Nc3 in the face of his redoubtable opponent's choice of the French, rather than plump for his favourite Tarrasch.
Jan-15-19  Saniyat24: long-lasting pun...evergreen game...two knights jumping and piling on!
Mar-08-19  stridergene: Nice queen sac
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: How could karpov get into such a butt ugly position?
Nov-16-19  cunctatorg: The strongest Grand Master Efim Geller had his own way against the very Kings of the Royal Game; this victory of his over Anatoly Karpov isn't a big surprise given his victories against Bobby Fischer...

Hence <how could RJF also get into such a butt ugly positions?>

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If 'Geller had his own way against the very Kings of the Royal Game....', how did he not win the supreme title?

This is a simple question which none of those who tout Geller as a figure of mythic proportions, due to his excellent record against titleholders overall, can answer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Perfidious,

Geller could not get through the candidates matches, losing all three by the score 5˝ - 2˝

Spassky - Geller Candidates Semifinal (1965)

Spassky - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1968)

Korchnoi - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1971)

John Shaw (!) writes in the intro to: 'The Nemesis, Geller’s Greatest Games by Efim Geller.'

"When the topic of ‘the best player never to be World Champion’ is raised, Korchnoi and Keres are often mentioned, but Geller deserves to be on the shortlist. Among his many achievements, he won two Soviet Championships, seven Olympiad team gold medals and three Olympiad...

...Geller had abundant tournament successes but fewer match victories. Perhaps Geller’s emotive nature failed him when under the greatest pressure."

The introduction to this threads game is:

"This game began with an interesting psychological duel before we even sat down at the board.

The point is that not long before, I had been Anatoly Karpov’s second in his World Championship Candidates final match with Korchnoi, and had taken part in his preparation for the match with Fischer that never was – so naturally I knew the World Champion’s opening repertoire.

It was evidently for that reason that in our game Karpov decided to depart from his accustomed schemes. He expected me to play 3.¤d2, which is the move I most often choose. I understood his reasoning...

Moreover at that time Karpov had no experience of the variation that occurred, whereas to me the position was familiar, as the reader will see."


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff>, the historical facts are plain, but none of those who have mooted Geller as being the equal of all the titleholders have managed to muster a cogent argument beyond his scores against them. Matter of fact, I do not agree with Shaw that the record supports Geller's inclusion amongst the very greatest players never to have won the world title.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Perfidious,

I agree, it's often Korchnoi, Keres, Bronstein and Stein from the USSR before Geller gets a look in.

Geller played some wonderful games...I have his 'Application of Chess Theory' and the notes are the same, or very similar to the translated notes in 'The Nemesis' but there are more games in 'The Nemesis' I might get it as a Christmas present from Santa though I have my eye on another book (I'm only allowed one new chess book a year.)


Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sally Simpson> But do you have a limit on how many used chess books you're allowed in one year?
Nov-18-19  schnarre: ...Never pictured Karpov as a French Defense I see why.
Nov-18-19  areknames: Reflecting on the pun after all these years one has to conclude that Geller's advantage was hardly ephemeral but really substantial, it seems, for most of the game, starting with 14.c4!. So, not ephemeral but indeed efimeral: QED.
Nov-18-19  Caissas Clown: <schnarre>: I'm embarrassed to admit that until today , I did not know he'd ever played it. But there it is in the database : 5 wins,12 draws, 2 losses. Two of the wins,he was 10/11 years old,two were in the Melody Amber Rapid,one in a simul.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi AylerKupp,

No problem with 2nd books, I can get as many as I want per year just as long I pick up any back issues of 'Guns and Ammo' for her.

Think I'll ask Santa to bring me the Levenfish book;


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