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Semon Palatnik vs Efim Geller
URS Team Cup (1980), Rostov-on-Don URS, May-??
Trompowsky Attack: General (A45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-10-23  jrredfield: I looked at both 15 Bxh7+ and 15 Rxg7+. Took a while but I see 15 Rxg7+ Kxg7 16 Qg4+ Kh8 17 Qf5 Be4 18 Bxe4 Qd6 19 Qxh7+ mate.

15 Bxh7+ most likely just leads to a even position, gaining little or nothing for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  takebackok: It was there somewhere & i found it. Easier than Mon or Tues.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: I'm a little surprised at Geller's Bxg2 blunder. it would be a little different with a knight on e7 or f8. but to give the rook an open g file when the kingside is bare?? I looked at Bxg7 for about 5 seconds when I thought.. wait a minute!! Rxg7 deprives black the pawn prop to shield the king. it's over after Kx Qg4+ Kh8 Qh5
May-10-23  Brenin: As <jrredfield> has it. Geller played 13 ... Bxg2? Perhaps the worst move of a stellar career. You don't need to calculate: every instinct should tell you that the move is wrong. Even 15 Bxh7+ leads to a slight advantage for White after 15 ... Kxh7 16 Qh5+ Kg8 17 Qh6 g6 18 Rg4 f5 19 Rh4 Qxh4 20 Qxh4, with Q for R+B .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Easiest this week.
May-10-23  Allderdice83: I just feel miserable. That's many in a row I've blown. This should have been easy. I had through 16. Qg4+, but then I fell from grace with 17. Qh5? After 17 ... f5!, White can no longer win and in fact is forced to take a draw by repetition to avoid losing. That is, 18. Qxf5 (18. Bxf5? loses) ... Kg7, 19. Qxh7+ Kf6, 20. Qf5+ Kg7 (not 20 ... Ke7?? 21. Qe5+ Kd7 22. Bf5#), 21. Qh7+ etc. Other attempts lose, eg., 20 ... Kg7 21. O-O-O? Rh8 22. Rg1+ Kf8. White's down a rook for 2 pawns with no more attack.
May-10-23  Granny O Doul: Geller had won his second Soviet championship at the tail end of 1979, so he could still play. I thought it was weird how Chess Life went all gaga over his victory, saying "one of the most incredible virtuoso performances of all time", or some such. Still, it's nice that he should be remembered as more than a minor character in Bobby Fischer vs. the Rest of the World.
May-10-23  thegoodanarchist: Got to wonder how Geller fell into this. It's not like it was <before> his heyday.

No, no, it was <after> his heyday. He shoulda coulda woulda seen it from a mile away!

May-10-23  mel gibson: I knew it was going to be either 15 Rxg7+ or 15 Bxh7+ I didn't analyse it any further.

I'm surprised that the latter leads to a draw.
I tested it and it does.

May-10-23  agb2002: White is one pawn down.

White can start a mating attack with 15.Rxg7+:

A) 15... Kxg7 16.Qg4+ Kh8 (16... Kh6 17.Qh4+ Kg7 18.Qxh7#) 17.Qf5 and mate in two (17... Be4 18.Bxe4).

B) 15... Kh8 16.Rxh7+ Kg8 17.Qg4#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: For once not the go to B-sac. 15 Bxh7+ no doubt wins, but Rxg7+ is the killer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <Allderdice83> Don't feel miserable, it's Wednesday (although easier than yesterday). In your line 17.Qh5? f5 18.Qxf5 Black shouldn't play 18...Kg7? but ...Qh4! covering h7 and White doesn't have anything left (confession: didn't find that on my own). It's not your day ;)

Memo for self: in a Kside attack block the opponent's Pawns to limit escape routes.

<Benin: Perhaps the worst move of a stellar career.> Agreed. As a reminder Geller is one of the rare players with a positive score against Fischer +5 -3 =2.

May-10-23  saturn2: Funny how after 17.Qh5 the black king escapes on the black squares.
May-10-23  Mayankk: I was surprised that 15 Bxh7+ doesn't win although calculating the winning 15 Rxg7+ line is not too hard.

One fancy line I had was 15 Bxh7+ Kxh7 16 Qh5+ Kg8 17 Rxg7+ Kxg7 18 Ke2 (clearing the path for the other Rook to join the attack) Rg8 (to allow Black King to escape to f8) 19 Rg1+ Kf8 20 Qc5+ Qe7 21 Rxg8+ (to draw the Black King away from Queen) Kxg8 22 Qxe7!

Only later I realised the brilliant 18 ... Bg2 and 19 ... Qd5 defense...

May-10-23  Socrates2: To beat Geller like this in such a few moves is truly amazing.
May-10-23  nalinw: I think having to find 16 Qf5 makes it a Wednesday puzzle .... says the man who was lazy and didnt think that far @#$$%^
May-10-23  goodevans: <nalinw: I think having to find 16 Qf5 makes it a Wednesday puzzle ...>

It's instinctive to look at 16.Qf5 first in these positions to block Black's f-pawn. Once I'd seen there was no defence to 16.Qf5 I didn't even bother to see whether 16.Qh5 or 16.Qh3 would also have worked.

The fact that there was another reasonable candidate in 14.Bxh7+ was also, I think, a factor in this being a Wednesday rather than Tuesday puzzle.

May-10-23  TheaN: Regression. Got this one in 2008, but now sloppily played Bxh7+ assuming breaking through one way or another works. I saw 15.Bxh7+ Kxh7 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.Qh6 g6, and assumed a combination of 18.O-O-O or Rxg6+ straight away work, but it doesn't as Black can put a piece on the seventh.

17.Rxg7+ is entirely forcing as Black can't decline (Rxh7+) and 17....Kxg7 18.Qg4+ Kh8 19.Qf5! #2 as Black can't reinforce h7. Weirdly enough, it didn't look familiar.

May-10-23  johnnydeep: The obvious puzzle-ish rook sac and subsequent quick mate was clear to see, even for me.
May-10-23  njdanie: 13... Bxg2??? Hard to believe a player as strong as EG would go pawn grubbing.
May-10-23  Damenlaeuferbauer: This is a famous game! When I first recognized this game in 1982 [!], I was very impressed, that a nobody won a game in less than 20 moves against the great Efim Geller, who was Soviet champion at that time (1979/80) and belonged to the world's elite from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. His Ukrainian compatriot GM Semon Palatnik decided this game with the nice rook sacrifice 15.Rxg7!+,Kxg7 (15.-,Kh8 16.Rxh7+,Kg8 17.Qg4#) 16.Qg4+!,Kh8 (16.-,Kh6 17.Qh4+,Kg7 18.Qh7#) 17.Qf5,Be4 18.Bxe4, mating next move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Some nobody; this brings to mind some of the kibitzing to M Ruderfer vs Stein, 1972, in which White was termed a 'weak player'.

For sure Ruderfer was not in Stein's class, but there were--and are--numerous strong masters in the former Soviet Union who never got outside the Iron Curtain till it was forcibly removed, and no amount of ranting by an internet yahoo will change that simple fact.

May-10-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: The sequence is simples, but you must be precise with: 15. Rxg7+ Kxg7 16. Qg4+ Kh8 17. Qf5! Be4 18. Bxe4 Qd5 19. Qxh7#. If you play 17. Qh5? f5! 18. Bxf5 Kg7 19. O-O-O Rh8 20. Rg1+ Kf8...

Black survives! Also: 19. Qxh7+ Kf6 20. Ne4+ Bxe4 21. Bxe4 Qc7 22. Qf5+ Ke7 23. Qg5+ Ke8... Black has a ♖ plus.

May-10-23  TheaN: Going back to this puzzle just before bed, I am a bit baffled at Geller's Bxg2. Isn't just every chess principle shouting this is a bad move?

Move a developed piece, move it out of the center, open up a file to your king, and lose a tempo after an opponent's developing move. It loses outright, but regardless, I'm interested how he got to play it. The only followup I can think of is Qd5, which fails on the relatively simple Qg4.

May-10-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: Yes <Tess> as common you are right. Searching on ChessGames tables, it can be find the scores of Fisher (victory-tied-defeat) against: Botwinnik and Polugaevsky 0-1-0, Bronstein 1-3-0, Keres 4-3-3, Geller 3-2-5, Kothchonoi (that time was still considered 'soviet') 3-3-4, Petrosian 10-15-4, Smyslov 3-5-1, Spassky 17-28-11, Stein 1-0-0, Tal 3-4-4.

If you sum all the ansers, you have: 69-71-29. He made 41% of victories and only lost in 17%, in 169 games against the powerful CCCP. It's remarkable.

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