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Efim Geller vs Petri Kekki
Matynkyla tt (1985)
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Modern System (C03)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-13-05  ughaibu: Geller sacrifices his queen for a rook and two pawns, sure he has a lead in development and black has problems finding a way to castle without losing a further piece but it's a heavy investment nevertheless. I cant help feeling black could have put up more of a fight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>
<black could have put up more of a fight>

Very interesting problem. The best improvement I found so far is 18...Nf6 19. c5 Ne4 20. cxd6 Qb7 21. Rea1 Nxd2 22. Nxd2 Ke6, which appears to hold.

Aug-13-05  Anastasia: my 10cents 18..nf6 19.c5 ne4 20.cxd6 qb7 21.ne5+
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Anastasia: my 10cents 18..nf6 19.c5 ne4 20.cxd6 qb7 21.ne5+>

Another interesting problem after your line above followed by 21...Ke6 22. Rea1 Nxd2 23. d7+ Kf5 24. Nxf7 Qxd7 25. Nxh8 Nxb3, and now what does White have?

Aug-13-05  ughaibu: After 18....Nf6 19.c5 Ne4 how about 20.Ba5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu: After 18....Nf6 19.c5 Ne4 how about 20.Ba5?> If Black responds to the above line with 20...Qb7 21. c6+ Qxc6 22. Rxc6 Kxc6, White comes out with an extra pawn, although it doesn't look like an easy win (Black's pieces are well placed).

Black can also try going crazy (again following the above line) with 20...Bxh2+!? 21. Nxh2 Qf4 22. c6+ Ke6 23. f3 f5 24. c7+ Kd7 25. fxe4 dxe4 and Black can stir up complications, although White is probably ahead here.

Aug-14-05  ughaibu: Beatgiant: in either case, if that's the best black has, it seems Geller's judgement in sacrificing the queen was sound. Quite remarkable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>
Yes, after looking at a few lines, I don't have any doubt about the soundness of White's attack. White's clearly never in any danger of losing. However, I don't claim <that's the best black has>, only the best I can find.

I think the main candidates for improvements are moves 18, 19 and 20. I also considered 18...f6, 19...Nf6 and 20...Bxh2+. Here are a few lines (all starting from the actual game).

18...f6 19. Rea1 dxc4 20. Ra7 cxb3 21. Rxc7+ Bxc7 22. Rb1 Ne7 23. Rxb3, again reaching a pawn-up ending that's hard to win.

19...Nf6 20. c5 Bxh2+ 21. Nxh2 Rc8 22. Nf3 Ng4 23. g3! threatening Bf4, and I don't see a reasonable defense!

19...Nf6 20. c5 Bxh2+ 21. Nxh2 Qb8 22. c6+ Kc8 20. Rea1 Qb2 21. Bf4! Qxf2+ 22. Kh1 Kd8 23. Bd6, and there's no defense to the mate threat!

20...Bxh2+ 21. Nxh2 Ne7 22. Ba5 Qb7 23. Rae6 Re8 (can't find anything better!) 24. c6+ Nxc6 25. Rxe8 Qb3 26. R8e3 and Black's down too much material.

Aug-14-05  Anastasia: <beatgiant> i wuz thinking 18...Nf6 19.c5 Ne4 20.cxd6 Qb7 21.Ne5+ Ke6 22.Rc6 Nxd2 23.Rc7 Qa6 (i guess) 24.Nxf7+ Kf6/f5 25.Nxh8. and then the simpsons came on.
Aug-15-05  ughaibu: Anastasia: that line looks good but what if black varies with 22....f6 or 24....Ne4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Anastasia> On the suggested 18...Nf6 19.c5 Ne4 20.cxd6 Qb7 21.Ne5+ Ke6 22.Rc6, Black can start pushing back with 22...f6 and it looks like White is overreaching.
Aug-25-06  ughaibu: How about 16....Qd8? If pushed the queen can go to b8, maintaining contact with the bishop and keeping the rook off a8.
Aug-25-06  tud: 17Ba5
Aug-25-06  ughaibu: and after 17....Bb8?

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