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Anatoly Karpov vs Boris Spassky
Karpov - Spassky Candidates Semifinal (1974), Leningrad URS, rd 11, May-10
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. General (D58)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-29-09  M.D. Wilson: Mednis would.
Dec-29-09  CruyffTurn: <Karpov's +4 -1 =6> I think something that isn't being noted here is that Geller, Spassky's second, defected to Karpov just before the Spassky-Karpov match, taking all of Spassky's sharpest lines with him. Spassky playing the King's Indian (which he never did) in game 1 illustrates how worried Spassky was about this. I do think Karpov was the better player, but he was given as much help as possible by the authorities.
Dec-30-09  M.D. Wilson: Geller's expertise no doubt helped.
Dec-30-09  ewan14: Boris could have been excused any paranoia !

He was not meant to win the match !

Jan-01-10  M.D. Wilson: Well, perhaps if Spassky had played anyone else, he would have won. Just because he lost to Karpov doesn't lessen his own playing strength in 1973 and 1974. Fischer didn't finish Spassky, Karpov did.
Jan-01-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Fischer didn't finish Spassky, Karpov did.>

I agree. Spassky's mind was still occupied with the Fischer match, but his strength actually surged after the match. Against anyone other than Karpov, he could have gotten to a rematch.

It was the combination of recovering from Fischer and encountering a comparable but different type of talent that led Spassky to the feeling in the middle of the match that he didn't understand what was going on.

With someone like Korchnoi, closer to Fischer's approach, I think he would have been able to use what he learned in that match, and defeat him.

Jan-01-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Karpov was the first chessplayer in history to defend the Title, without drawing it, on two separate occassions. >

Just nit picking, but a little technicality here--Karpov wasn't really defending a title in '78 when he played Korchnoi--Karpov had not yet 'won' the title, because it was awarded to him on forfeit. But, the '74 match against VK was a defacto title match, because it determined Fischer's challenger, so, in a sense, there were two undrawn title defenses.

Jan-01-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <CruyffTurn: <Karpov's +4 -1 =6> I think something that isn't being noted here is that Geller, Spassky's second, defected to Karpov just before the Spassky-Karpov match, taking all of Spassky's sharpest lines with him. Spassky playing the King's Indian (which he never did) in game 1 illustrates how worried Spassky was about this. I do think Karpov was the better player, but he was given as much help as possible by the authorities.>

Game 3 was the King's Indian, and not Spassky's first assay at that defense. Game 1 was a quite sharp Sicilian, which Spassky won. His only victory over Karpov at classical time controls in his life, I believe. Spassky played sharp lines in the match, as you can see for yourself.

This is a request I've been making for years, but I've never gotten an answer. Does anyone know when Geller stopped working for Spassky, and when he started working for Karpov (bearing in mind that these might be two different times)? Does anyone have a contemporaneous source or sources? Spassky and Geller did not get along during the Fischer match, and I would be surprised if they kept working together after it was over.

Jan-01-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: Hi kp - <Does anyone know when Geller stopped working for Spassky, and when he started working for Karpov> does seem a difficult question to find a straight answer. Robert Byrne's account of the Spassky-Karpov match made me think it was a done deal: <"it was a terrible blow for him to learn that Geller...had now gone over to Karpov...it is difficult to understand how the Soviet Chess Federation could permit such a move..."> But, writing about the Nice Olympiad, after Spassky-Karpov but before his own match with Karpov, Korchnoi has this: <"Two trainers were sent to the Olympiad - Karpov's official trainer, Furman, and his other trainer, Geller, with whom he had already been working, although so far in secret. Geller's functions included 'helping' me during the Olympiad, but fortunately I was already in the know".> So maybe the thick plottens, and we'll never know for sure...
Nov-15-11  Helios727: What happens after 35... Re7 ?
Nov-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <Helios727> Probably just 36.Qd8+ followed by 37.Nxh3 and 38.Nxa6 and White is 4 pawns up, or if 36.Qd8+ Re8 37.Nce6+ Kf7 38.Qxe8+ simplifies neatly enough.
Sep-26-13  Everett: <Geller's functions included 'helping' me during the Olympiad, but fortunately I was already in the know>

So Geller was basically spying on Korchnoi. Interesting .

Nov-03-13  bystander: <Benjemin Lau, 26-04-2004>, <helloween 24-07-2004>. To continue the 14..b5 discussion. Is 14..b5 really necessary for black? After this move, blacks'pawns on the queensite lost their flexibility. What about: 14..c6 15 Qc2 Re8 16 Bd3 a5 17 e4 de4x 18 Ne4x Qf4 (advance of blacks a-pawn) or 14.. Rc8 15 Rc1 Be7 16 Bd3 (16 b5 c6) and the advancing of the c-pawn (16..c5)?
Nov-05-13  bystander: Instead of 16.. Nb6: 16...a5 17 Re1 Bc8 and then 18.. Nb6. Now black has avoided 17) a4
Nov-06-13  Zonszein: Geller helping Karpov was a terrible blow to Spassky. Intrigue and coups bas were the speciality of those people. It is better to stay home, and play for fun
This world is sickening
And controlled by money, power and lower passions
Nov-06-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Zonszein

So do you actually know when Geller started helping Karpov? If so, can you share your knowledge? Or are you just maundering?

Nov-06-13  Zonszein: I was just playing in lower keys
While pushing others
That's all
Mar-23-17  The Boomerang: It's games like this that scared the crap out of Fischer's and made him avoid that 1975 match. He was up against a Monster.
Mar-23-17  Dave12: People may not agree, but i think this is one of the nicests Karpov-games i have ever seen.
Apr-02-20  Allanur: I do not recall the source now but I have read in one of contemporary writers that Geller switched to Karpov's side in 48 hours remaining to the Karpov - Spassky semi-final match, this match. As a result, Spassky had to play opening other than the ones he did not prepare with Geller. If you look at the games, the games corroborate it.
Apr-02-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Allanur: I do not recall the source now but I have read in one of contemporary writers that Geller switched to Karpov's side in 48 hours remaining to the Karpov - Spassky semi-final match, this match.>

I'd like to see a source, because that doesn't sound even a little bit credible. In fact I'd like to see evidence that Geller and Spassky worked together after 1972. Why would they?

<If you look at the games, the games corroborate it.>

This game contradicts your claim, since Spassky played the same line against Fischer, and Geller developed a major improvement in it.

Timman vs Geller, 1973

So why would Spassky play it against Karpov if Geller was working for Karpov?

Apr-03-20  Olavi: <keypusher> The improvement 14...Qb7 in Tiiman - Geller was analyzed by Geller and Spassky prior to the Reykjavik match, according to Geller's Application of Chess Theory, and he was astonished that Spassky didn't play it. Whatever that means for the argument.
Apr-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Olavi: <keypusher> The improvement 14...Qb7 in Tiiman - Geller was analyzed by Geller and Spassky prior to the Reykjavik match, according to Geller's Application of Chess Theory, and he was astonished that Spassky didn't play it. Whatever that means for the argument.>

It's an interesting fact in its own right, but I don't see how it has any impact on my argument.

Apr-04-20  SChesshevsky: <...I'd like to see evidence that Geller and Spassky worked together after 1972...>

I don't think Spassky wanted to work with Geller even in 72. Likely got stuck with him because the powers that be thought he could deliver some insight in how to beat Fischer.

Also got the feeling that the powers that be strongly preferred Karpov be the one to face Fischer next rather than Spassky. Maybe this match plus Karpov getting Geller assistance was just part of the prep for a potential Fischer matchup.

Jun-27-20  carpovius: Besides of all comments above I would name this match was "Romantic against Pragmatic". Dixi 😊
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