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Robert James Fischer vs Efim Geller
Curacao Candidates (1962), Willemstad CUW, rd 9, May-16
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Leonhardt Variation (B88)  ·  0-1



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Given 7 times; par: 136 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-02-03  Benjamin Lau: Seems fine to me, at least it's better than what Fischer did. It doesn't look like Geller was creating "complications" this game that disrupted Fischer's train of thought, it looks more like Fischer just blunders away a game that should have been at least a draw.
Dec-02-03  crafty: 17. ♘c7 ♗xf1 18. ♘xa8 ♗b5 19. ♘c7 ♗c6 20. ♗c4 ♖d2   (eval -0.42; depth 18 ply; 750M nodes)
Jan-24-05  mohd rafi fan: what about Re6?
Jan-28-05  mohd rafi fan: what about 45. Re6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <mohd rafi fan: what about 45. Re6?> 45. Re6+ Kxg5 and to me it still looks like an easy win for Black. Black is two pawns up and White's king is cut off from the front of the g-pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: What about 44.Ke4? Then black can't play ...e5. He might get left with just a g-pawn which would probably be a draw, because the white king would be cut off by only one file.
Sep-26-08  ikipemiko: after 44Ke4 e5 in case of changing the rooks, the pawn ending is an easy win for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: If 44.Ke4 e5 then 45.Rxg7+ draws on the spot.
Dec-21-08  Eyal: This was the second game in the candidates tournament between Fischer and Geller, and as in the first game (Geller vs Fischer, 1962) Geller improved on a line played in a Fischer game at the Stockholm interzonal a few months earlier and went on to win. Here it was on Fischer vs F Olafsson, 1962, where Fischer won after 13...b4? 14.Ne4 Bb7 15.Nd6. Instead, Geller's 13...Bc5! (one idea being 14.Nxb5? Qb6) should have led to a rather straightforward draw after 19.Rxa4 Bxb5 20.Bxb5 Rxb5, e.g. 21.Rxa7 Rxb2 22.Rfxf7 Rd1+ 23.Kf2 Rxc2+ 24.Kg3 Rd3+ 25.Rf3; but with 19.Nd6?! Fischer started making dubious moves, and his drawing chances kept slipping away until he got into a lost rook endgame.

Dec-21-08  Eyal: Position after 41...Re3

click for larger view

From Mednis' "How to Beat Bobby Fischer":

<42.Kf2? After a long series of second-rate moves, finally comes the decisive blunder. And it was played unnecessarily on the board before adjournment. The proper tournament strategy was for White to seal his obvious 41st move and then in home analysis discover the proper drawing technique. While Geller now pondered his sealed move, Fischer said something like "it's a hopeless draw." This must be considered a psychological ploy to "pressure" Geller into a gentlemanly offer of a draw. Even if the position after the text move was a theoretical draw (which it no longer is), you can be sure that if Bobby was Black here, not in a million years would he have offered a draw to Geller or anyone else. No, he would have continued to squeeze his opponent for another 50 or so moves.

The only king move which would still keep the draw was 42.Kh2! so that if 42...Re5 43.Kh3! and unlike the game, Black can't get his rook off the king file with check. White's rook continues to attack the g and e pawns, and there is no way Black can win White's g pawn without losing one of his own, in a position where White's king is properly placed for the draw.>

Dec-21-08  Eyal: <offramp: What about 44.Ke4? Then black can't play ...e5.>

click for larger view

44...e5?? 45.Rxg7+! indeed draws for White, but Black can win by 44...Rf7! 45.Rxe6+ Kxg5:

click for larger view

which is a tablebase win. Note, however, that with the king on e3, as played by Fischer in the game, this would be a draw, since White gains a crucial tempo in the line 46.Rd6 (or any other safe square along the 6th rank) Rf1 47.Ke2. So Geller had to use another winning method, which is very instructive - and again, involves giving up at a certain point one of the two pawns in order to win with the other.

Jan-14-10  jonico: Mi pregunta como principiante en este tipo de finales siempre es "¿y ahora qué?" o más bien, por qué pierde Fischer aquí al final de cuentas.
Jan-14-10  RandomVisitor: When I put the position after 42.Kf2 into Rybka, trying to see if it could salvage the position, I was told that it was a <mate in 47>. Oh well.
Jul-08-11  prithviraj: 27. Rab1 i think would be O.K continuation too
Jul-08-11  ughaibu: So, while Geller was on the move, considering what to seal, Fischer said "it's a hopeless draw". More of the perfect gentleman in action.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <ughaibu> What is it with you and your complex about Fischer? He was a brilliant chessplayer and an <extremely> flawed human being. Can't we just leave it at that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <RandomVisitor: When I put the position after 42.Kf2 into Rybka, trying to see if it could salvage the position, I was told that it was a <mate in 47>. Oh well.>

Good Lord!

Does it agree with Mednis about 42.Kh2?

Jul-09-11  Petrosianic: <He was a brilliant chessplayer and an <extremely> flawed human being. Can't we just leave it at that?>

His flaws usually didn't carry over into his play. He was usually very well behaved at the board. This incident is a (minor) exception.

I had a friend a few years back who loved Mednis' book, and we were always riffing on quotes from it. He always loved that bit about how Bobby would have kept squeezing for another 50 moves. There are a lot of great quotes from that book. (Bobby, PLEASE! P-B3!)

Jul-09-11  ughaibu: Petrosianic: questions have been asked about your sources: G Swathi vs Short, 2011
Dec-05-11  Whitehat1963: A great rook-and-pawn ending that is every bit as complicated as anything Capablanca, Lasker, Rubinstein, and Alekhine played in their heyday.
Apr-21-12  wordfunph: Fischer - Geller

game was adjourned after 42.Kf2

click for larger view

at the press center, Fischer was quoted..

"I'll draw that game with my eyes shut!"

Oct-08-16  Howard: One gets the impression that Geller could have won this ending quicker than he did, but then it hardly mattered.
Oct-08-16  Howard: Just checked the six-piece tablebase and discovered that with best play on both sides, Geller could have queened his g-pawn in about 25 moves.

Judging from the final position here, he actually appeared to play this ending fairly close to perfection.

Apr-22-18  veerar: 10...b5,is good,what with White's King,in the middle,not yet castled.
Oct-13-20  pepechuy: Mednis is almost completely right.
Besides 42. Kh2, it turns out that 42. Kg1 also draws. After 42. Kg1 Re5 43. Kh2
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