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Efim Geller vs Oscar Panno
"Follow the Leader" (game of the day May-14-2014)
Gothenburg Interzonal (1955), Gothenburg SWE, rd 14, Sep-07
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Goteborg (Argentine) (B98)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-12-05  RookFile: That's interesting, ughaibu. I did a search on chessbase's online site, the earliest game they have with ....Rh7 was Gligorich vs. Fischer. Who were the players that played it before?
Aug-12-05  ughaibu: I dont know, see Clarke's book of Soviet miniatures, I think that's where it's mentioned.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <ughaibu> <RookFile> 13...♖h7 was Keres' suggestion. David Levy points this out in his book 'How Fischer Plays Chess'.
Aug-13-05  ughaibu: Thanks Benzol.
Aug-13-05  RookFile: Sure, thanks <Benzol>. That just deepens my, appreciation for the strength of Geller, Keres, Spassky, etc. The Argentinians spend all this time getting a system ready: Geller
plays a principled but deep line that had been overlooked, and Keres comes up with the antidote.

Those guys really knew how to analyze.
I think too many of today's players rely upon memorizing lines worked out with a computer.

Aug-13-05  ughaibu: RookFile: looking at the more recent games at Chessbase I'd say the line is playable for either side, though I doubt that many players have a stylistic preference for the black side of such an attack.
Aug-13-05  ughaibu: Benzol: I see you quoting in english from the Soviet tournament book, is the entire book available in english? is the 1959 candidates also available in english?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <ughaibu> The notes that I quoted about the Soviet Tournament book come from Bernard Cafferty's "Spassky's 100 Best Games". As far as I know Cafferty is fluent in Russian so he probably translated Geller's notes as he was writing his Spassky book. I don't think the rest of the 1955 tournament book has been translated into English and I've never seen anything about the 1959 Candidates either. Perhaps someone else could shed a bit more light on these two tourneys.
Aug-13-05  ughaibu: Okay, a pity. 1955, yes this was the interzonal wasn't it(?), maybe there's a better chance of candidates tournament books being available.
Aug-23-05  Jim Bartle: On a side issue, I seem to read a lot about Najdorf talking and consulting during tournaments, either during his own games or kibitzing others. Is this common, or permitted, or did Najdorf get a pass because everybody liked him so much?
Aug-19-08  seagull1756: This was the 14th round of interzonal. Tal gives this game in his book 'Attack', which was written together with Damsky and has appeared in print in russia after his death. Surprisingly, he comments after 13... Ne5 'This continuation, PREPARED AT HOME, loses, as well as 13... Kg7, used by other argentinian grandmasters' If Tal knew something we don't, that means that Najdorf had seen 13.Bb5! during his preparation, so in a way playing 9...g5 was altogether bluffing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <ughaibu> <I dont know, see Clarke's book of Soviet miniatures, I think that's where it's mentioned>

I didn't have Clarke's book when this was first posted but I think <ughaibu> is remembering the game between Gaspariantz and Eidlin played in 1961. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.fxg5 Nfd7 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Qh5+ Kf8 13.Bb5 Rh7 14.O-O+ Kg8 15.g6 Rg7 16.Qxh6 Bxh4 17.Rf7 Qf6 18.Rxf6 Bxf6 19.Be2 Ne5 20.Bh5 Bd7 21.Rf1 Be7 22.Rf7 Nxf7 23.gxf7+ Rxf7 24.Bxf7+ Kxf7 25.Qh5+ 1/2-1/2

Black's Queen sacrifice is an interesting idea so I've uploaded the game into the database and it should appear in due course.

Nov-07-08  nescio: In the Portoroz 1958 tourmnament book Gligoric and Matanovic wrote about Fischer's move 13...Rh7: "Dies ist eine wichtige Verst√§rkung! Fischer hat sie auf kleinen Turnieren in der UdSSR wahrgenommen, gut beurteilt und zu Hause gr√ľndlich analysiert".

So <ughaibu>'s comment <Rh7 was first played at master level in the Soviet Union> was probably common knowledge at the end of the 1950's. Perhaps Fischer told Gligoric himself. The games, although apparently published in Russian magazines, are most likely lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <nescio> Here's the link to that game

Gaspariantz vs Eidlin, 1961

May-14-14  offramp: On the eve of the International Soccerball Trophy - the Argentinian Variation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: You can read the story in the earlier kibitzing. The point of the pun is that Geller played the sacrifice first.
May-14-14  Caissas Clown: Geller-love playing through his games!
From the POV of this very ordinary club player,he is as entertaining as Tal.

13.Bb5 is a beauty - it took me a minute or so to work out why Black cannot capture the LSB.

May-14-14  Conrad93: I have always thought of Geller as a conservative player like Botvinnik or Petrosian.

This is a surprise.

May-14-14  eyalbd: Nice story here:

<The Argentinean players, Miguel Najdorf, Oscar Panno and German Pilnik had based their preparation for this tournament on the Najdorf Variation, but Paul Keres had defeated Panno with a novelty in the first part of the tournament, refuting their entire strategy of the South American team.

The Argentineans were in panic. But on a free day the temperamental Pilnik had come up with the 9...g5 improvement that seemed to give them a powerful weapon against Keres' new move. The Argentinean team and their helper spent 24 hours analysing every aspect of the devilishly clever Pilnik idea. In the end the great Najdorf made the decision: we play 9...g5.

This led to the "total chess war" in Gothenburg. Argentina was the second-strongest chess nation after the Soviet Union, and in round 14 chance would have it that the three top players had black against the leading Russians Efim Geller, Boris Spassky and Paul Keres.

About half an hour into the round the Argentinean plan struck like lightening out of a clear sky. Almost simultaneously the three GMs played the fateful move 9...g5, and the Soviet "analysis engine" came to a grinding halt.

The tension in the playing hall was tremendous. Three demo boards showed identical positions, and while the Russians sat there in deepest thought Miguel Najdorf wandered around the hall, merrily asking people what they thought of his position. One of them was Svetozar Gligoric, who was writing chess columns in Gothenburg.

On the boards the sharpest tactician amongst the Russian players, Efim Geller, was the first to play. After 30 minutes he played a three-move combination, sacrificing a knight, offering a bishop and then playing a quiet bishop move: 10.fxg5 Nfd7 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Qh5+ Kf8 13.Bb5 Ne5 14.Bg3. Spassky and Keres took almost an hour to find the same moves, which marked the end of the Argentinean dream. All three games were lost by Najdorf, Panno and Pilnik in very similar fashion.

That is the story of the "Sicilian Vespers", the tale of a variation that had appeared like a comet and gone down in a blaze. Who would ever dare to play the line again? The answer: a fifteen-year-old, and in a decisive game, one of the most important in his career!>

See here:
Gligoric vs Fischer, 1958

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

Here is a story based on the "Sicilian Vespers" tale:

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nice game by Geller with a good king chase.
May-14-14  Rookiepawn: Damn we almost did it that time! (OK, I say "we" Argentineans but of course I wasn't there).

Argentina had a terrific team at that moment but those Soviet players were really tough basterds (I say it with respect and admiration). Anyway, this is the kind of defeat to be proud of: fight, passion, analysis and deep thought.

Vamos Argentina carajo!

May-14-14  Howard: However, haven't I read that 11.Qh5 would have been a stronger move than 11.Ne6 (which was played in all three games)?

What if it was...and what if Gilgoric had played it against Fischer in that crucial last-round game ?

May-18-18  Bassifondi: A. 13...axb5 14. O-O+ Kg8 15. Qf7#

B. 19...Kc5 20. Rd5+ exd5 21. Qxd5+ Kb4 22. a3+ Ka5 23. b4#

C. 23...bxc6 24. Qa5+ Kc4 25. b3#

Feb-06-21  LouE: Interesting to note that the other two, Pilnik and Najdorf, got their kings off the f-file after 13.Bb5!, and after that it was at least a game of chess.

Panno allowed 15.O-O+! and got toasted in a handful of moves.

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