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Viktor Korchnoi vs Efim Geller
Curacao Candidates (1962), Willemstad CUW, rd 15, Jun-01
Gruenfeld Defense: General (D80)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-22-14  zydeco: Really impressive game by Geller -- he gets the initiative early as black and maintains it all the way into the endgame.

According to the CG database, 6.....Be6 is Geller's idea. 7.Ne4 seems like a really bad decision -- moving a piece for the second time in the opening, reducing pressure on d5, and blocking a path for both the e-pawn and the g2-bishop. 7.e3, 7.e4, and 7.Nf3 all seem more logical.

11.Nc3 seems to make more sense than 11.Nh4 -- white ends up with his pieces very disharmonized at about move 15.

17....Qb5 seems like a very strong, subtle move, sliding the queen onto the light squares to begin controlling d3 and stepping out of a pin after 18.e4 N moves 19.Be3. 17.....Nb3 looks tempting, but white can get all sorts of complications after 18.Bxb3 (if 18.e4 Nd4) Qxb3 19.e4 Qc2 20.exd5 Qxb1 21.Bh6

I like 19.Be3 better than 19.Bh6 -- d4 becomes a problem for white.

21.Bb3 seems like a bizarre decision -- why weaken d3? 21.a4 and 21.Be3 make more sense.

Geller is impressively centralized after 26.....NBC.

White loses a pawn no matter what after 30.....Rb8. The bishop can't move, so black plays 31.....a5 if the rook stays on b1. After 31.Ra1 Rxb4 32.Rxa7 Rb1 (or Rc1) black threatens both 33.....Rcc1 and 33.....Nxf3+

From his horrible-looking position on move 45, Korchnoi whips up a counterattack that almost succeeds with 46.f5.

48....Rd3+ is the key finesse, forcing the king to a square where the knight can gain a tempo giving check and get back to g7 to cover the black king. If 48.....Rxd1 49.Raa8 I don't think black has anything better than a perpetual check with 49.....Re1+. If instead 49.....f6 white's rooks can chase the black king to the queenside (maybe all the way to c3) and then, after exf6, white has very good winning chances.

Oct-29-17  Toribio3: Geller, the killer; is the master of complex positions!
Oct-29-17  ewan14: Not against Spassky in the sixties, he wasn't
Oct-29-17  RookFile: This reminds me of a Marshall vs. Capa game, with Korchnoi playing the Marshall role and Geller playing Capa. White has all kinds of tricks but you get the sense Black is above the fray and is inevitably going to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This game was part of a stretch which destroyed Korchnoi's chances of success in this event after leading with 5/7 through the first cycle.
Oct-30-17  whiteshark: Here's what Korchnoi wrote in his book 'Chess is my life':

"There, as we all now know, everything was arranged by Petrosian. He agreed with his friend Geller to play draws in all their games together. They also persuaded Keres to join their coalition. In a two-month long tournament, held in tropical conditions, it was important to shorten the distance by eight rounds: this gave them a great advantage over the remaining competitors. But, even so, it seems to me that Keres made a mistake. At that momcµt he was playing more strongly than anyone, and it was not to his advantage to take draws with his main rivals. A more crafty person, on learning about the pact between Geller and Petrosian, would have sought a separate alliance.

At first I didn't grasp what was happening in the tournament. I recall how, on seeing a ten-move draw between Geller and Petrosian in the second cycle, <I asked Geller whom he was intending to beat. <'You!'> was his direct reply. I merely shrugged my shoulders.> At that point I was playing better than Geller, was superior to him generally, and had no intention of losing to him.

Meanwhile, fatigue was stealing up on the more simple-minded participants in the tournament. Filip began playing more and more weakly with every round, while after the third cycle, owing to extreme tiredness, Tal fell ill with kidney trouble, and had to leave the tournament. After the first cycle, I was in the lead. Fatigue began to tell on me as early as the second cycle. In a position where I had a big advantage, I blundered away a piece to Fischer. A week's rest in unfamiliar tropical conditions on the Island of St. Maarten did nothing to ease the situation."

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