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Efim Geller vs Leonid Stein
4th Soviet Team Cup (1964), Moscow URS, Oct-??
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Keres Defense (C96)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-06-03  gilk: very nice endgame.
Apr-02-04  ughaibu: Is this the perfect game of chess? Had black not resigned we would soon have had a position of minimum material equality, K+P on each side, but maximum positional disparity, a-pawn against h-pawn. In the ensuing race white would win by one move or, to put it another way, by virtue of the fact that white gets the first move
Jun-13-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: It's a well played game by White in a closed Ruy Lopez. However, to suggest this is the "perfect game" is a bit of a stretch. Black had numerous opportunities to vary his play, which might have made for a different result. For example, Black might have drawn or even gained winning chances by playing the Marshall attack with 8...O-O 8. c3 d5!?
Jun-13-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's 32. Nd7! is a neat tactic, using a double attack which threatens to win a piece or to wreck Black's pawn structure as in the game
Jun-14-05  aw1988: I think ughaibu meant the purity of it.
Nov-17-05  Albertan: The critical mistake seems to have been made by Stein on move 67 in this game. The move 67...Kd6 would have drawn: 67...Kd6 68.g5 Ke7 69.g6 hxg6 70.hxg6 Kf8 71.Kg4 Kg8 72.Kh4 Kf8 73.Kg4 Kg8 74.Kh4 Kf8 75.Kg4 Kg8 = =
Dec-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Albertan>
At first I thought White was winning in your line with 67...Kd6 68.g5 Ke7 69.g6 hxg6 70.hxg6 Kf8 <71. Ke4!> so that 71...Kg7 72. Kc5 Kxg6 73. Kxb5, so White's king catches Black's pawn after 73...f5 74. a4 f4 75. Kc4, etc.

But the Nalimov server found that Black still draws in the above line with the surprising 73...Kf7! so if White pushes the a-pawn, Black's king catches it or if White blocks Black's king, Black pushes the f-pawn. Very instructive!

Dec-04-05  ughaibu: Beatgiant: In your line the white king moves e4-c5.
Dec-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>
<Beatgiant: In your line the white king moves e4-c5.>

Right, I missed a beat there: it is actually 67...Kd6 68.g5 Ke7 69.g6 hxg6 70.hxg6 Kf8 71. Ke4 <Kg8> <72. Kd4> Kg7, etc. Black cannot play 71...Kg7? 72. Kf5 because of the zugzwang. Thanks for this correction.

Feb-19-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: Another drawing line was pointed out in Magyar Sakkelet 1965 Issue 1. Black plays 67...Kf7! 68.Kf5 Ke7 69.g5 fxg 70.Kxg5 Kf7 71.Kf5 Kg7. Or if 68.g5 then Kg7. This seems simpler than ...Kd6.
Mar-02-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Not a perfect game but until move 67 the standard of play was certainly very good and the errors subtle yet instructive.


click for larger view

Stein captured the pawn 45..fxg4. This is a mistake because it surrendered control of e4. Instead, 45..Nd3+ is better because Geller could not then go 46 Ke3? Nb4. Instead after 46 Kg5 Black has various ways to draw the simplest perhaps being 46..Kd5.

In the game continuation, Stein’s Knight ended up dim on the rim and the following position was reached:


click for larger view

Geller played 49 Bc3 freeing the Knight. Stein would have countered 49 Bb6? with 49..b4! 50 a4 b3 51 Kd3 Nb4+ embarrassing the Bishop. There was, however, a better but far from obvious move: 49 Ba7! when 49..b4? loses to 50 a4 b3 51 Kd3 since there is no fork.

Unluckily for Stein, at the end he chose 67..Ke7? losing. In addition to the improvements already mentioned, 67..Kd7 also draws.

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