[Event "Candidates Tournament"] [Site "Zuerich"] [Date "1953.08.31"] [Round "2"] [White "Geller, Efim P"] [Black "Euwe, Max"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E28"] [Annotator "David Bronstein,Kidambi"] [PlyCount "52"] [EventDate "1953.??.??"] {[%evp 0,52,19,34,27,-20,-17,-22,30,21,23,23,24,24,9,17,21,24,28,28,32,15,25, 23,68,27,0,58,43,-77,-72,-87,-51,-127,-97,-133,-87,-95,-111,-92,-108,-108,-101, -101,-34,-16,0,1,0,-963,-1383,-1521,-1591,-29985,-29986] One of the tournament's best games, and the recipient of a brilliancy prize. White initiated a powerful attack on the king by sacrificing his c4-pawn. This attack gave Geller every hope of success, provided Black held to the traditional sort of queenside counterattack. Euwe, however, carried out two remarkable ideas: 1) utilizing his queenside lines of communication for an attack on the king's wing, and 2) decoying the enemy's forces deep into his own rear area, with the aim of cutting them off from the defense of their king. It's a most diverting spectacle to watch White's pieces in their frontal assault on the king, burrowing further and further, while Black is transferring his forces by roundabout routes.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 b6 $5 7. Bd3 (7. Ne2 $5 Bb7 (7... Nc6 8. Ng3 Ba6 { transposes to the main line.}) 8. Ng3 O-O 9. Bd3 Bxg2 {and if Black doesnt take on g2, white does not have to lose a move with f3. - Kidambi} 10. Rg1 Bb7 11. e4 {gives White a strong attack. -Kidambi}) 7... Bb7 8. f3 {A small but significant opening subtlety: Black substituted .. b6 and .. Bb7 for the more usual Nc6 and .. 0-0; and White, who failed to notice in time to react correctly with 7 Ne2, must now spend an extra tempo preparing e3-e4. Such details should never be underestimated, but neither should they be overvalued. Occasionally it is said that White's advantage consists of his right to the first move: should he lose a tempo, then, the advantage must necessarily pass to Black. Practically speaking, however, the advantage of playing White boils down to greater freedom in selecting a plan to suit one's tastes; once the game has settled into its ordained track, the loss of a single tempo is not always so serious.} Nc6 9. Ne2 O-O 10. O-O Na5 11. e4 Ne8 {Black retreats his knight to forestall the pin with 12 Bg5, and to be able to answer f3-f4 with .. f7-f5, blockading the king's wing. White therefore secures f5 before advancing his f-pawn. It would be senseless to defend the pawn at c4 now: that pawn was doomed by White's fifth move.} 12. Ng3 cxd4 13. cxd4 Rc8 14. f4 Nxc4 15. f5 f6 ({Again with the benefit of hindsight} 15... b5 $5 {looks like an option} 16. f6 {and this is perhaps not as dangerous as it seems} Nxf6 17. Bg5 (17. e5 Nd5) 17... Qb6 {- Kidambi}) 16. Rf4 {Diagram [#] White's attack has become rather threatening. lack's previous move was necessary to forestall White's intention to push his pawn to f6, and then, after 16.. N:f6, to pin the knight after all, piling up on the king with the combined firepower of queen, rooks and three minor pieces. Even now, White needs only two moves to transfer his rook and queen to the h-file, and then it might appear that nothing could save the black king. Euwe, however, is not easily flustered. Remember that in his lifetime he played more than seventy games with Alekhine, the most feared attacking player of our time.} (16. a4 $5 {With the benefit of hindsight, would a Sultan Khan or Petrosian have played this move?}) 16... b5 $1 {The beginning of a remarkable plan. Clearly, any defensive maneuvers on the kingside are foredoomed, since they involve pieces with an inconsequential radius of activity (.. Rf7, .. Qe7, etc.). But Black does have another defensive resource, and that is counterattack! The bishop at b7, the rook at c8. and the knight at c4 are all weli-based; all that remains is to bring up the queen. The basis for this counterattack is Black's preponderance on the central squares. With 16..b5, Black reinforces the knight on c4 and opens a path for the queen to b6. Still, one cannot help feeling that his operations are too little and too late ...} 17. Rh4 (17. Qh5 Qb6 18. Ne2 Ne5) 17... Qb6 { Pinning White's queen to the defense of the d-pawn, Black prevents the intended 18 Qh5. After 17 Qh5 Qb6 18 Ne2 Ne5, we get the echo-variation, with the white rook unable to get to h4.} 18. e5 Nxe5 19. fxe6 Nxd3 20. Qxd3 (20. exd7 Qc6 $1) 20... Qxe6 {All of White's moves required detailed and precise analysis. Here, for example, the natural 20 ed would fail to 20.. Qc6.} (20... dxe6 {is perhaps improving the structure, but thats not the priority here. The Queen is a key participant in the whirlwind counter attack that Black unleashes and she needs more activity!- Kidambi}) 21. Qxh7+ {Thus, White has broken through after all, at an insignificant cost. Once again, Black's position appears critical.} Kf7 22. Bh6 Rh8 {If lack's 16th move was the beginning of his strategic plan of counterattack, then this rook sacrifice is its fundamental tactical stroke, with the aim of drawing the white queen still further a field and decoying it away from the c2 square, meanwhile attacking the king.-Bronstein The imagination and concept is truly brilliant. As Bronstein pointed out earlier Euwe's unique experience of playing such a lot of games with Alekhine. Can it not do wonders to one's whole board perception!? There were ofcourse various other alternatives for Black in this rich position.-Kidambi [#]} (22... Qd5 $5 23. Re4 Rc6 {to meet Rae1 with Re6, gives Black a nice position.-Kidambi}) (22... Rc4 {was the move suggested by Bronstein. Perhaps with the continuation like} 23. Rf1 Qd5 24. Re4 Rxd4 25. Re2 Rh4 26. Nf5 {But the position remains extremely complicated.-Kidambi}) (22... b4 $5 {is a try with a devious trap in mind} 23. Rf1 $1 {With threats of Nf5 and Bxg7 etc in the air.} ({Not} 23. axb4 $2 Rh8 $1 24. Qxh8 Rc2 25. d5 Bxd5 26. Rd1 Rxg2+ 27. Kf1 Qa6+ $1 $19) 23... b3 (23... bxa3 24. Nf5) 24. Nf5) ( 22... Rc3 $5 {is another idea which threatens Qd5 and Black intends to undermine White's control of e4 with a possible Rxg3 in mind.} 23. Rf1 Qd5 24. Ne4 Ke7 $1 {and in a chaotic position, Black might take his King to safety by running away from the epicentre of actions. This might tilt the balance in Black's favour.-Kidambi [#]} (24... Rc2 25. Bxg7 $1)) 23. Qxh8 Rc2 {Diagram [#] Threatening mate in a few moves: 24.. R:g2+, 25.. Qc4+, etc. Detailed analysis, requiring more than just one week's time, showed that White could have saved him-self from mate by finding a few "only" and very difficult moves. First, he has to play 24 d5; if then 24.. Qb6+ 25 Kh1 Qf2 26 Rg1 B:d5, White saves himself with 27 Re4!; and on the immediate 24.. B:d5, not 25 Rd4 - only 25 Rd1! works: after 25.. R:g2+ 26 Kf1 gh, neither 27 R:h6 nor 27 R:d5: once again, the only move is 27 Q:h6. Black would still have bishop and two pawns for his rook then, which would leave him good winning chances, considering the open position of White's king. It goes without saying that Geller had no practical chance to find all of these moves over the board. The analysts also showed that the ..Rf8-h8 idea was actually a little premature, and that .. Rc4 first was better. However, those who love chess will find it difficult to agree with this. Moves like 22.. Rh8 are not forgotten.} 24. Rc1 $2 (24. d5 Bxd5 (24... Qb6+ 25. Kh1 Qf2 26. Rg1 Bxd5 27. Re4 $1) 25. Rd1 $1 ({Not} 25. Rd4 ) 25... Rxg2+ 26. Kf1 gxh6 27. Qxh6 $1 ({Neither} 27. Rxd5) ({Nor} 27. Rxh6)) 24... Rxg2+ 25. Kf1 Qb3 26. Ke1 Qf3 {Concluding Thoughts: Bronstein's comments to this impressive game were no less of a masterpiece than the game itself. The two most important moments in the game were 16...P-QN4 and 22... R-KR1, both required great imagination and flight of courage, which were both abundantly available to the Chess Artist Max Euwe. To a certain extent I am also reminded of the 24th Round game between Keres and the eventual winner Smyslov from the same tournament. White would use all his might to attack the h7 pawn in order to deliver a mate, but finally h7 only amounted to one solitary pawn and better central control of the opponent diffused the attack surprisingly easily. The position after White's 22nd move is very rich and would definitely enthrall the imagination of many a reader. The variations indicated are only a spark to delve into the position further. Signing off with respect to Bronstein, Geller and Euwe! Au Revoir!} 0-1