Mynnnat Chess: “Efim vs. Efimovich – a creative lesson” – Geller vs. Gufeld, Moscow 1961

Mynnnat Chess: “Efim vs. Efimovich – a creative lesson” – Geller vs. Gufeld, Moscow 1961

March 27, 2020 0 By Sebastian Fry


Hello and welcome to Mynnnat.com – Creativity
through games, chapter 17: “Efim vs. Efimovich – a nice creative lesson”
Efim Petrovich Geller, born in 1925, was a Soviet grandmaster. He excelled at basketball, and was a doctor
in physical education before specialising in chess. Mainly because of WW2, he reached his peak
only very late in life at age 51. In 1961 he played in the USSR championship
in Moscow. One of the games was a Blitz game against
Eduard Efimovich Gufeld. Gufeld was born in 1936 and played his first
chess tournament when he was only 17 years old. It took him just one year to become the junior
champion of Ukraine. Gufeld was later called up for military service
and for two decades his official role was “a chess trainer for the soviet armed forces”! In the following Blitz game, Geller, playing
White, seems to have the advantage after giving up some pieces to improve his tactical position. As you can see, towards the end of the game,
he is very close to winning with a deadly checkmate, with Gufeld – playing Black – in
a seemingly hopeless position, his pieces far from the main threat. It’s Black’s turn to move – is there anything
he can do? Pause the video for a minute to look for a
possible way out. There does seems to be a way – one which
is not very easy to find under Blitz time pressure! First, Queen to B1 – check! White can defend with either rook or Knight. If he defends with his Rook, the threat of
Mate is gone, and Black can start using his superior pieces. So, White has to defend with his Knight to
E1. Now, a beautiful creative sacrifice – Black
moves his Rook to C4! Can you explain why? Pause the video to think for a minute. The Black Rook on C4 is forcing White to accept
the sacrifice and recapture C4, in order to sustain the pressure, otherwise he is down
on pieces and unable to checkmate the Black king. The White Knight is unprotected so White cannot
capture Black’s rook with his E4 Rook, or else the game will be over. And so, White must capture Black’s rook
with his D3 pawn, which was exactly what Black was waiting for – Queen takes White’s Rook
on E4, and the game is now completely in Black hands! Amazing creative thinking, seemingly contrary
to intuition, and under extreme time pressure! I hope you enjoyed this episode by Mynnnat.com. If you did, please give us a Like and go check
our Amazon store for our unique chess sets with a special booklet gift to enhance creativity
through Chess. The link is just below the video!