SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
One of the most entertaining and fascinating aspects of chess is the surprise
move. It often has real SHOCK value to boot! In a game in 1961
between the great Paul Keres and the Czech-born V.Hort, one of Keres’ moves was so surprising for his opponent that Hort fell off of his chair!
Witness the game below. I don’t know if Tolush fell off of his chair when Geller played his 19th move, but I am certain that Tolush aged several years by the time this game was over!
The following position was arrived at after Black’s 15th move (15…Qxc5) in the 20th USSRch 1952 held in Moscow.
Something has gone terribly wrong in the opening and Geller finds himself busted. He decided to take the pawn on c5 because there was nothing else to do. Now White has a number of Knight moves that should give him a clear advantage. Let us see what happened…
Probably the strongest choice. If now the Queen retreats (probably f8) then after 17.Nxg7 White will soon follow up with either Bd4 (a deadly pin!) or Nb5 (greedy, but strong) or both! Geller decides to go down fighting…
Despite the ”Fuck-you!” appearance of this move, this is not the shock move of the day. (That comes soon enough!).
Geller has 2 pieces and a pawn for the Queen, which –objectively–is about the best the Black could hope for.. This lends a bit of excitement to the game, BUT, Black is still busted!
The next move (by both sides) is logical enough…
It was not worth trying to defend the a7-pawn.
Here Tolush should just chop off the a-pawn. Black is not threatening anything special, and should he advance the d-pawn with 19…d4 then simply 20. Nb5! d3 21.Bf1 should win in the long run without much trouble…Tolush, HOWEVER, decides to blockade the passed pawn (logical enough, no?)
19. Nd4 ?!
We must forgive Tolush for overlooking Geller’s next INCREDIBLE move!
Amazing!! Even more so, as this move effectively equalizes the game! White suddenly finds that his pieces are all on the wrong squares….in the complications that ensued, both sides strove for victory. Geller succeeded.