The Greatest Defensive Chess Move Of All Time - Best Of The 50s - Geller vs. Euwe

The Greatest Defensive Chess Move Of All Time - Best Of The 50s - Geller vs. Euwe

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
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The interzonal tournament, Zurich 1953, may be the most famous chess tournament of all time (PogChamps excluded...). It's fame is grounded in the thrilling and influential chess games played there, but even more so in the writing about the tournament. David Bronstein's "Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953," is a renowned classic, and Miguel Najdorf and Max Euwe also wrote well-regarded books.

Vasily Smyslov won the tournament, but the most famous game from the event was Efim Geller vs. Max Euwe. Euwe had lost the world championship title 16 years prior, but he still showed he was capable of amazing chess, producing his finest game and arguably the finest defensive brilliancy ever in this tournament.

Top 10 Games of the 1950s

The game begins with a traditional Nimzo-Indian Defense, and Geller commits to the sharpest option, a Rubinstein-turned Saemisch, in which his incredibly weak queenside pawns are left to their own devices while Geller builds a dangerous kingside attack. Each tempo is essential in this game, and Euwe wastes no time, arriving with his queenside counterplay just in time. His amazing rook sacrifice stuns Geller who then misses his last chance and finds it is his king that is to be mated.

Annotations from myself and, much more importantly, Bronstein, are below.

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