Hello and welcome to Mynnnat.com – Creativity through games, chapter 17: Efim vs. Efimovich – a nice creative lesson 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 the game with a deadly checkmate, with Gufeld – playing Black – in a seemingly hopeless position, with his pieces so 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 cannot 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 is 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!