He was a fine basketball player, and earned his doctorate in physical education before specialising in chess. His development as a top player was delayed by the inception of World War II. Also in , Geller won the Ukrainian Championship at Kiev, the first of his four titles in that event; he repeated from to , with all three events at Kiev. Geller is reckoned to have been among the best ten players in the world for around twenty years. He was awarded the International Master title in , and the International Grandmaster title the following year. He won his second title in at Minsk URS-ch47 at the age of 54, making him the oldest Soviet champion.
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Their skill, the high quality of their play, their persistence, tactical abilities and will to win are all well known. Also well known are their modesty and openness. Unfortunately this cannot be said of grandmaster Geller. Having rendered considerable service to Soviet sport, he began to exaggerate this service and become conceited. This gave rise to a disdainful attitude toward his comrades and an unwillingness to consider their opinions.
Braggarts and boasters are not popular with us. As was to be expected, at the plenary session of the Ukrainian Chess Federation the comrades subjected E.
Geller to justifiable criticism. It is to be hoped that the grandmaster will draw the correct conclusions. Richards page In round one he faced Cuellar who finished 2nd bottom in the that event, but in their individual game he checkmated Geller! At that moment in time Geller must have felt he had one foot in a Gulag. He recovered well and finished 2nd equal with Petrosian.
It was dismatled after the 20th party congress Rumors about that incident were probably already being spread. Leko and Giri are the new enemies that are denying us our holy right of entertainment. Chessplayers seem to be viewed as a particular brand of gladiators in this new Roman Empire. Like gladiators we expect them to fight until someone dies.
Efim Geller Quotes