M.J.D. Powell. Some convergence properties of the conjugate gradient method, Mathematical Programming,  11,  42--49, 1976,


Abstract - It has been conjectured that the conjugate gradient method for minimizing functions of several variables has a superlinear rate of convergence, but Crowder and Wolfe show by example that the conjecture is false. Now the stronger result is given that, if the objective function is a convex quadratic and if the initial search direction is an arbitrary downhill direction, then either termination occurs or the rate of convergence is only linear, the second possibility being more usual. Relations between the starting point and the initial search direction that are necessary and sufficient for termination in the quadratic case are studied.