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Lev Polugaevsky vs Eugenio Torre
"Lev Levels" (game of the day Jan-09-2010)
Moscow (1981), Moscow URS, rd 6, Apr-12
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System (D44)  ·  1-0



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Given 28 times; par: 60 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  randomsac: This is a really exciting game with white's pawns posing a constant threat. I wish I could play like this.
Jan-09-10  zanshin: <SufferingBruin: <MarkThornton> What is TN?>

Theoretical novelty.

Jan-09-10  WhiteRook48: awesome novelty
Jan-09-10  zanshin: My favorite chess player lost this game, but I will try to be objective ;-)

Analyzing with Rybka 3 from the end of the game moving backwards, I find that Torre has a slight advantage all the way to move 35 where he slips with <35...Kf4?>. I might have to go back to see why ...d3 was so much stronger (...Kf4 jumps White to +4.95).

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[-0.14] d=22 35...d3 36.g6 fxg6 37.hxg6 Kf6 38.Bf7 (0:03.27) 12363kN

Jan-09-10  zanshin: At relatively low ply, Rybka does not see <17.h4> ([+0.20] d=17 17.exf8Q Rxf8 18.Rd6 Nc8 (0:11.41) 33352kN) and I doubt she ever will. This looks like a fortress type position that engines cannot evaluate properly.

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Jan-09-10  zanshin: I think I understand. <Albertan> already provided the analysis.

Black to play move 35:

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<35...d3> keeps the White King close to home. More importantly, Torre needed to keep his King on e5 because Kf6 controls the White KS pawns (after g6).

So whereas <17.h4> is useful chess theory, Torre lost because he misplayed the ending. I wonder if h4 would be held in such regard if Torre had drawn or even won.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Kasparov has analysed this game in great depth, and calls <17.h4> "!! Very Fine".

He gives both <32.Bxd3!> and <34.h6!>, however, as improvements on Polugayevsky's actual moves.

After Polugayevsky played <34.Bb3+?!>, Kasparov analyses a "chance opportunity" for Torre with <35..d3!!> which he believes would lead to a draw.

Kasparov - "My Great Predecessors (Part 3)" pages 104-8.

Jan-09-10  zanshin: <Chessical: After Polugayevsky played <34.Bb3+?!>, Kasparov analyses a "chance opportunity" for Torre with <35..d3!!> which he believes would lead to a draw.>

<Chessical> Did he say why?

Jan-09-10  TheChessGuy: <zanshin> Yes, here is his analysis. 36.g6! (only move) 36...fxg6 37.hxg6 Kf6 then 38.Bf7 Rc8 39.Kd2 Rc2+ 40.Kxd3 Rxc2, should be drawn, or 38.Kd2 Rd8 39.Bf7 Rd4 g5+ Kg7 and so on. On 38.Kd2 Kxg6, 39.Kxd3 Kg5.
Jan-09-10  rjsolcruz: this unbalanced game is what makes chess chess! kasparov is really a genius in including this in his predecessors.
Jan-09-10  visayanbraindoctor: A famous game. I wish it were Eugene Torre who was on the winning side. (",)

Not to take anything away from Polu, this was a brilliantly original game from him.

Jan-09-10  zanshin: <TheChessGuy> Thanks for those lines. I went over all of them with Rybka to confirm.

I also need to revise one of my posts slightly. I believe <17.h4> is a solid positional move that created long term advantages for White, which were almost squandered with <34.Bb3?>. That might have ruined this game as an example of chess theory.

Jan-09-10  zanshin: <Chessical: He gives both <32.Bxd3!> and <34.h6!>, however, as improvements on Polugayevsky's actual moves.>

Fwiw, Rybka agrees with Kasparov. I guess this confirms they are both good at chess ;-)

[+2.37] d=23 32.Bxd3 Kxd5 33.h6 Kd6 34.Kd2 Ke7 35.a4 bxa3 36.bxa3 Rb8 37.h7 f5 (0:06.22) 17400kN

[+1.68] d=24 34.h6 Kd6 (0:15.26) 47065kN

Jan-09-10  RandomVisitor: After 19...bxc3 20.Rxb6:

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Rybka 3:

<[+0.94] d=23 20...cxb2> 21.Bxc4 Bc6 22.Rxb2 Bd7 23.Rb7 Bc6 24.Bxa6 Ba4 25.Rb6 Kd7 26.Bb7 Bxg5 27.fxg5 Rab8

After 14.dxe6:

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Rybka 3: <does not see 17.h4>

<[+0.00] d=23 14....Qxd1+> 15.Rxd1 Bxh1 16.e7 a6 17.exf8Q+ Kxf8 18.Rd6 Re8+ 19.Be3 Nc8 20.Rxa6 b4 21.Na4 Rxh2 22.Nxc5 c3 23.bxc3 bxc3 24.Ra3 c2 25.Kd2 Nd6 26.Kxc2 Kg8 27.g4 Bf3 28.Kc3 Bxg4 29.Ra4 Be6

Jan-09-10  RandomVisitor: The position after move 13.d5 was reached as recently as 2009, in the British championship, where 13...Qb6 was played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White handeled the pawn as an expert-maybe he could open a pawn shop-lol
Jan-17-10  zanshin: I knew I had seen this game before. In Modern Chess Analysis by Robin Smith (2004) Gambit Publications, London (p.85), the position after move 21 is described as:

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A rather unusual prison position has arisen. Both the black king and king's rook are in prison. The only way out is if either the king can escape via d7 ... or if black sacrifices a piece for one or more of White's pawns. Yet most programs see an advantage for black. ... Only after deeper searches do programs see it is White who has the advantage.

Sep-24-10  sevenseaman: Polu has a persistence about him, and a quiet efficiency. I like his laid back style; it has to transmit some jitters to his opponent.
Feb-16-11  Dr. Siggy: I find what Polugaevsky achieved in this game to be one of the most brilliant demonstrations ever of what Tarrasch taught in his great classic "The Game of Chess", english transl., London 1935, page 227: - "The systematic utilisation of Space, or, to put it another way, the systematic disposition of the pieces, is the most important factor in a game of chess and, within certain limits, even more important than Force, that is to say than a superiority in material. Often a win is obtained because one player forces a decisively better position by a sacrifice of material - a triumph of mind over matter."
Premium Chessgames Member
  rogl: On move 27 Polugayevsky missed a chance for a quicker win:

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Here he could have played 27.g6! ♗xg6 28.♘d5+ ♖xd5(or 28...♔d7 29.♗b5+ ♔c8 30.♗c6 ♖xd5 31. ♗xd5)29. ♗xd5 with a superior position.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <kuna65: What can white do if black 15 ... fxe6 ?>

Well, if he has nothing else, he can play simply 16.Rg1. But also 16.Nxb5 with idea 16...Bxh1 17.Nc7+ Kf7 18.Nxa8 Bxa8 19.h4 can be good.

Aug-02-12  uscfratingmybyear: Saw this years back and it is still breath taking.
Jan-07-13  SirChrislov: When Polu said "An exceptional moment is worth more than a year serenly lived, or any tournament won.", there's a great chance he had in mind this game, and in particular <17.h4!!>
Jan-07-13  FISCHERboy: 17. h4 also looked like a blunder to my limited chess mind. But after analyzing it thoroughly, it made sense. Lev implemented two important strategies with one move: protect his marching kingside pawns and at the same time make Torre's rook impotent.
Feb-28-14  LIFE Master AJ:
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