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Lev Polugaevsky vs Anatoly Karpov
Karpov - Polugaevsky Candidates Quarterfinal (1974), Moscow URS, rd 5, Jan-25
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Gligoric System Exchange at c4 (E54)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here Karpov was on the ropes. 31.Qb5 may have won, moving the extra square forward prevents the queen check on g5 that occured in the game.

Also, 40.f4 seems to keep the game going. It threatens an exchange of queens with Qe5 that is hard to prevent. White would then have a won endgame.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Tal, who happened to arrive after Karpov's 28th move, assumed Karpov was in control by his demeanor on the stage, and by Polugaevsky's agonized expressions.

<The first thing that struck me (I had not yet seen the position) was this: with measured steps Karpov was calming walking from one end of the stage to the other. His opponent was sitting with his head in his hands, and simply physically it was felt that he was in trouble. "Everything would appear to be clear," I thought to myself, "things are difficult for Polugaevsky." But the demonstration board showed just the opposite! White was a clear exchange to the good-about such positions it is customary to say the rest is a matter of technique. Who knows, perhaps Karpov's confidence, his habit of retaining his composure in the most desperate situations, was transmitted to his opponent and made Polugaevsky excessively nervous.>

May-28-15  Howard: Just read on the Karpov page that according to Kasparov's MGP, Karpov did not have a "lost" position in this game.

Seems hard to believe! After 30 moves, just what compensation did he have for the exchange ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <Howard> If you could be so kind, at what move did Karpov first go about walking around calmly. <Tamar> indicates the 28th move.

Karpov did not make a losing move later? If not, that is very cool! Even when Karpov felt he was lost, he played great chess. So cool-headed.

May-28-15  Retireborn: Karpov was certainly lost at move 28; 31.Qb5 wins by force, as <offramp> points out.
May-29-15  Howard: Unless I'm going blind in my old age, Offramp does NOT say that White "wins by force."

Looked at MGP last night, and Kasparov echos the comments that Karpov just "calmly" walked about the stage when it was Polugaevsky's move, even though Karpov was definitely lost at one point.

Kasparov, by the way, does not seem to dispute the fact the Karpov's position was definitely lost at one point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Offramp,

"Also, 40.f4 seems to keep the game going."

click for larger view

Not sure, Karpov can play as he did in the game 40....Nd6 and with the f3 pawn moved the square e4 hangs with a check.

The b2 Knight goes with a check if White takes the Bishop and it appears the King has to go to the first rank else it gets into trouble.

Think 40. Nd3 was an effort to get the Knight into the game and off b2.

Also move 40 is a clue. By all accounts Polly was in time trouble, the T.C. was 40 in 2½ hours.

Agree with 31.Qb5 here

click for larger view

is very good.

It stops Black from ungumming himself with that Qg5+ but seeing 31....Qd8 coming can easily be missed. (proof? This game)

It looks like a blunder. 32.Rxd6 gets the Queens off as 32..Nxd6 33.Rd1 pins and wins. (no it doesn't Black has a Queen check.)


You can get a sense of body language during a game. You don't look for it but something attracts you and you only notice it if it's odd.

Game 33 in Fischer's 60, note after move 17.

Fischer was about to walk into trap and nearly did but:

"....Trifunovic seemed too quiet all of a sudden, and I suspected he had tuned in on my brain waves."

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