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Lev Polugaevsky vs Henrique Mecking
Polugaevsky - Mecking Candidates Quarterfinal (1977), Lucerne SUI, rd 1, Feb-26
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chnebelgrind: The only spectacualar game in an otherwise boring match
Apr-22-07  outplayer: 37.Nf5+! leads to a win by White according to Bagirov analysis.
Oct-23-17  offramp: <outplayer: 37.Nf5+! leads to a win by White according to Bagirov analysis.>

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She is right.
37. Nf5+! Ke8 and now 38. Qf6!

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This threatens 39. Ng7+ Kd7 40. Be6+, and there is very little Black can do to prevent it.

Oct-23-17  Howard: Kavalek pointed out a forced win in CL&R, but I don't recall exactly where.
Oct-23-17  offramp: I have a feeling it might be move 37.
Nov-08-19  Straclonoor: Some concrete analysis.

Analysis by Stockfish 051119 64 POPCNT:

+- (10.83): 37.Nf5+ Ke8 38.Qf6 Be5 39.Qxe5+ Kd7 40.h4 Bd3 41.Nd6 Na6 42.Qg3 Bh7 43.Nxf7 Nxc5 44.dxc5 Qxc5+ 45.Kh1 Qb4 46.Ne5+ Kc7 47.Qg7+ Kb6 48.Nd7+ Kb5 49.Qe5+ Ka6 50.h5 Qg4 51.Be6 Qh4+ 52.Kg1 Qb4 53.g4 Ka7 54.Qc7+ Qb7 55.Qa5+ Qa6 56.Qc5+ Kb7 57.Qd4 Qa7 58.Nc5+ Ka8 59.Kg2 Be4+ 60.Kh3 Qa3+ 61.Kh4 Qa5 62.Nxe4 Qc7 63.Kh3 Qe7 64.Qe5 Qd8 65.Nd6

Premium Chessgames Member
  marcusantoinerome: <Howard> In the May 1977 issue of CL&R, Kavalek says

"In time pressure Polugaevsky lets his deserved win get away. After 37. Nf5+ Ke8 38. Qf6 Black would be helpless against the threat 39. Ng7+ Kd7 40. Be6+ and would not have a single good move: 38. ... Bf4 39. g3 wins; 38. ... Ba5 39. Bxf7+ Kd7 40. Be6+ and 41. Nd6+ wins; 38. ... Kd7 39. Be6+ Ke8 40. Ng7+; 38. ... Bd8 39. Qe5+ Kd7 40. Qxb8 wins."

Regarding the opening, Kavalek (who played both Polugaevsky and Mecking in the Manila Interzonal) had this to say after 2. ... c6,

"Vasiukov, who annotated this game in the Soviet press, was slightly surprised by Mecking's choice; he pointed out that the Brazilian grandmaster has a better mastery of complicated dynamic positions. However, Mecking, especially if he wants to draw, at times barricades himself behind some passive but very solid defense like the Caro-Kann or the Slav and tries to equalize first and look for counterplay later. Should his opponent overestimate his chances, Mecking would pounce on him like a tiger - that is how he killed me in Manila 1975."

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