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Lev Polugaevsky vs Rashid Nezhmetdinov
"Nezhmet Kismet" (game of the day Jan-07-2012)
18th RSFSR-ch (1958), Sochi URS, Jun-??
Old Indian Defense: Ukrainian Variation (A54)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 19 OF 19 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-19-15  20MovesAhead: Sssshhhh Guys, there's a genius at work here
Jul-19-15  patzer2: <morfishine> Thanks!
Jul-20-15  mikrohaus: <Pawnsac: "All but the strongest GM's must have found him a real pain in the kiester to face OTB.">

Polugaevsky was one of the strongest GMs, although not at his peak in 1958.

If you want to see Nezhmetidinov's Immortal Game (against Tal with Black), it's in the database here. Look under 1961 Soviet Championship, when, I believe, Tal might still have been WC.

The truth is he kept all the best on their toes. Lesser GMs got slaughtered or had to hope he was having a bad day.

He reminds me of Nakamura today. Nobody really wants to play people like that, unless you are Em. Lasker's ghost or Karpov at his best.

Jul-20-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even in this wild middle-game position. I'm fairly certain I've seen the position, probably in Chess Life, but not nearly recently enough that I can recall a solution from memory. In any case, the themes are clear - black's queen is trapped, so black is playing for mate. One must assume black does not have gxf3e.p.+ because that would be too easy and white most likely played Rh1 on the last move.

Black would love to play 24... Bxf4+(?) 25.Nxf4?? Nxc2+ winning the WQ, but white kills that idea with 25.gxf4, when black's queen is still trapped and black has given away the critical bishop. However, there is another way to open up lines for the dangerous bishop:

24... Rxf4!! and now

A) 25.gxf4 Bxf4+! 26.Nxf4 (Kd4 Qf2+ 27.Kc3 Qc5#) Nxc2+ 27.Qxc2 Qxc2 wins.

B) 25.Nxf4 Nxc2+ wins

C) 25.Rxh2 (best) Rf3+ 26.Kd4 (forced) Nxc2+! (c5+ 27.dxc6e.p bxc6 allows Bd3) 27.Qxc2 Be3+! 28.Kc3 Bc1+! 29.Qd3 (Kd4 Bxb2+ 30.Qxd2 Rd3#) Bxb2+ 30.Kxb2 Nxd3+ 31.K-moves Nc5 and white's e-pawn must fall, with a 2-pawn advantage for black.

Maybe there's a mate, but I can't see it from the problem position. Time for review....

Jul-20-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: I considered 26... Bg7 (as well as c5+), but didn't work it through.

"How absurdly simple!" as Watson said to Holmes.

Jul-24-15  Moszkowski012273: 12...Ng4 seems to be a better way to create advantage.
Sep-17-15  DarthStapler: I have a question about the annotation, should black's 29th move be written as Nexd3+, or just Nxd3+, because it's the only Nxd3 move that would give check?
Oct-14-15  ttran9235: <DarthStapler> it is written like you said
Jan-04-16  xzws: What if 27.Rh7 was played?
Jan-04-16  morfishine: <xzws: What if 27.Rh7 was played?> Forget that, Nezhmetdinov was a demon...I would've played <27.Nf4> and hoped for the best


May-29-16  The Kings Domain: Nezhmetdinov is one of the finest attacking players of the game. His patient, confident counter against Polugayevsky's exercise in positional masochism is impressive.
Aug-21-16  andrea volponi: 20 Axe5!=
Feb-26-17  bkpov: 27. a4??, although much damage had already taken place the fighting way was Rh7 followed by Qh1+ and capturing the rook. Game was lost for white even then but not this insulting
Oct-12-17  Catur Proklamasi: Good Rashid !
May-20-18  ChessHigherCat: Really beautiful mating net.
Dec-14-18  Open Defence: Im not sure if 20.Bxe5 was discussed.

click for larger view

and now after 20...Nxe5 21. Kf2 Qh2+ 22. Ke3

click for larger view

Perhaps they should settle for a perpetual with 22... Qh3 23. Kf2 Qh2+

Play can continue 23.Kd2 Bxd5 24. exd5 Nxd3

click for larger view

when the attack has petered out but Black is probably better after 25.Kxd3 but there is no immediate forcing combination that I can see

e.g. 25...Qg2 26. Rh1 Qf3+ 27.Kd2 Rae8 28.Rxh6 Qe3+ 29. Kc2 Qxe2+ 30.Qd2 Qf3 31.Re1 Qxg3 32.Rhe6

click for larger view

I am not sure if the extra pawn is really enough though White may not like to be defending against the h and g pawns

25. Rh1 is interesting but perhaps not the best for White and I will post about this later

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Giblet was THE MAN! I affectionately call him Giblet.
May-24-19  Boomie: Polugaevsky was a little depressed after this game but perhaps better than anyone else, he understood its brilliance. He said "I must have beaten him a dozen times but I would trade them all for this one game."
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

first middle last (name and letters) R T V

cool nickname..

RTV.. anyone who played him was in for a rough ride.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Boomie: Polugaevsky was a little depressed after this game but perhaps better than anyone else, he understood its brilliance. He said "I must have beaten him a dozen times but I would trade them all for this one game.">

This wasn't even his best game!

IMO, this one is:

Nezhmetdinov vs O Chernikov, 1962

Jul-15-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

This is a position from the opening. White had just played the dubious 10.Nge2?! (correct was 10.O-O-O!⩲) and Black replied with 10...Qh4!? (Stockfish 14 believes that 10...Nce5!⩱ was more accurate).

From the diagram, White played 11.Ng3?, a move that did not deserve any comment in the Russian book of Nezhmedinov's best games by Damsky, but the engine SF14 thinks it is a clear mistake (evaluation: -3.15, i.e., Black is losing after 11.Ng3?). According to the engine (SF14) White ought to have played 11.g3! with equality. After 11.Ng3? Black played 11...Nge5?! a move that was given an exclamation mark by Damsky in the above mentioned book on Nezhmetdinov's best games. According to the engine SF14, the best move for Black was 11...f5!, a move that was not even mentioned in the referred book, but which Black played on his next turn with less effect.

Jul-15-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

A likely continuation after the hypothetical move 11...f5! (which Black missed) would have been something like this (SF14 vs. SF14, depth 36):

From the diagram: 11...f5! 12.exf5 Nb4 13.Be4 Bxf5 14.Nxf5 gxf5 15.Bd5+ Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Bh6! 17.Qd4 Rae8+ 18.Kf1 Re5 19.g3 Qh3+ 20.Kg1 f4, and White is busted (evaluation by SF14: -6.13) (See diagram below):

click for larger view

Jul-15-21  Gaito: After the move 12.O-O (better 12.Be2! according to the engine) Black replied with 12...f5 but that advance had lost punch now, on account of 13.exf5! with equality; but Black was lucky that White played instead 13.f3? which gave Black again a winning attack after 13...Bh6! (− +). In the Russian book on Nezhmetdinov's games, the author (Damsky) gives an exclamation mark to 13.f3? This is only a typical case of modern computer engines making analysis of old chess books look ridiculous.
Jul-15-21  Gaito: The critical moment of the game was probably in the position of the diagram:

click for larger view

20.Bc2?? (− +)
It is true that Lev Polugaevsky was not yet the mature grandmaster (he was 23 years old when this game was played). Of course, at the age of 23 Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov or Magnus Carlsen were already the best players walking the planet, but Polu reached his peak after he was 30 years old. I believe that the mature grandmaster would not have played the move 20.Bc2? But we must be grateful that Polu made this weak move (among several other weak moves and mistakes), as this allowed Nezhmetdinov to shine in the following moves, creating one of the most brilliant attacking masterpieces of all time.

Sep-26-21  no handlebars:

After losing the game, Polugaevsky famously said “I understand I was to say goodbye to all hope, and that I was losing a game that would be spread all over the world.” As he had feared, a painting was commissioned depicting the two players and “the board of destiny.”

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