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Lev Polugaevsky vs Yuri Averbakh
USSR Championship 1961a (1961), Moscow URS, rd 7, Jan-21
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense (C98)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-28-08  hickchess99: white maintains a distinct material advantage, although black is threatening to promote his c-pawn. white's dark-square bishop is essentially a stump in the forest, and he's forced to sac his other bishop if he wants to do as well as draw in this battle. the primary course of action when attempting to draw when under the imminent threat of defeat is a blatant attacking scheme, as evidenced by the sac of the light bishop on f7. truly magnificent.
Mar-28-08  sombreronegro: Black is threatening Q x c1 or B x c1 and there is no defense. So it must be a counter attack. 54 Q-a5 seems to be the best chance at counter play. This threatens 55 Qd1+ and forcing 55 ... Kh7.

It sees to be another flanking move as yesterday.

Mar-28-08  sombreronegro: " nothingasitseems: Alright. I saw Qa5, but my thinking was flawed. I was analysing:

54. Qa5 Qxc1
55. Qd8+ Kg7
56. Qf6+ Kh7
57. Qxf7+ Kh8
58. Qg8#


55. ... Kh7 and white's screwed.

Didn't see:

55. Bxf7 with perpetual check for the draw."

I was after the same line the problem is white lacks a tempo indeed to do much after Kh7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I, like <scholes> and <TrueBlue>, went for 54 Bd3.

After 54...Qxc1 (not 54…Bxc1 because 55 Qe8+ leads to a draw by perpetual check) 55 Qxc1 Bxc1 56 Bxc2 Bxc5 57 Kg4, black is ahead two pawns (below).

click for larger view

How does he convert the advantage to a win?

Mar-28-08  zb2cr: I saw this, after a few minutes of trying to find a win after 54. Qa5. I came to the reluctant conclusion that it wasn't there and then found the rest of the line.
Mar-28-08  johnlspouge: <<Jimfromprovidence> wrote: How does he convert the advantage to a win?>


Black is going to exchange K-side Ps, and then have B+2Ps vs. B of opposite color, where the Ps are passers 2 files apart, enough to win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I answered this one correctly and came up with a quirky twist:

After 55 ♗f7+ ♔h7 56 ♗xg6+! open up the hiding places and forces a perpetual check

How about this oddity? 56 ♕d8 ♕h1+ 57 ♔g2 ♕g1+ and black is forced to a perpetual due to the mate threat at g8!

Mar-28-08  zb2cr: <Jimfromprovidence>,

I don't know whether Black can make anything out of trying to advance his Kingside Pawns to create more pressure than the White Bishop and King can deal with. In your given position, Black plays 57. ... Bc1 followed by ... f5. White then has trouble approaching the Black d-Pawn with his King, as the squares e4 and e3 are covered. Then Black approaches with his King. Beyond that, I can't guess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <johnlspouge>< Black is going to exchange K-side Ps, and then have B+2Ps vs. B of opposite color, where the Ps are passers 2 files apart, enough to win.>

John, your reference link is unclear on the outcome if the passed pawns are exactly two files apart.

The passage states:

<If only one file is between the pawns, the defender can stop the advance of the pawns. If three files separate the pawns, they normally win (Emms 2004:95).>

It doesn't mention an outcome when specifically two files separate the passed pawns, which is particular to this match.

So, I'll still maintain that the line beginning with 54 Bd3 draws.

Mar-28-08  mworld: question, why wouldn't 54.Qe2 Qxc1 55.Bxf7+ Kxf7 56.Qc4+ not do the same job?
Mar-28-08  mworld: so managed to answer my own question...with Qe2 black can decline the bishop sacrifice and escape the trap after Bxf7+
Mar-28-08  Marmot PFL: I can't find a way to win that either, but Averbakh probably would if it was possible. Even if it is a draw it could still take hours to draw it and one mistake would be enough to lose.
Mar-28-08  mworld: < openingspecialist:
After 5 minutes thought my thought was play Kg5 then Qxc1 Qxc1 Bxc1 Bd3 but black has the move Bxg5! >

you're the second person to think 54.Kg5, possible you both meant Kg4?

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Friday puzzle solution, White forces a draw by perpetual check with 54. Qa5!! and the key follow-up 55. Bxf7+!

P.S. Don't have time to evaluate it in depth today, but I suspect <Eyal>'s evaluation that 55. Qd8+? Kh7! allows Black to win is probably correct. After 55. Bxf7+!, White has a clear draw by perpetual check.

Mar-28-08  DarthStapler: I was looking for a win, not a draw
Mar-28-08  Creg: I'm late today so lets see what I can find.

Bishop at c1 is a goner, or we lose the queen. I'd like to check the black king with a queen check at e8, can I do it? I don't think so. How about we look for a perpetual.

I admit I'm not sure about this one at all. I say offer a draw and see if black accepts...:-) Just play 1.Kg5 and sit tight as

1...Bxc1 loses to 2.Qe8+ and
1...Qxc1 2.Qxc1 Bxc1 3.Bd3 and we have bishops of opposite color and what looks to be a draw. We don't even have to move the king, we could probably get away with moving the white squared bishop.

Okay, lets see what I missed.

Mar-28-08  Creg: Oh, it was a draw, just different, and I will assume better than my idea. I should have known the bishop sac would play into this. Oh well, gave it a shot.
Mar-28-08  Creg: <mworld> Make me 3. I just read through the posts and I too made the Kg5 error, it should be Kg4. On the bright side Dave and I saw the same thing...yea! :)
Mar-28-08  TrueBlue: <johnlspouge>, I like your posts, but this time you are out in left field. Bd3 is a clear draw. Here is the line:

54. Bd3 Qxc1 55. Qxc1 Bxc1 56. Bxc2 Bxg5 57. Kg3 Be3 58. Bd3 f5

and white can't make any progress. The best white can do is advance the pawns, but black can always exchange one pawn and sacrifice the bishop for the other two leaving white with a king and bishop.

Mar-28-08  unferth: didn't white miss an earlier draw after 52 ... Bf4? instead of 53 Bc4, 53 Bxg6, threatening Qe8+; if black replies 53 ... fxg6, Qe8+ is an easy perpetual; 53 ... Kg2 54 Bxc2 Qxc1 55 Qxc1 Bxc1 55 Bxc2 is an easy OCB draw; 53 ... Qxc1 or Bxc1 walks into mate; 53 ... Qb3 or Qb7 to defend f7 drops the f4 bishop. what am I missing?
Mar-28-08  johnlspouge: <<TrueBlue> wrote: <johnlspouge>, I like your posts>

Thanks, <TrueBlue>,

<<>but this time you are out in left field.>

I guess :)

<<>Bd3 is a clear draw. Here is the line: 54. Bd3 Qxc1 55. Qxc1 Bxc1 56. Bxc2 Bxg5 57. Kg3 Be3 58. Bd3 f5

and white can't make any progress.>

It is not so clear to me. I think the White K must permit the Black K to penetrate on either the e- or g- file with the dark-squared B's aid. Once Black penetrates , the White game falls apart.

<<>The best white can do is advance the pawns, but black can always exchange one pawn and sacrifice the bishop for the other two leaving white with a king and bishop.>

The crux is whether White can sacrifice the B for <both> K-side Ps while restraining the Pd3, which he cannot <if> the Black K can penetrate as I described.

I have insufficient time to clarify this point. I certainly have no wish to claim infallibility on a Friday night (an unpropitious time for me to do thorough analysis), so the ball is in your court.

Mar-28-08  TrueBlue: john, I believe f4 is the crucial move. After that, I don't see how white can exchange a pawn and get 2 pawns 2 rows apart.
Mar-29-08  johnlspouge: <<TrueBlue> wrote: I believe f4 is the crucial move>

I hate to involve you in infinite regression, <TrueBlue>. I agree, but this just suggests that ...f5 in your line was an error.

Time for bed.

Nov-02-18  ChessSafari: This fascinating game was extensively annotated by GM Polugaevsky himself in his book, Grandmaster Preparation, under his section on analysis of adjourned games. He gives evidence that he was winning until he played 50.e5?? in time trouble (winning was 50.Bd3 Qb1 51.f4 when the direct attack on the king by e4-e5 and f4-f5 is decisive. If 51...Qa1, 52.Kg4 and 51...Bb4 52.e5). "With my flag about to fall, I leapt out of the trap with my queen [54.Qa5] (after 54.Bd3 Qxc1 55.Qxc1 Bxc1 56.Bxc2 Bxg5 the ending, despite the opposite-colored bishops, may be beyond saving." - Polugaevsky
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Frank, is that you after all these years?
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