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Lev Polugaevsky vs Viktor Korchnoi
"Pol Tax" (game of the day Nov-18-2018)
Korchnoi - Polugaevsky Candidates Semifinal (1980), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 12, Aug-14
Queen's Indian Defense: Classical Variation. Polugayevsky Gambit (E17)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-16-04  Tigran Petrosian: 25.Rd7!! is a beautiful deflection.
Feb-16-04  drukenknight: gee what is wrong w/ 58...Qxa3+? Great endgame though, once whites K gets in front of the pawns he is home free.
Jun-06-04  Tigran Petrosian: Then 60.Qe6+.
Oct-15-06  aw1988: 12. Nxg7!
Oct-15-06  Madinina Killer: Home prep
Oct-15-06  aw1988: I think it really makes Korchnoi's opening system dubious. After Nxg7 White has the superior game.
Apr-24-07  Maatalkko: This is an awesome game. I can't wait to study it more and see how accurate it is.
Jun-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Game 12 of this Candidates' Semifinal. The last game of normal time and Polugaevsky was losing 2-1.

Previous games with Kortschnoi as black had included Queen's Indians where this position had arisen after 6.0-0:


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...with a standard follow-up 7.d5 exd5 8.Nd4, exploiting the pin between the ♗g2 through the ♙ to the ♗b7.

The trouble with the move is that soon a black knight arrives on c6 and there are exchanges. In this must-win game Polugaevsky invents a new gambit!

8.Nh4!


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(He may have known of the game Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 which reached this position after 7.Nh4:)


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Both players play well. Polugaevsky finds a very good move in this position:


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25.Rd7!!

Kortschnoi eventually loses his queen. But he only needs a draw so he plays on until the bitter end; but Polugaevsky has everything under control. He even lets Kortschnoi promote first.


click for larger view

56.Qxf5!

Polugaevsky must have been delighted when his gambit was repeated at the very highest level in Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984, game 2 of their first match.

Aug-01-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Clearly this is the best game of chess ever played.

I doubt anyone can improve on even two moves of White.

Jun-14-18  ndg2: Lev "alpha0" Polugaevsky
Nov-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The earliest appearance of the d5 gambit in the database comes in A Sandrin vs G K Fielding, 1954, although both players soon muffed the ensuing play. Incidentally, Sandrin was blind. Would seem appropriate to label 8.Nh4! as the Polugaevsky Continuation of the Sandrin Gambit.
Nov-18-18  Ilkka Salonen: Nice game. "Anarkismi on tosiasioiden tinkimätöntä tarkastelua."
Nov-18-18  singate: No dull moments in this one. Usually games with this many moves have a lot of waiting moves behind a wall of pawns. Hard to believe there aren’t pages of kibitzing on this gem.
Nov-18-18  cunctatorg: I don't know what is more remarkable in this beautiful game: Polugaevsky's crushing and imaginative attack ... or Korchnoi's defensive struggle!!...
Nov-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <An Englishman: <The earliest appearance of the d5 gambit...>>

Earliest game w/ <7.d5> in Megabase is <Guimard vs Pilnik>, La Plata Jockey Club, 1944

Nov-18-18  Ironmanth: Holy crap, what a game!! Thanks as always, chessgames. A wondrous, safe, and sane holiday to all; play hard, play on, everyone! What a blessing to have our royal game!
Nov-18-18  Muthuraja2: What happens after 29..Be6 instead of 29..Qe6 ?
Nov-18-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: After 29....Be6, 30.f5 would be a strong retort.
Nov-19-18  Howard: Regarding the August 1, 2017 comment about lack of "improvements" for White, Polu did miss a quicker win at one point...but I don't recall where.

Inside Chess pointed it out in a write-up on Polu right after he died, in 1995.

Remind me to check the Informant when I get home.

Nov-20-18  Howard: According to Informant 30...

27. Re1 !

33. Qh7!

34. Qg7 !

...would all have won quicker.

Offhand, I think it was 27.Re1! that Inside Chess pointed out.

Jul-13-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <When Korchnoi had achieved a winning position, he took off his coat, rolled up his sleeves and stared aggressively at his opponent. The audience responded with a knowing laughter. It seemed he was mocking the similar action by Polugaevsky after he had gained the decisive edge in Game 12.>

I propose a different GOTD title:

"Glaring Error"

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