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Lev Polugaevsky vs Lubomir Ftacnik
"The Hedgehog that Roared" (game of the day Sep-30-2012)
Chess Olympiad (1982), Lucerne SUI, rd 5, Nov-04
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Hedgehog Defense (A30)  ·  0-1


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Given 11 times; par: 25 [what's this?]

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sac: 28...Qxg2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-11-11  stst: Yeah, was also pondering the first choice of 25...Nh5, just didn't drill through the analysis... Good "Ftacnik" -- "Tac-neek" ~ Technique!!
Jun-11-11  azi: I think that white weakened his castled position without sufficient compensation, as black's castled position is not a mine field of weak squares. White pursued a pawn advancing attack on the kingside, without targets and sufficiently developed piece deployment.

And black controls the major diagonals, slicing through the white king's positiion. White has little to say about his position while black has great dynamic advantage. White is asleep at the wheel meanwhile black is deploying his sharpshooters and artillary on the weaknesses and unorganized play throughout the white camp. It is an inspired yet logical game by black. Even his rooks were more actively placed as was his queen.

Jun-11-11  KingV93: Very Difficult. Indeed. To my eyes anyway...

Beautiful combination. Didn't see it, went with ♕xh4, too deep for me but electrifying to watch it unfold when I was checking. Great ♕ sac, This is the stuff I Love in Chess!

Jun-11-11  sevenseaman: Thanks <FSR>. Your wikipedia article analysing this Polugaevsky vs Ftacnik game is comprehensive and lucid. It cleared a sediment of cobwebs that were still clouding the mind.

I am amazed how well this game lends itself to analysis of some basic mating patterns.

It also pushes up my esteem for GM Ftacnik who got the better of GM Polugaevsky, no lightweight on his own.

Ftacnik pushes Anand really hard in this game, Anand vs Ftacnik, 1993.

So this awkward-looking variant of the 'English symmetrical' is called the Hedgehog defence, hm. Do the Black Ns always tend to favor/perish on the 'h' file?

Jun-11-11  wals: Rybka 4 x 64

Looking good, 19...d5, =0.15.

20.cxd5, -0.91. Best, exd5, -=0.30.
Penalty, 0.61.

23.dxe6, -1.33. Best, Qf3, -0.91.
Penalty, 0.42.

24.e5, -16.40. Best, Rxd8, -1.18.
Penalty, 15.42.

25.Kh1, -16.40. There is no better move.

27.Nd5, -#7.

28.Rf1, -#5.

29.Kxg2, -#4.

29...Rd2, -#3, and White resigned..

TOTAL Penalty up to move 24.

White, 16.45. Black, 0. Which
approximates White's shortfall
at move 25.

Jun-11-11  sevenseaman: <morfishine> <Anand vs Ftacnik,1993 was a beaut.> Yes.

Anand vs Ftacnik, 1993 is a Sicilian Scheveningen. I have played the game 4 times now and I do not still grasp why Ftacnik was in such a tearing hurry to play 26...Qa4.

Jun-11-11  Patriot: I went with 25...Nh5, seeing that black is at least ok after 26.Qxh5 Bxg2+ 27.Kxg2 Qf2+ 28.Kh1 Qxb2. 26...Qg3! is much better!
Jun-11-11  TheBish: Polugaevsky vs Ftacnik, 1982

Black to play (25...?) "Very Difficult"

Black is down a pawn, although White's extra is a doubled rook pawn, hardly worth counting. More important is that Black's knight is attacked, and that Black's bishops and queen are bearing down on White's position. The key is a diversionary tactic:


Apparently giving away the already-attacked knight, but the difference here is that the queen must capture, removing her from the defense of her king.

26. Qxh5

Forced, since there was no good way to stop ...Ng3+ (26. Ne4 Bxe4 or 26. Rd3 Rxd3 27. Qxd3 Ng3+ 28. Kh2 Nf1+ 29. Kh1 Qh2#).

26...Qg3 with threats of 27...Qxg2#, Qxh3# and Bxg2#, which cannot adequately be met. About the best try here is 27. Nd5, but 27...Rxd5! (preserving the b7 bishop), threatening 28...Rxd1+ followed by mayhem on the king (28. Rxd5 Bxd5 29. Bxd5 Qxh3#, or 28. Qf3 Rxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Bxf3).

"Time to check."


I missed the 28. Rf1 defense (adding to the difficulty factor), but other than that, spot on! What a "Ftacnik" combo!

Jun-11-11  ImTheMan: Wouldn't 25...Qxh4 be a good continuation?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Once><sevenseaman> Thanks. Glad you liked the article. Two others I'm proud of are my articles on G.H.D. Gossip and chess swindles Both "First-move advantage in chess" and "George H. D. Gossip" have been Today's Featured Article, the highest honor on Wikipedia, attained by about 1 out of every 1,400 articles. More is on my user page,
Nov-08-11  LIFE Master AJ:

I just completed a video (in two parts) on this game.

Nov-09-11  JoergWalter: This game earned the title "most beautiful game of the 1982 olympiad". It deserves better prepared videos than those.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: The Hedgehog That Roared :-D
Sep-30-12  nolanryan: thats what she said
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: What a fantastic game. Really nice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Travis Bickle: Nicely done!
Sep-30-12  Eduardo Bermudez: Most beautiful game of the 1982 olympiad !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: White to play - See diagram below:

click for larger view

Instead of 28. ♖f1, 28. ♖g1 ♖d1!! (Threatening 29...♗xg2#) - see below:

1) 29. ♖axd1 or ♕xd1 ♕xh3#!!

2) 29. ♖gxd1 ♕xg2#

3) 29. ♕g4 ♗xg2#!! - Note that the White Rook on g1 cannot capture the Black Bishop because of a pin by the Black Rook on d1.

Therefore, 28. ♖f1 is the best try for White but 28...♕xg2+!! is BIG OUCH!!

<Patriot> I totally agree with your commentary - 26...♕g3!!

What a beautiful combination by Lubomir Ftacnik!!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Some echoes of Rotlewi-Rubinstein?
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: < andrewjsacks: Some echoes of Rotlewi-Rubinstein? >

<andrewjsacks> You bet!!! LOL LOL

<andrewjsacks> I love this game - Rotlevi-Rubinstein. That has crossed my mind - Polugaevsky-Ftacnik game is ALMOST similar to the famous game between Rotlevi (White) and Rubinstein (Black).


Sep-30-12  Oceanlake: The a1 rook starts pining away when White moves 13. N-d2.

azi seems right to me, shuffling two pieces and pushing pawns at the expense of development. White gave odds of a rook.

Sep-30-12  rapidcitychess: Nunn mentions the problem in playing the Hedgehog that pertains to this game: The fact that if the position opens up, white's pieces become vulnerable, and the air around white's king starts to become a burden. Black is not passive; He is potential energy, exemplified in chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A sacrifice soup soon to be won by black.

What is a hedgehog? Is it a porcupine without an agent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: What, after all, is a hedgehog? The cry of a child, the scent of an old wet dog, the roar of an aged woman - all these and more. A bowl of khash, a tumbler of rakfisk? A bucket of waterzooi full of milk. That's my hedgehog, Marty.
Oct-31-15  Eduardo Bermudez:
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