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Anatoly Karpov vs Lev Polugaevsky
Interpolis 7th (1983), Tilburg NED, rd 2, Oct-13
Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation (D32)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-13-06  who: I thought the most famous game that Russians threw at adjournment was Taimanov vs Fischer, 1971, where Taimanov and his team of seconds including Tal, dropped a rook (46.Rxf6) so the world could have an American WC.
Sep-12-06  sitzkrieg: nice one who:)
May-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Quite an interesting discussion on Soviet cheating in this thread. In my opinion, all depends on whether this game was really adjourned on move 52. If it was, Polugaevsky's blunder is inexplicable. (Even though he "knew" how to blunder inexplicably: see Polugaevsky vs Petrosian, 1983, a game that cannot be suspected of fixing.) But it was rare for a game to reach adjournment as such a late stage. Karpov always played fast, but Polu played much slower.

The claim that it was adjourned in move 52, if I got it right, came from Larry Evans, who also embellished his account saying that because of this, "Karpov won the tournament", saying or implying that it was a last round game. It was in fact a second round game. (Adjourned games used to be played every three rounds or so, not all of them at the end of the tournament, as someone suggested.) Another argument to support the throwing the game hypothesis is that Seirawan, who played the tournament, says it was. But this assumes Seirawan can read minds.

IMHO, the Soviets often fixed stuff, but they cared more about the world championship cycle than the second round of Tilburg. I think this is unlikely to have been fixed.

Anyway, what I really wanted to do, after looking at this game on Fritz, was to point out that Black's losing blunder is not 52...N4xa5, but 53...Nxa5?? Position after 53.Nxa5:


click for larger view

Black to play.

Polugaevsky could have drawn with 53...Nd4+! e.g. 54.Ke4 Ne6 55.Bxf4 Kxa5, etc.

May-17-10  Petrosianic: <Quite an interesting discussion on Soviet cheating in this thread. In my opinion, all depends on whether this game was really adjourned on move 52. If it was, Polugaevsky's blunder is inexplicable.>

Not as inexplicable as this one, coming right after adjournment:

Taimanov vs Fischer, 1971

If this is evidence of cheating, what does it tell us?

May-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Petrosianic> That's a bad blunder, but adjournment had been on move 42 (or so someone posted), and Taimanov blundered in move 46. Here Evans claimed that adjournment was on move 52. But as I said, I do not subscribe to the throwing-the-game hypothesis here. I do subscribe to the "Larry-Evans-likes-to-embellish-facts" hypothesis.

Care is needed when reading/quoting some authors. I already made a fool of myself on the Larsen vs E Torre, 1973 page when I relayed Andrew Soltis' comment that the draw cost Larsen his qualification to the candidates matches. It was an absurd claim, as Larsen ended up far from qualifying, and the game had been played in the fourth round of the Interzonal.

May-17-10  Petrosianic: Evans can be careless with his facts and often retells a story he heard as-is without fact checking.

That's true about Larsen-Torre. A lot of stories seem to find their way into Chess Lore, and get repeated without fact checking. Larsen had started that tournament very strongly (something like 5/6, but fell off in the second half, and was something like 2 points away from qualifying at the end.

The myth that Fischer withdrew from the Sousse Interzonal while leading has been repeated so many times that it's almost impossible to challenge (the truth is that he was leading when his problems with organizers began, but was not leading when he dropped out).

The Bronstein-Cardoso 1958 game is another one. The story goes that by losing to Cardoso (his first ever loss in interzonal play), Bronstein was knocked out of the Candidates. But as far as I can tell, a draw would have had the same result. Thanks to the Four Soviets rule, Bronstein had to actually win the game just to make it into a tie with Petrosian for the last Soviet spot.

There's a story about Fischer's game with Gligoric in the same round, where he sprung a piece-sac novelty in the discredited Gothenburg Variation to try to win, but as soon as Bronstein lost, he took the draw in a difficult but possibly superior position. I don't see how that story can be true, because Bronstein's position should have made no difference to Fischer's qualification chances. Two Soviets and only two could qualify from that interzonal, no matter how many of them finished ahead of Fischer.

May-17-10  Agent Bouncy: I'm pretty sure the rules limiting the number of qualifiers per country did not go into effect until 1962.
Nov-24-14  Howard: Uhhh, Petrosian, how do you mean that Fischer was "not leading' when he walked out of the 1967 Interzonal----he WAS leading !

More specifically, he had scored seven wins and three draws (8.5 out of 10) when he withdrew. He was definitely in first place at the time. On top of that, he had played TWO FEWER games than the other players, but he was still leading anyway.

To be a bit more specific, he had forfeited one game due to a scheduling dispute with the organizers, plus his game with Geller had been re-scheduled for later in the tournament. That's where the two "missing" games came from.

It's a "myth" that he was leading ?! Perhaps you could explain that for us.

Nov-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <RookFile: Rune - you're not taking into account the fact that Karpov played fast in those days. Games were adjourned after 5 hours of play, not after any particular move. For most players, they would use up all their time to get to move 40, which is why so many games were adjourned at move 41. Not Karpov though - in the very early days, he would use up 1 hour for the entire game.>

An object example was his game with Keene at Bad Lauterberg 1977, which was adjourned after five hours--Keene having used 3.5 of them.

Nov-24-14  Petrosianic: <Howard>: Uhhh, Petrosian, how do you mean that Fischer was "not leading' when he walked out of the 1967 Interzonal>

I mean that he wasn't in First Place. Sorry, I thought that was clear.

You can compare the results yourself. When Larsen sat down to play Fischer in Round 15, he had 10 points, while Fischer had 8. After Fischer forfeited this game (his 3rd forfeit, which automatically knocked him out of the tournament), Larsen was 3 points ahead.

What I think you mean is that Fischer would have, or could have, or should have been leading, had he not forfeited those games. Who knows, maybe he would have been. I didn't address that question. I just pointed out that he wasn't leading when he left the tournament.

Nov-25-14  Howard: Are you sure, Petrosianic, that Larsen literally "sat down" to play Fischer ? When Fischer walked out of the tournament after 12 rounds, wasn't he OUT of the tournament at that point?

To be honest, I've never read of any of his subsequent opponents in the next few rounds "sitting down" to play him. After the 12th round, his already-played games would have been annulled and his remaining games would have been cancelled, too.

Something else that doesn't quite make sense as far as your side of the story, is that if Fischer did forfeit to Larsen in Round 15, that would have been his FOURTH forfeit, not his third. Remember, he had already forfeited one game earlier in the event---and he was still quite upset about that at the time he walked out.

Bottom line: he was leading when he walked out, after the 12th round. Somehow, I can't believe that he would have been "forfeited" in the next three rounds after that---he was already officially OUT of the event. With all due respect, I staunchly claim this was fact--certainly not "myth".

Nov-25-14  Howard: Going to another "subject", the Karpov-Polugaevsky game was briefly analyzed in the excellent book Anatoly Karpov--Endgame Virtuoso.

Personally, I'm surprised that the author included this game. Not only was the game itself not anything to brag about, but the very suspicious way it "concluded" would have made it a very questionable choice--to say the least.

Nov-25-14  Petrosianic: Larsen sat down, Fischer didn't. The clocks were started. Fischer was in, I think Tunis, and made some effort to get back in time to play the game, but ultimately couldn't or changed his mind (the story is told in Profile of a Prodigy). After this game is when he was completely out of the tournament.

This was Round 15. The last time that Fischer was in clear 1st place was at the end of Round 8, when he had 6 points to Larsen's 6. In the next round, Larsen took over clear first by beating Stein, while Fischer's game against Geller was postponed (and never played).

Nov-25-14  Petrosianic: <if Fischer did forfeit to Larsen in Round 15, that would have been his FOURTH forfeit, not his third.>

Fischer's forfeits were to Gipslis in Round 10, Hort in Round 14, and Larsen in Round 15. That's all. The Round 9 game against Geller wasn't forfeited, only postponed. And in Round 13, Fischer had the Bye. So 10 games played, plus 3 forfeits, plus 1 postponed and one bye accounts for all 15 rounds.

If we consider Fischer to have left the tournament immediately after the last game he actually played (the 12th Round), even then he was only tied for 1st with Larsen at 8. But definitely read the account in Profile of a Prodigy for the efforts to get him to the Larsen game in time.

Nov-25-14  Howard: Let me take (another) look at Brady's book, but to be honest it almost certainly won't change my position. Besides, you seem to be the lone voice in the wilderness who claims that Fischer-was-leading, is just a "myth".
Nov-25-14  Petrosianic: <Howard>: <Let me take (another) look at Brady's book, but to be honest it almost certainly won't change my position.>

I'm sure it won't.

<Besides, you seem to be the lone voice in the wilderness who claims that Fischer-was-leading, is just a "myth".>

If you try to take a vote to determine historical events, then Columbus proved the world was round. (Except that he didn't.) It's a mistake to equate uniformed views with informed ones. I'm the only one giving precise numbers, and can tell you the exact scores at the end of each round. I'd submit that carries more weight than the majority who just heard that Fischer withdrew while leading and repeated the claim without checking it out.

Speaking of that, a funny story about conventional wisdom. Riverbeast once spent like 6 months trying to prove the drawing pact at Curacao, but never once could provide any actual source for the claim. His entire argument was just that everyone knew it. Finally, tired of hearing that he had no case, he cited a source: Brad Darrach. The joke was that he was citing Darrach to back up Fischer's story when Darrach got the story FROM Fischer. He saw nothing illogical about that.

But it gets worse. I double checked Darrach's book, and found it didn't even make that claim in the first place. The only Fischer claim it repeated from Curacao was the claim that games were thrown (by Korchnoi, although Darrach didn't name names). Didn't matter a whit to Riverbeast. He still insisted that Darrach's book somehow supported his claim (without mentioning it, which is a neat trick).

That kind of thing is why I'm especially cautious about supporting unfactual (or even counter-factual) claims when Fischer is concerned. Fischer has a way of making people crazy.

Nov-25-14  Olavi: <Besides, you seem to be the lone voice in the wilderness who claims that Fischer-was-leading, is just a "myth".>

The one true instance of a player leaving a top tournament while leading is Huebner in Turin 1982. A seven player double round robin, he was on 3/6. Of course Sousse 1967 is not.

Nov-26-14  Howard: Oh, yes, Turin 1982. "Chess Life" had an article about it, and the sub-headline said "tournament of disappointments." Not only did Hubner's withdrawal put a cloud over the event, but a high percentage of the games were drawn.

Karpov, as usual, won it.

Nov-26-14  Howard: Oh, yes, Turin 1982. "Chess Life" had an article about it, and the sub-headline said "tournament of disappointments." Not only did Hubner's withdrawal put a cloud over the event, but a high percentage of the games were drawn.

Karpov and Anderssen (sp) tied for first place.

Nov-26-14  Petrosianic: <Olavi>: <The one true instance of a player leaving a top tournament while leading is Huebner in Turin 1982.>

If we definite "tied for first" as "leading", then there are other examples. For example, Walter Browne withdrawing from the 1978 US Championship just before the 1st round began, when he was tied for first (with all the other competitors).

Sep-26-15  Howard: It's rather perplexing that this game was included in the book Anatoly Karpov--Endgame Virtuoso.

Considering the highly suspicious circumstances surrounding it, I would have voted for it to be left out.

Sep-26-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Petrosianic: <Olavi>: <The one true instance of a player leaving a top tournament while leading is Huebner in Turin 1982.>

If we definite "tied for first" as "leading", then there are other examples. For example, Walter Browne withdrawing from the 1978 US Championship just before the 1st round began, when he was tied for first (with all the other competitors).>

Lovely.

Sep-26-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Howard: Let me take (another) look at Brady's book, but to be honest it almost certainly won't change my position. Besides, you seem to be the lone voice in the wilderness who claims that Fischer-was-leading, is just a "myth".>

Wasn't the voice in the wilderness, Isaiah, correct?

Oct-02-15  Howard: Don't know who Isaiah was, but, at any rate, I haven't gotten around to reviewing Brady's book yet.

Bottom line: most sources say that Fischer was leading the tournament (Sousse 1967) when he left. I will go by the majority.

By the way, one of those sources is no other than Fischer's M60MG.

Nov-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Howard: Don't know who Isaiah was,>

He is a character in the bible with a book named after him. If you find a bible, see Isaiah 40:3: <"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness.">

<Bottom line: most sources say that Fischer was leading the tournament (Sousse 1967) when he left. I will go by the majority.>

You are wrong.
Sousse Interzonal (1967) now has its own page here at cg.com.

There, you can read this:
<"As to schedule the 15th round starts on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. Fischer is still in Tunis and had received final conditions by the tournament responsibles under which he could re-enter the tournament, although his two forfeitures against Hort and Gipslis would have been ground enough for his expulsion. He must sign a declaration to accept the schedule as it stands and to accept the two forfeitures. At first Fischer refuses and so expresses himself in a phone conversation with a journalist at Sousse. At 7 p.m. the round begins, Fischer's clock is started. At half past seven Fischer is again on the phone talking to the journalist. He surprisingly declares that he would accept the conditions but his game against Larsen must be postponed some hours enabling him to come to Sousse. It does not seem imperative to Fischer to negotiate with the tournament responsibles, and Fischer's drama comes to an end. At 8 p.m. he receives his third forfeiture, he is at the same time expulsed finally from the tournament.">

<By the way, one of those sources is no other than Fischer's M60MG.>

LOL! Larry Evans!

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