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Lev Polugaevsky vs Viktor Korchnoi
Korchnoi - Polugaevsky Candidates Semifinal (1977), Évian-les-Bains FRA, rd 10, Jul-30
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Spassky Variation (D87)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member

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Polugaevsky is a pawn up, but he must have realised he had little chance of winning this against Korchnoi. But why not play on? He has nothing to lose.
39. Rd5 Re6
40. h5.
Polu at first plays to stop Black playing ...♙h5 himself.
40...Kg7 41. Kg3 Ra6 42. f4 Ra4 43. Kf3 Rb4 44. Re5 Ra4 45. Rd5 Ra3+ 46. Kg4 Ra2 47. g3 Rh2 48. hxg6 hxg6 49. Rd7 Re2 50. e5 Re3 51. Kh4 Kf8 52. Rd8+ Kg7 53. Re8 Ra3 54. g4 Ra4 55. Kg5 Ra5.

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White wants to play ♙e5-e6.
Korchnoi prevents it by pinning the pawn.
56. Re7 Rb5 57. Rd7 Ra5 58. Kh4 Kf8 59. Rd4 Rb5 60. Re4 Ra5 61. Re3 Rb5 62. Kg3 Ke7 63. Kh4 Kf8 64. Rd3 Ra5 65. Rd7 Rb5 66. Ra7 Rc5 67. Ra6 Kg7 68. Ra8 Rb5 69. Re8 Rb4 70. Kg5 Rb5 71. f5.

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Korchnoi now terminates the game with extreme prejudice and saves himself a lot of time. It shows that one should never remove one's tactical cap during rook endings.
71...Rxe5 72. Rxe5 f6+ 73. Kf4 fxe5+ 74. Kxe5 gxf5 1/2-1/2

Oct-22-17  Howard: Perhaps Polugaevsky just wanted to have the psychological satisfaction of playing out a position where HE had the advantage--even though he knew in his heart that the endgame was almost certainly unwinnable.

A similar occurrence took place in Game 5 of Karpov-Korchnoi, 1981.

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