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Lev Polugaevsky vs Viktor Korchnoi
Korchnoi - Polugaevsky Candidates Semifinal (1977), Évian-les-Bains FRA, rd 6, Jul-16
English Opening: English Defense. General (A10)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: quite an unusual queen sortie for a candidates match i'd think
Feb-04-04  clendenon: I was goin to sacrifice my queeen once, but then i realized i had already lost it.
Feb-04-04  TrueFiendish: LOL. You guys!
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Some nice opening prep in this game!
May-14-12  LoveThatJoker: GG


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Crazy game. Is Evian the city in France or Switzerland that has its name on the bottled water?
May-15-12  LoveThatJoker: <HeMateMe> Two links of importance in regards to your question:




Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Game 6. Kortschnoi was leading the match 3-0 with 2 draws.

After 3.e4

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Polugaevsky has been allowed to place his pawns three abreast. But Kortschnoi starts to attack them immediately. In fact when he plays 3...Bb7 Polugaevsky already seems puzzled about how to protect e4. He wants to avoid Nc3 owing to ...Bb4. So he plays Qc2, and may have been a little surprised by Kortschnoi's 4...Qh4!

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The game revolves around e4 for a while. Lev Polugaevsky is not above making surprising opening moves himself and he comes out with a really good one. Black has just played 7...Bb4xd2+:

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Now Polugaevsky plays 8.Kf1! Quite a surprise.

After 11...Nc6

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White has ♗♗(and an extra pawn) v ♘♘ but he has some weak pawns. Also, his king is a target.

After 27...gxf6 play goes into a rook ending.

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55...d2 .

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Jan-22-16  siggemannen: Isnt 35. bxa5 better? Getting a passer?
Jan-22-16  Howard: Perhaps, but then Polugaevsky ended up with a passed pawn anyway within just a few moves---the b-pawn. Perhaps he thought the passed b-pawn would be stronger than a passed a-pawn.

According to Chess Life & Review, not to mention Kasparov's MGP, Korchnoi had pretty much a won game by about the 25th move. But he made a careless mistake somewhere after that, and now Polugaevsky had a drawn endgame...but then just a few moves into the second session (The game was adjourned around the 41st move.), Polu made a very careless slip in this drawish position, and Korchnoi now had an easy win.

This time, Korchnoi didn't botch it !he way, Korchnoi

Sep-23-16  Howard: Turns out the 42nd move was a mistake for BOTH players, as pointed out by Kasparov in MGP, as well as in Mueller's recent book on rook endings!

On Polu's 42nd move, he should have played 42.Rb6! which holds the draw. Strangely enough, Mednis overlooks this in his analysis in CL&R, plus Keene overlooks it, too, in the Informant.

As a result of Polu's potentially losing error, Korchnoi now could have won with 42...Kc5! but he overlooked it.

Apr-09-18  Howard: The two of them played another interesting R-ending in 1985, at Interpolis, which Korchnoi won.
May-25-18  SpamIAm: Actually, Korchnoi blundered much earlier also, on his 21st move, hastily capturing a pawn with 21...Qxh2? This allowed the rook invasion 22.Re7! which gave Polugaevsky drawing chances. Essential was the interpolation 21...Qg1+ 22.Kd2 and only then 22...Qxh2. If now 23.Re7 then 23...Qxf2+ wins a second pawn.
May-25-18  Howard: There seems to be a slightly difference of opinion as to Korchnoi's 4...Qh5.

Mednis said in CL&R that it looked "amateurish", but it was actually a good move.

Kasparov, however, stated in MGP that it was a questionable move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It reminds me of that line in the Scotch that goes 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qh4. That too is aimed at winning the pawn on e4.
May-25-18  Toribio3: Move#45 Re3 by Black was the game changer. It cut off the White King from being active participant in the critical phase of the end game. The great Korchnoi is an expert in this type of rook and pawn end game.
May-26-18  Howard: Not to sound picky, but the real "game changer" was 45.Rc8+??. It turned an easily drawn position into a dead loss.

Mednis made the astute observation that this blunder came just after the adjournment, and that it made one wonder what Polug and Company had been doing the night before. Living it up at a local bar ?

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