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Lev Polugaevsky
Number of games in database: 1,955
Years covered: 1953 to 1994
Highest rating achieved in database: 2640
Overall record: +694 -250 =961 (61.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      50 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (102) 
    E88 E97 E73 E75 E92
 English (99) 
    A15 A14 A17 A13 A10
 Queen's Indian (84) 
    E12 E15 E17 E19 E14
 English, 1 c4 c5 (63) 
    A30 A34 A35 A33 A36
 Reti System (52) 
    A04 A05 A06
 Nimzo Indian (50) 
    E54 E46 E55 E21 E42
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (380) 
    B96 B90 B84 B46 B92
 Queen's Indian (139) 
    E15 E12 E17 E14 E16
 Sicilian Najdorf (123) 
    B96 B90 B92 B93 B94
 Nimzo Indian (85) 
    E54 E32 E53 E46 E48
 English (64) 
    A15 A17 A13 A14 A16
 English, 1 c4 c5 (63) 
    A30 A33 A36 A34 A35
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Polugaevsky vs E Torre, 1981 1-0
   Polugaevsky vs Tal, 1969 1-0
   Polugaevsky vs E Torre, 1984 1-0
   Polugaevsky vs Petrosian, 1960 1-0
   Polugaevsky vs I Bilek, 1969 1-0
   Polugaevsky vs Korchnoi, 1980 1-0
   Polugaevsky vs Maslov, 1963 1-0
   Spassky vs Polugaevsky, 1961 0-1
   Polugaevsky vs Smyslov, 1979 1-0
   Polugaevsky vs Gulko, 1975 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship 1968/69 (1968)
   IBM Amsterdam (1972)
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   USSR Championship (1969)
   USSR Championship (1965)
   Tallinn (1973)
   Manila Interzonal (1976)
   Riga Interzonal (1979)
   USSR Championship (1967)
   Petropolis Interzonal (1973)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   USSR Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   USSR Championship (1971)
   USSR Championship 1966/67 (1966)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Grandmaster Performance by Benzol
   Grandmaster Polugaevsky by Resignation Trap
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1980-1989 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   USSR Championship 1968/69 by suenteus po 147

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Lev Polugaevsky
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(born Nov-20-1934, died Aug-30-1995, 60 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Lev Abramovich Polugayevsky was born in Mogilev*. In 1953, he took second place in a strong Russian tournament, gaining his master norm. Two times Soviet champion, in 1967 [rusbase-1] and 1968 [rusbase-2]. He participated in five Candidates matches and won 2 silver and 2 gold medals in USSR Championships. He had an excellent record in the Olympiads as well. He was one of the most influential theoreticians of his day and contributed heavily to the development of the Sicilian Najdorf. One of the most complex variations in it bears his name, the Sicilian, Najdorf (B96) Polugaevsky variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5. He passed away in 1995 in Paris, France from a brain tumour.

*Wikipedia article: Mahilyow

Wikipedia article: Lev Polugaevsky

 page 1 of 79; games 1-25 of 1,955  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov  ½-½52 1953 13th RSFSR ChE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
2. G Ilivitsky vs Polugaevsky 0-144 1953 SaratowD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
3. Polugaevsky vs Y Gusjkov 1-036 1954 URS-chTA09 Reti Opening
4. Novopashin vs Polugaevsky  1-036 1954 URS-ch sfB69 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 11.Bxf6
5. V Goldin vs Polugaevsky  ½-½24 1954 URS-chTA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
6. Cherepkov vs Polugaevsky  1-021 1954 TournamentA04 Reti Opening
7. Bondarevsky vs Polugaevsky  1-036 1954 URS-ch sfB41 Sicilian, Kan
8. Polugaevsky vs A Krutyanski  1-045 1954 URS-chTA56 Benoni Defense
9. Polugaevsky vs A Khasin  0-130 1954 URS-ch sfE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
10. Polugaevsky vs Antoshin  ½-½70 1954 Leningrad masterA84 Dutch
11. V Liavdansky vs Polugaevsky 1-055 1954 URS-ch sfB58 Sicilian
12. Nezhmetdinov vs Polugaevsky 1-034 1954 URS-ch sfB30 Sicilian
13. Polugaevsky vs Lipnitsky  1-049 1954 URS-chTA15 English
14. Polugaevsky vs Lutikov  0-137 1954 ch-RSFSRA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
15. Polugaevsky vs G Borisenko 0-142 1954 URS-ch sfE99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov
16. Geller vs Polugaevsky ½-½41 1954 URS-ch sfB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
17. Y Kolobov vs Polugaevsky  ½-½41 1954 URS-chTA17 English
18. M Yudovich Sr. vs Polugaevsky  1-032 1954 URS-ch sfB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
19. Krogius vs Polugaevsky  ½-½14 1954 Ch RussiaB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
20. Polugaevsky vs N Gusev  0-172 1954 URS-ch sfE61 King's Indian
21. V Zagorovsky vs Polugaevsky  0-126 1954 URS-ch sfB67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
22. P Kampenuss vs Polugaevsky  0-144 1954 URS-chTA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
23. Polugaevsky vs Geller  1-036 1954 Leningrad masterD80 Grunfeld
24. Polugaevsky vs G Goldberg  ½-½74 1954 URS-chTA30 English, Symmetrical
25. Lepichin vs Polugaevsky  0-132 1954 URS-ch sfB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
 page 1 of 79; games 1-25 of 1,955  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Polugaevsky wins | Polugaevsky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-21-11  YourNickname: Did Polugaevsky ever gave simuls? I can't find any simul games of him. Can someone post them for me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a Polugaevsky win not in the database:

[Event "?"]
[Site "Kiev"]
[Date "1984.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Polugaevsky, Lev"]
[Black "Kholmov, Ratmir"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nc3 c5 5. g3 cxd4 6. Nxd4 O-O 7. Bg2 d5 8. Qb3 Nc6 9. Nxc6 Bxc3+ 10. Qxc3 bxc6 11. O-O Qe7 12. b3 Rd8 13. e3 a5 14. a4 Rd7 15. Ba3 Qd8 16. Rfc1 Ba6 17. cxd5 cxd5 18. Qd4 Rb7 19. Rab1 Rab8

click for larger view

20. Rc6 Rxb3 21. Rxb3 Rxb3 22. Rxa6 Rxa3 23. Qb2 Qc8 24. Rxa5 1-0

24...Rd3 25.Bf1 traps the Rook.

Source: Bill Wall, “500 English Miniatures”, Chess Enterprises, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, 1990

May-01-11  DanielBryant: Where the player's picture normally would be, I'm instead seeing an ad promising me cute local singles with lots of pictures of attractive ladies. Advertising can be unintentionally humorous.
May-01-11  Dionysius: Hi Chessgames.There are so many images of the great man from a search of google images that I can't see why you haven't included one. Never mind, I'm off now, so over to you. Best wishes all, Dion
May-01-11  DanielBryant: In all seriousness, I agree it's a shame that such an important player doesn't have a picture.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Someone could always upload the shot of him kibitzing Fidel Castro at Havana 1966.

Funny, I always thought Castro's prospects in life were as a left-handed pitcher, till he became a rabblerouser!

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Regarding <> uploading a photo of <Lev Polugaevsky>, and many other masters who currently don't have a photo on the profile:

Because <> is a registered business, they have to be very careful that any photo they upload is free of copyright claim.

There are only two kinds of photos they can upload safely-

1. Photos with permission of copyright holder

2. Photos that are documented to be free of copyright claim.

Look at the Wikipedia photograph here:

Now look at the copyright information, particularly this part:

"To the uploader: this tag is not a sufficient claim of fair use. You must also include the source of the work, all available copyright information, and a detailed non-free use rationale."

Even though the copyright holder of this photo is not actually known, it's still not safe for a <for-profit> business to upload it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Lev without photo. Scandal! He was one of the best in his time. Only Karpov and Korchnoi were better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <lost in space: ....He was one of the best in his time. Only Karpov and Korchnoi were better.>

He was certainly one of the strongest players in captivity for a long while, but if he even got as high as third in the world, it wasn't for very long.

To state that only those two K's were stronger is a stretch; by 1982, there was a third K in the mix, and when Fischer was active, fuhgeddaboutit! Even in the period 1972-82, there were players who could make a case to be as high as third, whereas Polu never made it to even a Candidates final, same as Geller, who's worshipped by some fanboys here because he had those fine records against all the world champions.

Dec-24-11  Korifej: <Lost in time>Yes!Poluga was very tough opponent for all,especially for 8th WC Mikhail Tal.
Dec-24-11  M.D. Wilson: Yes, but less so than Korchnoi.
Feb-14-12  brankat: <perfidious> <He was certainly one of the strongest players in captivity for a long while,>


Feb-14-12  King Death: <brankat> That's a figure of speech I've heard once in awhile too.
Mar-04-12  StrongSquare: <brankat> <Captivity?>'s a Cold-War thing, you had to be around in those days to understand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cemoblanca: No profile pic for Lev??? Noooooo! ;) Just found 1! :D
Nov-20-12  brankat: R.I.P. GM Polugaevski.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <SirChrislov: Sir<thegoodanarchist>, Sir<I play the Fred>,

The proper pronounciation of his last name is <pah-loo-gah-YEV-skee> according to Bill Wall.>

I thought it would be more like "paul-you-guy-EV-skee."

As to the first name and patronymic, I suppose they'd translate as Louis Son of Abraham.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <brankat: <perfidious> <He was certainly one of the strongest players in captivity for a long while,>


That reminds me of when I played at Mechanics' Institute in 1984.

I enlisted in the Navy, and when I came back on leave, Alexander Sinkievich (kibitzer emeritus) greeted me with: "You escape long time!"

Nov-20-12  gars: <Maatalkko>: Karpov's comment on Polugaevsky repeats Tal's words about Semion Furman in "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<To state that only those two K's were stronger is a stretch ... whereas Polu never made it to even a Candidates final>>

Saying that only the two Ks were stronger doesn't mean that Polugaevsky was the third best player in the world, it just means that he was tied for third, and I don't think this is much of a stretch at all for the period 1976-1980. And Polugaevsky didn't make it to the candidates final in 1980 because he was eliminated in the semi-final by Korchnoi. Given that Korchnoi only prevailed in overtime, I'd say that Polugaevsky had great chances to become World Championship challenger at the time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: he certainly had an "indian sign" on Tal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Happy Birthday Lev :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: If you study his games you are a poluologist.
Mar-27-13  TugasKamagong: I kinda hope the Polish GM Grzegorz Gajewski will produce a son he'll name Paulo. Seems to me "Paulo Gajewski" would be pronounced very much like "Polugaevsky."
Nov-20-13  Penguincw: R.I.P. World Championship challenger: Lev Polugaevsky.
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