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Anatoly Karpov vs Lev Polugaevsky
Karpov - Polugaevsky Candidates Quarterfinal (1974), Moscow URS, rd 6, Jan-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation Modern Line (B92)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-03-05  RookFile: Well, your comments don't really jibe with what an expert like Gligorich wrote in his book on the match:

17.... Nd7! "Fischer knows many positions, but this one especially well. Black protects the squares on the queenside and threatens 18... Nc5"

18....Kb8! "Both players are far sighted...."

21.... Bf6 "A strange position has arisen. Black has placed his minor pieces on the ideal squares for the Najdorf variation, but at the same time, he is a pawn down. Is he lost or has he even chances. It is hard to guess, even for an expert."

Apparently, if Spassky had a chance,
it was with something other than 23. e5 in that game, maybe 23. Rc1 is better. From this point on, Fischer
had a clear superiority.

Aug-03-05  euripides: See Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 .
Aug-04-05  RookFile: <paul dorion> the novelty in this game was 14. a5, instead of 14. Nd4 as Karpov played in the previous
game with Polugaevsky. ( A game which
Karpov made several errors, and Polugaevsky by all rights should have won. )

After 14. a5, Polugaevsky immediately
made an error, 14.... Nfd7, ceding the d5 square to Karpov's knight. In the next game of this match, Polugaevsky played the better 14... Rfe8, but missed an equalizing exchange sac, and Karpov ground him down.

Aug-04-05  sitzkrieg: I have to agree with rookfile. Its clear why euripides was incomplete in his posts.
Aug-04-05  euripides: <sitkrieg> I continued my comments on the link provided in my last post. Don't make that kind of insinuation without checking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Well, the 4th game is a very good game, Bobby plays right into Spassky's preparation, deliberately, and Timman was very impressed with Bobby's defense in a tough situation.>

Since Fischer had white, and got into an inferior position in which he, per Timman, had to mount an impressive defense in a tough situation, presumably his opening preparation had holes. He did not repeat the line.

Games 7 and 11 were both poisoned pawn Sicilians. In the first Fischer refuted an unsound attack (don't know if he had it all prepared beforehand) and should have won, but played the rest of the game rather weakly and drew. Game 11 has been discussed. No one will praise Fischer's preparation there.

Game 15 -- Fischer played ...Be7 because he didn't want to repeat the PP variation, and then sacrificed a pawn for nebulous compensation. I really doubt the sacrifice was part of his preparation. Especially with Black, Fischer preferred to grab pawns, not give them. I think it was a good over the board reaction to strong opening play by Spassky. I don't understand what the quote from Gligoric is supposed to prove <Black has placed his minor pieces on the ideal squares for the Najdorf variation, but at the same time, he is a pawn down. Is he lost or has he even chances. It is hard to guess, even for an expert.> At best, Gligoric says, Fischer has compensation for the pawn; at worst he is lost.

<Fischer knows many positions, but this one especially well.> Gilgoric is not suggesting that Fischer knows this exact position (which had never occurred before); he is pointing out that Fischer is particularly at home in typical Sicilian Najdorf positions like this one.

Look, Fischer's opening preparation was generally excellent. No one would ever deny that. He also made some smart strategic choices in the Spassky match, avoiding the King's Indian and the Grunfeld and playing the Queen's Gambit. But he wasn't Superman, and it's silly to be sure he would have analyzed 17...Qxc2 in the Karpov-Polugaevsky line before the game even started. Polugaevsky, by the way, was legendary for his thorough opening preparation.

Question -- what is Bobby doing on this thread anyway?

Aug-04-05  RookFile: Well, I don't agree with you, keypusher, but you did make a good post. I suggest that if you want answers to this stuff, let's do it in the Spassky vs. Fischer games themselves.
Aug-06-05  sitzkrieg: @ Euripides/ I read it but the fact remains that u were intentionally incomplete in ur post at this page..
Aug-06-05  euripides: <sitz> I simply continued the discussion on the appropriate page.
Aug-06-05  sitzkrieg: Yup and werent complete in ur post at first. When u want to prove a point it is strange to with hold information in ur argumentation..
Aug-06-05  euripides: <sitz> I'm not responding further to this silly attack. Readers who want to know what I think about the 15th Spassky-Fischer game are referred to the game page.
Aug-06-05  sitzkrieg: U were not responding for i never asked u anything i just noted some facts and gave my opinion on them. If u call that an attack i laugh..
Nov-24-05  AdrianP: Re this game and the suggestion of 27 Rxf6!? with a strong attack - Kotov, "Play Like A Grandmaster" reports -

"The GMs in the press centre were having a lively discussion about the possibility of an exchange sacrifice on f6 ... and decided that White would have a dangerous attack. 'Sacrifice? Why?' was Karpov's reaction when he came into the press centre straight after the game. 'There is a regrouping available that underlines straight away the hopelessness of Black's position.' Then he indicated the plan which leaves Black with no hope - Bf4 to make room for the Q, which reaches g3 via f2, then Nf5 and doubling Rs on the f-file. Black simply cannot withstand this massive pressure." (Kotov, TLGM p. 70f).

If correctly reported, it's an interesting insight into Karpov's thinking - one can be sure that e.g. Kasparov would immediately be looking at Rxf6!? and calculating long variations, whereas Karpov lets the position on the board speak for itself, sensing (a) a critical weakness; and (b) that he can swiftly bring huge pressure to bear on the weakness and, thereafter, intuiting that this will be sufficient to turn up a win.

Nov-24-05  AdrianP: Playing through the game continuation, one can hardly disagree with Karpov - it's almost eerie the way in which all Karpov's pieces slot into position, most of them moving with gain of tempo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <AdrianP> Thanks for the account from Kotov, I had not seen that before. It was about this time Karpov was quoted as saying "Sacrifice if it is good. But bridges I do not burn."
Sep-01-06  kavalerov: Here's what Karpov had to say in his "Best Games" collection (1996) about 27. Rxf6:

"Later I discovered that in the press centre Furman was at this very moment proving that an exchange sacrifice leads to victory for White: 27 ♖xf6! gxf6 28 ♗h6 (threatening 29 ♕e3) 28 ... ♕c2 (or 28 ... ♘d3 29 ♗xf8) 29 ♖c1 ♕d3 30 ♕c5!. But when I played 27. ♗f4 my trainer contentedly commented, 'and that is good as well'. In fact, the threat of e4-e5 contains Black's activity, while the b4-knight finds itself out the game."

Sep-01-06  kavalerov: PS When I wrote that I hadn't seen <Lawrence>'s comment. But since it's not totally irrelevant to quote exactly what Karpov said, I'll leave it up.
Sep-07-08  Woody Wood Pusher: black must drop the knight to defend against mate with 40.Qe5, powerful finish.
Dec-21-08  M.D. Wilson: 34. Bc1! keeps the pressure up. Karpov really dominated Polugaevsky, a master of the Sicilian, especially in these sorts of positions. 9-0, with a host of draws, is a really damning stat, given Polu's strength and high regard among the chess elite in the USSR. Karpov really took chess to a new, higher level.
Dec-21-08  ughaibu: Sure, but only four of his wins were against Polugaevsky's Sicilian.
Dec-21-08  M.D. Wilson: Well, all the better for Karpov.
Jan-11-10  Ulhumbrus: After 26...Qc6 White would like to get his Queen back into the game. One way is to use the diagonal g1-a7. However the diagonal g1-a7 is obstructed by White's QB on f4. This suggests moving the bishop on f4 so as to clear the diagonal. The move 27 Bf4 clears the diagonal g1-a7 whereupon White's Queen can use the diagonal to get into play by means of the manoeuvre Qa7-f2-g3.
Jul-29-10  birthtimes: Karpov: "I understand analysis as a process of finding that essential truth, which, given a chance to develop, will create wholeness" (from page 85 in "Karpov on Karpov" 1990).

Be guided by "principles which are intrinsic to the game. These are the internal laws by which the game lives" (ibid., p. 86).

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I wish <> would give pages to these old Candidates' Matches as it has done to the World Championship matches.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <offramp: I wish <> would give pages to these old Candidates' Matches as it has done to the World Championship matches>.

...And they have! Thanks!

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