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Lev Polugaevsky vs Boris Spassky
Leningrad master (1954), Leningrad URS, Jul-??
Benoni Defense: Classical Variation. Main line (A73)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-10-17  Retireborn: This seems to be the first encounter between these players; Polu would have been around 20 and Spassky about 17 at the time.

With 23.Be2 White is essentially sacrificing the d6 pawn for rather vague chances; instead White can keep equality with the elegant forcing line 23.Bxe5 Bxe5 24.dxc7 Qe7 25.h3 Bf5 26.Qe3 Re8 27.Nb5! a6 28.Qxe5+ Qxe5 29.Rxe5 Rxe5 30.Nd6 Re7 31.Nxf5 Rxc7 32.Ne3.

With 28.Qa5? Polu was no doubt envisaging a winning trick based on Rxe5 and/or Qd8+, but both players missed that Black can win at once with 28...Nf3+! 29.gxf3 Bd4+ and the f3 pawn will fall with check.

With 32...Qf7 and 33...Bxb2 Spassky gives back the extra pawn and the game peters out to a draw. His best chance would have been 32...Bxc3 33.bxc3 Qxc3 34.Qe7 Kg8 35.Qxc5 Qxe1+ 36.Bxe1 Rf1+ 37.Qg1 Rxg1+ 38.Kxg1 Kf7, although I'm not sure whether that endgame would be considered technically won or not; would welcome opinions.

Dec-11-17  zanzibar: <RB> I think <RusBase> has an earlier game:


[Event "Ch URS (team) (juniors)"]
[Site "Moscow (Russia)"]
[Date "1950.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Spassky Boris V (FRA)"]
[Black "Polugaevsky Lev (RUS)"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A84"]
[Annotator ""]
[Source ""]
[Remark ""]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 f5 4.g4 fxg4 5.e4 dxe4 6.Qxg4 Nf6 7.Qg3 c5 8.d5 exd5 9.cxd5 Bd6 10.Qxg7 Rg8 11.Qh6 Rg6 12.Qh4 Rg4 13.Qh6 Rg6 14.Qh4 Rg4 15.Qh6 Rg6 1/2-1/2


Of course, Spassky wasn't playing for FRA at the time!

Dec-11-17  Retireborn: <z> Thanks for that. The commercial Spassky database is not without its lacunae! Quite rare to see Polu playing a Dutch type opening as Black.

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