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Boris Spassky vs Lev Polugaevsky
USSR Championship 1961b (1961), Baku URS, rd 8, Nov-27
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation (E21)  ·  1-0



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Given 23 times; par: 66 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-16-07  Grega: One of the finest games ever I think. Spassky's concept is great; length and depth of variations is not terrestrial but product of finest inspiration.
Mar-17-07  Maynard5: Some nice play by Spassky here. White rapidly neutralizes Black's threats on the kingside, then uses the f-file effectively, and finally creates an outside passed pawn on the h-file.
Mar-17-07  RookFile: This is a really funny game. You get the feeling that Lev Polugaevsky is playing completely logically, and is making threats. What does Spassky do? He just ignores the threats.... and wins.
Aug-11-07  sanyas: Spassky only played one innacurate move, the very last one. Instead 42.Qg7+ forces mate.
Aug-11-07  sanyas: But there is something to be said for the aesthetic effect of 42.d5.
Jul-06-09  Tomlinsky: I love this masterpiece by Spassky. 14.0-0 and dropping a pawn so flamboyantly is especialy wicked.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: A finely contested game that remained approximately equal until near the end.

At move 30, Fritz indicated the following evaluation and continuation: (.00) (22 ply) 30...Rxc3 31.Rxe6 Bxg2 32.Rh6 Rc2 33.Ke3 Rxa2 34.Rxh5 Ra3, or (.07) (22 ply) 30...Rxg2 31.Bxh5 Kd8 32.Rxe6 Rh2.

At move 34, the game was still approximately equal, (.05) (26 ply) 34...Rf2+! 35.Kg5 Rg2 36.d5 Bd7 37.h6 Bxe6 38.dxe6 Rf2 39.h7 Rf8. In this variation, the position after 39...Rf8 is totally equal.

Polugaevsky's 34...Rh2? was a serious error. At move 36, he erred again with 36...Rh1?. A longer resistance was possible with: (1.07) (27 ply) 36...Bxe6 37.Kxh2 Bg8 38.Bf5 Ke7 39.h7 Bxh7 40.Bxh7, (1.59) (26 ply) 40...d5 41.Bg8 dxc4 42.Bxc4 a4 43.Kg3 c6 44.Kf3 b5 45.Bg8 Kd6 46.Ke4 c5 47.Kd3, wins for White.

Better was 37...Rh3+ 38.Kxh3 Bxe6+ 39.Kg3 Bg8 40.Be4, or 37...Bxe6 38.Bxh1 Bg8 39.Be4, but by then his position was lost.

Apr-07-15  A.T PhoneHome: I personally liked how Spassky played <14.O-O>, inviting Polugaevsky to capture that pawn. After <15.Kh1 Nd7>, move <16.Rf4> was cunning as now Polugaevsky's Queen doesn't have that g5 escape square anymore.

Boris Spassky played excellent chess on the kingside! That h-file pawn was the last straw. Winning against Polugaevsky is no sloppy feat.

Aug-21-16  Dave12: Boris!
the concept of the free pawn reminds
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969
Jul-24-17  Toribio3: Passed pawn is a criminal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Spassky didn't have much for most of this game. It's black's misfortune that 24....Rxf8 doesn't worK: 25.Rxf8+ Nxf8 26.h3 Bf5 27.Nxf5 exf5 28.Bd3.

Very instructive endgame play with 37.Bf3 and 38.Bg2 - and it turns out that the rook runs out of squares on the h-file.

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