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Alexey Sokolsky vs Strugatsch
"b4 It's Too Late" (game of the day Dec-21-2011)
White Russia (1958)
Polish Opening: Tartakower Gambit (A00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Sokolsky seems to have done well with his eponymous opening - a win over Flohr, draws with Keres and Geller, +1 =1 -1 against Kotov, etc.
Dec-21-11  erniecohen: 6...♕e7 7. ♗d5 ♘e5 8. ♘xf4 c6 9. ♗b3 d5 looks good for Black.

8. ♕h5 g6 9. ♕b5 looks very good for White.

Dec-21-11  erniecohen: <FSR: After 15...Ne5! 16.Qg3, White has the strong threat of 17.Ne6+ winning Black's queen. It looks like the best Black can reasonably hope for is an ending two pawns down after he gives back his extra piece...White will very likely win anyway.>

Don't think so. After {17...♔h7!, Black keeps his material advantage, e.g. 18. ♕xe5 d6 19. ♕g3 ♗c5+ 20. ♔h1 ♗d4 regains the piece, leaving black with a winning advantage. White's best is something like 17. ♘f5 ♕f6 18. ♘c3 ♗xc3 19. ♕h3+ ♔g8 20. ♕g3+ with a perpetual.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <erniecohen: ... Don't think so. After {17...h7!, Black keeps his material advantage, e.g. 18.Qxe5 d6 19.Qg3 Bc5+ 20.Kh1 d4 regains the piece, leaving black with a winning advantage. White's best is something like 17.Nf5 Qf6 18.Nc3 Bxc3 19.Qh3+ g8 20.Qg3+ with a perpetual.>

You obviously mean 16...Kh7!, but I agree, great idea. But in your last line, can Black play to win with 20...Ng6?

Dec-21-11  erniecohen: <<FSR> But in your last line, can Black play to win with 20...Ng6?>

After 21. bxc3, White's threats against the pinned ♘ and ♕ will assure White at least a draw, e.g. 22...d6 23. ♖f1 ♗xf5 24. exf5, or 22...♔h7 23. ♕h3+

Dec-21-11  RestlessLife: my favourite opening! i am glad to see that it is getting some acknowledgement from time to time :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I love the Polish Opening (aka the Sokolsky)! It relieves me of any necessity of playing against defenses like the Sicilian and the French--and it has given me a lot of good games against stronger players.

However...why did Black resign? Oops--never mind. Black is cooked no matter what he does.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The Polish Opening has also been called the Orang-o-tan opening. White often gambits his b-pawn in exchange for a nice fiancettoed bishop and a few tempi.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: 1.b4 may be called the Sokolsky, the Polish, or the Orangutan.

1.Nf3 followed by 2.b4 is Santasiere's Folly.

1.Nf3 Nc6 2.a3 followed by b4 *has been called* the Munster Attack. By me, after I won a game with it in Munster.

Dec-21-11  lemaire90: What a vicious attack, I think I have to try the Polish more often !
Dec-21-11  The17thPawn: <Domdaniel> _ I thought b4 was only labeled the polish when used as black to respond to the Quuens Gambit?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <The17thPawn> 1.b4 is sometimes called the <Polish Opening>. I have never seen an explanation for this. Savielly Tartakower, one of the first prominent players to play it, had accepted Polish citizenship after Poland gained its independence after World War I - although he had been born in Russia, and lived in Paris. He played it once at New York 1924, calling it the <Orangutan Opening> in honor of Suzy, an orangutan he had met at the Bronx Zoo. (I am not making this up.)

So perhaps <Polish Opening> alluded to Tartakower. It may also have referred to Sokolsky's later, more persistent, championing of the move. Alexey Sokolsky (1908-69) often played 1.b4 and published the book <Debyut 1b2-b4> in 1963. I have always thought, rightly or wrongly, that <Polish Opening> may refer to Sokolsky's "Polish-sounding" name. In that case, it is a misnomer, since Sokolsky was a was a Soviet citizen of Ukrainian-Belarusian extraction.

By analogy to "Polish Opening," when Black plays an early b5 that is often referred to as the <Polish Defense>. That label has been attached to several different opening sequences, most notably 1.d4 b5 and 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <The17thPawn & FSR> I *think* that 1.d4 b5 was first called the Polish Defence, and later the name transferred to 1.b4 as the Polish Attack.

Like the King's Indian Attack was named after the Defence. A sort of back-formation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Black powerless to stop the two mate threats.
Dec-21-11  rapidcitychess: It's funny: Black did not really neglect development, but let his pieces become so offside they would be better placed at home.
Dec-21-11  ajile: Hilarious game. Black's 2..f6 makes White's 1.b4 look good.
Dec-21-11  ajile: It's interesting that there doesn't seem to be any way to search this opening in the database since it's Uncommon on move 1 and there is no Polish Opening option in the search menu.

Unless I'm missing something?

Dec-21-11  The17thPawn: <Domdaniel & FSR> Thanks for the clarification. I'm certain I've seen the b4 move used by black in games by Miles and I believe Spassky against Petrosian. I should have been more specific and labeled it the Polish Defense but thankfully you fellas cleared that up neatly. Appreciate the feedback as I'm not very familiar with off beat openings.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <The17thPawn> Spassky played 1.d4 b5 in the 22nd game of his 1966 world championship match against Petrosian, when Spassky was desperate for a win. It didn't work. Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966 Miles famously played the same opening by transposition (1.e4 a6 2.d4 b5) against Karpov, also in a sort of desperate situation: he had lost almost all of his prior games as Black against Karpov. But he shocked everyone by beating Karpov with this "joke opening." Karpov vs Miles, 1980

The "other" Polish Defense, 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5, is perfectly respectable, and even gives Black a plus score (probably in part because it has been played by so many strong players). Opening Explorer It has been played by the likes of Smyslov, Tal, Spassky, and Karpov.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <ajile> You won't find any problem finding games that start with 1.b4 on the Opening Explorer.

Black's 2...f6 is a fairly common defense in this opening and has a fair amount of success.

Dec-22-11  qqdos: if you search Uncommon Opening (A00) you have all the other uncommon openings lumped in. 1.b4 is not distinguished which is a defect for common or garden Sokolsky buffs. Try this site ! for a 1.b4 feast!
Jun-06-14  celtrusco: Another brilliant pun.
Jul-17-19  Chesgambit:
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Danke für den Link (auf Deine Seite?!), <Chesgambit>! :)
Premium Chessgames Member
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