SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The following examples are from the games of the legendary GM Lev Polugaevski. White is to move and win, unless stated otherwise. Solutions at: http://www.wtharvey.com/polu.html
Polugaevsky vs Frantisek Blatny, Reykjavik, 1957
Polugaevsky vs Miroslav Herink, Marianske Lazne, 1959
Polugaevsky vs David Bronstein, Leningrad, 1960
White Mates in 4. Polugaevsky vs Gyorgy Szilagyi, Moscow, 1960
Polugaevsky vs Gilberto Garcia, Havana, 1962
Polugaevsky vs Istvan Bilek, Ordzhonikidze, 1964
Polugaevsky vs Vlado Kozomara, Sarajevo, 1965
Polugaevsky vs Anatoly Bykhovsky, Tallinn, 1965
Havana 1966. Left to right: Bobby Fischer, Misha Tal, Lev Polugaevsky and Boris Spassky
Lev Abramovich Polugaevsky (Russian: Лев Абрамович Полугаевский) (sometimes transliterated as Lyev Polugayevsky) (20 November 1934 – 30 August 1995) was an International Grandmaster of chess and frequent contender for the world chess championship, although he never achieved that title. He was one of the strongest players in the world from the late 1960s until the early 1980s, as well as a distinguished author and opening theorist whose contributions in this field remain important to the present day.
Lev Polugaevsky was born in Mogilev in the then Soviet Union (now Mahilyow, Belarus). Unlike many of his grandmaster colleagues, his development in chess came slowly, and he did not receive even the Soviet master title until he was an adult. His progress then accelerated rapidly, however, and by the late 1960s he was one of the world’s strongest players, as was recognized by his participation in the famous “USSR vs. Rest of the World” match of 1970. In this match he occupied fourth board, losing one game to Vlastimil Hort and drawing his other three. Polugaevsky won at Mar del Plata in 1962 and 1971. He won or tied in the USSR Chess Championship three times. He played regularly in qualifying events to select a challenger for the world championship, qualifying for Candidates matches on four occasions. His greatest advancement toward the title came during the 1977 and 1980 cycles, when he defeated Henrique Mecking and former world champion Mikhail Tal, respectively, in quarterfinal Candidates matches, before succumbing both times in the semifinals to the eventual challenger, Viktor Korchnoi.
Polugaevsky was a noted theorist whose work on a number of openings has stood the test of time. He is best remembered for a variation of the Sicilian Defense that bears his name: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 b5!? This “Polugaevsky Variation” of the Najdorf Sicilian leads to extraordinarily complicated tactical play on which the last word has still not been said, although theory as of 2005 seems to give White the upper hand.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS