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PrawnEatsPrawn Invitational #2

Start Time: Apr 22, 2010

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The Man:

Lev Abramovich Polugaevsky  (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.


The Opening:

The Polugaevsky variation is a chess opening, and a line in the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence, noted for its sharpness and tactical play and devised by the Soviet International Grandmaster Lev Polugaevsky.

After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6, the Najdorf Variation, White's usual response is 6.Bg5, pinning Black's knight. 6. ... e6 continues development for Black, then White then aims to destroy Black's kingside pawn structure with 7.f4. After this, 7. ... b5 is the defining move of the Polugaevsky Variation (see diagram), launching a counterattack at White's queenside.




If white continues the attack on the kingside we reach positions which are highly tactical. For example;

8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7! 10.exf6 Qe5+!, where we reach the position as shown in the second diagram, and Black regains the lost piece through the fork on the king. This is the usual line in this variation, and from this point onwards play is extremely tactical, leading to a sharp, dynamic game on both sides.




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