Chess: A trap of his own making

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The Independent Culture
LEV POLUGAYEVSKY might have been world champion if he did not look so worried. His posture at the board - head squeezed tightly between fists - and the slightly hunted expression on his face, make chess look difficult and gives an opponent confidence. His own perfectionist approach and liking for complex strategies often cause problems only for himself. His best games are masterpieces of profundity, but sometimes he falls into his traps of his own design.

In the first round of the PCA qualifier in Groningen, the Netherlands, Polugayevsky had one of his bad days. The opening was fine: Once Black played 4 . . . Nd7, Polugayevsky exchanged pawns on d5, knowing that the black knight belongs on c6 in such positions. Kaidanov could only make sense of his formation by playing for . . . e5, leaving him with an isolated d-pawn.

When White played 12. Bb2, he must have seen the idea of 12 . . . Nxf3+ 13. Qxf3? Bg4 14. Bxf6 Bg4 14. Bxf6 Qd7] winning the white queen, but 13. gxf3 added to White's central control. And that is where it all began to go wrong. 14 . . . Ne4] threatened mate with Qg5+, which was easily met by 15. f4, but White must have overlooked 18 . . . Ng5]] The knight cannot be taken: after 19. fxg5 Qh5] Black threatens both Bxd1 and Bf3. The demolition continued with 19 . . . Bxf4] leading to an endgame with Black a pawn up. White, short of time, made it easier than it should have been.

White: Polugayevsky

Black: Kaidanov

----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Nf3 d5 13 gxf3 Bh3 25 Bd4 Kg6 2 c4 c6 14 Re1 Ne4 26 a3 Rac8 3 e3 Nf6 15 f4 Qh4 27 Nc3 Nc5 4 Nc3 Nbd7 16 Qf3 Rd8 28 Rf4 f4 5 cxd5 cxd5 17 Red1 Bg4 29 h3 Bxh3 6 d4 e6 18 Qg2 Ng5 30 Re1 Nxb3 7 Bd3 Bd6 19 Rf1 Bxf4 31 Nb5 Nxd4 8 0-0 0-0 20 exf4 Nh3+ 32 Nxd4 Re8 9 b3 e5 21 Kh1 Nxf4 33 Rb1 b6 10 Nb5 Bb8 22 Bxh7+ Kxh7 34 Nf3 Bg4 11 dxe5 Nxe5 23 Qg3 Qxg3 35 Nh4+ Kg5 12 Bb2 Nxf3+ 24 fxg3 Nd3 White resigns -----------------------------------------------------------------