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*******

Keep watching these pages as they grow and change!!

 © A.J. Goldsby,
 2009.
(All rights reserved.) 

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   Welcome to my web page(s) and a careful look at one of the most complex and interesting games of chess ever played. This game that you now see is the culmination of a project which I began in 1993-94.  It is also one of the best and most careful examinations and analysis's of this game you are ever likely to see.  Enjoy!!  (pol-nez1.gif, 14 KB)

 Lev Polugaeyevsky - Rashid Nezhmetdinov;
Russian Federation (Soviet) Championships
 Sochi, 1958. 


You definitely will need a chess set to play over this game. 
 ( There are NO diagrams. )  

   --->  Click  HERE  to go to a page with this game on a js re-play board.  

(See the bottom of this page for escape links, or 
click the "Back" button on your web browser.) 

  Click  HERE  to see my explanation of the symbols that I use.  


 A great game of tactical chess. 

  (But I actually prefer the Smyslov game. See my  "Best Games"  page  for details.) 


January 04, 2002.
Just so you know, I have been working on this game for a number of  years.  My very first 
web page was built on a family of servers that was connected to the  'Excite'  group. (They 
failed and closed.) To be honest that web page was built by someone else, (in 1993); I had 
little or no working knowledge of HTML at that time. 

On that very first web page, I announced one of the things I was going to be doing was 
building a web page dedicated to finding, "The Ten Best Chess Games Ever Played." 
Someone sent me an e-mail saying I should choose this game. At that time the name 
did not ring a bell. Later, I pulled the game up on a database, and I recognized it 
immediately. 

When I was about 10 or 11, someone at the Pensacola Chess Club had given me a book. 
(I use that term loosely. It was actually more like a pamphlet.) This book, which I lost many 
years ago, was dedicated to the best games of Soviet Chess. I went over the game with 
someone at chess club. He told me that I could never understand a game such as this, and 
that best Masters could calculate 10 or 20 moves ahead!!  (This is not true of course.) 

When I was in the military, I began a project analyzing 50 - 100 of the best games ever played. 
I asked dozens of Masters and eventually came up with a list of like 200 games. I eventually 
wound up analyzing around 40-50 games (at least!) that were not in any of the books I owned. 
 This game was one of those that I analyzed.   I had boxes and boxes of such notebooks, but 
unfortunately I lost them a few years back when I lost a warehouse full of possessions. (Fire.) 

Then in 1993, I had my first web page, and once more this game surfaced. I started a notebook 
for chess, but I am not sure what happened to it. (When you have children, you discover this 
occasionally happens!) My analysis was 10-20 pages long then, but many of the impressions 
I had about the game were the same then as they are now.

I have analyzed this game many times over the years. I once spent 3 days with my friend Jerry. 
Every day after I got off my night security job, (and later, other night jobs); I would stop by his 
house and we analyzed this game. (We also used a very early version of  ChessBase  and 
Fritz, but it was VERY weak in those days and not much help in analyzing this game!)  I also 
chose to analyze this game at several chess club lectures I have done over the years, (in 
cities all over the USA);  most average players had never even seen this game.

In 1998 Nunn came out with his book. I began a serious analysis of this game. By this time, 
I had my own computer and developed quite a few files. (I had actually had several earlier 
computers. One had a hard-drive that failed and I had no back-up, so I lost all the files that 
were on it. Also, in early computers; there were no real chess programs, all your work had 
to be done on a chess board and transferred to a text file. This was EXTREMELY tedious 
work ... to say the least!!) 

It has basically taken OVER 4 years of effort to analyze this game. (I have NOT worked 
on it constantly, but worked on it a little here and a little there.)  I have done my very best 
to make the analysis of this game the most exhaustive ever attempted. When it is finished, 
you will see it posted here.

03/27/02
I continue to analyze this game. It is a wonderful combination. 
  IT IS ALSO BLATANTLY UNSOUND!   (Study the notes here.)  
Hopefully soon, I can start the actual process of building the web page. 
(I have started over several times.) 

Every time I look at this game, I find something new. {A.J.G.}

***

September 22nd, 2002.

I have received dozens of e-mails over the last few months. Just about ALL have accused
me of forgetting all about this game. NOTHING could be further from the truth. I continue to
check lines and analysis, and to generate an opening survey. (See the other games in this
series to see how exhaustive this work actually is.)  Soon, I hope to have a js-replay version
of this game up for you to be able to look at. This will be a BRIEFLY annotated version of
this game, which will have to serve until the time is reached when I am ready to post this
game  -  FULLY & EXHAUSTIVELY ANALYZED ... WITH EVERY LINE CHECKED.

***

Late October 2002: I finally start building the web page, but it is still many, many 
months before anyone sees any results of all this hard work. 


GM Lev Polugaeyevsky (2730) - IM Rashid Nezhmetdinov (2500) 
[A53]
Russian Federation Champ. (R.S.F.S.R.) Sochi, 1958

[A.J. Goldsby I]

************************************************************************************************

Many players (Masters and GM's) consider this the BEST chess game ever played. 
(Although I do not necessarily agree.) 

In the (former) Soviet Union, many surveys were taken in the magazines like "64" 
and "Shakmatny Bulletin." In these many surveys this game is ALWAYS highly rated 
and/or mentioned. 

Several Russian GM's have told me or mentioned directly to me that this 
is considered by many players to be one of the best games ever played. 

GM Andrew Soltis, in his book,  "The 100 Best," 
["The 100 Best Chess Games Of The 20th Century, Ranked." 
 (c) 2000, MacFarland Books.]
Soltis ranks this as the Number Two (# 2.) game overall, and since the number one 
game is a postal contest; this very clearly means he considers this the finest game 
ever played over a chess board. (!!!!!) 

GM Salo Flohr  also considered this to be: 
"One of the finest games ever played in over-the-board competition." 

For my part, I will say it  IS  an incredibly beautiful game of chess. 
(But I am not 100% convinced it belongs in the collection of the very best 
 games of chess ever played.)

  Soltis  gives the following info on  Rashid Nezhmetdinov 
"On a side street in Kasan in the province of Tartarsan, one may find a metal plaque announcing 
 that Rashid Nezhmetdinov lived for years in the adjoining building. He was probably the best 
 checker player among the 20th Century Chess Masters --- or the best chess player among the 
 checker champions. In fact, Nezhmetdinov often gave blindfold simultaneous exhibitions in 
 which he played both games." 

"He also wrote the first chess manual in the Tartar language and had an excellent score against 
 world class chess players. In the 1957 Soviet Championship, for example, he scored 2 1/2 - 1/2 
 against three future World Champions: Tigran Petrosian, Mikhail Tal, and Boris Spassky. Yet 
 poor Nezhmetdinov (1912 - 1974) was not allowed to travel or play abroad until he was in his 
 40's ... and then only occasionally. The farthest he traveled in Europe was to Berlin -- as a Red 
 Army soldier in World War II."   -  GM Andy Soltis

***********

(Note: I purchased the Nunn/Emms/ Burgess book right after it came out in 1998. 
 I have been analyzing this game {off-and-on} ever since.)

The ratings given are estimates of what the player's would have been rated in 2001. 
 (There was no ELO rating system in the year, 1958!)  
(The web  site  of  "Chess Metrics"  give Nez a  rating  of  2548  for 1958.
 The same site gives 'Polu' a  rating  in the  2600's  for this period.) 

 My annotation's are based  primarily on those of  GM A. Soltis  in his book, 
  "The 100 Best." 

[Played in the Russian/Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, (R.S.F.S.R.); 
 Championship; Sochi, 1958.) 

***

 Opening Repertoire included.   


1.d4 Nf62.c4 d6;   
This opening is referred to as ...    "The 'Old' Indian."    [more]   

 

3.Nc3,   
The most direct. This move is probably also the most flexible, and allows White 
to retain the most options.

     [  The idea behind the following move is to discourage Black from playing ...e7-e5. 
        3.Nf3 Bg44.Qb3 Qc85.g3 e66.Bg2 c67.0-0 Be78.Nc3 Nbd79.e4 e5
        10.Be3 0-011.h3!? Bxf3
The end of the column.  12.Bxf3 Bd813.Bg2 Bb6;  
        14.Rad1,
"+/="  White has a slight, but steady pull.  

        "Black's position lacks active prospects."  - GM N. DeFirmian.  

        J. Hjartarsson - M. Adams;  Paris, FRA; (rapid) 1994.   
        [ See MCO-14. Pg.'s 616-618; Column # 6, and note # (w.). ]   ]   

 

3...e5;  (Maybe - '!?')   
The "Old Indian Defense." 

Black tries to disrupt White's opening plans as quickly as possible. 

 

     [  Another popular line is: 3...Nbd7!?;   
        This can transpose to other lines ... or it can assume an independent nature. 
        4.e4, Center, space. 
        (This is the way most players play this position.) 

***

            ( Or 4.Nf3 e5'!?' - A.J. Goldsby I.  
              This is the most often seen move by Black in this position. 
              5.e4,  Statistically, the most popular move here. 
               (5.g3!?; or 5.Bg5!?)    5...Be76.Be2 0-07.0-0 c68.Re1,  {Diag?}  
              This is the main line, but it is certainly not the only playable move in this position. 
               (8.Qc2!?)    8...a69.Bf1 b510.a3 Bb711.Bg5 h6;  The end of the column. 
              12.Bh4 Re813.Rc1 Qa5!?14.c5!?,  ('!' - DeFirmian.)  Exclam, according to MCO. 
               (14.d5!?, "+/=")    14...exd415.Nxd4 Qc7;    (15...dxc5!?; 16.Nf5, "/\")     
              16.Nf5, "+/"  (Maybe unclear?)  {Diagram?}   According to (GM) DeFirmian in MCO, 
               "Black is hanging by a thread."  (He obviously considers this position MUCH better 
                for the first player, but is that based on the actual position or the result of the game? 
                The  computers consider this position slightly better for Black!)

               G. Kasparov - Trepp;  SWI  vs.  Kasparov; (Match) 1987.  
               [ See MCO-14. Pg.'s 616-618; Column # 2, and note # (g.). ]

***

        4...e55.Nf3 c6!?;  Black covers d5.  
        (Another standard idea for this particular opening.)  

        6.Be2 Be7!?;  The line consistent with  "The Old Indian."  
         (Black could try to fianchetto the KB here as well.) 

        7.0-0 0-0 8.Re1, "+/="  {Diagram?}   
        A standard line in the  'Old Indian,'  White has a small, but clear advantage. 

        A search of my database pulled up OVER 500 examples of this line!!!! 
        (Master practice.) 

        A very recent example of this line is  
        V. Lipman - Y. Lapshun;  U.S. Championship. 
        Seattle, WA; (USA)  2002

        One of the best examples of this line is the game: 
        GM G. Sosonko - GM B. Larsen;  Tilburg, 1978. 
        (Drawn in like 80 moves.)  ]  

 

4.e4!?, (Slightly risky?)   
This line may be dubious, but was an early favorite of Polugayevsky's. 
(I think he later gave it up.) 

In this line, White goes for a space advantage, but places his pieces on some 
awkward squares. (He also loses tempi with his Queen.) 

***************

 

     [   The  'book'  line is:  4.Nf3 Nbd7; '!?'   A standard development in this line. 
          (And probably the most logical move here.)  

         << This is the most often seen move by Black in this position. >> 

*******

             a).   MCO gives the very interesting line, (as follows): 4...e4;  {Analysis Diag?} 
                    This advance has definite risks attached to it. ('!?/?!')  I think it is much better 
                    to simply develop. (Black risks playing a French Reversed - - - ceding White 
                    an extra tempo.)   5.Ng5,  (Maybe - '!')  {Diagram?}  Probably the most 
                    logical, White seeks to win the e4-pawn, and does not hem in his own QB. 

                     ( Or 5.Nd2 Bf56.e3 c67.Be2 d58.Qb3 Qd79.f3!? Be7!?; (Maybe - '?!/?') 
                       This move (...Be7), looks too risky to me. {A.J.G.}  This continuation ... 
                       "leads to a sharp game."  - GM N. De Firmian
                       [ See  MCO-14.  Pg.'s 616-618;  Column # 5, and note # (q.). ]  

                        (Black should probably play, ... instead of the MCO line, the following      
                         continuation: >/=  9...exf3!; 10.Bxf3 Be6!; 11.0-0 Be7; 12.Ne2 0-0; 13.Nf4,      
                         13...Na6; "="  The position is very close to being dead even. {A.J.G.})     

                       Now White should play: 10.cxd5! cxd5!?;  This is probably best. 

                         (Or 10...exf3; 11.Bxf3 Nxd5; 12.Nxd5 Be6; 13.e4 Bh4+; 14.g3 Be7;    
                          15.0-0 Na6; 16.Nb1! cxd5; 17.exd5 Bh3; 18.Rd1 0-0; 19.Nc3, "+/" {Diag?}     
                           White seems to be clearly better here.)     

                       11.fxe4 Nxe412.Ncxe4 Bxe413.Nxe4 dxe414.Bb5 Nc6;  
                       15.0-0! 0-016.d5,  "+/"   (Maybe "+/-")  
                       White will win a piece on the c6-square, due to the pin. )   

                   5...Bf56.g4!?,  "White hopes to exchange a wing pawn for   
                   a center pawn." - GM Nick DeFirmian. 
                  [ See MCO-14. Pg.'s 616-618; Column # 5, and note # (r.). ]  
                    (6.Qb3!?, {A.J.G.})    6...Bxg4;  Positionally forced.  

                     ( " 6...Bg6?; 7.Bg2, "+/="  {Analysis Diagram?}     
                        does not make sense."  - GM Nick De Firmian  
                       [ See MCO-14. Pg.'s 616-618; Column # 5, and note # (s.). ] )    

                   7.Bg2 Nc68.Ngxe4 Nxe49.Bxe4 g610.Qd3 f511.Qe3!? Be7;   
                   The end of the column.  12.h3 Bh513.Bd5 Nb4!;  "="   
                   This ... "is good for Black."  - GM Nick De Firmian.  
                   Analysis.  (The line must be analysis - there are no matches in any database.) 
                   [ See MCO-14. Pg.'s 616-618; Column # 5, and note # (t.). ]   

             b).    Black could also try:  4...exd4!?5.Nxd4 g66.e4 Bg77.Be2 0-0;  
                       8.0-0 Re89.f3 c610.Kh1 Nbd711.Bg5,  "~"  
                       The position is somewhat unclear.  

*******

         5.e4 c6'!?' - A.J. Goldsby I.  
         'Black covers d5. (Another standard idea for this particular opening.)' 

         6.Be2 Be7;  '!?' - A.J.G. The line consistent with the "Old Indian." 
         (A fianchetto of the KB will lead to a 'K.I.D.' type position.)

          (The move  6...g6!?;  {Diagram?}  could possibly transpose to a variant    
            of the "King's Indian Defence." But the results - at least at the Master level -    
            from this position are not all that encouraging for Black.)    

         7.0-0 0-0;  etc. {Diagram?}  
         White has a very small (space) advantage. ("+/=")  

         (Notice we have a standard type of "King's Indian Defence" set-up, 
          but Black has NOT fianchettoed his KB.)   

         Line from a Chess Digest pamphlet on this opening.  (Originally.)   

         Now White can play:  8.Re1, "+/="  {Diagram?} 
         White has a small, but secure advantage, in this position.   

         A search of ChessBase's on-line database (by position); reveals nearly 850 
         games from this position at the master level!! 

         A game I personally had studied is the encounter:  V. Lipman - Yuri Lapshun
         U.S. Championship, Round Five (# 5.)  SCF/Seattle/WA/USA/2002. (49) 

         Black won a long game, but White's play could be very much improved!!  
         {A.J.G.} 

**********

         Another line for White is:  4.dxe5 dxe55.Qxd8+ Kxd8;  {Diagram?}  
           It used to be thought that White gained a clear advantage by exchanging    
           the Queens, but we now know that the first player gains little by playing this.   

         Dozens of modern GM's have used this line as Black. 
         (American GM Larry Christiansen is just one example.)   

         6.Nf3,  (Maybe - '!')  
         White develops in a fairly normal fashion, certainly there is nothing wrong with that. 

           (A popular opening book gives the continuation: 6.Bg5 Nbd7;  7.Nf3 c6;     
            8.0-0-0 Kc7; "="  {Diagram?}   According to MCO, this position is equal.     
           [ See MCO - 14.  Pg.'s 616-618; Column # 5, and note # (p.). ] )     

         6...Nfd77.g3! f68.Bg2 c69.0-0 Kc710.a3 Nb611.b3, "+/="  {Diag?}   
         White has a very tiny pull, although this line has seen a very large proportion 
         of draws at the Master level. 

         (From a Chess Digest pamphlet on this opening.)   ]  

***************

 

4...exd45.Qxd4!?,  (Ugh.)   
There is a definite tempo-loss that is associated with this move. 

Unfortunately, now it is forced. 

     [  5.Nb5? c5; "/+"  ]  

 

5...Nc66.Qd2!?,   
The White Queen may be better off on d1. 

"This begins an ambitious plan of development for White, also played in Game # 43. 
 Black has given up center control in exchange for a slight initiative - but if White solves 
 all of his opening problems, his space edge will begin to count."  
  - GM Andrew Soltis.  (His book, "The 100 Best.")   

In addition, I will note I found several games of Polu's, where he played this idea and 
coupled it with a fianchetto of his QB. He defeated many Soviet Masters with this line. 

     [  6.Qd1 Be7; "="  Black's lack of space is compensated by his better development.  ]  

 

6...g6;  (Almost - '!')   
This position almost cries for a fianchetto by Black. 

(Black's antidote to a White Bishop on the a1-h8 diagonal? One of his own! 
 "Most logical," as Spock would say.)

7.b3!?,   
White aims to dominate the dark squares.  

But it looks slightly awkward. 

     [ Maybe a little better is: 7.Nf3!?,  {Diagram?} but it is not clear if White 
        can complete his development in a smooth and efficient manner. ]  

 

7...Bg78.Bb2 0-0; "="   {Diagram just below.}  
Black is slightly ahead in development but his position lacks room to breathe 
in total and complete comfort. 

pol-nez_diag-01.gif, 10 KB

(The position is already equal, according to most strong computer programs.)  

 

9.Bd3, (Maybe - '!?')    
"White has not decided where to castle yet."  -  GM A. Soltis

     [ 9.f3!? ]   

 

9...Ng4!; (Maybe - '!?')   
An interesting 'switch-off' type of tactic not commonly seen. 

Soltis does NOT provide this move with an exclamation point, but it fully deserves one. 
(In my own, humble opinion.) 

(The move is very sharp ... and not at all obvious.) 

"Black begins to probe White's position ..."   - LM A.J. Goldsby I.   

(Soltis provides us with no commentary here at all!) 

"White's two pawns in the middle (e4, & c4); create a strong bind in the centre, and 
typical moves from Black will allow White to catch up in development and gain a 
comfortable advantage. Black must seek activity as soon as possible, and the move, 
9... Ng4; is the perfect way to do this. Now Black has ideas of ...Qh4; and Nge5; 
... and the pawn break of ...f5."  -  GM John Emms

   '!' - GM John Emms.   

     [ 9...Ne5!? ]   

 

10.Nge2,  (Maybe - '!?')  
Simple development.  (This can't be bad, can it?) 

The natural Nf3 looks - at least at a first glance - to be a little better. 

*****

     [  Could White have considered playing a move like: 10.0-0-0!?,  {Diagram?} 
        or is this too risky a plan for the 1st player?  

        Or 10.h3!? Nge5; "=/+"  with maybe a slight advantage to Black? 

***

        Or 10.Nf3 Nge5!; 11.Be2,   (11.Nxe5 dxe5!?; "=/+"  {Diagram?}  ... "when Black has    
           a pleasant outpost on d4 for his Knight." - GM John Emms.)   11...Nxf3+; 12.Bxf3 Nd4!; 
        13.Bd1 f5!14.exf5 Bxf5; "=/+"  "Black has a powerful initiative."   - GM John Emms. 
        15.Ne2!?, (Maybe '?!/?')   (15.0-0!? "~")    15...Nxe2!16.Bxe2!?,  This might be inferior.   
             (16.Bxg7 Nf4!; 17.Bxf8 Qf6!!; "/+")    16...Bxb217.Qxb2 Qg5!;  "=/+"  
        when  Black has a powerful initiative. 

        Vladimir Alortsev  -  GM Issac Boleslavsky;  
        U.S.S.R. 
(Soviet/Russian) Championship / Moscow, (RUS) / 1950. 
           (Click  HERE   to see this game thoroughly annotated.)   

        That game concluded:  18.g3 Rae8!19.0-0 Bh320.f4!, Bxf1!!;   
        An amazing sacrifice in a seemingly tranquil position. It is positionally based, 
        however ... on White's rather obvious weaknesses of his light squares. 

        21.fxg5 Rxe222.Qc3!? Bg2!!23.Qd3 Bf3!24.Rf1 Rg2+!25.Kh1 Bc6!;  
        (Maybe - '!!')  26.Rxf8+ Kxf827.Qf1+ Rf2+; ('!')  White Resigns,   0 - 1

        A brilliant effort by one of the best players Russia has ever produced. The pity
        is that most young players today have never even heard of the player who 
        championed the Black pieces in this game! {A.J.G.} 

        Both GM's Nunn and Soltis rate this in the 'Top 50' of the best games ever played.  ]   

*****

 

10...Qh4!?;  (Maybe - '!')   
A very nice and aggressive move. 

Soltis provides no commentary here, but several other authors 
have given this move an exclamation point. 

Since this is the sharpest and best, and there is significant risk (for BOTH sides!!!) 
connected with this move, I believe it fully deserves an exclam. 
(Black also had several other viable alternatives at this point.) 

     [ According to many strong computer programs, Black could have tried: 
       10...Re8!?, "=/+" (Maybe - '!')  {Diagram?}  which also looks ... VERY good 
        for Black! (Several books have also given this line.) ]  

 

11.Ng3!?,  (Too Risky?)  (Maybe - '?!')   
White discovers a lateral defence of f2 with his own Queen. 

This looks somewhat artificial, and this piece winds up costing White a lot of time. 

<< Many years ago, (early 1970's) I tested this game on a strong Master at a 
     'Southern Open' in Birmingham, AL. He also played g3. 
     (He had not ever seen this game before.)  When I asked him why not Ng3, 
     his reply was blunt: "It's a bad move. The Knight has now moved twice to get 
     to a bad square ... and it will probably have to move again!"  He was also very 
     critical of the way White had handled the opening. 
     (I had originally told him this was a game between myself and one of my friends.) 
      When I told him  GM L. Polugaeyevsky  was White ... 
      he simply did not believe me!! >>   

It is really hard to say if this is the best move for White. 

 

     [  Better maybe was: 11.g3!?,  (Equal ... unclear?)  {Diagram?}   
        After this move, White might be forced to castle Q-Side ... but would that be so bad? 
        Maybe this would have been White's last chance at a completely equal game? 

           (When I originally annotated this game, I had not yet looked at any notes. But GM   
            E. Geller also preferred  11.g3  over the what was actually played in the game.)  

        11...Nce5?!12.gxh4 Nf3+13.Kd1 Nxf2+14.Kc2 Nxd215.Kxd2 Nxh1;  
        16.Rxh1, "+/="   - GM John Emms.   

***

        Not  11.Rd1?? Qxf2#;  
        To illustrate Black's threat ... and show I have a sense of humor.  ]  

 

11...Nge5!?; (Maybe - '!')   
Probably the best. (According to many authors. But I prefer ...f5! here.) 

"Black rejected 11...f5; (!)  because of 12. f4!, and if 12...Nxh2!?; 
  then 13. Nce2 and 0-0-0."  - GM A. Soltis

Some computers programs already begin to favor Black from this position. 
(But only very slightly.) 

     [ 11...f5!?; 12.f4! Nxh213.Nce2, "~" ]  

 

12.0-0; (Maybe - '!?')   
Castling into it, but White may not have much choice at this point. 

(I think Be2! may have been just fractionally better here.) 

 

     [  Line 12WA.  White could have played:  12.Bc2 Nd4!13.Bd1 c5;  "=/+"  {Diag?}  
        {Maybe - Unclear?}  - Line by  GM A. Soltis14.Nd5!?,   (14.0-0!?)    14...Bh6;   
        15.f4?!  (15.Ne3)    15...Bxf4!16.Nxf4 Qxf417.Qxf4 Nd3+18.Kd2,    
        18...Nxf4"=/+"  (Maybe - "/+")  {Diagram?}  
         Line by  GM J. Emms.  (He ended at move 16.  I took it 2 moves further for the 
         sake of clarity.); 

        Line 12WB.  Or White could have tried:  12.Be2!? Bh6!13.Qd1 f5;  "="  {Diag?} 
          - Line by  GM A. Soltis
        (Soltis claims both of the above lines, ... " gives White a poor game.") 
        14.exf5 gxf515.Nd5 f4!?;  "~"  {Diagram?}  
          ... "and White's King is still stuck in the center." - GM John Emms

        Line 12WC.  Definitely NOT  12.0-0-0?? Bh6;  "-/+"  winning the White Queen. ]   

 

12...f5!?; (Maybe - '!')   
A nice, but rather obvious ... attacking move. (Several Soviet annotators give this move 
 an exclam here, and I basically agree with that.) 

Almost stereotypically, the "Nez-Man" plays the sharpest possible move! 

(Black had MANY good possibilities here!) 

*****

     [  Line # 12B1.)  
        Black could also play: 12...Ng4!?13.h3 Nxf2!14.Rxf2,  {Diag?} 
        This is probably forced. 

          (Worse is: 14.Qxf2?! Bd4; 15.Qxd4 Nxd4;  16.Nd5 c5!;  17.Ne2 Nxe2+; 18.Bxe2 f5;      
           19.Rf4 Qh6; 20.Raf1 Be6; 21.Nc7 g5!;  "-/+"  - GM John Emms.    

            Not 14.Kxf2? Bd4+; 15.Ke2 Qxg3; 16.Kd1 Be5; 17.Rf3 Qh4; "/+" {Diagram?}     
            is simply horrible for White. )     

        14...Qxg3;  "=/+"  {Diagram?}  which is clearly a lot better for Black.  

***

        Line # 12B2.) 
        Or Black could also play:  12...Bh6!?;  (Maybe - '!')  13.Qd1 Ng4!;  "/\"  {Diag?}   
        Maybe better for Black?  ("=/+") 

***

        Line # 12B3.) 
        Black could have tried:  12...Nxd3;  and now ... Junior 6.0  gives:  13.Qxd3 Ne5;  
       14.Qd2 Bh615.Qe1 Be616.Nb5 Rfc817.Bxe5,   - 0.35/9  {Diag?}   (17.Rd1!?)    
      
17...dxe5;  "=/+"  {Diagram?}  is probably slightly better for Black.  ]   

*****

 

13.f3!,   
<< "The beginning of a deep plan of defense," a Nezhmetdinov biographer wrote. >> 
 -
GM A. Soltis.  

   '!' -  GM Andy Soltis.     
   (GM Soltis also gives this move an exclam.)  

       (Soltis goes on to point out the variation given below.) 
     [ Soltis gives the variation: 13.f4? Ng414.h3!? Bd4+15.Kh1 Qxg3;  
       16.hxg4 Qh4#
  ]   

 

13...Bh6; "=/+"   (Almost - '!')   {Diagram?}  
A nice "switch-off." 
(The dark-squared Bishop leaves the seemingly green grass of the long diagonal for 
 a possibly inconsequential line of attack.   ... It is quite clear this piece does gain a 
 tempo, however.) 

According to MANY computer programs,  (Fritz6, Junior7, Nimzo8, Shredder, 
Rebel, and ChessMaster8000, ... and several others!);  Black already has a 
fair size advantage. 

I really like this move - and award it an exclam - although GM Soltis, (and others) 
do not follow suit. 

 

White's next move is pretty much forced. 
14.Qd1 f4;  (Maybe - '!?')   
This seals the dark-squared Bishop OUT of the attack ... but ... it might be the best 
 long-term attacking idea. (The other possibilities fizzle out pretty quickly.) 

     [ Many computers like: 14...Be3+!?; 15.Kh1 f4; "~"  with a nice attack for Black. ]  

 

15.Nge2 g5; (Maybe - '!')   {Diagram just below.}  
Black begins a "Pawn Storm" attack on the K-side.  

pol-nez_diag-02.gif, 10 KB

Black has used his initiative to mount a scary King-side attack.  

 

     [ 15...Bg7!?; 16.Bc2 Be6; "=/+" ]   

 

16.Nd5 g4!?; (Maybe - '!/!!')   
"Attack, always press forward. Always!  TAKE  the initiative ..." 
This was the motto of one  (American)  General  George Patton

It may have been the personal credo of  Master  Rashid Nezhmetdinov  
as well! 

I have personally tested dozens of strong players here in this position. 
Few - if any - will play this 'risky' move here. 

     [  Most players will play the safe, sane and reasonable move, 
        16...Rf7
; "=" {Diagram?} when the game is fairly level.  

        I really think this may be the best continuation at this point.  ]   

 

17.g3!, (Almost forced.)   
Preventing the g4-g3 advance. (Gaining space for defense.) 

"White is lost if he allows 17...g3; 18. h3, Bxh3; or an attack along the h-file 
 after ...Kh8; & ...gxf3." - GM A. Soltis.  

   '!' - GM Andrew Soltis.   (GM Soltis also gives this move an exclam.)  

     [ The position after 17.Qd2 g3; 18.h3,  {Diag?}  is vulnerable to a sacrifice. 
          (Since White is so tied up, I would play ..Rf7;  then ...Be6;  followed by ...Raf8.    
            Then ...Bxh3; would probably be decisive.);   
17.Nxc7?! g3!18.h3 Bxh3!;  
      
19.gxh3 Qxh3; "-/+"  - GM John Emms. ]   

 

17...fxg3!?; (Maybe - '!')   
"Good enough to keep the initiative ... "   - 
GM John Emms.   

     [ 17...Qd8!?; "=/+"  - {A.J.G.}   Or 17...Qh3!?; "=" - GM John Emms. ]   

 

18.hxg3 Qh3!?; (Maybe - '!')   
You know Nez doesn't understand the meaning of retreat!  

     [ 18...Qd8!? ]    

 

19.f4!,  "+/="  ( Box, or  '[]'  ? )    
White gains vital space on the K-Side for the defence of his King. 

Polu realizes that ...Nf3+;  is not that big a deal.  
(Considering how bad the alternatives are, this move is virtually forced.) 

(Soltis also gives this move an exclam.)   

    [  19.fxg4? Bxg4!; "-/+"   Or  19.Bxe5?! gxf3!; "/+"  
        Or
19.Nxc7?? Be3+20.Rf2 Nxf3#  ]    

 

19...Be6!!;   (Maybe - '!?')    {Diagram just below.}   
"An imaginative idea." - GM John Emms.  

 

pol-nez_diag-03.gif, 10 KB

Soltis only gives this move one exclam, but it certainly deserves two. The amount 
of calculation required to play this move is massive, and this alone merits ... 
TWO exclamation points.   

My only problem is I have been working - on, and off - on this game for almost 6-7 years ... 
(ever since a reader of my web pages sent me an e-mail, after I announced I was going 
to be building a web page with, "The Best Chess Games of Chess Ever Played."); and 
I am NOT yet convinced this sacrifice is 100% sound! 

     [  Unclear is: 19...Nf3+!?20.Kf2 Qh2+21.Ke3, "+/="  this position is ... 
         "OK for White," according to 
GM Soltis.    Or   19...Rf7!?   ]   

 

20.Bc2?,   ('?!',  Maybe only dubious?)    
Probably we can chalk this up to excessive enthusiasm by Polugayevsky. 
(Polu had a tendency to often under-estimate his opponent's position.) 

"Here 20. Bc1, was refuted by 20...Nd4!! But the fate of the game hung on the 
 difference between 20. Bc2,  and the superior retreat to b1."   -
GM A. Soltis

GM Soltis (also) awards this move a question mark. 

   '?' - GM Andrew Soltis.   '?' - GM John Emms. 

"Under immense pressure, Polugayevsky slips up, although at this stage it is far from 
  clear why this plausible move should lose."   - 
GM John Emms

Personally I feel 20. Bc2 looks like a more natural move than Bb1 ...  by a factor of nearly 5. 
To find this line over the board - and the refutation in my notes - would have been a nearly 
 a super-human achievement.  - LM A.J. Goldsby I  

 

*************************

     [  GM Soltis gives the main line of:   (Variation # 20WA.) 
        
20.Bb1 Bxd521.cxd5,   This looks to be forced. 

*******

          a).     GM Soltis also analyzes: 21.exd5 Nf3+22.Kf2 Qh2+23.Ke3,  
                   
23...Rae8+24.Be4[],    This is forced. 

***

                      If  24.Kd3 Rxe2!25.Bc3,  
                       This is probably White's best try in this position. 

                        ( Or  25.Qxe2 Nb4+; 26.Kc3,  
                           This is probably forced. 

                           ( But not  26.Ke3? Re8+27.Be4,  Forced.  
                              (Not 27.Be5? Rxe5+!; ("-/+") {Diagram?}  White cannot capture     
                               with the f-pawn, because of the pin on the h6-c1 diagonal.)    
                             27...Rxe4+!28.Kxe4 Qxe2+;  ("-/+")  and Black has a won position. )  

                          26...Qxe2; "-/+"  and Black is winning. )   

                      25...Rfe8;  "-/+"   Black has a dominating position. 

***

                    24...Rxe4+25.Kxe4 Re8+26.Kd3 Nb4+27.Kc3 a5!;  "-/+"  {D?}  
                     ... " and Black wins."  Main variation (here) by 
GM A. Soltis

*****

          b).    21.Qxd5+ Rf722.Bc3!? Re823.Bc2 Nf3+24.Kf2 Ne7!?{Diag?} 
                      This move is the most forcing.   (24...Qh2+!? ; will transpose.)     
                    25.Qe6 Qh2+26.Ke3 Nf5+!27.exf5 Rxe6+28.fxe6 Re7;  
                   
29.Bf5 Qh5; "/+"  (Maybe "-/+")  {Diagram?}
                    Black is probably winning in this position. 
                    Line by  - 
GM J. Emms

*******

         (Returning now to the main analysis line, #20WA.)    
        21...Ne722.Kf2!?,  {Diagram?}   Ugh!  (Maybe - '?!/?') 
        This simply has a bad "feel" to it. (And it looks bad too!) 

        (I should point out many annotators have given this move an exclam.)  

***

          ( The computer gives: 22.Bxe5! dxe5; 23.Rf2, "+/="  (Possibly only equal, or: "=" ?)    
            This looks to be MUCH, MUCH,  MUCH  better than what White got in the    
            game!! 
{Refutation?}  After months of computer-assisted analysis, the best    
            lines I could find for Black were slightly inferior and merely a slim hope for a    
            draw.  (I first found this line in the late 70's, when I was stationed at    
            Kirtland A.F.B.)    

            "Black can still complicate matters by means of:  23...Bxf4!;  24.gxf4,    
             24...exf4; "~"  {Diagram?}   ... when the two advanced pawns are very    
             threatening."  - 
GM John Emms   

            Again. I found several draws here, but  no forced win. )    

***

        22...Rxf4+!!; (Nice.)  - GM E. Geller.   23.gxf4 N7g6;  ... " with a winning attack," 
        according to 
GM A. Soltis

        E.g., 24.fxe5?,  (Maybe - '??')  {Diagram?} 
        This is the only move some   (most!)   annotators give here. 

***

         a).   BUT ... The computers give:  24.Bxe5! dxe525.Qd3!,  "+/" Maybe "+/-" 

                This looks winning for   White. Is this the   REFUTATION   of White's 
                 entire attack??? 

                25...Qh2+26.Ke1 exf4!; "~"  {Diagram?} 
                When Black has VERY limited compensation for his material deficit. 

         b).  24.Qc1?! g3+!25.Ke1,  {Diagram?} This could be forced. 
                  (25.Nxg3? Bxf4; "-/+")   
25...g226.Rg1 Nxf427.Nxf4 Qg3+28.Ke2, 
               
28...Qf3+29.Ke1 Bxf4("-/+")  {Diagram?}  Black is winning.  

         c).   24.a4? g3+!25.Ke1 g226.Rg1 Nxf427.Bxe5 dxe528.Nxf4 Bxf4; 
               
29.Qd3 Qh2;  "-/+"  {Diagram?}   
                and Black has a decisive attack.  (line by)  - 
GM John Emms

         d).   24.Qd4 g3+!25.Nxg3 Nxf426.Rg1 Bg727.Qd1{Diagram?}  
                Seemingly the only defence, Black threatened to play ...Ng4+; 
                winning White's Queen in this position. 
                  (27.Nf5?? Qf3+; 28.Ke1 Qe2#)     27...Ng4+28.Ke1 Bxb2;   ("-/+")  {D?} 
                This is an obvious win for Black.  - (Line by) 
GM John Emms

***

        24...Rf8+25.Ke1 Qh4+{Diagram?}  
        Black is winning. ("-/+") {Probably a mate in 2.} 

        Main variation by  GM A. Soltis

********

          (Variation # 20WB.)    White could try something like the following:
       
20.a4?! Bxd5!21.cxd5 Rxf4!22.Rxf4,   This looks forced. 
         (22.gxf4? g3; "/+"  or  "-/+")   
22...Bxf423.Nxf4 Qxg3+24.Kf1
        Again, this is probably the only move. 

***

          ( Or  24.Ng2 Nf3+25.Kf1,   Once again, the only move. 
             (25.Kh1?? Qh2#)    
           
25...Rf8!; "--->"  ("-/+")  and Black has a winning attack. )   

***

        24...Rf8; "-/+"   and Black should win easily.  

********

          (Variation # 20WC.)    
        No one wants to talk about 
Nxc7.  (For White.) 

        Most have intimated it loses by force ... one author gives: 
        "Not 20. Nxc7?, because of 20...Rxf4!!"  This same author gives no further 
        analysis but simply states that: ... "and Black has a winning attack." 

        But it is not that clear if Black even has a win after 20. Nxc7!? 

        For instance:  20.Nxc7!?,  (Maybe - '!')  This could be White's best bet.   

        Many months (years) of work and analysis ... aided by computers ... 
        have yet to reveal a clear forced win in this line!!!! {A.J.G.}   

        I should also note that GM J. Emms (and GM J. Nunn) did  NOT  
        find a forced win for Black here either!!! 

        20...Rxf4!!;  {Nice.}  Easily the best move here. 
        (And by now ... thematic!!) 

*****

          Black could also try:  20...Bxf4!?21.Rxf4,  Definitely forced. 

***

            ( 21.Nxf4? Qxg3+;   This is the best.  
                (Now if 22. Kh1, then 22...Rf6! wins.)    
22.Ng2 Rxf1+!23.Bxf1
              23...Nf3+;
  ("-/+")   - GM John Emms

              Or  21.gxf4? g3; "-/+"   - GM John Emms. )  

***

          21...Rxf422.Nxa8!?,  (Hmmm.)  
          GM J. Emms seems to like this "greedy" move. 

           (22.Nxe6 Rf3; "~"  (Maybe - "+/=") - GM E. Geller.)  

          22...Rf3(Maybe - '!?')  {Diagram?} 
          It is hard to say what the best move is here. 

          ( Perhaps another alternative is:  22...Rf823.Nc7 Nf3+24.Kf2 Nfd4+; ('!?') {D?} 
            Is this the best move here?   (Or 24...Nfe5+; 25.Kg1 Nf3+; 26.Kf2 Nfe5+; 27.Kg1, "="   
                It looks like a draw, now.)    
25.Ke3!?,   This might be forced. 
               (Or 25.Kg1? Nxe2+; 26.Qxe2 Qxg3+; 27.Qg2 Qe3+; 28.Kh1 Rf3; "-/+" {Diag?}     
                 & Black wins easily.)   
25...Rf3+26.Kd2 Qh6+27.Kc3,  "~" {Maybe equal?} 
            This position  .........   "is a complete mess." -
GM John Emms. )  

          23.Bc2 Nxc4!?24.bxc4 Rxg3+25.Nxg3 Qxg3+26.Kh1[],  
          One-hundred percent forced. 

            ( Not  26.Kf1?? Bxc4+27.Bd3 Bxd3+28.Qxd3,  
              This is forced.   (Not 28.Qe2? Qf3+; "-/+" {D?} and Black wins easily.)     
             
28...Qxd3+;  ("-/+")  It is a very easy win for the second 
              player here. )  

          26...Qh3+27.Kg1 Qg3+28.Kh1 Qh3+,  "="  {Draw.}   
          A draw by perpetual check.  - 
GM John Emms.  

***

         (We now return to the main analysis line of  #20WC.)  
       
21.gxf4,  
        Most computers consider this move forced. 
        (GM Emms gives this move a question mark, but does not 
         sufficiently substantiate this with analysis.) 

*****

           GM John Emms gives the following variation:  
          
21.Nxf4! Qxg3+22.Kh1 Bxf423.Rxf4 Nxd3?!(Maybe - '?')  
           Why this lemon of a move?  

             ( Black seems to win with: >/=  23...Qxf4; 24.Bxe5 Nxe5; 25.Nxa8 Qh6+; 26.Kg2,    
               26...Qh3+; 27.Kg1 Qe3+!; 28.Kh1 Nxd3; 29.Qc2!? Nf2+!; 30.Kg1 Nxe4+;    
               31.Kg2 Nd2!; 32.Rf1 Qh3+; 33.Kf2 Qxf1+; 34.Kg3 Qg1+; 35.Kf4 Qf2+; 36.Kg5,    
               36...h6+; 37.Kxh6 Qh4+; 38.Kg6 Nf3!; ("-/+") {Diagram?}    
               It is mate in just a few moves.     

               I have checked this line dozens of times ... with several DIFFERENT chess    
               analysis engines. I could generate pages of analysis, (There perhaps dozens    
               of different side-lines and variants.); but the result is always the same ...     
               Black should win. {A.J.G.} )    

           24.Nxe6;  "~"  (Maybe equal?)  
           Emms says this is very unclear. 

            (The chess engine, Nimzo 8.0, after several hours of analysis ... 
             considers this position close to approximately equal.)  

***

         (We now return (again) to the main analysis line of  #20WC.)  
        21...g3!22.Nxg3 Qxg3+23.Kh1 Qh3+!;  
        Black obviously has a draw, if he now wants one.  
       
24.Kg1 Nxd3!;   This looks to be forced. 

*****

          a).  24...Bg4!?25.Qc2?,  {Diagram?}  This looks wrong.  
                 (Why not the natural move, 25.Be2, "=" here?)   
                25...Rf8; "/+"  -  GM John Emms.

          b).  Or  24...Qg3+25.Kh1 Qh3+26.Kg1 Qg3+;  
                
27.Kh1 Qh3+;  ("=")  which is an obvious draw. 

          c).  24...Qe3+; (Hmmm.)  {Diagram?} 
                It is hard to be sure what to think here. 
               
25.Kh1 {Box.}  This looks forced. 
                 (White walks into a pin with: 25.Rf2?! Nxd3; "~"  
 
                   which is wild and unclear.)    
               
25...Bg426.Qc2 Bf3+27.Rxf3[]   
                This looks forced as well. 
                 (27.Kh2?? Qxf4+; 28.Kh3 Qg4+; 29.Kh2 Bf4#.)   
               
27...Qxf3+28.Qg2+,   
                Once again, this looks like (probably) White's only move.  
                 (28.Kg1?? Nxd3; "-/+")   
               
28...Qxg2+29.Kxg2 Nxd330.Nxa8 Nxb2;  "=/+"  {Diagram?} 
                This looks slightly better for Black. 
                 (Black has two minor pieces for a Rook and a Pawn.) 

                (I find it curious that  Emms  did not even analyze this line here.)

*****

       (We now return (one more time) to the main analysis line of  #20WC.)  
       
25.Nxa8,  The greediest ... or the stiffest test for the attacker?  

 

  *****************************  

          ( Or (>/=)  25.Qf3!? Nxb2; "~"  (Maybe - "=/+") (Since I found a win for Black    
            in the main line of this sub-variation, White may be forced to play this.)
)     

The diagram might represent one of White's better options for a viable defense of this game. (polug-nezhm_ad-01.jpg, 17 KB)

 (Analysis diagram after  25.Qf3, Nxb2;  given just above.) 

    *****************************   

 

        25...Bxf4!;  An improvement after years of analysis! (Feb, 2002.)  

          ( I had originally considered the move:  25...Nxb2; "=/+"  {Analysis Diagram?}    
             ... "with a wildly unclear position which I would adjudicate as slightly better    
            for Black." (Maybe.)  {I first wrote these words in like October, 1999.}    

 

        26.Rxf4 Nxf427.Qc2 Qg3+28.Kh1 Bg4 ("-/+")  {Diagram?} 
        Black has a winning attack. (Feb. 03, 2002.)   

        Since I had believed for nearly 20 years that   20.NxP/c7   would win 
        for WHITE!, finding this line was truly a revelation!!! 

********

          (Variation # 20WD.)  
        Not 
20.fxe5? Bxd5!21.Bc1!,   
        This could be White's best chance in this position ... and all 
         the computer programs seem to agree with this verdict.  

          (21.exd5? Be3+; 22.Rf2 Bxf2#.)   

        21...Nxe522.Bxh6 Nf3+23.Kf2,   
        This looks forced. 

          ( 23.Rxf3? gxf3; 24.Nf4 Qxg3+; 25.Kf1 Rxf4!; 26.Bxf4 Qg2+; 27.Ke1 f2+;    
            28.Kd2 f1Q+; 29.Kc3 Qxf4; ("-/+")  
 
            Black wins easily, he has a whole extra Queen - for one White Bishop. )   

        23...Qh2+24.Ke3 Qxh6+;  "--->"  {Diagram?}  
        with a probably winning attack for Black. 
        (The computer shows this as an easy win for Black. He is a Pawn ahead 
          and his attack will continue.) 

********

          (Var. # 20WE.)   
       
20.Bc1 Bxd5!;  Maybe the best move here. 

*****

          a).  Or  20...Nd4!?;  - E. Geller21.Nxd4 Qxg3+22.Kh1 Qh3+; {Diag?} 
                 Black cannot afford to take any risks here. 

                  (If Black plays:  22...Bxd5; 23.fxe5 Qh3+; 24.Kg1 g3; 25.Rxf8+ Rxf8;   
                   26.Nf3 g2; 27.Be2 Bxe4; 28.Bxh6, "+/="  
                   and White is just a little better.  -
GM John Emms.)   

                23.Kg1 Qg3+("=")  {Diagram?} 
                This is an obvious draw by what some call: "perpetual check," 
                but is actually a draw by repetition of the position. 

                  (A continuation that could be risky for the second player would be:    
                    23...g3!?; 24.Ne7+ Kh8; 25.Qc2 Nxd3; 26.Nxe6 Qxe6; 27.Nf5 Nxc1;     
                    28.Qc3+ Rf6; 29.Raxc1 Bg7; 30.Nxg7 Kxg7; 31.Rf3!?, "~" 
{Diag?}    
                    with possibly the slightly worse game for Black here. {A.J.G.})    

***

          b).  20...Nf3+21.Kf2 Qh2+22.Ke3 Bg723.Rh1 Qg2;  
                
24.e5 Bf5; "~"  {Diagram?} 
                 "The opening of the centre favours Black, whose King remains 
                   the safer of the two."  - 
GM John Emms

*****

        21.cxd5,   This is (probably) forced for White in this position. 

          ( </= 21.fxe5?!, ('?')  21...Nxe5; "/+" )   

        21...Nd4!22.Nxd4 Qxg3+23.Kh1 Qh3+;  24.Kg1 Nxd3; "/+"  (Maybe "-/+")  
        Black is certainly better here, and may be winning.  
         -
LM A.J. Goldsby I ]   

*************************

 

20...Rf7;  "~"  (Maybe - '!?/?!')   {Diagram below.}   
Black now defends c7.  

This is good, but is this the only move? 

 

pol-nez_diag-04.gif, 10 KB

 

Neither GM A. Soltis or GM John Emms analyze any alternatives to this move. 

Follow this line of thought: If Black is going to sacrifice his Rook on f4 anyway, isn't the 
move ...Rf7; just a waste of one tempo in this position? 

 

     [  Black had a very reasonable alternative in: >/=  20...Bxd5!? (Maybe - '!/!!')   
        
21.cxd5, {Diagram?}  This looks positionally forced. 
          (White tries to keep all the lines leading to his K-side closed.) 

            {The alternatives were no better.} 

*****

            a).  21.Qxd5+?! Rf722.Bxe5, {Box?} This looks positionally forced.  
                  (White must remove some of the Black pieces before the attack becomes 
                    an overwhelming force.)   (22.Rac1? Re8; "/+")   
22...dxe5; ('!?' ... Maybe - '!') 
                  I like this as the most logical way of continuing the attack. 

                   (Maybe even better is: 22...Nxe5!?;  {Analysis Diagram?}    
                    bringing another piece into the attack. But I never found a forced win    
                    after: 23.Kf2!, (Best.)  with maybe an unclear position.)    

                  23.Rf2 Rd8;   (Hmmm.) This looks best. 
                 
24.Qe6 Nd425.Nxd4 exd426.Rg2 Rd6!27.Qe8+ Rf828.Qe7, 
                 
28...Bxf4!!29.gxf4 Qe3+30.Kh1,   Looks forced.
                    (30.Kf1?? Rxf4+; 31.Rf2 Qxf2#)   
30...Rh6+31.Rh2 Qf3+32.Kg1 
                  32...Qg3+!33.Rg2 Qe3+34.Rf2,   
                  Unfortunately, this could be (is) forced. 
                     (34.Kf1? Rh1+; 35.Rg1 Rxg1#)   
34...g335.Qg5+ Rg6; ("-/+")  
                  and Black wins without any problems.  

***

            b).  21.fxe5?? Be3+22.Rf2 Bxf2#.  

***

            c).  21.exd5?! Nf3+22.Kf2 Qh2+23.Ke3 Rae8+24.Be4,  {Box?} 
                  This looks pretty much forced.  

                   ( Not  24.Kd3?! Rxe2; 25.dxc6, {Diag?}  What else is there? 
                     (Naturally, bad is: 25.Qxe2? Nb4+; ("-/+") & White will lose his Queen.)   
                    
25...Rd2+;  ("-/+")  and of course, Black is winning here. ) 

                  24...Rxe4+!25.Kxe4 Re8+26.Kd3 Nb4+27.Kc3 a5!;  
                 
28.c5[],  {Diagram?}  Forced. 

                  (28.Nd4?? Re3+; 29.Qd3 Rxd3#.  Or 28.Rxf3?! Rxe2; 29.c5 Re4!!; "-/+")   

                  28...Rxe229.Kc4 Rd2!30.cxd6 cxd6!;  ("-/+")  {Diagram?}  
                  Black has a killer attack ... and tons of murderous threats.

*****

         (Returning now to the main analysis line.)   
       
21...Rxf4!!;  {Analysis Diagram?}  The best move here. 
         (And, the by now ... very familiar sacrifice.) 
          (Or 21...Nf3+!?; 22.Kf2 Qh2+; 23.Ke3, "~")    
       
22.gxf4,  This looks forced.  

        

*****

            (The alternatives were not appealing.)  

            a).  22.Nxf4? Qxg3+23.Kh1,  Again, this looks forced. 

                   ( Worse is: 23.Ng2?? Be3+; 24.Rf2,   Really - the only move. 
                     (Other than resignation!)   (Not 24.Kh1? Qh3#.)  
24...Nf3+!25.Qxf3 gxf3; 
                    
26.Kh1,  {Diagram?}  Again, this is forced.   (The alternative is: 26.Raf1 Qxg2#.)   
                    
26...Qh3+27.Kg1 Qxg2#.   Mating in style! )  

                  23...Bxf4!24.Rxf4[] Qxf4;  and Black still has a strong attack. 
                  (Note that White's King is completely exposed to attack.) 

                  25.dxc6 Qh6+26.Kg2 Qh3+27.Kg1 Nf3+28.Kf2 Qh2+ 
                 
29.Ke3 bxc6!; "=/+"  (Maybe - "/+")    
                  Black has three pawns for the piece... and his attack continues.  
                  (Additionally White's King is in an extremely awkward position!) 

      Or  b).  22.Rxf4 Bxf423.Nxf4  {Diagram?}  This is probably best. 
                     (23.gxf4 g3; 24.Nxg3 Qxg3+; 25.Kf1 Ng4; 26.Bd4 Nb4; 27.Bb1 Nxd5!!;    
                      28.exd5 Re8; "-/+")    
23...Qxg3+24.Kf1!?,  {Box?}  
                   This is also {prolly} forced.  

                     ( 24.Ng2? Rf8; (Best.)  25.Bxe5 Nxe526.Qd3,  {Diagram?}  
                       This seems just about forced.   (26.Rc1? Rf2; "-/+")   
26...Nxd327.Bxd3, 
                      
27...Qf2+28.Kh1 Rf6;  {Diag?}  ("-/+")  Black wins. {Mate in three.} )  

                   24...Rf825.Bxe5 Nxe5;   Probably the best line for Black. 
                     (25...dxe5!?)   26.Qd2,   
                   White must be able to cover {protect} his King.   
                     (The continuation of: 26.Ke2 Qh2+!; 27.Ke3 Rxf4!; "-/+" {Diagram?}    
                       is also an easy win for Black.)    
26...Rxf4+27.Qxf4,  {Diagram?}  
                   This is also forced.   (Worse is: 27.Ke2 Qf3+; 28.Ke1 Qf1#)    
                  
27...Qxf4+28.Ke2 Qh2+; ("-/+")   
                   Black has a winning material advantage ... and his attack continues. 

*****

         (Returning again to the main line.)   
       
22...g323.Nxg3 Qxg3+24.Kh1 Qh3+25.Kg1
       
25...Kh8!
;  (Maybe - '!!')  Black walks into a pin, but it does not matter. 

        26.Kf2,  (This) Looks to be forced. 

***

            ( 26.Qd3!? Rg8+{Diagram?}  
              (The Queen could not be taken because of the pin on the long diagonal.) 
              
27.Kf2 Qg2+28.Ke1 Nb429.Qe2 Nxc2+30.Kd2 Nxa131.Bxa1, 
              
31...Qg332.Bd4,  This looks forced.   ( Or 32.Qe3!? Qh2+!; 33.Rf2, {D?}  
                (33.Kd1?! Qxa2; "-/+")   33...Rg2; 34.Ke2 Rxf2+; 35.Qxf2 Qxf2+; 
               36.Kxf2 Bxf4; ("-/+")  Black is winning easily. ) 
            
32...Bxf4+; ("-/+") Black should have no problem winning. )      

***

          (Once more, we return to the main {analysis} line.)   
       
26...Rg8;  27.Ke1,   This looks forced. 

          (27.Qd3 Qh2+; 28.Ke1 Nb4; "-/+"   
           Or 27.Bxe5+ dxe5; 28.Qd3 Qg2+; 29.Ke1 Nb4; "-/+")     

        27...Qh4+28.Kd2,   (again)  Looks forced. 

          (Slightly worse was the continuation:  28.Rf2? Rg1+; 29.Ke2 Qg4+;    
            30.Kd2 Bxf4+; 31.Kc3 Rxd1; 32.Rxd1 Qg3+; 33.Bd3 Qxf2; ("-/+")  {Diag?}    
            Needless to say, this is an easy win for Black. )    

        28...Bxf4+29.Kc3 Rg3+30.Bd3 Nxd3!31.Kc2+! Nxb232.Kxb2 Be5+; 
       
33.Ka3,  {Box?}  The White King scurries to the edge of the board.
          (Not 33.Kb1?? Qxe4+; 34.Qc2 Qd4!; "-/+"  Or  33.Kc1? Rc3+; "-/+")    
        33...Qxe4!34.Qe1,   Forced, to prevent ...Qb4#.  

         ( </=  34.dxc6? Bc3; "-/+"   (Also good is: 34...Qxc6!?; 35.Rf8+ Kg7; 36.Qf1!?,   
            36...Qc5+; 37.Ka4 Rg4+; "-/+"  which also wins for Black.)   )   

        34...Qxd5;  ("-/+")  
        Black has a material win and his attack continues unabated. 

        If this analysis holds up, then this is a forced win ... and a  big improvement 
        over 
20...Rf7.  And it all seems to be pretty much forced - there are no unclear 
        lines in which White can look for salvation.  

        This is all my original analysis ... as far as I know, no other author  ... 
         even LOOKS at  20...Bxd5!!  - 
LM  A.J. Goldsby I   ]  

 

21.Kf2!,   
Soltis also gives this move an exclam, but he does not explain why. 

(Basically it looks like White's only hope is to run away from the attack! And this move 
 also threatens Rh1, winning the Black Queen but Nez isn't too worried about that one!!) 

     [  21.fxe5? Bxd5!22.Rxf7 Bxf7;    (22...Be3+!?; 23.Rf2 Rf8; "/+")   
       
23.Bd4 Bg7!;  "--->"  {Diag?}  with probably a winning attack for Black. 

        Or  21.Bxe5!? Nxe5!;  "=/+"  {Diagram?}  Black is slightly better.  ]  

 

21...Qh2+22.Ke3(Maybe - '!')   
Is this forced? 

     Much worse would be: 
        22.Ke1? Nf3+23.Rxf3 gxf324.Nf6+ Kf825.e5,   (25.f5!?)   
       
25...dxe526.Qd3,   (26.Nxh7+!?)    26...f2+27.Kd2,  This is forced.  
          (27.Kf1?? Bh3#)   
27...Rxf6; "-/+"  {Diag?}  with a won game for Black. ]  

 

22...Bxd5!?;  (Probably - '!')   
"Eliminating a key defender. Black has to act before White begins to strike 
  back with Rh1."  -  GM A. Soltis. 

     [  22...Nf3!?;  The computer likes: 22...Qh5!?  ]  

 

23.cxd5 Nb4;  
This is almost forced and easily the best. 

 

24.Rh1!?(Is this move an error?)   {Diagram just below.}  
It is not clear if this is best, forced, or even any good. And Soltis provides 
no commentary here to guide us!  

 

pol-nez_diag-05.gif, 09 KB

 

(Is it possible this is the losing move???) 

*****

     [  Could White try: 24.Rc1!?, "~"  {Diagram?} 
         Maybe this is slightly better for White?? ("+/=");  

***

        Or  24.a3!?, "="  An interesting try, White prevents ...Nb4; 
         - - -  which is so devastating in so many lines.  (I first began looking at this 
         move - seriously - when I was stationed at Kirtland A.F.B.  I would analyze 
         this move with other members of the Albuquerque Chess Club.) 

        (Several authors claim to have refuted this move, but I have never 
         checked their analysis in depth - and using a computer.) 

        A fan sent me the following analysis stating it was done on CM9000: 
       
24...Nxc2+!?;   This is probably forced. 
         (24...Qh3?; 25.axb4, "+/")  

        25.Qxc2,   This is forced.   (25.Kd2?? Nxa1; "-/+")    
        One fan offers the line of:
25...Raf8;  '!?'  (Maybe - '!')   
        This could be the best try.  

          -( Maybe Black could also try: = 25...Qh3!?26.Bxe5!? dxe527.Rh1 exf4+!?;  {D?} 
             Is this best?  (27...Rxf4; 28.Kd3 Rf3+; 29.Kc4 Qg2; 30.Rxh6!? Re3; "~"  
  
              This could be better for Black ... but that is not entirely certain.)   
28.Kd3 Qg2
             29.Rxh6
f3!?30.Nf4 Qxg331.Nh5 Qe532.Qc3 Qxc3+33.Kxc3 f2
             34.Rf1 Rf3+
;
  35.Kb2 Raf8!; "~"  with continuing complications. )-    

        26.Rac1!? Qh327.Bxe5!?,   I am not sure about this move. 

          ( But worse is: 27.Kf2?! Bxf4!!; "--->"  ("=/+")  and Black is clearly a bit better.   
            (To say the least!) )   

        27...dxe5{Box.}  Of course, Black must re-capture. 
       
28.Rh1 exf4+!?; "~"  {Diagram?}  The position is very radical.  (And unclear.) 
        {This fan claims to have checked all of this on programs like  ChessMaster 9000 ... 
         but he made so many simple mistakes, this is sort of hard to believe.} 

         (Black can also try the VERY  tricky move: 28...Rxf4!?;    
          also with a complex position. );    

***

        But not  24.Bxe5? dxe525.Bb1 exf4+;  "/+"  {Diagram?} 
        with a probably winning attack for Black.  (Maybe "-/+") 
]   

*****

 

Black to play.  (See the diagram - above - after 24.Rh1.)  

FM Burgess picks up his analysis of this game with this position. 

"Black has been attacking vigorously since the opening, and crowns his offensive with 
 a magnificent Queen sacrifice." - FM Graham Burgess. 
 (From his book, "Chess Highlights Of The 20th Century," pg. # 121.)  

Now "Super - Nez" plays one of the most stunning and exciting shots ... 
in all of the annals of chess. 
 24...Rxf4!!; (Ultra-brilliant.)  (Maybe - '!!!' or '!!!!')  {Diagram below.}    
Now this is truly an extra-ordinary shot and fully deserves the double exclam that 
Soltis awards it. (Maybe it even deserves more?) 

"Black had foreseen this brilliant shot when deciding on his 19th move."  
 
- GM A. Soltis

(Soltis also gives this move 2 exclams.) 

"The White King will be dragged all over the board to its doom." - FM G. Burgess.  

 (FM Burgess also gives this move two exclams.)  

 "A fabulous move which is the start of a long combination, forcing the White King 
  to trudge up the board to its death." - GM John Emms.  

   '!!' - GM A. Soltis.   '!!' - GM John Emms.   '!!' - FM Graham Burgess.   

 

pol-nez_diag-06.gif, 09 KB

 

One of the more amazing things about Black's 24th move, is even in the year 2001, 
with the best computer programs, running on a Pentium IV with 132 MB of RAM ... 
do NOT find this move!! (Even if you give them several minutes.)   

 

25.Rxh2,  (Forced?)   
Sigh. White is going to be toasted. He may as well enjoy himself!  

 

     [  Var. # 1.)  Soltis gives:  25.Nxf4? Nxc2+; ... "is winning for Black."  - FM Burgess. 
         (... "is also a disaster for White." - GM John Emms.) 
26.Qxc2[] Qxc2; "-/+"  {Diag?}  
        This is winning for Black.  

        Var. # 2.)  Soltis also gives:  25.gxf4?! Bxf4+!26.Kd4,  {Diagram?}  Is this forced? 
           (26.Nxf4? Nxc2+; ("-/+")  - Soltis and Burgess.)   
26...Qf2+27.Kc3 Qc5#.  (Mate.) 
         - GM A. Soltis

        Var. # 3.)  Or 25.Kd4? Qf2+26.Kc3 Qc5+27.Kd2 Rf1+!28.Nf4 Nf3+!; (nice)
       
29.Qxf3[],  {D?} This looks forced.   (29.Ke2 Rf2#)    29...Qxc2+30.Ke3 Qd3#.  ]  

 

25...Rf3+;  
This is a double-check, and there is only one legal response.  

 

26.Kd4{Diagram below.}  
This was White's only legal move!  

 

pol-nez_diag-07.gif, 09 KB

 

Now Black has a serious choice to make in this position.  

 

26...Bg7!!;   (Maybe '!!!')  {Diagram below.}    
Soltis bubbles over at this move, but was it really necessary? (Maybe yes and no.) 

<< The special nature of this extraordinary position, Nezhmetdinov noted, is that 
      Black's threat is a "quiet" move, 27...b5!;  which eliminates c4 as a flight square 
      and thereby threatens 28...Nec6# mate. Black also has a second mating idea: 
      27...c5+; 28. dxc6, bxc6; and 29...c5.  >>   -
GM A. Soltis.   

 

pol-nez_diag-08.gif, 09 KB

 

For my part, I will say if this combination is sound, this is one of the greatest quiet 
moves ever made! 

(Soltis also gives this move two exclamation points.) 

"Threatening the remarkably calm 27...b5; and 28...Nec6#."  -  FM G. Burgess

"A whole Queen down, Nezhmetdinov produces a deadly quiet move. The main 
  threat is the simple 27...b5; followed by 28...Nec6#."   - 
GM John Emms

   '!' - FM Graham Burgess.   '!' - GM John Emms. 

***

     [  Black wins easily with the more mundane: (boring)  26...c5+!;  {Diagram?}  
        Now White's only legal move is to capture, "Pawn takes Pawn, en passant." 
        (Otherwise it would be mate.)  
27.dxc6 b5!;   
        GM Andrew Soltis seems to have overlooked this move. 

          (Soltis only gives: 27...bxc6?; 28.Bd3!, "~")   

        28.Bd3[],  This looks completely forced.  

           (Not 28.Rxh6?? Nexc6#   Or 28.Qd3? Rxd3+; 29.Bxd3 Nf3+; 30.Kc3 Bd2#     
           This complicated mate is seen pretty quickly by most computers, but missed      
            by  most  humans  I have tested this position on.)      

        28...Nexc6+29.Kc3 Bg7+30.Kd2 Rxd3+31.Ke1 Rxd1+ 
       
32.Rxd1 Bxb2;  "/+"  {Analysis diagram.}  Probably  "-/+"  and winning for Black. 
        This win is much simpler than the one in the game, and is not mentioned by many 
        authors.  

        But the game continuation is obviously VASTLY superior to this line!  ]  

 

Polugaeyevsky thought his next move was forced. 
27.a4[]
,  (Definitely forced!)  
White has to stop b5.  
(If he allows Black to play ...b5; he will be mated in short order.) 

"There is no good option here."  -  FM G. Burgess.   

(June 14th, 2007)  POSTSCRIPT: Today, the programs have become much stronger than 
when I first began my project of trying to find and analyze the best games of chess. 
BEFORE White's 27th move, the computer has Black winning by two or three points. 
AFTER 27.a4, the machine switches to a "mate-finder" mode ... ... ... 
(I leave you to draw your own conclusions about this move, Fritz prefers either 27.Ng1 or 
 27.Nc3. Both of these moves are analyzed - in a fair amount of detail - just below.) 

 

**********

     [  (Line # 27WA.)   27.Ng1 Rxg3!28.Ne2 Rf329.Ng1 Ned3+!30.Kc4, {Box.}  
         Pretty much forced. 

           ( The line:  30.e5 Bxe5+31.Kc4[],  {Diagram?}  This has got to be forced.  
               (31.Ke4?? Nc5#)   
31...Rf4+32.Bd4 Rxd4+;   33.Kc3 Nxd5+34.Kd2,  
            
34...Bf4+35.Ke2 Re8+36.Kf1 Ne3+;  ("-/+")  Black wins.  {Diagram?}  
              ... "is complete carnage."  -
GM John Emms. ) 

         30...Nxb2+31.Kxb4 Bc3+32.Ka3 b5!;  "-/+"   
         ... "and wins," according to Soltis. 
         (This line makes sense, in fact is it beautiful. The computer seems to have found 
           some slight flaws in some of the other lines Soltis gives in this game.) 

         Continuing this line, we get:  33.b4,  Probably the only defense for White. 

          a).   Silly is: 33.Nxf3?? b4#;   
         
b).   Or  33.Qd4!? Bxd434.Nxf3 Bc3!!35.b4 a5!!;  ("-/+")  and Black should 
                  win easily.  (35...Nc4+; 36.Kb3 Bxa1; 37.Ng5 g3; "-/+")   

         33...a5!34.bxa5 Nc4+35.Kb3 Nxa5+36.Ka3 Nc4+37.Kb3 Ra3#   {Diag?}  
          -
FM G. Burgess(Line by Steve Giddins? - GM John Emms.) 

*****

        (Line # 27WB.)   (>/=)  27.Nc3!,  {Analysis Diagram.}  Here Soltis gives: "27...Rxg3!;   
       and among other things 28...Nbd3!; 29. Bxd3, Nxd3+;  and a win is threatened."  
       However, when this line is entered in the computer ... 

       Instead Black should probably play:  27...Ned3+!;  
       Maybe this is the best move for Black at this point.  

***

       a).   Interesting is: 27...Rxg3!?;  (Hmmm.) Soltis gives this move an exclam. 
               (Originally I thought this move to be an error, but it appears Black can also 
               win with this move.) 
28.Rb1,  One annotator highly recommended 
               this move. (I guess the idea is to protect the Bishop and prevent the fork 
               between the King and Queen that occurs in so many variations.) 

          a1).  Did GM A. Soltis miss the fairly interesting move:  28.Rxh7!?  "~"  (Maybe - '!') 
                   It is not completely clear if Black can still win from this position. 

          a2).  28.Bb1 c5+!;   (28...c6!?)    29.dxc6 bxc630.Na4 c5+31.Nxc5, 
                  
31...Rc8!;  ("-/+")  Black has a winning attack.  

          a3).  28.Ne2 Rf3;  (Maybe - '!')  Black simply keeps the White King in the trap. 
                  
29.Ng1 c5+!30.dxc6 Ned3+!31.Kc4 b5+!32.Kxb5 Rb8+; 33.Ka4[], 
                    (33.Kc4?? Nxb2#)   
33...Nxb2+34.Ka3 Nxd135.Bxd1 Rc336.e5,  
                  
36...Rxc637.Rh4 h5!"-/+"  (Maybe - '!!')  {Diagram?}  So that if Rxh5, 
                   Black responds simply ...dxe5!  Black's many threats will carry the day.  

             28...a6!29.Bd3 Nec6+!;   (29...Nbxd3!?; "-/+")    30.Kc4 b5+!31.Nxb5[], 
            
31...axb5+32.Kxb5 Ra5+33.Kc4 Rc5#  

       Or b).    27...c5+!?28.dxc6 Ned3+29.Kc4 Nxb2+30.Kxb4 Bxc3+31.Ka3, 
                    
31...Nxd132.Rxd1 bxc6;  (best.)  33.Rxd6 Rxg3;   "=/+"  
                    is probably just an inferior version of the main continuation in this line. 
                    (After  27.Nc3.);   

***

       28.e5,  {Diagram?}  This is probably forced.   (28.Kc4 Nxb2+; 29.Kxb4 Bxc3+; 30.Ka3,    
         30...b5; 31.b4 a5!; "-/+"  - GM John Emms.  (Emms notes this variation is similar to    
         several other lines.) )   
28...Bxe5+29.Kc4,   Forced.   (29.Ke4?? Nc5#)   29...Nxb2+;    
      
30.Kxb4 Bxc3+31.Ka3 Nxd132.Rxd1 Rxg3;  "/+"  and Black is much better, maybe 
       even winning. ("-/+")   Now FM G. Burgess gives: 
33.Rxh7 Rg2; "/+" {D?} 
      
(Maybe "-/+")  Black is probably winning. (GM J. Emms also gives this line.)  
      
34.Bb1!? b5!; ("-/+")  {Diagram?}  Black is much better. (If not winning outright.)  
       He has a material advantage of 2 pawns. Additionally, he still has threats against 
       the White Monarch.  -
LM  A.J. Goldsby I  

*****

         (Line # 27WC.)    27.Rf2!?,  {Diagram?}  Soltis gives this move an exclam.  ('!') 

        Soltis now gives the line:  27...Rxf2; 28. Ke3, Rf3+;  29. Kd2, Bh6+;  30. Nf4, Rxg3; 
         ... "with a murderous attack."  -
GM A. Soltis

        But instead Black should play:  27...c5+!;   Easily the best move here. 

          ( Soltis gives: 27...Rxf2; 28.Ke3 Rf3+; 29.Kd2 Bh6+; 30.Nf4 Rxg3; "/+"  {Diagram?}    
            Soltis stops here.  ( ... "with a murderous attack," says
GM A. Soltis.)  31.Bxe5,     
            31...dxe5; 32.Bb1 Bxf4+; 33.Ke2 Rf8; "/+"  (Maybe - "-/+")  {Diagram?}  
            Black does have a very strong - if not a winning - attack here. {A.J.G.}  

        28.dxc6 Ned3+29.e5,  White tries blocking the check on the long diagonal.  

          -(  FM G. Burgess gives the line:  29.Kc4 b5+30.Kxb5 Rb8+31.Ka4,  {Diagram?}    
               This looks close to being forced.   (</= 31.Ka5? Nxc6+; 32.Ka4 Rb4+; 33.Ka3 Bxb2#)    
              
31...Nxb2+32.Ka3 Nxd133.Rxf3,  {Diagram?} Again, this is close to being forced 
               here.   (Worse is: 33.Bxd1?! Rxf2; "-/+")   
33...Nxc2+34.Ka4 Nb2+35.Ka5, 
              
35...gxf3;  "-/+"  {Diagram?}  ... and Black is winning. (Line by)  -  FM G. Burgess
               (Also by GM John Emms.) 
)-   

        29...Bxe5+30.Kc4 b5+31.Kxb5 Rb8+32.Ka4,  
        This is forced. 

          ( 32.Ka5 Nxc6+; 33.Ka4, Forced.   (Or 33.Ka6 Nc5#)   33...Rb4+;  34.Ka3 Bxb2#  

        32...Nxb2+33.Ka3 Nxd134.Bxh7+,  Prolly forced. 

          (Not 34.Bxd1?! Rxf2; "-/+"   Or 34.Rxd1? Nxc2+;  35.Ka4 Rxf2; "-/+")   

        34...Kg7!35.c7 Rc836.Rxf3 gxf337.Rxd1 fxe238.Re1 Bc339.Rxe2, 
       
39...Kxh7;  "-/+"  {Diagram?}  and Black is winning easily.   

*****

         (Line # 27WD.)    27.Rc1? b5;  28.Bb1 Nec6#; (Mate.)    

*****

         (Line # 27WE.)    27.Bd3?! Nexd3+28.Kc4 Nxb2+29.Kxb4 Nxd1; 
        
30.Rxd1 Re8;  ("-/+")  ... "and Black will be two pawns up."  -  GM John Emms]   

**********

 

27...c5+28.dxc6 bxc6;   
The computers, after several hours of analysis, says this position is like a mate in 7. 
 (For Black.) 

 

29.Bd3 [],  
Looks forced.  

"At least this clears c3 for the King in case of  29...c5+."   -  GM A. Soltis

     [  29.Rh5?? c5#.   Or  29.Qd3?! Nexd3+30.Kc4 d5+31.exd5 cxd5+;  
       
32.Kb5 Rb8+33.Ka5 Nc6+34.Ka6 Nc5#.  ]     

 

29...Nexd3+30.Kc4,   
One almost feels sorry for Polugayevsky's King at this point. 

     [ Soltis points out the line:  30.e5 Bxe5+; 31.Kc4 d5#.  
       (FM G. Burgess also gives this line here.)
]  

 

30...d5+31.exd5 cxd5+32.Kb5 Rb8+33.Ka5 Nc6+White Resigns,  0 - 1.   

"Mate is forced."  -  FM G. Burgess

pol-nez_diag-09.gif

"White did not wait for Black to choose between 34. Ka6, Nc5 mate, and 
 34...Rb6 mate. An extraordinary contest."  -
GM Andrew Soltis.   

Easily one of the prettiest games of chess ever played ... and certainly one of the 
more amazing King-Hunts of all time. 

  Nezhmetdinov - himself - considered this his best game of chess.   

******************************************************************************************

 My complaints/criticisms of this game are as follows:      

# 1.)  Polu had played this line many times, even using it in speed chess. 
          It is entirely possible that much of this game was the result of home 
          preparation by Nez. (The entire game - up to White's 10th move - had 
          been played many times before, see the note after White's 10th move.) 

# 2.)  Polugaeyevsky's play in the opening is certainly below standard and could 
          be called downright ugly. (Just about everyone I have shown this game to over 
          the years has been critical of the manner in which White handled the opening.)  

# 3.)  I have worked on this game now almost 6 straight months. And I have been working 
          on it - off and on (Fairly consistently.) - for OVER 2-3 years. And although I have not 
          refuted Black's play, (At least not to a 100% certainty.); I remain unconvinced that  
          this game is 100 per cent sound. I still think it is possible that White may be able to 
          refute Black's concept .......... ----> starting with 19...Be6. (See Var. # 20WA.) 
          {ALSO ... I have yet to find a forced win after 20. Nxc7!? 
            ---> This WAS true for almost 3 years!!!!!}  

 # 4.)  Additionally, MANY of the other moves of this game can be called into question, 
           and it is clear that probably both parties may have missed the best continuation 
           of moves at various points in this incredible game. (Probably not an unexpected
           result, considering this might be the one of the most complex games ever played.) 

******************************************************************************************

        (I have seen this game dozens of times over the years. I have even had about a dozen 
         people send me photo-copies of magazine articles, and newspaper columns on this 
         game. And I have seen this combination analyzed in several books on chess tactics.) 

******************************************************************************************

(The 3-4 main books that I have referenced concerning this game are as follows.) 
 
Bibliography

  1. "The 100 Best,"  by GM Andrew Soltis. 
     [The 100 Best Chess Games Of The 20th Century, Ranked." 
       (c) 2000, MacFarland Books.]; (Game # 2, page # 38.)  

  2. "Chess Highlights of The 20th Century,"  by FM Graham Burgess. 
      (Year 1958, Pg. # 121.) [ (c) 1999, G. Burgess & Gambit Publications, Ltd. ]

  3. [The Mammoth Book of]  "The World's Greatest Chess Games," 
    by Dr./GM John Nunn, GM John Emms, and (of course) FM Graham Burgess. 
    [ Copyright (c) 1998, by all the authors; and Robinson Publishing (UK) and 
    Carroll & Graf Publishing House. (USA) ]  (Game # 40, page # 224.) 

  4. "Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess,"  by (IM) Rashid Nezhmetdinov. 
     The great masters greatest games, with the notes culled from many 
      different Soviet/Russian chess books, newspapers, and chess magazines. 
     (A translation of the original Russian book, by Dale A. Brandeth.) 
     Published by Caissa Editions, Yorklyn, Delaware; (USA) © 2000. 
     ISBN: # 0-939433-55-9
     (I did not have this book when I first annotated this game, I only obtained 
      it in November or December, 2003.) 
    [ I intend ... sometime in the near future ... in going over the rather lengthy 
      annotations in this book, and see if there is anything really significant 
      that I could add to my annotations of this great game.  Dec. 31st, 2003. ] 

     

     I also have SEVERAL different books on Soviet chess ... 
     and this game is in virtually all of those books! 

*****

But it is still a very beautiful game ... and one of the more exciting and interesting 
Queen sacrifices ever played. 

Another thing that stands out for me, is that despite the fact I have analyzed this game 
many, many times; I am still very much impressed with Black's incredible quiet move 
on move 26. It is to me, one of the most incredible quiet moves ever played in all the 
annals of chess. 

Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I;   (©) A.J. Goldsby, 2000 - 2003.  (©) 2004. 

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  (All HTML code initially)  Generated with  ChessBase 8.0  


 I first annotated this game (seriously) in the early 1980's.
 (Annotating it on my friend's computer, and also in several notebooks.)
I worked on it several times, and then laid it aside. 
(I actually repeated this process several times,
as I have done with MANY chess games. 

***

 I started on it again, when I began this project of finding the best chess games of all time. (97-98)  
 I have been working on this game for many YEARS  ... but not continuously.
It then took nearly another 7- 11 weeks (or more!) of work to get this web page ready ...
for publication on my web-site. SO ... Enjoy!

 This game, in  ChessBase  format; is probably one of the best annotation jobs anyone has ever done
 on this particular game. It also contains a fairly decent survey of the opening. If you would like a copy 
of this game to study on your computer, I hope you would  contact me. 


May, 2003: Many of you have written me complaining about my criticisms of this game. Please understand I went looking for ten of the most beautiful games of chess ever played. One of my main beliefs was that the winner's conduct - both in terms of strategy and tactics - should be SOUND! I don't think this is unfair or unreasonable. 

Many have accused me of hating the player or wanting to denigrate Nezhmetdinov's achievements. Nothing could be further from the truth!! (Visit my "Forgotten Players" Page, and see the section on Nezhmetdinov. Play over the small selection of the games there.) I also want to petition FIDE ... one day ... and see if we could not get the title of GM granted to this great player. (He certainly deserved it!!) 

  ***********************************  

Note: (Late May, 2006.) There has been much analysis on one popular server ... as concerns this game. While there has been nothing dramatic, it is all interesting analysis. I hopefully will eventually incorporate some of that material into this page. {A.J.G.} 

  ***********************************  

June 16th, 2007: I finished about a three month project of going over this game. I changed several old variations, deleted a few lines, etc. However, most of the analysis that I did over five years ago is remarkably accurate, I found no major holes in my analysis. And after literally dozens of requests, I added a few diagrams to this page. 


 Click  HERE  to return to the page you left. (The "Best All - Time Games" page.) 
 Click  HERE  to go to (return) to my home page. (Main Page.)

***

 If you enjoyed this page, you might enjoy my page dedicated to ...
 "The Best Short Games Of Chess."   (Click  HERE.)   

***

This game was  (first)  posted on my web-site on: (2000?) 

  (This page last updated on: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 .)  


   Another great  GAME  ... ... ...  featuring the  "Old Indian"  Opening!!  


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright (©) A.J. Goldsby, 1995-2008.  
  Copyright (©) A.J. Goldsby, 2009.  All rights reserved. 


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