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Understand The Position 15: “Face to Face.”

GM Ján Markoš | August 2, 2011 – 15:106 Comments | 865 views
Understand The Position 15: “Face to Face.”

Everyone is afraid of something. But not everyone can face the fear. We often avoid and ignore the things which we are afraid of. Or we escape from them. You need to have character so you are able to confront your fear face to face. It is not brave to not be afraid, but to defeat the fear. One Slovak proverb is saying: “Opportunity makes the thief”. But the opportunity also makes heroes.

Translated by: Dusan Turcer

When two enemy fighters met in the World War II, their pilots always tried to fly straight against each other because a fighter seen from the front is the smallest target. Who was scared and began the evasive maneuver, offered to his rival a huge space in which he could hit a lethal dose of guns.

However, when no one backs away, fighters are flying very quickly against each other to meet in inevitable collision. What is scared pilot supposed to do at this point? To evade or not? In this battle of nerves, the braver one wins.

Even on the chessboard the similar situation occasionally occurs. Of course, there is only a point in the score table at stake, not a few people lives. However, who is afraid of conflict and resorts to passive play, he leaves the initiative and the edge to the opponent. A fear and a respect of opponents is in each of us, but not everyone can tackle it. Today I will show you how Lev Polugaevsky tackled his fear. His opponent was none other than one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century, Robert James Fischer.

Fischer – Polugaevsky, Palma de Mallorca 1970, White to move:

In the opening, the American player surprised his opponent; he even shocked him. Perhaps for the first time in his career he started the game with 1.c4. Queens quickly disappeared from the chessboard – perhaps everyone will guess, on which square the exchange happened – and a complex middle game arose. Fischer played 15.e5! with the idea of driving away the Ng4 to the unfavorable h6-square.

What should Black do now? After a weak move like 15…Rfd8, White will be simply better after h2-h3. It is therefore necessary to act quickly, actively and vigorously. No matter if it’s Fischer or not, if it’s genius or not.

15…Bd3! (After the rook retreats from f1, Black gains the additional threat of …Be7-c5. But neither Bobby is made of butter…) 16.Rfd1! Bc2! 17.Rdc1! (Nobody backs up, the fighters are flying straight against each other. Which pilot evades first?) 17…Bxb3 18.h3! g5!! (I will not evade, not on your life!) 19.hxg4 gxf4 20.Nd2! (Finally, the American took a breath; shootout finally ended. The bishop must retreat and I will be better. Lev however played…) 20…f3!! (Excellent intermediate move, which lures the bishop to a vulnerable square.) 21.Bxf3 Nxe5 22.Bg2 Bd5 23.Nxd5 exd5 24.Rc7 Bd8 25.Rxb7 Bb6 26.Bxd5 Rad8 27.Ne4 Nxg4 =.

After the exchange of heavy blows, the position disappeared into a completely equal endgame with the opposite colored bishops. Fischer kept trying a few more moves to get at least a taste of the edge, but he finally had to face the inevitable. A draw.

Legend says, that after the game Fischer remained to sit behind the chessboard and was shaking his head in disbelief. He hadn’t met such an intense resistance for a long time. Many strong players are able to use their famous name as if it was a weapon; many famous grandmasters saved lost position or won something suspicious simply because their opponents feared them like the plague.

However, Lev was not afraid. He faced this difficult exam – and passed. He proved this way, that he didn’t get his name by accident.

This post is also available in: Slovak

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Comments (6)

    • Nahuelithoo says:

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  • Aida Debus says:

    Thanks for your explanation. I love make out the print Marcy

  • Miroslav says:

    Rachna, Congratulations on the wins. And yeah we learn with what we see. Practical taehcing is the best of the sort. These kinds of losers are losers in life where ever they are I guess.

    • Auth says:

      eeeeeeeeThis was a hateful steaemtnt you made: the majority of Palestinians either attempted to do this or cheered on the people doing it. in regard to bombings. On the Independent thread, 8/27. 2.30am. That is sweeping and hateful.I also note that you are very good at spouting little more than the zionist propaganda that you’ve been drip-fed since infancy, obviously never having questioned whether there’s even a grain of truth in any of it. Well, plenty of Israelis have debunked and disproved most of the zio narratives’ as almost completely false. They’ve filled you up with mythology, not truth, about everything to do with your little state.

  • ante says:

    Thank you very much.I enjoy in every your ”Understand The Position”.Keep it coming! :)

Leave a comment to ante

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