Paperback ´ Grandmaster Performance PDF/EPUB í

Grandmaster Performance Soviet super GM Lev Polugaevsky, one of the world s leading players over the last quarter of a century, has several times been a Candidate for the World Championship He presents hereof his best games selected and grouped to give a clear impression of how victory is gained in chess Among the points he singles out are a fundamental knowledge of the openings, skill in attack and defense, strategic planning, endgame technique and a factor of increasing significance the psychology of play in critical situations Grandmaster Performance is the follow up book to the acclaimed book Grandmaster Preparation by Lev Polugaevsky Grandmaster Preparation was primarily concerned with the discovery and development of a new chess opening, that became known as the Polugaevsky Variation This book is a collection of deeply analyzed and instructive grandmaster games by Polugaevsky Like Geller, Polugayevsky had some difficulty getting to the very top and again, it is so hard to judge this when there is no room to be there in the first place Still, he himself admitted some temperamental difficulties he had and it makes this story all theinteresting, from his chapter on the psychology of the chess struggle.It took place at the Interzonal in Petropolis, 1973Two rounds before the end I wasthan depressed, and all that could save me was two successive wins But whil Like Geller, Polugayevsky had some difficulty getting to the very top and again, it is so hard to judge this when there is no room to be there in the first place Still, he himself admitted some temperamental difficulties he had and it makes this story all theinteresting, from his chapter on the psychology of the chess struggle.It took place at the Interzonal in Petropolis, 1973Two rounds before the end I wasthan depressed, and all that could save me was two successive wins But while a win even with Black in the penultimate round over international master Tan was a perfectly feasible proposition, to win to order at the decisive moment against one of the strongest players in the world, Lajos Portisch This seemed too unreal, especially since Portish was leading the tournament, was playing brilliantly, and not once in Petropolis had been obliged to stop the clocks.But there was no choice In a very sharp battle I won against Tan, and one step from the finish Portisch led me by one point, and led Yefim Geller, who was also in contention for a place in the first three, by half a point There was no sense in hoping for a loss by my compatriot in such situations one does not normally take risks, and it was highly probable that Geller would draw with Panno This meant that I had nothing to lose I felt that never before in my life had I faced such a difficult task Upon the result of one game hung my long cherished dream of reaching the Candidates The consciousness of all of this weighed heavily on me, and in such a state there was no possibility of my playing successfully How was I to shake off this burden of many years, now concentrated in one single game There was no answer, and I realised how pointless it was to hope to win in such a state of mind.What was I to do Should I cultivate a calmly indifferent attitude to the coming battle, as I had once done in my match with Aleksandr Zaitsev Or should I arouse in myself a feeling of maximum competitive aggression, as before that game with Kholmov Neither of these was really suitable the first, because it inclined towards a rather quiet game, the second, since it was very easy to overheat What was needed was a synthesis of these two conditions enormous energy plus cool reason, but how was it to be attained Perhaps to some extent I was helped by a little incident.During the tournament we were living in a mountain hotel, and the fresh air, together with a rather special, incomparable quietness, were highly suitable for chess players relaxing after one battle, and at the same time tuning up for another, in the following round.And so, the evening before the last round, after dinner I went out for a breath of air, and began making circuits around the perimeter of a small swimming pool which was situated close to the hotel Stars were suspended like mysterious lanterns in the dark southern sky, and it was very warm and very quiet I encircled the pool once, twice, when I ran into Vlastimil Hort, who was returning to the hotel from the town Who are you playing tomorrow the Czech grandmaster asked me.Highly astonished, I replied Portisch Aha Difficult It s impossible to win against him at the moment, he just doesn t lose at all Hort said this even sympathetically, but for some reason this sympathy acted like a spark to a keg of gunpowder If it comes to that, I ve even won against World Champions This was a cry from the heart And although this may seem like a poor fabrication, it was as though heard by the veteran Argentinian Miguel Najdorf who had come to Petropolis especially for the concluding rounds His optimism is legendary, and he spent evenings with us in the hotel at chess and cards, when his voice would not die down even for a minute What Who are you playing Portisch And you need to win You ll win How will I win You have the better chances He needs a draw, but you need a win , Najdorf declared not altogether logically, but most convincingly And he added You are playing well Do you want to bet on it I suddenly sensed a growing feeling of confidence in victory Indeed, it was equally likely for me as it was for Portisch What about a draw being in his favour Yes But after all, not only I, but also he had to play to order A further half hour s walking, a sound sleep, and in the morning I felt that I couldn t wait for the moment when I would sit down at the board Jumping ahead, I should perhaps mention that, in the bus on the way to the game, I listened with genuine pleasure to some amusing stories, and myself related some anecdote Later, grandmaster Yuri Averbakh admitted that both he, and all the competitors, had been astonished to see me in such a mood prior to so important an encounter.And so I awoke with a thirst for battle, but not a reckless battle, but one prepared beforehand, like a decisive encounter in a war Hence the stages in my opening preparaton, carried out on the morning of the game.First I had to decide the question should I play what I normally play, or should I try to surprise my opponent with my choice of opening My second made his recommendations to me on both possibilities, and we began considering opening with the king s pawn In its favour, apart from its surprise value, was the fact that afer 1e4 Portisch feels much less confident But if it should be a Lopez, what then I asked dubiously Play the Italian Game But I never played it even as a child So much the better Portisch plays only the variation with Bc5 And I was shown a multitude of variations of primordial antiquity, which had been worked out taking Portisch s games into account I hesitated, and was all ready to agree, when I suddenly sensed this is no way to play This is not the way to plan a decisive battle After all, if I were to fail to gain an advantage from the opening, I would not forgive myself for having betrayed my sort of chess Very well, it might be easier for Portisch in the opening, but even if I were to fail to achieve what I wanted in my own schemes, I might quietly be able to gain an advantage in the middlegame.And the Italian Game fell away of its own accord And after it also the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez, and 1 e4 in general.But I also did not wish to permit the Nimzo Indian Defence, which had been so well studied by my opponent, and by the method of elimination my choice fell on 1 Nf3 I would attempt to gain a slight advantage In the end it would depend on me whether or not I was able to increase it.I must admit that I did not guess completely the course of events in the opening Portisch chose against me that very same variation in which a few rounds earlier I had lost as Black to Panno Did that mean that he was aiming for a different piece set up At the board I took a radical decision I deviated from the path chosen by Panno, and was ready to agree both to the Queen s Gambit, and to the Tarrasch Defence The result was a higly unusual form of the Reti Opening White did not achieve anything in it, but I lost the opening advantage promised by theory, but gaineda complicated position was reached, which was unfamiliar or only slightly familiar to Portisch, and we were both forced to think for ourselves.The fact that this was to my advantage is shown by the game.This story is fascinating for its account of the many aspects of life going into this momentous victory Luck, the possibility of rising above one s own psychological flaws, belief in one s own style, cool analysis, the ability to listen to advice and then correctly reject it.I love in particular the actual gun Portisch pointed at him The opening Portisch himself had messed up a few days earlier Brilliant It brings to mind the discussion you can see elsewhere of Geller talking about this sort of thing.How to win when you don t need to is easy To win when there is no choice, that is hard And yet I believe that Najdorf had a point It may well be harder to draw to order than to win, so perhaps, although he didn t really believe it, this was an advantage Polugayevsky had

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