The Notable Chess Career of Richard Polaczek

Richard Polaczek won the inaugural Kenya Open in 1979 at the age of 13. He repeated the feat in 1982 before relocating to Belgium. Polaczek became an IM in 1989 and has represented Belgium in several international events.

Polaczek has played chess greats like Gata Kamsky and Vlastimil Hort and managed to hold others like Michael Adams, Antony Miles, and Rafael Vaganian to a draw. So, it came as a surprise when our very own Peter Gilruth during the 2008 Olympiad managed to squeeze out a win against him in the endgame. We might review that endgame in a future episode.

His profile on reveals that Polaczek has a Russian father and a Belgium mother. His profile also mentions 2 notable games. The game from 1999 has a Queen sac on the 11th move and it is worth having a look at. But for today we will analyze the game that he played against Antonis Antoniou at the European Team Championship in 2007.

Black’s move 20…Kh8 suggests that he had resorted to sit back and wait for the worst to come. That worst came in the form of an infiltrating Queen and a strategic piece exchange. Black resigned soon thereafter when his Queen had to give up the defense of the Black Rook. Though the game ended with a tactic, this was just a culmination of White’s superior positional play.

Richard Polaczek never became a GM, though he still plays competitive chess in Belgium. Nonetheless, he has reasons to be very proud of his chess career; from winning the Kenya Open as a 13-year lad, to playing legends like Gata Kamsky and writing history with notable chess games. That truly makes him an inspiration for young and old chess players alike.

That’s all for today. Stay on top of COVID-19 by following the WHO Guidelines and win notable chess games by playing positional chess with knock-out tactics, like Richard Polaczek!

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