L. Dominguez — J. Polgar
World Cup – Round 4
Khanty Mansiysk

Game analysis by GM Konstantin Landa

This was the most tense and incredible game of the tournament. Judit lost the first game as White, and faced the impossible task: beating a 2700+ player with Black pieces on demand. But there is nothing impossible for Judit! I can’t tell how excited we were to watch this game.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Qf3 Be7 9.Qg3 d6 10.0−0−0 0−0 11.Kb1 Rd8 12.f4 Qc7 13.Bd3 b5 14.Qh4 h6 15.Bxh6 gxh6

The computer recommends 15…Nxe4 16.Bg5 Bxg5 17.fxg5 Nxc3+ 18.bxc3 g6, but for a human it is obvious that White gets the enemy king first.

16.Qxh6 Ne8


This is wrong. White creates a very strong attack by 17.Nd5! exd5 18.exd5 f5! (bad is 18…Nf6? 19.dxc6 Qxc6 20.Rhe1 Re8 21.Re3, but after 18…Bf6 19.Bh7+ Kh8 20.dxc6 (20.Bg6+ Kg8 21.Bh7+ gives Black the needed draw) 20…Bg7 21.Qh4 Bf6 22.Qh5 White is just slightly better) 19.dxc6 Bf6 20.Rhe1 Qg7 21.Qh5 Qf7 22.Qh3 Ng7 23.g4!

17…f5 18.Bxf5 exf5 19.Nd5 Bf8 20.Nxc7 Bxh6 21.Nxa8 Bxf4 22.exd6 Bxd6 23.Nb6 Be6 24.Nd5 Kf7

The situation remains balanced, and it’s still everyone’s game.

25.Ne3 Nf6 26.g3 Ng4 27.Nxg4 fxg4 28.Nd4 Nxd4 29.Rxd4 Bc7 30.Rf1+ Ke7


White had to play 31.Rxd8!, because making a draw without rooks is much easier! If Dominguez knew how this game ends, he would definitely trade the rooks.

31…Rg8 32.a4 Bd6 33.axb5 axb5 34.Rf5 b4 35.Rh5 Rg6 36.h3 gxh3 37.Rxh3 Kd7 38.Rh7+ Kc6 39.b3 Bd5 40.Re3 Bxg3 41.Ra7

Winning this position seems impossible, but not for Judit…

41…Rg4 42.Ra4 Bf4 43.Re1 Bd2 44.Rd1 Bc3 45.Ra6+ Kb7 46.Ra5 Be4 47.Ra4 Rg2 48.Ra2 Kb6 49.Rd6+ Kb5 50.Rd1 Bf3 51.Rf1 Kc5 52.Ra7 Be4 53.Rc1 Kb6 54.Ra2 Rg3 55.Rf1 Bg7 56.Kc1 Rg2 57.Kb1 Rd2 58.Kc1 Rh2 59.Kb1 Bc3 60.Rd1 Bf3 61.Rf1 Kc5 62.Ra7 Be4 63.Rc1 Kd4 64.Rd7+ Ke3!

Black finds the right plan! The king breaks closer to the с2-pawn.

65.Re7 Rh6 66.Ra7 Bd2 67.Rg1 Kf2 68.Rd1 Ke2 69.Rg1 Be3 70.Re7 Rh4 71.Rg8 Bd4 72.Ka2 Kd2 73.Rd7 Bxc2


The last chance.


This move nearly cost the Hungarian player her promotion! She could win immediately by 74…Kc1! 75.Rxh4 (75.Rc8 Rh6) 75…Bb1#; this would be an incredible conclusion!

75.Rxd4+ Bd3 76.Rxb4 Kc3 77.Ra4 Rh2+?

The Nalimov base shows that Black mates in 23 by 77…Rb8.

78.Ka3 Rb2 79.Rg4??

Dominguez could create a nice study: after 79.Rb4 Rb1 80.Ka2 Kxb4 there is a stalemate!

79…Rxb3+ 80.Ka4 Rb1 81.Ka5 Rb5+ 82.Ka4 Rf5

This is the Philidor position, in which Black wins by force, but Judit was very tired and couldn’t show the right way. At some point we weren’t even sure that she can finish White off.

83.Rg3 Rf4+ 84.Ka3 Rf1 85.Rg2 Rh1

85…Rb1! 86.Rh2 Bf1 wins easily.

86.Rb2 Ra1+ 87.Ra2 Rb1 88.Rg2 Rb3+ 89.Ka4 Rb4+ 90.Ka3 Rb6 91.Rg4 Ra6+ 92.Ra4 Rb6 93.Rg4 Rb7 94.Rh4 Rb1 95.Rh2 Rb6 96.Rh4 Bf1 97.Rg4 Rb5 98.Rg3+ Bd3 99.Rg4 Rb1 100.Rg2 Rb3+ 101.Ka4 Rb5 102.Rg4 Rf5 103.Ka3 Rf1 104.Rg2 Rb1!

Finally! We really wanted Judit to equalize the match score.

105.Rh2 Bf5 106.Rg2 Bd3 107.Rh2 Bf1 108.Rf2 Bc4 109.Rf3+ Bd3 110.Rf2 Rb3+ 111.Ka2 Rb6 112.Ka1 Rg6

White resigns. After the game Polgar was shocked: «I made a grandmaster norm by winning the Philidor position, I always knew how to win it, but here I had some sort of a blackout! Fortunately, in the end I found the right setup!»

Well, playing under such pressure is surely tough, but Judit managed to calm her nerves. Well done!

Excellent analysis of many more games here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
Tags: , , , ,