Judit Polgar – Sophie Milliet [C63]
Trophee CCAS GpA Cap d’Agde FRA (2), 24.10.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d4 The main theoretical lines start with 4.Nc3.

4…fxe4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 c6 7.Be2 The more solid but less popular approach. The other option is too play more ambitiously and sacrifice the Bishop with 7.Nc3 cxb5 8.Nxe4 d5 9.exd6. White has two Pawns for the piece here and some lead in development. However, after 9…Nf6 Black is OK too.

7…Qa5+ 8.Bd2 Qxe5 9.Bc3 Qg5 In older opening books this position slightly favored for Black. Judit will try to prove the opposite.

10.Bh5+ Because of the pin over Black’s g7 Pawn, Black now must move her King.

10…Kd8 11.g3 White does not mind the weakening of the Kingside squares, as she plans to castle to the other side of the board.

11…d5 12.Bd4 This move prepares the upcoming c2-c4 Pawn advance, which will attempt to open up the position against Black’s King.

12…Nf6 13.Be2 White had no other option but to retreat.

13…Bd6 14.c4 Black’s top priority should be to somehow hide her King in one of the corners. However, marching to either side would take a significant number of moves and therefore it is easier said than done.

14…Rf8 This is bit surprising but 14…dxc4 is playable too.

15.Nc3 Qf5 with ideas of Ng4 to target the f2 Pawn.

16.Qd2 Be6 Now 16…Ng4 will be answered by 17.0–0–0 when 17…Nxf2? would be a mistake, as White would get a winning attack after 18.Bxf2 Qxf2 19.Nxe4! dxe4 20.Qxd6+ Ke8 21.Qe5+ Kf7 22.Rhf1.

17.0–0–0 This is an interesting position where it is critical which plan Black chooses. Black is a Pawn ahead. However, her King is in a very sensitive position, right in the middle of the board, with no hope to ever castle. White clearly has sufficient compensation for the Pawn.

17…Ke7?! A good strategical idea would be to try to exchange the dark squared Bishops with 17…Be5?. However, this would fail tactically to similar reasons as we saw earlier: 18.g4! Qf4 (18…Nxg4 19.Bxg4 Qxg4 20.Bxe5) 19.Be3 and the Queen is trapped.

After 17…Kc7 18.Rhf1 Black would still have trouble playing 18…Be5? 19.g4 Qf4 20.Be3 Qxh2 21.Rh1 Qg2 22.Rdg1.

18…Rad8 19.Bxa7 dxc4 (The natural looking 19…b6? move to trap White’s Bishop could be met with 20.Bxb6+! Kxb6 followed by the elegant 21.c5+! Bxc5 22.Na4+ with White’s clear advantage.) 20.Na4 Kc8 21.Nb6+ Kc7 22.Na8+ Kc8 23.Nb6+ with draw by an unusual repetition of moves.

18.Rhf1 The key plan is to quickly play f2-f3 and open files before Black succeeds to put her King to safety. White’s position is better now.

18…Rad8 The main problem with this move is it leaves the a7 Pawn unprotected. White would have an advantage also after 18…Kf7 19.f3 e3 20.Qxe3.

19.f3! Finally White succeeded in opening the position against Black’s King.

19…Qg6 20.fxe4 dxe4 Also after 20…Nxe4 21.Nxe4 Rxf1 (21…dxe4 22.Rxf8 Kxf8 (22…Rxf8 23.Bxg7) 23.Bc5) 22.Rxf1 dxe4 23.Be3 White’s initiative strong.

21.Qe3 Qh6 Other moves would be worse. For example, 21…Kf7 22.Nxe4 using the pin.

22.Qxh6 gxh6 23.Bxa7 White has just won the Pawn back and has reached a superior endgame, thanks to having a better Pawn structure and a more active game.

23…Ra8 This does not help. A better try may have been 23…Bb4.

24.Be3 Ng4 If 24…h5 25.Rxf6! Rxf6 26.Nxe4 and White comes out ahead.

25.Bxg4 Slightly more accurate seems to be the 25.Rxf8 Rxf8 26.Bxg4 Bxg4 27.Bxh6 move order.

25…Bxg4 Better would be to insert an intermediate move with 25…Rxf1 26.Rxf1 Bxg4 27.Bxh6 Bf3.

26.Rxf8 Rxf8 27.Bxh6 Ra8 After 27…Bxd1 28.Bxf8+ Kxf8 29.Kxd1 e3 the e-Pawn would be lost quickly after 30.Ke2.

28.Re1 Kd7 29.Nxe4 Now White is up two Pawns so as they say “the rest is a matter of technique.” However, in shorter time control rapid games, there are always challenges until the very end.

29…Bb4 There is no time to grab the Pawn with 29…Rxa2 as White will first play 30.Kb1! (avoiding nasty checks on a1), and then after the Rook retreats, White forks by 30…Ra4 31.Nf6+.

30.Bd2 Bxd2+ 31.Kxd2 Bf3 32.Nc5+ Kc7 33.Rf1 Bh5 34.Ne6+ Kd6 35.Nf4 Bg4 36.a3 Ra4 37.h3 Bc8 38.Kc3 b5 39.cxb5 cxb5 40.Rd1+ Kc6 41.Rd4 Ra7 42.Rd5 Bxh3 43.Rh5 Bg4 44.Rh6+ Kc7 44…Kc5?? would end the game right away… after 45.b4 checkmate!

45.Rxh7+ Kb6 46.Nd5+ Ka6 47.Rxa7+ Kxa7 48.Nf6 Be6 49.g4 Kb6 50.Kb4 Kc6 51.g5 Bf7 52.Ne4 Bg6 53.Nc3 Bd3 54.b3 Kb6 55.Nd5+ Kc6 56.Nf4 Bh7 57.g6 Bg8 58.Nh5 Kd6 59.Nf6 and Black resigned 1–0.

Source: Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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