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P Needham vs Zsuzsa Polgar
Westergate (1981)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-24-03  Phoenix: 24.gxh3, f3! following with Rg2 or Bf4 looks like the continuation.
Dec-24-03  rndapology: 24. gxh3 f3 25. QxP QxQ#
24. gxh3 f3 25. Rg1 Bf4+ 26. Rg3 BxR 27. QxP+ Kh1 28. PxQ mate next move 20. Nxd7 is sort of helping black to the mate.
Would 22. Qf3 stop the attack?
Dec-24-03  Alchemist: 22. Qf3 hangs the queen to 22...Bg4!
Dec-24-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 24. gxh3 f3 25. ♖hg1 ♗f4+ 26. ♖g3 ♗xg3+ 27. fxg3 ♕xg3+ 28. ♔h1 fxe2 29. ♘xb8 ♕xh3#   (eval -Mat06; depth 11 ply; 250M nodes)
Dec-24-03  kaptajn4: I see the following lines:
1). 24. Pxh3, f3 25. Qxf3, Bf4+ 26. Qg3, Bxg3+ 27. Kg2, Qf4 28. Rd2, Bxf2 29. Kf1, Qxd2 30. Nxb8, Qe1#

2). 24. Pxh3, f3 25. Rg1, Bf4+ 26. Rg3, Bxg3+ 27. Pxg3, Qxg3 28. Kh1, Pxe2 29. Bx2 (or Nxb8), Qxh3#

As it is seen, the fastest way to mate is if white blocks with the rook.

Dec-24-03  Ata: Not that it much matters, but an interesting line I'm seeing is 24. gxh3 f3 25. Qxf3 Bf4+ 26. Qg3 Rxg3!! (as if it matters), but this way capturing the rook is mate by 27. ... Qxg3 and playing anything else leads to 27. ... Qxh3#. I thought this was kind of cute, as opposed to taking with the bishop.
Dec-24-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I think better than 13. Qe2?! (too passive) is 13. Qh4 as in the nice win scored by White in Anand vs Kramnik, 2003
Dec-24-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Apparently, Anand is not the only super GM who prefers 13. Qh4 as indicated by the draw secured in Svidler vs Topalov, 2003
Dec-24-03  JSYantiss: rndapology, in your first line, 25...QxQ# involves the Black Queen moving like a knight, which is illegal.
Dec-24-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For those fairly new to the study of chess combinations, there are three simple keys to understanding and excelling at this kind of combination. The first key is learning to visualize a position after a forced sequence. The second key is looking for winning combinations in positions where the king has limited mobility. The third key is the understanding of the "clearance" tactic.

The first key "visualization" takes practice, but can be learned by studying simple combinations and working up to more complex ones. Some have said "chess makes you smarter." Many intelligence tests have problems that require the visualizatikon of objects after changing their positions, and those who have learned to solve even the most basic chess combinations seem to improve their ability on these kinds of tests. I taught my children to solve combinations at an early age and it seemed to improve their ability in Math and certainly did not hurt them in becoming top students in high school or in earning academic scholarships and graduating with honors from college.

The second key, "looking for combinations in situations where the king has limited mobility," goes hand in hand with "visualization." In this case Polgar visualizes that after 23...Bxh3 24. gxh3, that the Black king is surrounded with limited mobility, with it's own pieces and the Black rook covering all escape squares. So, she looks for a winning combination in this situation, which leads to the third key.

The third key is understanding the "clearance" tactic, which is the movement of a piece (or pawn) to "clear a square for occupation" by other piece, and this skill can be improved by studying books of combinations with examples of this theme (e.g. Encyclopedia of Chess Middle Games or Fred Rheinfeld's book of 1001 winning chess tactics). In this case, Zsuza "visualizes" the position after the forcing 23...Bxh3! and White's obvious reply 24. gxh3 to realize she has a winning "clearance move" in 24...f3!! (freeing up or clearing the square f4 for a winning Bishop check). After calculating that Black either mates or wins the queen after 24...f3 25. Qxf3 Bf4+ she really did not need to immediately calculate any deeper to know she had a won game, since on any move other than 25 Qxf3 she had a win in hand by simply capturing the enprise queen with 25....fxe2. The calculation of the pretty mates by <Crafty> and others above could actually have waited until after White's reply to 24...f3!!

Dec-24-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Zsuzsa's petals! A nice,quiet end to this one!
Dec-24-03  sarayu: patzer2, thanks very much for the extended explanation. That kind of description is very helpful to me, and I'm sure to many others.
Dec-24-03  Marnoff Mirlony: The scoresheet has an error. Polgar is only a WGM, not a GM.
Dec-24-03  Dick Brain: <Marnoff Mirlony> she is a GM. In fact she was the first woman ever to win the men's GM title. She may not have been one in 1981 if that's your beef.
Dec-24-03  Benjamin Lau: Zsuzsa achieved the three GM norm in 1991, so you are both correct.
Dec-24-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <Zsuzsa's petals!> I just saw that movie on the television. I've seen it a dozen times and I still cry like a baby :)
Dec-25-03  rndapology: JSY...yeah...forgot to write the bishop check in between in the first one. It should be 24.gxh3 f3 25. QxP Bf4+ 26. QxB QxQ# or 26. Qg3 BxQ+ 27. PxB QxP# Thanks for pointing that out. Alchemist - 22. Qf3 Bg4 23. QxB, the rook is not controlling that square yet, the dark bishop has yet to move. But black can pin either of the pawns after Qh4, so forget defense.
Dec-10-15  ChessCoachClark: Laszlo Polgar included this game in CHESS: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games as Game #4673 on pages 868-869.
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