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Zsuzsa Polgar vs Alisa Maric
"Material Girl" (game of the day Sep-24-2016)
Candidates (Women) (1994), Tilburg NED, rd 15, Sep-26
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E04)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: Excellent game.
What really appealed to me is the relative simple-seeming strategy. White wins the pawn with all the ease and simplicity available, and then, using pretty simple, (but simply pretty!) tactics (like the very nice 49.♗g6!! grinds Black to dust.
Jan-23-04  S4NKT: cats can't play chess.
Jan-23-04  technical draw: 49.Bg6!! is an excellent move and one that is very hard to see. I don't think I would have thought of it.
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: Cats can't play chess?!?!?!?!?!?! Says who?! Alekhin had a cat called Chess! and Bg6 isn't that amasing. I agree it's a !! move, but also I know I noticed such moves(it's not a high praise of my amasing talent... Read my profile:) ).
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White takes advantage of the outside pawn;while black chased and caught white's A pawn,white creates a passed H pawn. 49 Bg6 was brilliant!
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: I know it's a nice move.. but it's rather typical sacrifice...
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: I don't say it isn't a great game! In fact, I was the first to kibitz and the first to praise! But I enjoyed it not because the tactics were sky-reaching! Quite the opposite and that's what's nice about this game:)
Jan-23-04  S4NKT: Did Alekhine really have a cat that could play chess?
Jan-23-04  technical draw: I don't know, but I had a dog that could answer the telephone.
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: Chess couldn't play chess.. but once Alekhin said he played a game poorly because Chess disappeared...
Jan-23-04  S4NKT: so the cat gave Alekhine super powers?
Jan-23-04  S4NKT: or do you mean Alekhine was sad and didn't play chess well when sad?
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: :) Ask him.. The cat was black and I think AA claimed it gave him good luck...
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: And yes, some consider black cats are good luck, not bad! I once had a black one.. Blacky was so sweet
Jan-23-04  S4NKT: so in russia black cats are good luck, that was nice to know.
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: It wasn't in Russia, Alekhin left Russia forever in 1921. And though I was born in the USSR, I live in Israel.... but still consider every cat as a good luck:) Besides, some people take all ill omens and believe they're good.. "He wanted a 13 but they made it 31..."
Jan-23-04  mikebpresident: This is hilarious talk about cats. Sure people can be emotionally attached to thier pets. People are benefited in general from having pets because they provide companionship that never betrays you and is always there for you. I know they love cats in Israel because they kill the scorpians. A good game by the way.
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: Well, I've never met a scorpion tete-a-tete... And yet I love my cat:) And my cat is always the most loyal ans truthfull friend... BTW, cats are more thruthfull than people. If somebody is your "friend" because he wants something from you, he will conceal it behind honey-speaking! My cat doesn't lie... Chushka says to me honestly "I love you because you feed me" :):)
Jan-23-04  Catfriend: And in Israel you don't really have scorpions roaming your socks and school-bag...You have few of them in the desert. And cats are just sweet, that's the reason.. and of course if an alien will try to swallow my ears, my cat will protect me fiercely!
Sep-24-16  eaglewing: Cats aside - what went wrong for Black? Different coulored bishops are known to be drawish (with rooks it may be more difficult). I feel uncomfortable to let White let the pawns go forward (f4+ e3-e5) and fix the black pawns on white squares. Maybe Black should have played 29. ... e5 himself and position the own pawns on black squares.

The deciding error is immediately later, I think. It could be 33. ... Rxa6, because now the black bishop has to watch necessarily the a7-g1 diagonal. With the white pawn on the b-line the bishop could watch b8-h2 and act against the pawn-structure e5-f4-g3-h2. Still uncomfortable, naturally with a free pawn on the far side but it might be more hope for a draw.

I think, both lines/ideas of play for Black are difficult to evaluate because it will be many moves before the critical situation is reached (like in the game at 49. Bg6). In the game Black just waited and White could develope its own strategy and add continually small advantages. Sometimes the passive defense is fine, here it was not. Would have other approaches like my suggested ones been better, what do you think?

Sep-24-16  BookValue: @eagle.

Good question on where the game went wrong.

It's interesting that white's light bishop becomes a monster and haunts black from 13.Bxb7.

At that point, black's pawn structure is crippled on the queenside, even though black gets the open file to play on.

White immediately attacks the pawn on c4 and has a nice tactic with 19. Nxc4.

At this point, black's down a pawn without any seeming compensation. Didn't get to do anything with the open file and 18. b4 gained a tempo and makes the b-file worthless for black's rook.

White doubles the rooks by 22 and then simplifies the game and focuses on the passed pawn.

So in conclusion, I'd personally pinpoint 18.b4 as the point where it all goes wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: "Maricked for Disaster."
Sep-24-16  Sho: I miss TD.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: "Material Girl"? Okay, Zsuzsa Polgar won a pawn (material) and nicely won the ending with 49. Bg6!

It was funny reading the 2004 thread about Alekhine's cat Chess. But maybe cats really do play chess...

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It's hard to win with bishops of opposite colors when a pawn ahead . The solution: gain a second pawn and win that way.
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