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Judit Polgar vs Ivan Sokolov
Corus (2005), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 12, Jan-29
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Breyer Defense (C95)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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sac: 36.Nf3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-29-05  sergeidave: It's awesome how Judit managed to crack Sokolov, even in the middle of being attacked! Great game!
Jan-29-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: An amazing gem. The quiet 34 Kf1!! unbelievable to see played in real time, had to be seen before she played 31 Ng4. Reminiscent of 45 Kh1!! in Pillsbury vs Tarrasch, 1895
Jan-29-05  hintza: After a little analysis it looks like Sokolov would have held out longer by playing 37...Nf4. If 38.Qxh4, then 38...h5 holds. 38.Qh6 is White's best try: 38...Rg8 39.Qxh4 (39.Ng5? Rxg5! 40.Qxg5 Rxf2 41.Rxf2 Qxf2! 42.Kxf2 Nh3+) and then 39...Rxf2 seems forced. Then after 40.Rxf2 Black has saved a tempo on the actual game's continuation, and so can play 40...Qe3 with threats of his own. White, however, can avoid this with 40.Qxf2 Qxf2 41.Kxf2 with a very promising position.
Jan-29-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <hintza> thanks it was more complicated than I thought. I did some analysis with the aid of Shredder after seeing your post, and it showed Judit still had a win after 37...Nf4 38 Qxh4 h5, although she has to avoid playing Qg5 because of the knight fork on h3 at the end of the exchanges on f2.

38. Qxh4 h5 39. Ne1! (Awkward but effective) Rxf2+ 40. Rxf2 Rg8 (40... Qe3! 41. Ng2!) 41. Rg2 Qc8 42. Rb1 Qf8 43. Rg5 Rg6 44. Rxg6 fxg6 and with the Queen tied to defensive duties White's rook should win.

Jan-30-05  hintza: <tamar> Thanks a lot for that, I thought Judit probably ought to win after 38...h5 but I wasn't entirely sure how. Your 39.Ne1! looks to be the way, especially as it prevents ...Qe3 from having the same effect as it did in that line of mine in my other post.
Jan-30-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Tamar>Judit's win here is indeed an <amazing gem>! Thanks for pointing out the awesome 34. Kf1!! I'm not sure if my classification is correct, but I'm calling 34. Kf1!! a "defensive clearance" tactic, since, by parrying Black's Knight fork threat, it frees up the Queen to play the winning 35. Qh5 . It also clears the g-file for the Rook on h1 to move to g1 at a critical point (34. Kg1? apparently doesn't work because it fails to clear the g-file for the Rook).

Fritz 8 confirms your analysis with Shredder that the game try 37...Nf4!? fails to hold for Black after 38.Qxh4 h5 39.Rb1! Rd8 (39...Rxc3 40.Qg4 ) 40.Ne1 Rxc3 (40...Rd2 41.Ng2 ) 41.Qg4! .

Although Judit apparently had the win well under control after 34. Kf1!!, she might have made good use of the open g-file with the stronger alternative 36.Rg1! Play from here might have continued 36...Qd4 37.Nf3 (37.cxd4 c3+ 38.Nc4 Bxc4+ 39.Ke1 Rxc2 40.Rxg6 Re2+ 41.Kf1 fxg6 42. Qh6 Rxe4+ 43. Kg1 Rg4+ 44. Kh2 Rg8 45. f7 Rf4 46. fxg8Q+ ) 37...Rxc2 38.Nxd4 (38.cxd4 c3+ 39.Ke1 Re2+ 40.Kd1 Nf4+) 38...Rxc3 39.Qh6 Rc1+ 40.Rxc1 c3+ 41.Nb5 Rg8 42.Rg5 Bxb5+ 43.axb5 h3 44.Qxh7+ Kxh7 45.Rh5#

Jan-30-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Some interesting pictures, analysis and commentary on this game can be found at http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/eve.... In addition to looking at this analysis, I did my own extended analysis of the game with Fritz 8, and the results follow.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.00 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 <Consolidates b4+d4> 8...00 9.h3 <Covers g4> 9...Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 c5 13.d5 <White gets more space> 13...g6 <13...Rb8 14.Nf1=> 14.Nf1 a5 <Black intends b4> 15.a4 b4 <Black wins space> 16.Bd3 Qc7 17.Ne3 bxc3 18.bxc3 c4 19.Bc2 <19.Nxc4 Ba6 20.Nb2 Qxc3 21.Bxa6 Rxa6 22. Re3 > 19...Ba6 20.Nd2 Rfc8 21.Ba3 Bf8 22.Qf3 Bg7 23.g3 Rab8 24.Kg2 Nb6 25.g4 <25.Rab1 h6=> 25...Nfd7 26.h4 Nc5 <Attacks the isolani on a4> 27.Bxc5 Qxc5 28.h5 Nd7 <28...Bh6 29.Qh3 (29.Qf6 Nd7 30.Qe7 Rc7 31.hxg6 fxg6 32.Qe6+ Kf8 33.Rh1 Re8) 29...Bf4 30.Nf3 g5 31.Nf5 Rc7 32.Ng1 Bc8 33.Ne2 Bxf5 34.gxf5 Nd7 35.Nxf4 exf4 36.h6 Nf6=> 29.Rh1 Nf8 30.g5 Rb2 31.Ng4 gxh5 <31...Rxc2 32.h6 f5 (32...Rxd2?? capturing the knight is not a good idea 33.hxg7 Rxf2+ (33...Kxg7 34.Qf6+ Kg8 35.Nh6#) 34.Nxf2 ) 33.gxf6 Bxf6 34.Nxf6+ Kh8 35.Ne8 Kg8 36.Qf6 Qa7 37.Nxd6 Rxd2 38.Rh3 Rd3 39.Rxd3 cxd3 40.Nxc8 Bxc8 41.Rd1 Ba6 42.Qxe5 > 32.Nf6+ Bxf6 33.gxf6 Ng6 <33...Rxc2 34.Qxh5 Rxd2 35.Qg5+ Ng6 36.Qxd2 Nf4+ 37.Kf3 Kh8 > 34.Kf1!! <34.Kg1? h4 35.Qh5 Kh8 36.Rc1 (36.Qh6 Rg8 ) 36...Rg8 => 34...h4 <34...Kf8 35.Qxh5 Ke8 36.Qxh7 Rd8 37.Qg8+ Kd7 38.Qxf7+ Kc8 39.Qxg6 Kb7 > 35.Qh5 Kh8 <35...Kf8 doesn't do any good 36.Qxh7 Rd8 37.Rg1 Rb7 38.Rxg6 fxg6 39.Qh8+ Kf7 40.Qxd8 ; 35...Rxc2?? 36.Qh6 > 36.Nf3 <36.Rg1! Qd4 37.Nf3 (37.cxd4 c3+ 38.Nc4 Bxc4+ 39.Ke1 Rxc2 40.Rxg6 Re2+ 41.Kf1 fxg6 42.Qh6 Rxe4+ 43.Kg1 Rg4+ 44.Kh2 Rg8 45.f7 Rf4 46.fxg8Q+ ) 37...Rxc2 38.Nxd4 (38.cxd4?? c3+ 39.Ke1 Re2+ 40.Kd1 Nf4+) 38...Rxc3 39.Qh6 Rc1+ 40.Rxc1 c3+ 41.Nb5 Rg8 42.Rg5 Bxb5+ 43.axb5 h3 44.Qxh7+ Kxh7 45.Rh5#> 36...Rxc2 37.Rh2 Rxf2+ <37...Nf4 38.Qxh4 h5 39.Rb1 Rd8 (39...Rxc3 40.Qg4 ) 40.Ne1 Rxc3 (40...Rd2 41.Ng2 ) 41.Qg4 > 38.Rxf2 Nf4 39.Qxh4 <Instead of 39.Qxf7 Qc7 40.Qxc7 Rxc7 > 39...Rg8 <39...Qe3 40.Ng5 Qd3+ 41.Kg1 Nh3+ 42.Nxh3 Rg8+ 43.Ng5 Qxe4 44.Qxe4 Rxg5+ 45.Rg2 Rg6 46.Rxg6 fxg6 47.f7 Kg7 48.Rf1 Kf8 49.Qh4 h5 50.Qd8+ Kg7 51.f8Q+ Kh7 52.Qh8#> 40.Rh2 10

Jan-30-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Note that according to Fritz 8 and the analysis at This Week In Chess, 28...Bh6! seems to give Black good defensive chances, and may have been Black's best chance to save the game.

With apologies the Fritz analysis repeated from the game analysis above goes 28...Bh6! 29.Qh3 (29.Qf6 Nd7 30.Qe7 Rc7 31.hxg6 fxg6 32.Qe6+ Kf8 33.Rh1 Re8) 29...Bf4 30.Nf3 g5 31.Nf5 Rc7 32.Ng1 Bc8 33.Ne2 Bxf5 34.gxf5 Nd7 35.Nxf4 exf4 36.h6 Nf6=.

Jan-30-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <hintza> Garry Kasparov was kibitzing on Playchess and recommended 36 Nf3 Rxc2 37 Rh2 giving the mating sequence that occurred more or less in the game. The tricky possibilities arising from 37...Nf4 however, even if they ultimately lose, make this whole line much less good than 36 Rg1!! which would have forced immediate resignation.

<patzer2> I agree 34 Kf1 is a wonderful and unexpected clearance but it looked like an offensive and defensive "self-obstruction" during the game :-)

Watching it live, I couldn't believe Judit would play such a craven retreat. Part of its appeal is that it looks so bad!

-It disconnects the rooks, a no-no.

-It moves the King into the path of the bishop should c4 ever move, another thing to avoid.

-It hangs the bishop, and with its capture lets the Black rook inch toward the King and the f2 square.

Jan-30-05  hintza: <tamar> <Garry Kasparov was kibitzing on Playchess and recommended 36 Nf3 Rxc2 37 Rh2 giving the mating sequence that occurred more or less in the game> In which line do you mean? 36.Nf3 Rxc2 37.Rh2 was the actual game's continuation, so I presume you mean a different line.
Jan-30-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <hintza> What I meant was Kasparov predicted the game continuation with 36 Nf3 almost immediately upon entering Playchess, but missed the superior 36 Rg1. At the time both seemed equally crushing.
Jan-30-05  hintza: <tamar> OK, I understand now. I guess it isn't all that important because 36.Nf3 and 36.Rg1 are both winning anyway. Thanks for the insight into Kasparov's opinion.
Jan-30-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <hintza> < I guess it isn't all that important because 36.Nf3 and 36.Rg1 are both winning anyway. > True, but I would liked to have witnessed the finish:

36 Rg1 Rxc2

(as <patzer2> points out, computer evaluations from here forward go crazy and the "best" move is a hopeless one like 36...Qd4 to delay mate)

37 Qh6 Rg8

38 Rg5 Rxd2

39 Qxh7+ Kxh7

40 Rh5 mate

Jan-30-05  hintza: <tamar> Agreed, nice finish! :-)
Jan-31-05  resty: isn't 39...Nd3 possible? am just a beginner, please explain. thanks
Jan-31-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <resty> 39...Nd3 is possible, but Judit has the reply 40 Rh2 as in the game, moving the attacked piece and threatening mate with Qxh7+ and Qh8 mate
Jun-10-05  Calypsoleon: Could someone please explain why 39...Rxc2 is not good for black. Thanks
Jun-10-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Err... There are no piece on c2 for move 39?
Jun-16-05  Calypsoleon: Thank you <wannaBe>. Sorry, have to review which game post was for.
Aug-18-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Judit's analysis is up for this game at http://www.chesscafe.com/informant/...

One key moment is after 28 h5, first mentioned here by <patzer2> She agrees that Sokolov had a chance to hold, and for that reason recommends 28 g5 instead.

"28...Bh6! 29. hg6 (29. Rh1 Bf4 30. hg6 fg6) a) 29...hg6 30. Rh1 Bf4 a1) 31. Qh3 Kf8 32. Qh8 Ke7 33. Qh4 Kd7 34. Qf6 Rf8 35. Rh3 (35. Rh7?! Be3 36. Rf7 Rf7 37. Qf7 Kc8 38. fe3 Qe3) Kc7; a2) 31. g5! Kf8 (31...Kg7 32. Rh7! Kh7 33. Qh3 Kg8 34. Rh1 and White is winning; 31...Bg5 32. Rh8! Kh8 33. Qf7 Bh4 34. Rh1 g5 35. Qf6 Kg8 36. Nf3 and White is winning) 32. Rh7 with attack; b) 29...fg6!"

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