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Judit Polgar vs Alexander Morozevich
Corus Group A (2000), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-18
French Defense: Classical. Burn Variation Morozevich Line (C11)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-05-04  AlexBabich: Conclusion: The selection of the steady Burn Variation in the French (4...dxe4) is intended to throw a damper on White's attacking ambitions. But the follow-up capture, 6...gxf6, instead of the more solid 6...Bxf6, shows that Morozevich has some long-range plans of his own, namely to use the semi-open g-file.

The first step for Black is to establish a central presence. Morozevich does this by working his bishop to d5, supporting it with his backward c-pawn, and insuring that the bishop cannot be driven out by a White c4-pawn. That all takes place starting at move seven and running through move fifteen.

Step two is to take away White's attacking options: 16...a5 denies White use of the a5 square; 17...Re8 safeguards the e7-bishop from sacrificial tricks on d5; 19...Qb8 and 19...Qb4 reduce White to passivity on the queenside. And all the while the d7-Knight stands guard over the possible entry points c5 and e5.

Only after the preliminary defensive work is done can Morozevich think about pursuing his own chances. With 21...Bf6 he puts the d-pawn under fire. Then rooks are doubled on the g-file (moves 22-26), and finally the battering of g3 begins in earnest, 27...f4 followed up by 29...h5 and 32...h4. The queen crossing to the kingside, 34...Qe4!, completes the picture. And at the very end it is Polgar's king that cannot avoid mate.

May-23-05  notyetagm: Very nice game commentary, AlexB.
May-23-05  notyetagm: Masterful play by Morozevich in this game, absolutely masterful.
Nov-22-05  aktajha: <AlexBabich>; aren't the Chessmaster 10th comments on the games copyrighted (so you should have quoted it!)
Nov-22-05  jumper32: Has anybody an idea of why 31...kg7 ?
Nov-22-05  JeffCaruso: <jumper32> 31...♔g7 lets Black's other Rook join the attack via the h-file; the game might have finished 37 ♖d4 ♖h8+ 38 ♖h4 ♖xh4+ 39 gh ♕g2#
Nov-22-05  jumper32: Thanks. that makes sense
Sep-30-06  notyetagm: I like this game more every time I play over it.

First get a firm foothold in the center. Then stop White from expanding on the queenside. Finally launch an irresistible attack on the kingside down the half-open g-file.

Morozevich makes beating a top GM look easy.

Nov-17-06  GrandPatzerSCL: Very nice commentary by the AlexB. That kind of stuff is a lot more helpful for patzers like me than variations. Gets too hard without a little board on hand.
Nov-18-06  sucaba: 30. ♗xd5 improved Black's ♙-structure and left the a4♘ out of play. Instead, 30. ♖d4 puts up more resistance, but perhaps Black can still win after 30. _ ♕b8 31. ♖xg4 ♖xg4 32. ♘b2 h4 33. ♔h2.
Nov-18-06  Akavall: A great game. One of my favorite Morozevich's games.
Dec-22-07  Octavia: This was a very difficult game, when i tried to guess the moves on Chessmaster10. So i looked here & lo ! i noticed that alex had copied the conclusion from ch10 ! Now i'm going to see if the other comments here through light on the mysterious moves. Thanks for all the comments ! I usually do better than my grade on the guess-the-move feature on ch10, but this time i only managed to equal it.
Dec-22-07  Octavia: I still don't understand. Why didn't white swap her N for B early on & later swapp Qs? She was better on the q side (2 ps for 1) & could have won the endgame, may be.
Dec-06-08  WhiteRook48: Cause Morozevich is higher rated
Dec-24-08  WhiteRook48: that's why
and Polgar
is falling
out
of competition
and
losing
badly I hear
Dec-24-08  WhiteRook48: just see her page she's falling rapidly
Jul-14-09  garcimitch: This game is a positionnal masterpiece. I discovered it here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFRE...
Jul-14-09  kurtrichards: Surely after a long period of hibernation I cannot expect Judit to be playing the kind of chess she usually does but given a half year of active chess she will surely regain her strength that catapulted her at the top not so long ago. Come on Judit!
Dec-08-12  Tigranny: Why didn't any of Judit's knights at any point take the bishop on d5 and secure the fianchetto surrounding the White king? Just curious, for this is one of my favorite games from Morozevich.
Jun-24-13  AngeLa: "Morozevich is a bright player; I like how he plays. This is active chess: only forward! Sometimes luck is on his side, sometimes it is not. It is not boring to watch his games." – Kramnik ^^x
Jul-18-14  posoo: 31...KG7!!!

NOBODY who kibitzes on dis site wod have even CONSIDERED dis move. This is NOT a blitz move or even a computer move.

A MOROZEVICH MOVE.

POSOO SAID IT.

Nov-06-14  Rookiepawn:


click for larger view

Moro made the "titanium nerves" move 34... Qe4!! I think it is a nice challenge to consider Black's chances after 35. Qxe7. The attack on f7 seems scary and control of the h file seems matter of controversy. Things get very dynamic.

Maybe it goes like this?

35... Qe2+
36. Rf2 ...

Forced, retreat to the back rank and B captures the WR in d1 with check. Kh3 and B captures the WR in f3.

36... Rxg3+!
37. Kxg3 Kh8+
38. Kh3 (forced again) Qg4+
39. Kh2 Qh5+

...and that should be it. I did it all in my head so maybe I missed something.

Feb-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 8 g3 was a logical innovation against Morozovich's pet line (7..a6). 11 0-0-0 certainly looks playable and seems more consistent with Polgar's style. 12..Bd5 was aimed against the plan of c3, b3 and c4 )b3..b4 would be good for Black). With 15 c4 White gave up ant attempt to contest d5.

Morozovich after 16..a5:
"...After the game my opponent said that she had considered her position to be better, although in my opinion it is approximately equal. Evidently as a result of this overestimation, Judit began operating with one-move threats trying to provoke at least some targets to attack, whereas more in keeping with the spirit of the position was an unhurried plan sucas as a3, Rd2, Rc1 etc. eyeing Black's queenside."

Morozovich had expected 19 Bxd5..exd 20 Qh5..Nf6 21 Qf7..Ra6 22 Nxf5..exf 23 Re5 with an unclear position. Finkel recommended 23 a3..Qf8 24 Bab6..Nxb6 25 Nxb6..Ra7 when the position remains unclear; instead after Polgar's 23 Qc1? Black took over the initiative. 29 Qc3?! did not accomplish much, perhaps 29 Nc3 would be an improvement. 35 Qc3 lost at once but Black also wins after 35 Kf2..Rh8 36 Rf1..Rh2+ 37 Kg1..Qe2 38 Rxf7+..Rg8.

Dec-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: Merry Christmas everybody!

This game is another of those "detective stories" (like Fischer vs Keres, 1962) where a player appears to do absolutely nothing wrong - and yet still loses?! By move fourteen Judit Polgar has completed her development (and well ahead of black), her position contains no apparent weaknesses, and yet Morozevich is able to put a plan into motion that white seems powerless to parry.

Brilliant play from Alexander Morozevich... but where did white go wrong??

Dec-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: It seems to me - after much contemplation - that when black recaptures with his NP rather than the Bishop (6... gxf6), he can still safely castle kingside and put his plan into practice. White has just traded off her dark squared Bishop - the very piece that's needed to exploit all the dark squared weaknesses on the black kingside; and these weak squares in front of black's King provide white's only source of counterattack.

Morozevich's play here may cast some doubt on the soundness of the Burn variation for white.

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