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Sofia Polgar vs Adam Rabczewski
"Polgarheist" (game of the day Apr-20-2021)
Rome Open (1989), Rome ITA, rd 1, Feb-??
Sicilian Defense: O'Kelly Variation. Venice System Barcza Line (B28)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-06-09  AnalyzeThis: 29....e5 was terrible. It forces white to make a winning move.
Oct-06-09  YouRang: Yes, 30.Qf5 is the only sensible move.

But that didn't stop me from spending a couple minutes looking at some silly moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <eaglewing: . . . Certainly there are better moves than 29...e5 but your 29...Rd8 looks like an inferior one: 30 Bb6 R8d7? 31 Qb8+, so the rook has to move again on the 8th row. I think I would prefer 29...Qd7 30. Bc5/b6 e5 and Rc8 might move next.>

<JeffCaruso: If 29 ... Rd8 then 30. Bb6 would force the R to move off the d-file.>

I agree. 29...Qd7, followed by 30...e5, is better. With that correction, I stand by my comment. 29. Bd4 looks like a move intended solely to sucker black into making a blunder. It may have won, but it's not a winning move against any but suckers.

Oct-06-09  newton296: i thought, and thought, and thought, and thought, but notta, zip, zilch .

looked and solution and wow ! Qf5 fork , so easy why didn't I see it.

I spent an hour looking at this too !

Oct-06-09  estrick: After 28. . . . Rxd3, Black seems to have command of the d file. White cannot immediately challange Black for control of the file without leaving the bishop hanging. The bishop is also in a passive position on c3.

29. Bd4 gets the bishop to a more active square, preparing to post it on a square where it can't be dislodged, thereby freeing up White's rook on c1 from having to defend the bishop, and it prevents Black's rooks from getting 'in communication' with each other which might lead to a major invasion of White's side of the board.

Seems like White accomplishes quite a bit with that move, besides setting up a potential tactic, which Polgar probably did not expect Black to fall for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: After looking at 30.Bc5, Re1 and even Bxe5, I spotted Qg4 after noticing the loose rook on c8. However, that wouldn't work and then finally Qf5 found it's way into my vision.
Oct-06-09  lzromeu: Its easy if you don't look for a checkmate or some like this.

I spent 1/2 hour at this, trying back rank mate or trap the Queen.

Qf5 is the only good move for white. So close in the board, so far for the eyes.

Oct-06-09  Patriot: <<al wazir> <29. Bd4 looks like a move intended solely to sucker black into making a blunder.>

I disagree. The nice thing about Bd4 is that it allows for Bc5 or Bb6 in some lines. I'm sure Sofia saw that Bd4 is a good positional move that is tactically sound, while allowing the possibility of an e5 blunder. GM's make moves all the time that improve their position while giving their opponent the opportunity to make a mistake.

Oct-06-09  johnlspouge: < <newton296> wrote: [snip] looked and solution and wow ! Qf5 fork , so easy why didn't I see it. >

Hi, <newton296>. Here's how to see it instantly: look for loose pieces after checking safety of the opposing K. With the 2 loose Rs (Rc8 and Rd3) and a threatened Qf4, I checked for flight squares from which the Qf4 could fork...and (as they used to say in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons): viola! The fork at f5 just screamed to be played.

Oct-06-09  wals:

All you ever wanted to know about named checkmates.

Oct-06-09  muralman: Monday and Tuesday were nice finger stretchers. Today's took some looking at several enticing moves. After some board search, and a little soul searching, I elected to take the one up-manship and split the rooks.
Oct-06-09  johnlspouge: At ply 15, Toga evaluates Move 39. as follows:


value (to White) -0.74 P


value (to White) -0.25 P

On one hand, even with the error in Toga's evaluation function considered, 0.5 P is slightly more than a matter of taste and near the (fuzzy) borderline of an inferior move.

On the other hand, 29.Bd4 does actually entail the trap that ended the game.

Alas, it would be instructive to know White's reasoning behind 29.Bd4, but...

Oct-06-09  johnlspouge: < <wals> wrote: [snip] All you ever wanted to know about named checkmates. >

Not quite, but thanks, I noted it.

Oct-06-09  The Rocket: this is interesting because it really isnt that easy to see..... in a blitz game I could for sure miss a move like that.
Oct-06-09  WhiteRook48: 30 Qf5 is so easy
Oct-06-09  briiian13: could have played on
Oct-06-09  jackpawn: I found it in a few seconds. Looked for possible sacs, didn't find any, then looked for loose pieces. Bingo.
Oct-06-09  openingspecialist: This puzzle illustrates how I evaluate a game. If I have coordinated and protected pieces, and my opponent does not, I'm winning even if I am a pawn down. This reminds me of the last tournament game I played.
Feb-17-12  Travis Bickle: Is this from Sophia's famous tournament called 'The Sac Of Rome'?
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: I can't tell you how many times I tell students to look for unprotected pieces.
Apr-20-21  SpiritedReposte: After Rxd4 Qxc8+ Rd8 down an exchange but still some play left for black no?
Apr-20-21  areknames: Acceptable pun, as this 'steal' (or heist) paved the way for Sofia to achieve one of the most remarkable results in history. After something like 29...Qe8 it's hard to see how White can win. Furthermore, Polgar was completely lost in Rd 2 so should really have scored 0.5/2 against lower rated opponents. Instead she proceeded to score 8.5/9, devouring GMs for breakfast, with an ELO performance of 2879!
Apr-20-21  Brenin: 26 ... Nf6 or 29 ... Qe8 and Black is fine.
Apr-20-21  CivilDisobedience: Il "Sacco di Roma" di Sofia! - -
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Isn’t it odd to play c3 on the third move, and then take on d4 with the queen on move 6?
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