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Judit Polgar vs Tomas Hutters
Copenhagen (1986)
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-26-10  Sularus: young judit pawnin
Dec-02-10  blazerdoodle: Why not: 17...Nb3
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <blazerdoodle> Why not 17...Nb3, indeed. In fact, it's even better a move earlier, before b4 forces the Knight to move. 16...Nb3 picks up the Exchange for not a lot of compensation. And it's not as if the Na5 is being a particular nuisance, worth a Rook to get rid of.

One can only assume that it's a very speculative Exchange sac/offer from a highly aggressive young Judit. And her opponent was sufficiently worried to play safe, not that it helped him in the long run. Maybe he thought the Knight would be better doing defensive work on c6 rather than grabbing a Rook.

But the grab looks fine: 16...Nb3 17.Qb4 Nxc1 18.Rxc1 Nxd5 19.exd5 looks good for Black. So does 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 18.Qc2 Nxc1 etc. I don't see a way for White to gain much of an initiative to make up for the material loss.

Sometimes it's best to take the money and run.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Two other points:

White could have reached the same position as in the game, without offering the Exchange sac, by playing b4 *before* a3: 16.b4 Nc6 17.a3 etc.

Secondly, instead of the very dubious 16.a3, White had 16.Bg5! which causes Black severe problems by increasing the pressure on f6/e7. Black is practically forced to take the Nd5, after which White will control the c-file and infiltrate quickly.

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