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Yasser Seirawan vs Judit Polgar
Melody Amber Rapid 2nd (1993) (quick), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 1, Mar-26
King's Indian Defense: Six Pawns Attack (E77)  ·  0-1



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Given 29 times; par: 29 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-28-04  Hinchliffe: What a lovely finish ....
29.KxKt-Bg4+ 30.KxB-Qh5++
all forced.
Oct-26-04  f1list: perhaps 17. Qxd6 is not so good, given what followed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <f1list> With hindsight, 17. Qxd6 was a brave move, but dangerous, plunging into complications. At first I thought that Seirawan could have played <20.Nd5> taking some of the sting out of the the <b6> idea. This, however, now appears insufficient:

<20.Nd5 b6> 21.Nxb6 Bxb2 22.f4 Bg4! 23.Nc2 Bxa1 24.Rxa1 Bf3 25.Ne1 Bxe4

Mar-20-06  notyetagm: The following position is from this game, which occurs at White's 27th move:

click for larger view

White is threatened with the mating 27 ... ♘f3+ 28 ♔h1 ♕xh2#. White's problem is that his pieces are unable to partake in the defense of their king. How poorly is the White king defended? He cannot even defend the f3-square to keep the Black e5-knight out! White has terrible light-squared weakness around his king but his light-squared bishop is over on b3.

The only way to meet the mate threat is to vacate the f2-square to give his king a flight square, by playing 27 f3 or 27 f4. 27 f3 drops the f-pawn to 27 ... ♘xf3+, leaving White with a weak e4-pawn and giving Black a beautiful central outpost on e5. Thus 27 f4 seems preferrable, vacating the f2-square to avoid the immediate mate threat but retaining the f-pawn to avoid the positional weaknesses that result from its loss.

Unfortunately 27 f4?, played by Seirawan in the game, is a blunder that allows a beautiful mate. Polgar responded with 27 ... ♘f3+ 28 ♔f2 ♕xh2+! and White resigned because he cannot avoid being mated.

If 29 ♔f1, then 29 ... ♗h3# is an obvious mate. But why not play 29 ♔xf3? Well then in that case Polgar plays the wicked <decoy> 29 ... ♗g4+!, dragging the White king up the board and into a mating net with 30 ♔xg4 ♕h5#.

Now we see the important difference between 27 f3 and 27 f4?. 27 f4? retains the f-pawn but it <self-blocks> the critical f4-square, allowing Black to trap the White king in a mating net with the diabolical <decoy> 29 ... ♗g4+!. If White had played the correct 27 f3, then after 27 ... ♘xf3+ there would be no White f-pawn and hence the f4-square would not be self-blocked so there is no mating net!

Chess is such an unforgiving game. Play 27 f2-f3 and you survive; play 27 f2-f4? and you're mated.

Mar-20-06  notyetagm: Who would have thought that the innocent little pawn push 18 g3 could be the cause of such troubles later in the game?


Mar-20-06  s4life: <notyetagm: Who would have thought that the innocent little pawn push 18 g3 could be the cause of such troubles later in the game? :-) >
I think Judit did, when she sac'ed the d-pawn
Mar-20-06  notyetagm: <s4life> I think you are right about that. She allowed 17 ♕xd6 in order to respond 17 ... ♗d6 and provoke 18 g3, knowing that the kingside light-squares would be difficult to defend with the king's bishop over on b3.

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