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Alexandra Kosteniuk vs Zsuzsa Polgar
36th Olympiad, Women (2004), Mallorca ESP, rd 4, Oct-18
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: Here is some analysis of this game.

Kosteniuk,A (2508) - Polgar,Z (2567) Opening:Ruy Lope.Berlin Defensez ECO:[C67]
36th Olympiad w Calvia ESP (4), 18.10.2004

The game began with these moves being played:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

The Ruy Lopez.


The Berlin Defense, made famous by Kramnik in his match victory over Kasparov for the world championship.


The main continution.


Grabbing the free pawn is a move Black almost always plays on this move.


Occupying the center and threatening to win Polgar's e-pawn.


Forcing Kosteniuk to capture on c6 or lose a tempo.

6.Bxc6 dxc6

The main continuation, which keeps the queens on the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: 7.dxe5

Regaining her pawn and winning a tempo.

The lost tempo.
[ Rarely played is the move 7...Ne4 ]


The main concept here for White by exchanging queens, Kosteniuk forces Polgar to give up the right of castling for the rest of fhe game.



Developing another minor piece. 9...Ne7 Intending to play ...Ng6. [ The main continuation in this position is to take the king off the open d-file ie: 9...Ke8 10.h3 a5 11.Rd1 a4]


A rarely played move,centralizing her knight.


Attacking Kosteniuk's e-pawn,which ties down the White knight to defend this pawn. [ Black has tried these other moves in this position. 10...h6 ; 10...Ke8; 10...Bf5]


Preventing ....Bg4. [ According to my database,white has also tried the move 11.Re1 here: 11.Re1 h6 12.Bd2 ( 12.h3 Bd7 13.Bd2 Kc8 14.Rad1 ( 14.Ng3 b6 15.Rad1 c5 16.Nh2 h5 17.Nf3 h4 18.Ne4 Rh5 19.Neg5 f6 20.exf6 gxf6 21.Ne4) 14...a5 15.Ng3 c5 16.Nh5 Bf5 17.c4 Be6 18.Re4 a4 19.Bc3 c6) ]

Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: 11...Be7N

This move may be a theoretical novelty for this position.Polgar intends to move her rook to the e8 square. [ Two other moves have been tried in this position they are: (a) 11...h6 ; and (b) 11...Bd7 ]


Centralizing her rook.


Preventing one of Kosteniuk's rooks from moving to the g5-square.


Intending to fianchetto her bishop on b2.


Preventing ....Nd4 and now if Kosteniuk were to thinking of playing Be3 she may change her mind as the bishop would lack mobility on t he f1-a7 diagonal. [ Analysis:Shredder 6: 13...Be6 14.Nd4 Kd7 15.f4 Bd5 16.c4 Bxe4 17.Rxe4 Bc5 18.Be3 Raf8 ( 18...Rae8) ]

Returning to the moves played in the game:


Reducing the scope of Polgar's dark-squared bishop. [ Analysis:Shredder 6: 14.c4 Be6 15.Be3 b6 16.a4 Kc8 17.a5 Kb7 18.a6+ Kb8=] Also possible is 14.Ba3!?


Creating a pawn lever and threatening to win a pawn via 15....hxg4 16.hxg4 Bxg4.

The game now continued:


Kosteniuk takes advantage of Polgar's last move to post her knight to a square where it coordinates beautifully with her other knight.


Spending a tempo to take the king off the open e-file. Polgar now intends to keep her king in the center of the board for the rest of the game (Analysis: 15...Nxe5? 16.Bf4 Ng6 17.Nxf7 Kd7 ).


Kosteniuk is willing to sacrifice her knight.
[ Analysis:Shredder 6: 16.gxh5 Nh4 17.Nd6+!? Kf8 ( 17...cxd6 18.exd6 Nf5 19.dxe7 Nxe7 20.Bf4 Rxh5 ) ]

Polgar accepted the


[ It would be a mistake for Polgar to capture on f6 with her bishop: 16...Bxf6? 17.exf6+ Kf8 18.Bb2 gxf6 19.Bxf6 Rh6 20.Rad1 Be6 21.Nxe6+ fxe6 22.Bg5 Rh7 23.Rxe6]

Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: 7.exf6

Saving her knight from being captured.


Regaining a pawn.


For the moment regaining material equality.
[ Analysis:Shredder 6: 18.hxg4 Bxg4 19.fxe7 Nxe7 20.Bf4 Rg8 21.Kf1 b6 ]


Winning a pawn at the cost of creating a pin.
[ Analysis:Shredder 6: Deserving attention was 18...gxh3!? ie 18...gxh3 19.Bb2 Rg8 20.Kh1 b6 21.Rad1 Bb7+ 22.Kh2 Nf4 ]


Attacking Polgar's rook winning a tempo.


The lost tempo, However now Polgar intends to play ...Be6 so she can use her rook to support this idea.


Kosteniuk is willing to sacrifice a pawn.



Using the tempo to create a double attack against Polgar's knight,forcing Polgar's next move.

The players now played these moves in the game:

22.Nxe6 fxe6

Regaining the pawn and offering to exchange rooks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: 23...Rxe6

24.Rxe6 Kd7

Threatening to win a tempo.


Attacking the pawn.


26.Rxh3 cxb3

(If 26...Rg8+ 27.Kf1)


Leaving Kosteniuk with a passed c-pawn.


preventing Kosteniuk from playing b4.


(If 28.Rh7 b5+)


Threatening to gain a passed pawn via the move 29..a4.

The game concluded with these moves being played:

29.f4 (if 29.Rh7 Kd6=) Ke6 (If 29...a4 30.bxa4 bxa4 31.Rc3 )

30.Rh6+ Kd5 31.Rh5+ Kc6 32.Rh6+ (If 32.Kg3 a4 33.bxa4 bxa4 =)

The players agreed to a draw.Shredder 6 analysis: (32...Kc4 33.Kg2 a4 34.bxa4 Rxa4 35.Kf3 Nd5 36.Be5 Ra3+ 37.Ke4 Re3+ 38.Kf5 Re2 39.c3 Kc4 40.Rc6+ Kd3 41.Rc5 c6 42.Kg4 Rg2+ 43.Kf5 Re2 1/2-1/2

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