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Michael Adams vs Judit Polgar
Corus Group A (2008), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 12, Jan-26
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Mason-Showalter Variation (C42)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: 37.fxg5 f4 38.♔f2 ♔f5 39.♔g2 ♔xg5 40.♔f2! (in order to stay nearer to the ♕ side - and now white could defend according to the black's manouevres... not sure about the possible issue yet)
Jan-26-08  euripides: <akavall> If White allows Kxg5 and leaves the pawn on h3, perhaps Black should play h5 closing the king's side and then bring her king to a3 and exhcange off some pawns, leaving d4 vulnerable to her more active king, on the lines of

E Cohn vs Rubinstein, 1909

During the game I thought Polgar might try the Rubinstein plan rather than playing her king to the king's side, but I guess it may only work once Black has blocked the white king's routes to d4 or to the king's side

Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: <then bring her king to a3> But, if black threatens to play Kb5-a4-a3 etc, white could play in the right moment ♙ a2-a3 ane keep his ♔ near to 'b2' and 'a2' in a way quite similar and simmetrical to the situation in the ♔ side ...
Jan-26-08  euripides: <vonK> Interesting. if White plays a3 Black can try to put her king on a4 and play c6, and then play b4 at a moment when White's king is not on b2. Then axb4 axb4 Kb2 b3 cxb3 (otherwise Black has bxc2) cxb3 and White seems to be in zugzwang. I am not sure whether Black has enough tempo moves to achieve this plan.
Jan-26-08  PinkPanther: Jesus Christ....
Jan-27-08  peyote: Wow..are you kiddin me. #%&*' very nicely suprised!
Jan-27-08  cionics: Nice. Very interesting pawn only finish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Yet another instructive endgame from this tournament, which turns out not to be simple at all... it's extensively analyzed by Marin in
Jan-27-08  PinkPanther: I was referring to the fact that Adams saddled himself with a lousy pawn structure and then traded into an endgame. That's not a terribly good idea.
Feb-02-08  wanabe2000: Adams hasn't won against Polgar since 1999. After having a slight edge, at one time, Adams has lost twice in a row to Judit. Now the score is Polgar 6 wins 4 losses 12 draws against the former British Champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KWRegan: I found a big hole in GM Marin's analysis right after the item appeared at comments that day in Susan Polgar's blog item at

My own full analysis now appears on Dennis Monokroussos' blog "The Chess Mind" at "Power up your Fritz and Rybka and refute me"?---No chance, bro :-). (The nifty relevant quote is by Vladimir Barsky, in his correct analysis of part of this endgame for at

I notified ChessBase and Frederic Friedel directly within hours of their item's posting, but have yet to receive a substantive acknowledgment, just replies from Steffen Giehring to my Wed. & Thu. reminders. I do not know whether GM Marin has been notified, or whether my hypothesis that a large +ve eval from Fritz 11 concealed White's key resource is correct. I think someone analyzing without a computer would consider 38.Kb2! in the relevant position, though it *is* surprising that White allows Black an outside passer and survives. My analysis includes another line where Deep Fritz 10 has given 4.70--5.22, and other engines as high as 9.03(!), in drawn positions that are "normal", i.e. not with blockaded extra material or "miraculous" Queen-down saves.

---IM Kenneth W. Regan,

Feb-03-08  Queenofthecastle: why not 19. Bxh2???????
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: 19.Bxh2+ 20.Kxh2 dxc4 21.Rxb7. Equal number of pawns, but Black's Q side is shot to bits and she'll have to defend c7 at all costs. Clear advantage to Adams. Compare the game: after move 23 it was White's King side pawn structure which was wrecked and Black's Q side was solid after she played ...b6.
Mar-15-08  Alex Patkowski: I can never tell who is better despite their rankings. They both have great attacking style!
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <eyal>Apparently 15...Nc4 was a prepared move by Polgar (as an improvement to 15...c6 played in I Cheparinov vs M Roiz, 2007); the idea was 16.Rxb7 <Bd6> with compensation.

16. ♖b7 ♗d6 17. ♗d6 ♖e1+ 18. ♘e1 ♘d6 19. ♖b1 ♕e8, with the Black Queen heading for either a4 or e2.

Should Adams have tried the piece sacrifice 17. ♘f7!? ♔f7 18. ♕h7+ ♔f6 19. ♗g3, eg

19....♖h8 20. ♗h4+ g5 21. ♗g5+ ♔g5 22. ♕g7+ ♔h5 23. ♕f7+ ♔g5 24. g3 with an attack 19....♖e1+ 20. ♖e1 ♕g8, when White still has attacking chances.

Source" Yochanan Afek "CORUS 2008 - The Youngest Ever Winner", "CHESS", April 2008.

Jul-22-09  aazqua: Nice game by Judit and just plain odd by Michael Adams. This is so much more in his style than hers that's it's a surprise that she was able to out fox him. And with black!
Premium Chessgames Member
  KWRegan: The links to my HTML/PGN analysis on the Chess Mind blog no longer work, since their old host when defunct. However, the gist of the analysis---and a more extreme example where Fritz 10 gives +5.00 advantage to very high depth and yet it's a draw!---are here on the Rybka forums:
Premium Chessgames Member
  KWRegan: I should mention my own analysis is on my personal chess page, click on Adams-Polgar PGN files. (My page needs to be "constructed" better, and there is much else I haven't had time yet to post.) Marin's original article is at
Jul-05-12  master of defence: Much better for white was 37.fxg5 f4 38.h4 followed by Kf2-g2-h3. Or i missed something?
Jul-05-12  Shams: <m.o.d.> 37.fxg5 f4 38.h4 Kf5 39.Kf2 Kg6! 40.Kg2 Kh5 41.Kh3 c6 and White is about to get zugged.
Jul-05-12  master of defence: <Shams> 42.d5 cxd5 43.a4. Now what?
Jul-05-12  Shams: Good point, 41...b5 instead, how about that?
Jul-05-12  master of defence: This is the point, Shams. After 42.d5(42.a3 c6) b4 43.cxb4 axb4 white is in zugzwang. I canīt see now how white can win or draw.
Apr-24-15  YouRang: Very interesting pawn ending.

<master of defence: Much better for white was 37.fxg5 f4 38.h4 followed by Kf2-g2-h3. Or i missed something?>

It does look like 37.fxg5 was white's best move, but counter-intuitively, white must *not* play 38.h4 to guard his g5 pawn -- he should let black recapture it!

Pushing the h-pawn puts it in a place where black can attack it with one less tempo (and white needs an extra tempo to guard it). The difference is that after <h4?>, black can successfully launch a queenside advance!

Still, you have to like Polgar for playing <36...g5!?>, giving Adams a difficult choice, and he chose incorrectly.

Below is the position Adams faced, and one sample drawing continuation (with engine assistance):

click for larger view

<37.fxg5 f4 38.Kf2 Kf5>

click for larger view

<39.a3!> not 39.h4, which protects Pg5, but loses as <Shams> shows above.

White lets black have the pawn back, and then the action swings back to the queenside:

<39...Kxg5 40.Kg2 b5 41.Kf2 Kh4 42.Kg2 Kh5 43.Kf2 Kg6 44.Kg2 Kf5 45.Kf2 Ke6 46.Ke2 Kd5 47.Kd2 c6>

click for larger view

<48.Kc1!!> White must find this move or lose! The white K must be ready to counter black's b-pawn thrust AND still be able to defend Ph3.

- If 48.h4?, the black king can win the race to attack the h-pawn and win.

- If 48.Kd1?, then 48...b4! 49.cxb4 axb4 50.axb4 Kxd4 51.Kd2 c3+

- If 48.a4?, then 48...b4 sets black up with a winning protected passed pawn.

<48...b4 49.Kb2 bxc3+ 50.Kxc3 a4 51.Kd2 Kxd4 52.c3+ Ke5>

click for larger view

White has surrendered a pawn, but black has isolated and doubled pawns, with no entry point for the king. It's clear now that black can make no progress, as long as the white K guards Ph3 -- which is easy to do as long as he never moves that h-pawn.

Jul-09-15  SpiritedReposte: Jeezus, can't say I comprehend a lot of the subtlety in king and pawn endgames.

Great analysis that drawing line is crazy!

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