A page from the great Judith's book

Chess Checks

A page from the great Judith's book

On International Women’s day, the best way to salute Judit Polgar, the longest reigning top woman player in the world is to feature one of her games.

It was way back in 1989 that a 12-year-old Judit became the highest rated player in the world with a rating of 2555 and also created history by becoming the youngest player to break into the top 100. Judit remained as the highest rated woman player for a staggering 26 years and only in this month’s rating list, reigning women’s world champion Yifan Hou overtook her as the highest rated woman player.

Featured below is one of Judit’s games with former World Championship finalist Alexei  Shirov where most of the annotations are done by Judit herself.
White: Alexei Shirov (2715) – Black: Judit Polgar (2630)

Madrid, 1994 King’s Indian Defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0–0 6.Nf3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5. Interestingly Shirov had never before played this line, which is a favoured line by Kramnik
8...h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.0–0 Qe8 11.Nd2 Nh7
Here Black could have thought of developing the bishop with 11. ..Bd7
12.a3. Here 12.Nb3 or even 12.Nb5 appears more appealing
12. ..Bd7 13.Kh1
If 13.b3 f5 14.exf5 gxf5 15.Bh5 Qc8 16.Be7 Re8 17.Bxe8 Qxe8 18.Bh4 e4 was played in a previous game

13...h5 14.f3 Bh6 15.b3 Qb8N. Judit played a novelty here. The Queen suddenly swings onto the queenside with the idea of playing Qa7. If 15...Be3 16.Qc2 c6  17.Bf2 Bxf2 18.Rxf2
16.Qc2 Be3 17.Bf2 Qa7 18.Bxe3 Qxe3 19.f4. If 19.Rae1 Qg5 20.Qb2 Nc5 21.b4 axb4 22.axb4 Na4 23.Nxa4 Rxa4 24.c5
19...exf4 20.Rae1 Qc5. Black hardly has any choice in the movement of the queen
21.Qc1. If 21.Qb2 Qd4 22.Rxf4 Rae8 and the pawn structure is better for Black
21...Qd4 22.Rxf4 Rae8
If 22...f5 23.Nf3 Qg7 24.exf5
23.Rff1. If 23.Ref1 Qg7  (23...g5 24.R4f2 g4 )
23...Qg7 24.Qc2 h4. Very aggressive. The idea is to play h4–h3 first before playing f7–f5.If 24...Re7
25.Nf3 h3. A interesting and intrusive advance 26.gxh3 Black misses, that opening the g-file does not expose the White king, but might well expose the Black king
26...Bxh3. If 26...f5 27.Rg1
27.Rg1 Qh6
Black could have thought of 27. ..Nf6. If 27...f5 28.exf5 Bxf5 29.Bd3 Bxd3 30.Qxd3 Rxe1 31.Nxe1
28.Rg3 Kg7. If 28...Kh8 29.Reg1 Rg8
29.Qb2. Weakens the e-pawn. The diagonal a1–g7 is not so dangerous. If 29.Nd1 Nc5? 30.Nf2
29...Nf6 30.b4. White shifts focus onto the queenside and lands in a disadvantageous position. He could have doubled his rooks with 30.Reg1
30. ..axb4 31.axb4 Bg4. If 31...Rh8 32.Reg1. 32.Nd1. Retreating the knight. White can consider 32.Nd4 Bc8 And if 32.Reg1 Rh8
32...Bxf3+. If 32...Rxe4 33.Nf2 Bxf3+ 34.Rxf3 Rf4 35.Rf1 (35.Ng4 Rxg4 36.Rxf6 Qxh2+ 37.Kxh2 Rh8#)
33.Bxf3 Rh8

Doubling forces!

34.Ne3 Kf8. A good move in un-pinning the King
35.Ng4. If 35.Qxf6 Qxh2 checkmate And if 35.Rf1 Nxe4 36.Bxe4 Rxe4 37.Ng4
35...Nxg4 36.Bxg4 Qg7 37.Qf2
If 37.Qxg7+ Kxg7 38.Rb3 Rh4 39.Bf3 f5 And if  37.Qd2 Qe5
37...Nxb4. 38.Rb1. A mistake! If 38.Rf3 Rh7 39.Rf1 Kg8 40.Bd7 Re7 41.Be6 Na6
Diagram 1
39.Rxb7. A blunder!
39. ..Nc5 40.Rxc7 Nxe4
Diagram 2
White to play and checkmate in two moves. 1.Rxf7+ Kxf7  2.Qg7 checkmate.

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