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Judit Polgar vs Zoltan Almasi
Groningen Candidates (1997), Groningen NED, rd 2, Dec-12
Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Re3 variation (C89)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The Marshall attack in the Ruy Lopez has not been too kind to Judit Polgar, in either the accepted or declined lines. In this game she is decisively defeated by Zoltan Almasi, showing that the Marshall can still be a strong weapon even at the GM level.

This game is probably a good illustration of how the theoretically better prepared player in an opening often wins among equals (in this case two GMs).

In this game, Judit tried the Kevitz variation for white in the Marshall with 12 Bxd5, but did not catch Zoltan sleeping, as he found the theoretically strongest move in 14...Qh4! and followed it up with 15...Qf4 (the move introduced by Spassky in his 1965 Candidate's match with Tal). Batsford's "The Marshall Attack" book (Wade and Harding)assessment of 15...Qf4 had been that this move "seems barely sufficient for a draw." However, Judit was the first to go away from the theoretically best lines with the dubious 19. Be3?!, which Wade and Harding assessed as "inferior." Now Wade and Harding had suggested 19...b4 or 19...Qc2 were the best ways to punish 19. Be3?!, but Zoltan seems to have also done well with his plan of 19...Rac8! 20. Nd2 b4!

Notice how after one theoretically inferior move in 19. Be3?! and a novelty by her oponent 19...Rac8!, black gets just enough counterplay to thwart white's plan of queening a pawn on the C-file and eventually force Judit to choose between decisive loss of material or mate.

In particular, the sequence of moves starting with 42...f6! is highly instructive in showing how to use aggressive moves that combine offense and defense to win. After 43. Nc6 (what else?) 43...Be4+ 44. f3 Qe2+ 45. Kg1 Bxf3 (threatening Qg2#) 46. Rb2 Qd1+ 47. Kf2 Rxb7! (wins the passed pawn as black mates in two if white captures the rook).

The final finish with 48. Rd2 and 48...Rb3! is a pretty combination to force the exchange of queens into an easily won end game for black. This is indeed an excellent illustration of how homework and preparation can pay off in an aggressive gambit-style opening. Bravo Zoltan Almasi!!

Dec-03-05  rjsolcruz: I have played the 12 Bxd5 line (vs Nabos in Meralco vs LRT Match in Nov 2005 in Pasig City) and did not know that it is called the Kevitz Variation!
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in the second round of the World Championship tournament. After a draw in the first game this win clinched the match for Almasi. Almasi, who had defeated Peng in the first round, defeated Yusupov in the third round before being eliminated by Anand. Almasi attributed some of his success in this tournament to his decision to surprise his opponents with openings he had never played before such as the Marshall Gambit in this game. The system with 14 Re3 enables black to respond to 14..Qh4 with 15 h3 which avoids the white square weakness created by g3. 19..Rac8 was new though Almasi felt that 19..Qc2 20 Qe2..Qg6 21 Kh1..Rfc8 would have been better. Seirawan felt that after 29..Be6 white still had a small advantage and should have played 30 Qd1 preparing b5. While Almasi praised 31..Qa3! for preventing white from playing Bf4 he condemned 33..Qe7? for allowing 34 Bf4 which should have won the game for white. 39 g3? was apparently based on a miscalculation; Almasi evaluated both 39 Nf3 and 39 Nb3 as winning for white. 43 Nf3 was the last chance though after 43..Be4 black would have had a solid advantage.
Aug-29-14  ColeTrane: so she used a double pawn to to create a sigular passed pawn. a kind of bet that she ran into instead of holding the position.

i mean if the Re3 variation is being played out to that detail why force the issue of a pawn advantage...?

Aug-29-14  ColeTrane: trying to understsnd not jydge

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