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Ratmir Kholmov vs Istvan Polgar
Budapest (1979), Budapest HUN, Jul-??
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Wormald Attack (C77)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-17-08  general607: I got 15,,,, Nxf2 16. Qxf2 Rxe3 17. Rxe3 Qf4 and then after some queen move, recover the rook, but could see no further. I gave up on the line and just said "Punt" since it did not seem to give more than a minor advantage... I guess that's why I'm 1547 instead of 2547...
Feb-17-08  wals: Noting think- Lean towards an instinctive choice that will activate my intuition and experience (however small that may be).
now look at the board
black down a pawn and a knight, up a bishop, is more developed than white If Ng3 attacking the queen hxg3 leaves h file open except for N4. If Nxf2 bishop can take f2 BxB + QxB KxB or just leave it. If Ng5 the bishop cannot move as it loses the queen, same applies to the knight, its stuck too. 15...Ng5

Dipped out but hopefully will gain by the experience.

Feb-17-08  wals: Ratmir Kholmov - Istvan Polgar, Budapest 1979

Analysis by Fritz 11: Once more offers a different route to the one taken. Depth 19/40 time 6min26
1. = (-0.25): 15...Ra8-b8 16.Nb1-c3 Ne4xc3 17.b2xc3 Bc5-d6 18.h2-h3 Bg4xf3 19.Qe2xf3 Qf7xf3 20.g2xf3 Rb8-b2 21.Re1-e2 Re8-e6 22.Kg1-g2 Re6-g6+ 23.Kg2-h1 Kg8-f7 24.a2-a3 Rg6-f6 25.Kh1-g2

2. = (-0.20): 15...Bc5-b4 16.c2-c3 Bb4-d6 17.h2-h3 Bg4-h5 18.g2-g4 Bh5-g6 19.Nb1-d2 Ne4-c5 20.Qe2-c4 Nc5-d3 21.Qc4xc6 Nd3xe1 22.Nf3-g5 Qf7-f6 23.Qc6-d5+ Bg6-f7

(, 18.02.2008)

Feb-17-08  jovack: I got this one fairly quickly (the move), the analysis took considerably longer, but Nxf2 was my move of choice.
Feb-17-08  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane): Black to play and win.

Material: Down a P, B for N. The action is on the K-side, however, so for the moment, White is effectively down Ra1 and Na2. The squares f2 and f3 are under heavy fire, and Re8 is obscured from the Qe2 along the e-file.

Candidates (15...): Nxf2, Ng4, Rad8

15...Nxf2 (threatening 16...Rxe3, leaving Black with Q+B for R+2N)

16(1).Ng5 Qf4 (threatening 17...Rxe3)

17(1A).Bxf4 Bxe2 (threatening 18...Nh6++ and 18...Nd3+) winning at least the exchange for a P in a better position

17(1B).Qxf2 Bxe3 18.Rxe3 Qxe3 winning at least the exchange

17(1C).Nh3 Nxh3++ 18.Kh1 Rxe3 with B+N in hand, with more material to follow

17(2).Ne5 Rxe5 17.Qxf2 Qe8 winning at least Be3

16(3).Qxf2 Rxe3 17.Rxe3 Qf4 18.Re8+ [else, Black regains all material, with a vicious attack] Rxe8 19.Qxc5 Qc1+ 20.Kf2 Bxf3 21.Kxf3 [gxf3 Qe1#] [else, Black has even material and a winning attack] and the best White can hope for is to drop Qc5 for Re1 to avoid mate.

The best line I found was 16(3), so White should endure the bracketed attack. Time to peek. I found 15...Nxf2 early, but sampled 15...Rad1, which convinced me that the opposition of Re8 and Qe2 was critical to Black's success.

At 17 plies, Toga II 1.3.1 values 15...Rab8 at -0.32 (for White). Interestingly, at 16 plies, Toga values 15...Nxf2 at -1.40. I thought the computers would have a difficult time today, because the material remains even for so long.

Toga gives simply 16.Ng5 [or Ne5] Bxe2 with a huge lead, because the Be3 falls. Obviously, I was rattled from missing Qh8+ yesterday. Live and learn.

Feb-17-08  chicagotim: Personally, it seems like 22 Nc3 would have been much better in this situation. why did he do a4 instead?
Feb-17-08  johnlspouge: <<chicagotim> wrote: Personally, it seems like 22 Nc3 would have been much better in this situation. why did he do a4 instead?>

22...Bxb2 forking R and N

Feb-17-08  FelipeGab: I think 15. ...Ng5
Feb-17-08  Magic Castle: I thought 15...BxB is better. followed. by 16...Ng5. If 16. QxB the Q is discovered and white cannot exchange queen because of the back rank mate. Now if 16. pxB. Then it is even worse. because the interposing g pawn will be taken with attack. Will someone look this combination up since I am busy right now reviewing for an exam.
Feb-18-08  whitebeach: I don't understand 19 . . . Bxf3 as in the game. Doesn't 19 . . . Rf8 virtually force the win of a pawn and, after the exchanges, leave black with the better minor piece besides?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Inactive pieces defeated by active ones-how unique,NOT!
Feb-21-08  patzer2: The Feb 17, 2008 puzzle solution, 15...Nxf2!!, uses a demolition tactic to prepare a winning pinning combination in order to simplify to a won position.
Mar-06-22  Brenin: After trying and failing to find an immediate crushing win I found the game line 15 ... Nxf2 16 Qxf2 Rxe3 17 Rxe3 Qf4 (regaining the sacrificed R), but then saw only as far as 18 Kh1 (18 Re8+!? Rxe8 19 Qxc5 Qc1+ 20 Ke2 Bxf3 is better for Black) 21 Q moves, followed by exchange on f3, with a slight advantage to Black, thus missing the strength of 21 ... Bc1. I need a telephoto lens to see that far ahead.
Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: I got the first four moves, but instead of exchanging on f3 wanted to continue pressure with 19...Rf8. I didn't think Nbd2 would be playable, but that nearly equalizes. Yes. 21 ... Bc1 is the key. But maybe I deserve half credit for finding first four moves on a Sunday?
Mar-06-22  Brenin: <raymondhow>, and <whitebeach> if you're still there after 14 years: 19 ... Rf8 leads to an interesting line 20 Nbd2 Bxd2 21 Nxd2 Qxd2 22 Qc4+ Qd5 23 Qxg4, and Black wins a P with 23 ... Qxa2 because of 24 Rxa2 Rf1 mate. However, I think Black's advantage is rather less than in the game line.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: Is Istvan Polgar any relation to the famous Polgar sisters?
Mar-06-22  mel gibson: Wow - that's a tough one today.
I didn't find it -
all I could see was to swap off the
Bishop on e3 or the Knight on f3
but both lead to a draw according to Stockfish 14.1

Stockfish 14.1 agrees with the text:

15... Nxf2

(15. .. Nxf2 (♘e4xf2 ♕e2xf2 ♖e8xe3 ♖e1xe3 ♕f7-f4 ♔g1-h1 ♗c5xe3 ♕f2-e2 ♗g4xf3 g2xf3 ♖a8-d8 ♘b1-a3 ♖d8-d2 ♕e2-c4+ ♔g8-f8 ♕c4xf4+ ♗e3xf4 h2-h4 ♖d2-h2+ ♔h1-g1 ♖h2xh4 ♖a1-f1 ♗f4-h2+ ♔g1-f2 ♗h2-d6 ♔f2-e2 ♖h4-h2+ ♔e2-d3 g7-g5 ♘a3-c4 ♗d6-f4 a2-a4 h7-h5 ♘c4-a5 h5-h4 ♘a5xc6 h4-h3 ♘c6-b4 ♖h2-d2+ ♔d3-e4 h3-h2 ♖f1-h1 a6-a5 ♘b4-d3 ♗f4-d6 ♔e4-f5 ♖d2xc2 ♔f5xg5 ♖c2-d2 f3-f4 ♖d2xd3 ♖h1xh2 ♖d3-d4 ♔g5-f6 ♖d4xf4+ ♔f6-e6 ♖f4-e4+ ♔e6-d5 ♖e4-b4 ♖h2-h5 ♔f8-e7 ♔d5-c6 ♖b4-b6+ ♔c6-d5 ♔e7-d7 ♔d5-c4 ♖b6-b4+ ♔c4-c3 c7-c5 ♖h5xc5 ♗d6xc5 b2-b3 ♔d7-c6 ♔c3-b2) +5.35/50 567)

score for Black +5.35 depth 50.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: 21...Bc1! is a great move (which I missed), very useful tactic to remember. But then how frequently is it you reach engame with the opponent's R and N on their original squares?

Note it also works on 20.gxf3 instead of Qxf3: 20...Bc1! 21.Nc3 (best) Bxb2 22.Ne2 (else loses the exchange) Qa4 23.Rmoves Qxa2 with a good position (SF -3.8 at 33 ply).

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 15...Nxf2 with idea 16.Qxf2 Rxe3 17.Rxe3 Qf4 and 18...Bxe3 is quite obvious for Sunday puzzle. With clear advantage in better development in final position there was no need to calculate it more in depth, as the intuition and experience here say that there is something decisive for sure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I o wrench v it v auld Nf2 gungho it accord mack it v ago v it v quad I o wrench auld viz it skill marquis ve it v quagmired it good dep pique i ten ve it v hew it warble bereft it count jay it z v it v rags it kind it v clue it quarry blush o pow it v i off jump pirk blubber it v fab fan belt fig blush buffs it choo gill if idiom he finish jo awooga v it v curd v it gee it end c blubb it ve if ie eg it v for otb olive it ate v it v i to slump it v cane op scuppered it v cafe it eg ve it ghost do afflict pack muddle it ar adolf no fit chain o it choose it v i cab chip dug v it v i macabre add flick nuff c rag c cg dole it can v it ve cd feisty mob c dole it v ram c flicky fir tar c mid rife it v c hob fog v it tens v it v an id fane it ve cd far paged it v i took it v fab ask it o key no trim ask mo v it hol mart rim v it look hi v it v ta him om or hulk u no v it saint v it v garp it ol nat v is it al prog it van pant it is a v grol noa it cook feb u Nxf2 duff;
Mar-06-22  whiteshark:

Back here after so many years.
Long-term memory works.
A good day!

Premium Chessgames Member
  ClassZPlaya: Solved the puzzle, but my favorite move in this game comes later: 21 ... Bc1 paralyzing White's Knight and Rook.
Mar-06-22  saturn2: Agreed the first moves are routine but one has to see white cannot swindle out by

18..Re8+ Rxe8 19.Qxc5

because after 19...Qc1+ 20.Kf2 Bxf3 21.Kxf3
white has to give queen for rook to avoid mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

White only needs to move the queen knight to consolidate the position.

The first idea that comes to mind is 15... Nxf2 16.Qxf2 Rxe3 17.Rxe3 Qf4 (17... Bb6 18.Nc3):

A) 18.Re8+ Rxe8 19.Qxc5 Qc1+ (19... Bxf3 20.Nc3, unclear, but not 20.gxf3 Re1+ and mate soon, for example, 21.Kf2 Qh4+ 22.Kg2 Re2+ and mate in two) 20.Kf2 Bxf3

A.1) 21.Kxf3 Qf1+ 22.Kg3 (22.Kg4 Qxg2+ is winning) 22... Qe1+ must be winning. For example, 23.Kh3 Re3+ 24.g3 Qf1+ 25.Kh4 Re4+ 26.g4 Qf6+ 27.Qg5 Qf2+ 28.Kh5 g6+ 29.Kh6 Qf8#.

A.2) 21.gxf3 Qe1+ 22.Kg2 Re2+ with a similar attack.

A.3) 21.Qc3 Re2+ 22.Kg3 (22.Kxf3 Qf1+ followed by Rxg2+ is winning) 22... Qg5+ 23.Kxf3 Qxg2+ and mate in two.

B) 18.Kh1 Bxe3 looks good for Black. For example, 19.Qg3 Qxg3 20.hxg3 Bc1 22.a4 Bxb2 wins a pawn at least.

C) 18.Qf1 Bxe3+ 19.Kh1 Bc1 as above.


Another option is 15... Bxf3 16.Qxf3 (16.gxf3 Nxf2 17.Qxf2 Rxe3 18.Rxe3 Qf4 as above) 16... Qxf3 17.gxf3 Nxf2

A) 18.Bxf2 Rxe1+ 19.Kg2 Bxf2 20.Kxf2 Rae8 wins decisive material.

B) 18.Kxf2 Rxe3 19.Rxe3 Re8 only seems to recover the pawn.

C) 18.Bxc5 Rxe1+ 19.Kxf2 Rae8 looks good for Black due to the knight pin.


I'd play 15... Nxf2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I really enjoyed playing over this ingenious combination by FM Polgar! It’s really impressive that he did this vs GM Kholmov b/c Kholmov defeated some of the strongest players of all time!
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