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Boris Gelfand vs Judit Polgar
"Mama Tried" (game of the day May-10-2009)
Corus Group A (2008), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-15
Catalan Opening: General (E00)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Eyal: According to Polgar in the press conference (on chessvibes) Gelfand was in severe time trouble (2 minutes left) when he made the error on move 31.> Polgar mentioned too 31...Qc3 32.Bf3 h5 33.Nh2 Rxh4 34.Bg2. It seems that Black's compensation is completely unclear.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Ezzy: <anjyplayer: After a long long time, I saw such an interesting yet simple game at masters level.> I will do some analysis later to show you how utterly and completely wrong you are in thinking this was a simple game. Sorry but I can't stop laughing. This was a Judit Polgar tactical masterpiece which already is my best game of the year!!> You are right when you say it was not a simple game but I wouldn't say, although it was very interesting, it was <Judit Polgar tactical masterpiece>. She only won in a compromised position because Gelfand blundered in time trouble.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Ezzy: 31.Rab1 Rc1 32.Qa4 Qc3 Threatening 33..Nc5! 33.Bf5 Was probably Gelfands best path.> Well, what about 33.Qb4, as Polgar noticed? I don't see any clear compensation for Black if White is able to exchange Queens.
Jan-17-08  Karpova: Mig Greengard: <Gelfand-Polgar was an entertaining battle right from the start. Polgar had prepared an aggressive (surprise) idea in what might be called the "Grunfeld Declined Anti-Catalan Variation." Gelfand skipped d5, allowing Black to capture on d4. Then Black uses the threat of check on a5 to push ..d4, ..e5, overextending the pawns. This is a well-known line and Gelfand has faced it before. Black's new idea was 13..Ne4, sacrificing a pawn for activity. It doesn't look like the d3 pawn can possible survive, but even the computers call the position about even, confirming the tangible compensation. Gelfand started sliding into time trouble just as he went on a pawn hunt, a dangerous combination against Polgar. She has a unique ability to whip up tactical complications out of nowhere and she showed that again in this game. Polgar will sacrifice and attack out of positions of weakness, something that violates general principles. She relies on her ability to outplay her opponents in complications and more often than not she's right. 26..Ne6!?? sacrificed a piece to turn the d2 pawn into a real threat and Gelfand didn't play the necessary 31.Rab1. He blundered with 31.Bf3 and Black won the exchange. Polgar finished off neatly with more help from Gelfand, by then down to seconds. She is really something special.>
Jan-17-08  Ezzy: <Mateo She only won in a compromised position because Gelfand blundered in time trouble.> That's all part of the game. Games of chess mean different things to different people. It was a masterpiece of imaginative thought in my eyes.

A game I watched live and was intrigued by it's complexity that she created. To me it was a masterpiece. That's all that matters.

Jan-17-08  Eyal: Btw, Marin points out in chessbase another missed opportunity by Gelfand - after 22...Be6:

click for larger view

White can eliminate the important d2-pawn: 23.Nxd2! Nxd2 24.Qc3 (with a mate threat on g7) f6 25.Rad1 Red8 26.Bc1. Black can get the c4-pawn in return, but White remains a pawn up with a clear advantage.

Jan-18-08  Ulhumbrus: The opening after 6...e5 has transposed into the moves 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 g3 Nf6 4 Bg2 c5 5 Nf3 cxd4 6 Nxd4 e5 and that suggests that it may be a good idea for Black to play an early ..c5 in the Catalan opening. The opening transposes at the same time into the game Petrosian vs Keres, 1953. It's possible that 7 Nc2 as Petrosian played or 7 Nb3 is better than 7Nf3 as Gelfand plays.
Jan-18-08  sambo: Why not 8. Nxe5?
Jan-18-08  ganstaman: <sambo: Why not 8. Nxe5?>

This is actually a very common trap (I see it -- and have fallen into it -- in Sicilian Openings a lot), so make sure you look at this and commit the pattern to memory:

8. Nxe5 Qa5+ and 9...Qxe5.

Mar-11-08  darth pawn: Could someone please check 13.e4? I only have Fritz 8, so its rating of the move may be unreliable.

Fritz says , but although 14. Nd2 Bf5 15. Qb3 Qe7 16. Bxf6 gxf6 weakens Black's King, I don't think White's piece coordination is good enough to be dangerous. Also, there's the protected passed pawn on d3, which will prove very dangerous in the endgame.

May-10-09  Skylark: great game, terrible pun.
May-10-09  crafty: 13...e4 14. ♘d2 ♗f5 15. ♗xf6 ♕xf6 16. ♘xe4 ♕xb2 17. ♕xd3 =   (eval 0.02; depth 18 ply; 5000M nodes)
May-10-09  whiteshark: He tried to prove that black is white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Here are a couple of links to videos where Judit comments on this complicated game. She does a good job of explaining the ideas involved in it. The pun is not a good 1 for this game. The previous (Oscar Mayer [Maia]) pun is 1 of the best that I've ever seen on chessgames though.
May-10-09  Aspirador: The game title was one of my favorite Joan Baez songs:
May-10-09  WhiteRook48: and what is meant by that?
May-10-09  Aspirador: <and what is meant by that?> You mean what is the relationship with the game? Well, the title is an old folk song, Judit Polgar is a "mama" and she "tried" to win (and won). That's all, I guess. :)
May-10-09  WhiteRook48: well, that's very odd
May-10-09  DWINS: I agree with <WhiteRook48>. This is one of the worst game titles chessgames has ever come up with.
Premium Chessgames Member Joan Baez? We were thinking Merle Haggard. Anyhow, all this month we're showing pun repeats--but today's is an exception. True, it's not a brilliant pun, but we've used "Smother's Day" before, and Mom deserves more than a rerun. We'll be back to our scheduled line-up of "The best CG puns of all time" at midnight tonight.
May-11-09  Aspirador: <Joan Baez? We were thinking Merle Haggard.> Well, then one is a cover of the other. Merle Haggard is not so well known outside of the US.
May-11-09  kevin86: The promotion picks off an extra piece for the dark side.

Passed pawns look small-new queen loom large.

Aug-13-14  posoo: EZZY I could NOT have said it better myself:

"That's all part of the game. Games of chess mean different things to different people. It was a masterpiece of imaginative thought in my eyes."

EVERYBODY pores over lines looking for errors. SLUGGOS! You are all just tryna prove dat chess is a DRAUGH. BORING.

Clash! Bang! A simmitar strikes! NO HUMAN will ever be able to play perfect chess, so let's BOGGLE each other and do inventive things!

Dats why posoo doesn't play games longer dan five minutes. TORNAMENT style is all about trying to FEEL like you're close to perfection. But sorry.


Feb-16-17  JosephSire: Can someone please tell me why gelfand doesn't just take the pawn on e5???
Feb-16-17  JosephSire: Nvm queen check would win the knight
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