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THE EUROTEL Trophy match between Alexei Shirov and Judit Polgar started on Sunday in the Archa Theatre in Prague. This was the second such following Garry Kasparov's victory last year against Jan Timman, and Kasparov was present, with a press conference expected soon concerning his forthcoming match with Viswanathan Anand.

Polgar had won the drawing of lots and chose Black in the odd-numbered games of the six-game battle. So Shirov got White in the first game and what a game it was.

11 Nf5 moved on from Shirov's recent theoretical battle with Kasparov, against whom he played 11 Bxg4 in both Wijk aan zee and Sarajevo this year, making a loss and a draw.

11 Bxh4 seems a novelty - 11 Bxg4 hxg3 12 fxg3 has been played when 12 ...Qb6!? is challenging; and also 11 Bxd6 met by 11 ...Nxf2. I suspect Polgar's reaction was too optimistic and one alternative was the analogous 14 ...Ne3!? 15 fxe3 Rxh4.

16 Qd4? seems to be refuted by Nf3+ 17 Bxf3 Rxh1+ 18 Kd2 Rxa1 19 Qh8+ (if 19 Bxb7 f6) 19 ...Kd7 20 Bxb7 Qc7 21 Bxa8 Qa7!. But 16 Kd2! was quintessentially "Shirovian" for, a great believer in the two bishops, he's often happy to expose his king on their behalf.

25 ...Nf3 led to a decisive disadvantage, but if 25 ...Qxf6 26 Qxf6 exf6 27 Rb4! f5 28 f3 Kd7 29 Rh4 wins the knight.

White: Alexei Shirov

B lack: Judit Polgar

Prague 1999

Game 1: Sicilian Najdorf

1 e4 c5

2 Nf3 d6

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 Nf6

5 Nc3 a6

6 Be3 Ng4

7 Bg5 h6

8 Bh4 g5

9 Bg3 Bg7

10.Be2 h5

11 Nf5!? Bxf5

12 exf5 h4

13 Bxh4!?


14 bxc3 Qa5

15 Bxg5 Nxh2

16 Kd2! Nd7

17 Kc1 Qxc3

18 Rb1 Nc5

19 Qd5 Rc8

20 Bd2 Qg7

21 Be3 Rh7

22 g3 b5

23 Qd4 Qg8

24 f6 Qg6

25 Rb2 Nf3

26 Bxf3 Rxh1+

27 Bxh1 Nd3+

28 Kd2 Nxb2

29 Qxb2 Qf5

30 fxe7 Kxe7

31 Qb3 b4

32 Bd4 Rc3

33 Bxc3 Qxf2+

34 Kd1 bxc3

35 Qxc3 1-0