CHESS

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The Independent Culture
How times have changed! In the days of my youth, a man could defeat a woman at chess by the simple expedient of advancing his knights. Any well-brought-up young lady would then be flustered into retreat, leaving her susceptible to a decisive attack. With the new breed of chess Amazons, however, it seems that the only way to win is to lure them ever forwards.

Today's game, from the Veterans v Women "Foxtrot" tournament in London, shows how well grandmaster Portisch has adapted to the change.

White: Zsofia Polgar

Black: Lajos Portisch

London 1996

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 d6 7.Be3 Bd7 8.a4 Nf6 9.Nb3 b6 10.g4 Bc8!

With 7...Bd7, Black opened the possibility of Nxd4 and Bc6, thus inducing the White cavalry to retreat to b3. Its duty done, the bishop now removes itself to allow the knight a square on d7.

11.g5 Nd7 12.h4 Be7 13.f4 Bb7 14.Rf1 Qc7 15.f5 Nde5 16.Nd4 Bc8!

Clearly an adherent of the doctrine of diagonal versatility, the bishop changes diocese again to tend the weak on e6.

17.Qd2 Bd7 18.h5 Nxd4 19.Bxd4 Qd8 20.Be3 Bc6 21.Rg1 b5!

Sensing that White has pushed ahead too far, Black rejoins the battle with this fine pawn sacrifice.

22.axb5 axb5 23.Rxa8 Qxa8 24.Nxb5 0-0! Black now threatens 25...Bxb5 with a fatal check to follow on f3.

25.Nc3 exf5 26.exf5 Re8 (see diagram)

The initiative has changed hands in dramatic fashion. Suddenly, Black is threatening 27...Bxg5 28.Bxg5 Nf3+.

27.Kf2 Qc8!

Rudely exposing the weakness of the advanced white pawns. There is no good way to defend f5, though 28.f6 Qf5+ 29.Ke1 may be better than what follows.

28.Bd3 Nf3 29.Qd1 Nxg1 30.Qxg1 Bd8

Now the threat is Rxe3!

31.Qg4 Qb7 32.Bd4 Qe7!

The double threat of Qe1 mate and Qxg5 puts an end to White's resistance.

33.Be2 Qxg5 34.Qxg5 Bxg5 35.Bf3 Bd7 36.b4 Bh4+ 37.Kg2 Rc8 38.Bd5 Bf6 39.Bxf6 gxf6 40.Ne4 Rxc2+ 41.Kg3 Kg7 42.Kf4 Bc6 White resigned.

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