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I SHED a tear last week to see my old friends Vassily Smyslov and Boris Spas-sky among a group of aged warriors beat-en by a team of young ladies in Prague. As this game shows, there was nothing ladylike about their play.

White: Vassily Smyslov

Black: Judit Polgar

Women v Veterans, Prague '95

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Qc7

A good move to rile an old gentleman.

3.c3 d6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bd3 g6 6.h3

A useful move to sustain the centre against pressure by Bg4. This push of the h-pawn is worth considering if the black bishop has no other decent deployment.

6...Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Be3 b6 9.Nbd2 e5 10.Re1 Nc6 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Qc2 Bb7 13.Rad1 Rad8 14.Bg5

An admission that his 8.Be3 was ill-conceived. White is better, thanks to his hold on the d5-square. Both 8.Be3 and 13.Rad1 were irrelevant to the correct plan of Bg5, Bc4, Nf1 and Ne3.

14...Rd7 15.Nf1 Rfd8 16.Ne3 Ne7 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Bc4 Rxd1 19.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 20.Nxd1 Qc6

White shouldn't have acceded to the exchange of the rooks. 19.Nxd1! was the correct recapture. Now the right move is 21.Nd2 meeting 21...Bg5 with 22.Nf3! But Smyslov unwisely "mixes it".

21.Qb3? Qxe4 22.Bxf7+ Kg7 23.Ne3 Qb1+ 24.Nf1 e4!

Refusing to be seduced by 24...Bxf3? 25.gxf3, Polgar takes a strong initiative.

25.Nd2 Qe1 26.Be8 Bd5 27.Qa4 Bh4 (see diagram)

Qxf2+ forces White's reply, but Black has a devilish combination waiting.

28.g3 e3! 29.fxe3

The threat of Qxf2 mate forced this capture. White hopes to survive after 29...Bxg3 30.e4, but there's a strong move for Black.


The threat is Bxe3+, the e-pawn cannot be defended, and 30.e4 is now demolished by 30...Bxd2 31.exd5 Be3+ with mate in two more moves.

White resigned.

A splendid finish - brava!