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Judit Polgar's wins in Novgorod against Gelfand, Ivanchuk and Short demonstrate that the strongest woman player of all time has learnt how to defeat the very best male players. All she has to do now if learn how not to lose to them too, and she will start winning tournaments of the very highest calibre. Today's game shows the uncompromising style that brought Polgar more decisive games than any other player at Novgorod.

When White's 13.Qh3 make K-side castling too dangerous, Polgar made a virtue of having her king stuck in the centre and played 13...h5 and 16...g5!? After 17.Bxg5 Ng4! 18.fxg4 Bxg5 19.gxh5 0-0-0 Black would have plenty of compensation for the pawns.

As played, the game became progressively wilder, with Topalov apparently seizing control thanks to his clever manoeuvre with 30.a5, 31.Rb6 and 33.Rxe6+ (after 33...fxe6 34.Qxe6+ Black must lose back one of his rooks). Just as White seemed to be coasting to victory, however, he was suddenly hit by the brilliant 45...Qxe3+! If Topalov saw this coming (which he almost certainly did) his deserves an award for coolness. With 47.Kf2? mated by Rf1, White had to jettison his queen just to create an escape square for the king. Finally, however, his centre pawns proved too strong. An extraordinary game.

White: Veselin Topalov Black: Judit Polgar

1 e4 c5 21 bxc3 Nxg4 41 Qd4 Bd3

2 Nf3 e6 22 Bd4 Bc5 42 d6 h4

3 d4 cxd4 23 Be2 Nf6 43 Rc7 Rb8

4 Nxd4 Nc6 24 e5 Ne4 44 Rxf7+ Kg8

5 Nc3 Qc7 25 Nb4 Bxd4+ 45 e6 Qxe3+

6 Be3 a6 26 cxd4 Qb6 46 Qxe3 Rb1+

7 Bd3 b5 27 Nc2 Rc8 47 Qc1 Rxc1+

8 Nxc6 Qxc6 28 Rab1 Qa7 48 Kf2 Rc6

9 0-0 Bb7 29 Bd3 Rg8 49 Rd7 Bb5

10 a3 Nf6 30 a5 Bc6 50 Ke3 Rc2

11 Re1 Be7 31 Rb6 Bb5 51 Rc7 Re2+

12 Qf3 d6 32 Bxe4 dxe4 52 Kf4 Rf2+

13 Qh3 h5 33 Rxe6+ Kf8 53 Kxe4 Re2+

14 Bg5 Qc5 34 Qa3+ Kg7 54 Kf5 Rf2+

15 Be3 Qc6 35 Re7 Rc7 55 Ke5 Re2+

16 f3 g5 36 Rxc7 Qxc7 56 Kf6 Rf2+

17 a4 b4 37 Ne3 Kh8 57 Ke7 Re2

18 Na2 g4 38 Rc1 Qd8 58 d7 Bxd7

19 fxg4 d5 39 d5 Qg5 59 Kxd7 Rd2+

20 c3 bxc3 40 Qc3 Kh7 60 Ke8 1-0

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