Chess: Brilliant Polgar sees off Karpov

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The Independent Culture
WHEN the wise and experienced Anatoly Karpov met the precocious Judit Polgar in the Monaco quickplay event, he selected a quiet opening to avoid falling into any prepared opening line. With 7. a4 and 10. a5, he chose a quiet plan aiming to preserve a slight but enduring advantage. With the exchange of knights after 16. bxc3, he further strengthened his centre, ensuring that the bishop on g7 would remain ineffectual.

With a firm centre and chances of putting pressure on Black's a- pawn, Karpov must have been content with his position. Then Polgar played 22 . . . Nc4]] and everything changed. It was a brilliant and totally unexpected move, putting the knight on a square where it could apparently be captured by two pieces, and leaving the bishop on b7 under attack from White's queen, but all the tactics work in Black's favour.

Both 23. Bxc4 Qxd1+ and 23. Qxb7 Nxa3 lose material for White, while 23. Nxc4 Qxe2 24. Nb2 leaves White in trouble after 24 . . . Rab8, or even 24 . . . Bxg2 25. Kxg2 Rab8.

Karpov found the best way to stay in the game, reaching a position in which Black's passed a- pawn gave her a clear advantage, though White's game should have been tenable. But Karpov had spent too much time holding his game together, and overstepped the time limit on his 28th move.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Karpov Black: Polgar ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 15 Nc3 Nxc3 2 Nf3 g6 16 bxc3 Rfc8 3 Bf4 Bg7 17 Nd2 e5 4 c3 0-0 18 Ra3 Qe6 5 h3 c5 19 Rd1 h5 6 e3 b6 20 Bf1 Qf5 7 a4 Bb7 21 Qb4 Qc2 8 Be2 d6 22 Be2 Nc4]] 9 0-0 Nbd7 23 Raa1 Nxd2 10 a5 bxa5 24 Qxb7 Ne4 11 Qa4 Ne4 25 Rdc1 Qxe2 12 Qxa5 cxd4 26 Qxe4 Qc4 13 cxd4 Nb6 27 Bg3 a5 14 Bh2 Qd7 28 Qb1 0-1 -----------------------------------------------------------------

Two weeks ago in this space, we mentioned the case of John Taylor, who was arrested for playing chess in a public library in New York. He has since appeared in court where he was convicted of trespass. The happy ending is that he has been sentenced to give 60 hours of free chess lessons at the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle. 'A fair decision,' said Taylor.