Chess: Girl bites Grandmaster

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The Independent Culture
THE SECOND day of the Intel Grand Prix in New York produced the first upset of the event when Nigel Short was beaten 2-0 in his first-round match against Judit Polgar, writes William Hartston. In both games Short lost his way in scrappy tactics. But Girl bites Grandmaster always makes good copy, and scrappy chess is most fun to watch, so the sponsors and spectators were happy.

The first game was quite extraordinary. White followed an old Steinitz recipe in the opening, but her 11. g4 was highly provocative. What happened next gave every impression that she was stumbling down a path of unwelcome tactics.

After 13. Kd2, Black can win a pawn with fxg4, when White gets on with the game with b3 and Bb2, or Kc2 and Kb1. Short's 13 . . . Qf2 went after bigger rewards.

It is hard to believe that 15. Kc3 was part of White's plan, though Steinitz would certainly have approved of the idea of the king leading White's army. As the game went, White found safety for her king and a beautiful square for the knight on d4, but at the cost of losing rook and pawn for bishop.

White began to fight back with 19. a4. The obvious threat of pushing the pawn further was countered by 19 . . . a5 (Bd7 may be an improvement) which gave the attack time to gain an irresistible momentum. All of White's succeeding moves are played with gain of time: Ra2, Rg2 and Bb2 all attack the queen while lining up an attack on g7, and e6 and Nxf5] push the point home. After 25 . . . Rxf5 White can win the queen by taking on g7, but 26. Qd4] is even stronger. When Polgar's simple 30. Qh5 exchanged Short's only active piece, the end was nigh.

White: Polgar

Black: Short

1 e4 e6 18 Kb1 0-0

2 d4 d5 19 a4 a5

3 Nc3 Nf6 20 Ra2 Qg3

4 e5 Nfd7 21 Rg2 Qc3

5 Nce2 c5 22 gxf5 exf5

6 c3 Nc6 23 Bb2 Qc7

7 f4 cxd4 24 e6 Rf6

8 cxd4 f5 25 Nxf5 Rg6

9 Nf3 Nb6 26 Be5 Qd8

10 h3 Be7 27 Nxg7 d4

11 g4 Bh4+ 28 f5 Rxg2

12 Nxh4 Qxh4+ 29 Bxg2 Qg5

13 Kd2 Qf2 30 Qh5 Qxh5

14 b3 Nxd4 31 Nxh5 Ra6

15 Kc3 Qf3+ 32 Bxd4 Na8

16 Kb2 Qxh1 33 Bd5 1-0

17 Nxd4 Qh2+