Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

April Fools' Day: Fact or Fiction - Answer 4

Finally, there was this question: True or false: The strongest tournament performance by a female player was not turned in by Judit Polgar, nor by Susan Polgar, Maya Chiburdanidze, Xie Jun or any other female world chess champion.

Answer: true. The record-setting performance was by a Polgar, but not by former women's champ Susan Polgar or the (by far) highest-rated female player in history, Judit Polgar. Rather, it was middle sister Zsofia who, at the tender age of 14, won the Rome Open in 1989 with a score of 8.5/9 and a staggering performance rating of 2930. Unfortunately, this mega-success was an isolated event in her career, and unlike her sisters she is "only" an IM. Still, she has the female tournament performance rating (TPR) record, and her games from the event weren't just wins; they were often massacres.

Here's one of them.

Polgar,Sofia (2295) - Chernin,Alexander (2580) [B85]
Rome 1989

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Be3 0-0 9.f4 d6 10.Kh1 a6 11.Qe1 Na5 12.Qg3 [12.Rd1 is more usual, so that after 12...Nc4 13.Bc1 White's queen's rook isn't shut out of the game.] 12...Nc4 13.Bc1 b5 14.a3 Qb6 15.Rd1 Bb7? [15...e5! was better, according to Polgar, when 16.Bxc4! bxc4 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Qxe5 Re8 19.Qg3 Bd6 leaves Black excellent compensation for the pawn.] 16.b3 Na5 17.Bf3 Rac8 18.Bb2 Rfd8?

[18...Rfe8+/- Polgar] 19.Nd5! Nxd5 [19...exd5 20.Nf5+- regains the piece, due to the threats of 21.Qxg7#, 21.Nxe7+, and both 21.Bxf6 and 21.Nh6+ Kh8 22.Nxf7+ kg8 23.Nxd8 (followed by 24.Bxf6) if Black plays 20...Bf8.; 19...Bxd5 20.exd5+-] 20.Nxe6! [20.Nf5 g6] 20...g6 21.Nxd8 Qxd8 [21...Ne3 22.Bd4+- Polgar] 22.exd5 Rxc2 23.Rab1+- Bh4 [23...Nxb3? 24.Be4 Polgar] 24.Qh3 Bc8 25.Bg4 Bxg4 26.Qxg4 Nxb3 27.g3?! [27.f5! immediately is better, as here, unlike the game after 28.f5, Black can't play 27...Qd7 because of 28.Qxh4.] 27...Be7 28.f5 a5? [28...Qd7!?] 29.fxg6 hxg6 30.Qh3 Rxb2 Black has to give up more material to stop the mate, as [30...f6 31.Qe6+ Kg7 32.Bxf6+ Bxf6 33.Rxb3 leaves White too many entrance routes (Rb3xb5-b7+; Rf1+Rbf3, etc.) to the Black king,; while 30...Bf6 31.Bxf6 Qxf6 32.Rxb3 is even worse.] 31.Rxb2 a4 32.Rf2 Nc5 33.Rdf1 f5 34.g4! Open lines! 34...Ne4 35.Rg2 1-0


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