Saturday, 2 June 2007


We should see some exciting chess in the Candidate's matches today: trailing by one, it's a must win situation for Shirov against Adams, Ponomariov against Rublevsky, and Polgar against Bareev.

Two down with two play, Judit Polgar seemed dead and buried, but played a superb attack yesterday to give herself a chance in her match with Evgeny Bareev:

After 19 moves of a Caro Kan, Bareev moved his queen into d4 choosing active play rather than passive defence to counter Polgar's looming kingside storm.

Polgar's next few moves lure the queen offside, but Black's defences appear sufficient:

20 Nc3 Qxd2; 21 Rad1 Qxc2; 22 Rxd7 Qxb2;

Bareev was now probably expecting 23 Qxe6+, after which Black can hold the position, but Polgar finds a way to keep up the pressure:

23 h5! gh?

It's difficult to see (Fritz recommends ... gh as well), but this is the losing move. The only way to defend against the coming attack was 23 ... Rf7. Defending the e-pawn also loses, e.g. 23 ... Rae8; 24 hg hg; 25 Rxg7+ Kxg7; 26 Qh6+ Kg8; 27 Qxg6+ Kh8; 28 Kg2 +-.

24 Qxe6+ Kh8; 25 Rxg7! Kxg7; 26 Qh6+ Kg8; 27 g6 hg; 28 Qxg6+ Kh8; 29 Kh1 Rf4; 30 Qxh5+ Kg8; 31 Rg1+ Kf8; 32 Qh8+ Kf7; 33 Qg7+ 1-0 it's mate in 5

Kamsky, Grischuk, and Leko have all won their matches already against Bacrot, Malakhov and Gurevich respectively, whilst Aronian vs. Carlsen and Kasimdzhanov vs. Gelfand are all square.

You can follow today's games online at the official site.

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.