Sergey Karjakin - Judit Polgar
Round 3 - game 2
Commentary by Chessdom
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 Again Ruy Lopez, only this time Polgar is Black and she won't play Berlin Wall. She needs only a draw to progress to the next round but being an aggressive player she won't dig in and wait passively.
4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 Open Ruy Lopez offers plenty of scope to seek for possible counterplay. The line was popularized thanks to the efforts of Viktor Korchnoi and Arthur Yussupov and is now accepted by top Grandmasters.
6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 The first bigger branching point. 9. c3 was much more common in the Karpov era, but nowadays the more aggressive players, like Shirov and Sutovsky, choose the game move. Also possible is 9. Qe2 with idea Rd1 and quick c4 exploiting the pin against the Queen.
9... Be7 9...Nc5 was more common but later Black realised that 10. Nxe4 is not dangerous at all. 10. c3 (10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Ng5 Qd5 Grandmasters Shirov and Sokolov held this position without problems.)
10... O-O 11. Bc2 f5 12. Nb3 (12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Ng5 Bg4 Black has solid counterplay.)
12... Qd7 13. Nbd4 Nxd4 (13... Na5 is an alternative worth of consideration, then 14. Nxe6 Qxe6 15. Nd4 Qxe5 16. f3 Bd6 17. g3 is very sharp.)
14. Nxd4 c5 15. Nxe6 Qxe6 16. f3 Ng5 17. a4 Rad8 18. axb5 axb5 Polgar herself had this position with White against Magnus Carlsen in Biel 2007. That game ended in a draw.
19. Ra7 (19. Bxg5 Bxg5 20. f4 Be7 21. Kh1 was what Karjakin played before, against Carlsen and Fressinet. Both games were drawn.)
19... Rd7 This move was introduced by GM Ivan Sokolov in a game against Judit Polgar. (19... c4 20. Be3 b4 21. Qd2 f4 22. Bf2 b3 23. Bb1 Qf7 24. Qd4 Ne6 25. Qb6 was not successful and Black was defeated in Bologan-Timman, 2006.)
20. Rxd7 Qxd7 21. f4 (Polgar played 21. Kh1 f4 22. b4 c4 23. Qd2 Ne6 24. Rd1 Nc7 25. Qf2 Qe6 26. Qd4 against Sokolov and eventually won.) (Later against Carlsen she chose 21. Be3 f4 22. Bf2 g6 23. Qd2 Ne6 24. Rd1 Rd8 and the game was drawn.)
21... Ne4 (21... Ne6 would look like a nice blockade but then 22. g4 appears to be quite dangerous.)
22. Bxe4 fxe4 23. f5 Karjakin decides to force the events and practically burns the bridges behind him. Pawns can't go back...
23... d4 Now both players have some passed pawns to advance. White's might be just a bit more dangerous because they are closer to the opponent's King.
24. f6 gxf6 25. Bh6 Rf7 Now 26. Qh5 is met with 26...f5! and there is no attack. Perhaps White could try to check with the Queen from g3. (25... fxe5 26. Bxf8 Bxf8 27. Qh5 Polgar probably calculated this line but disregarded it as too risky.)
26. cxd4 Now 26...fxe5!? might have some independent value. The point is that taking on d4 is not forcing as 26. Qe1 with direct Qg3+ idea. Now Black might swap the Rooks and there could be a perpetual check down the line...
26... fxe5 27. Rxf7 Kxf7 28. Qh5+ Kg8 29. dxe5 c4 Black King is on the open but it is difficult to threaten anything with the minimal number of pieces. Now Black is planning Bd8 (or even Bc5+, allowing later Qg5+ and Qg7+) and Qe6, slowly preparing to advance her own pawn majority.
30. e6 Practically the ultimate attempt to avoid elimination from the World Cup. The pawn is tabu because of Qe8+ but Black can choose between two checks. 30. ... Qd4+ 31. Kh1 Qf6 32. Qe8+ Bf8 33. Be3 b4 34. Bd4 Qf1+ 35. Bg1 looks safe enough but 30. ... Qa7+ 31. Kf1 Qa1+ 32. Ke2 Qxb2+ 33. Bd2 Qf6 34. Qe8+ Bf8 35. Bg5 Qb2+ 36. Ke3 Qc1+ looks like a perpetual check.
30... Qa7+ 31. Kf1 Qa1+ 32. Kf2 Qxb2+ 33. Kg3 Qf6 34. Qe8+ Bf8 35. Bxf8 Qg5+ 36. Kh3 Qf5+ 37. Kh4 Qf4+ 38. Kh3 Qf5+ 39. g4 Qxf8 40. Qd7 White should hold for the e6-pawn, otherwise after 40.Qxb5 Black would collect it and even be in position to play for a win. Now Black has a simple perpetual check.
40... Qf3+ 41. Kh4 Qf6+ 42. g5 Qf4+ 43. Kh5 Qf3+ 44. Kh4 Qf4+ The strongest woman in the world Judit Polgar, eliminates the number 1 seeded in Khanty Mansiysk to advance to the next round of the World Cup. Fantastic victory by Judit, she is writing history today. Thank you for following the live commentary with us on Chessbomb.com and Chessdom.com and see you in next rounds for more live analysis! ½-½