Polgar - Shirov: Modern Lightning vs. Fire on Board

Polgar - Shirov: Modern Lightning vs. Fire on Board

NM GreenLaser
Oct 3, 2010, 12:00 AM |
9 | Opening Theory

Judit Polgar was born July 23, 1976 in Hungary. She has dazzled the chess world since she was a child. In 1991, she became a grandmaster at 15 years and four months. That was the youngest ever at the time. She is the best female player ever. Her opponent in this game is Alexei Shirov. He was born July 4, 1972 in Riga, Latvia. He was World Under 16 Champion in 1988. Shirov defeated Vladimir Kramnik in a match to play for Garry Kasparov’s world title, but that match was not played. Both Polgar and Shirov are known for sharp, attacking play. Obviously, at their level they have to be strategically strong players, but their reputations stress tactics. Shirov’s book title, “Fire on Board,” cemented the chess public’s regard for his style. Many players cannot stand up to his “fire” by playing into his strength. In this case, Polgar fights fire with lightning.

The opening in the game is the Modern Defense. Black delays or omits Nf6, which is played earlier in the Pirc Defense. Shirov, as Black, played six pawn moves and five queenside moves out of the first eight moves. Some players with low ratings or without opening knowledge generally play that way. In this specific case, there is an opening line that has been played this way by grandmasters. However, when playing with fire it is necessary to watch for the wind. With both kings in the center, Polgar’s white forces broke the position open on moves 9 and 12 in order to exploit better development. In the notes, it will be shown why White was winning and how Black could have tried to improve.

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