September 22, 2014

Tactics Time!

Judit Polgar announced retirement in August 2014, after the Chess Olympiad which was held in Norway. Known as the strongest female chess player ever, she is the only woman to surpass the 2700 Elo rating barrier. She is known for her fighting spirit, ambitious nature and determination.

Today we have selected five combinations from Judit’s games and we invite our readers to try solving them.

Tactics Time!
By Rucha Pujari

Judit Polgar is a Hungarian grandmaster and by far the strongest female player in chess history. She achieved the title of grandmaster at the age of 15 years, at that time, breaking the record of World champion Bobby Fischer. She is the only woman to surpass the 2700 Elo rating barrier. 

Greatest female chess player ever: Judit Polgar (Image source)

Judit learnt to play chess looking at her sisters, Susan and Sofia play. Her elder sisters played chess at home and took lessons, hence Judit was naturally exposed to chess atmosphere since the very beginning. 
Her progress since the early years was extraordinary, but Judit attributes her success to hard work than mere talent. 

 In her career she has beaten the likes of many top-level players such as Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Vishwanathan Anand, Anatoly Karpov, to name a few. I admire her personally because of her ambitious nature and fighting spirit. I have been growing up following her example, and hence it is a little hard to accept the fact that she won't be competing in tournaments anymore.

Right now as I am writing this, I remember a book that I have for over many years and the one which I do read from time to time. It's called 'Breaking Through' and it's about the three Polgar sisters and their career. I recommend you to go through it at least once because it is very inspiring.

Judit's father believed in the thesis that "geniuses are made and not born..." And it is presumed that to prove his thesis correct he taught his daughters to play Chess. Looking at the exceptional achievements of Polgar sisters, we all can believe that a genius can be brought up. With hard work and determination, it is possible to achieve the impossible.

Imprinting their names on the globe: the Polgar sisters, Sofia (L), Susan and Judit (R) (Image source)

The announcement of Judit's retirement marks the end of an era. But it is also equally true that Judit Polgar was, and will continue to be a source of inspiration to all of us.

Suggested Further Reading:
Judit Polgar: the greatest prodigy ever
The Grandmaster Experiment
Judit Polgar - Wikipedia

Today I have selected five combinations from Judit’s games. Try solving them and see if you can get all the answers! 

1. Valery Salov - Polgar Judit
Madrid 1997

I came across this position in the book 'Breaking Through' which is all about Polgar sisters. Let us take a look at the position below. Bishop and two pawns might be good enough for a Rook, but at this particular moment Judit found an amazing continuation which helped her to get more than just a draw. 

Black to play

2. Anand V - Polgar Judit
Cap d'Agde rapid, 2003.

In this game Judit is facing one of the strongest player with black pieces. Even in rapid time control she was able to play very accurately and obtain an advantage. Can you calculate what she saw?

Black to play

3. Polgar Judit - Anatoly Karpov
Hoogeveen Essent Crown 2003

In the position given below, white has two dominating Bishops looking at the Black's king side. This position illustrates one of the typical attacking ideas. 

White to play

4. Tisdall Jonathan - Polgar Judit
Reykjavik op 1988

Judit was twelve years old when she played this game. White has just played 31. Nf3, suggest the best continuation for Black.

Black to play

5. Guerrero A - Polgar Judit 
41st Olympiad Open, 2014.

And to conclude, here is a combination played by Judit from the recently concluded Olympiad. Judit was part of the Hungarian Open team, which went on to win the silver medal. Simple yet beautiful combination!

Black to play

-- Note to the readers: Please do not comment the answers. Solutions to these combinations will be published on Sunday. So Stay tuned! --

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