J. Polgar – S. Movsesian

World Cup

Round 2

Commentary by the Chessdom team

Judit Polgar progressed well at last World Cup and now is meeting one of the leaders of the World Team Champions team early in the competition. For Movsesian this is the first World Cup under the Armenian flag and he will make everything possible to defend it.

e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 Movsesian likes to play Taimanov or Sheveningen Sicilian 3. b3 This sideline is so much in Movsesian style! When playing White, he is commonly seeking to outplay the opposition in original positions. Perhaps Judit wants to beat him with his own weapon. Of course, the Chess Princess was never afraid to enter the sharp and deeply analysed theoretical positions. It is interesting that Magnus Carlsen played this line with White in several games in the World Blitz Championships, including the game against Judit Polgar! (That one ended in a draw).

3… d6 Movsesian already played this move against GM Radek Kalod in the 2010 rapid event in Pardubice. After 4. Bb2 he continued 4…e5, where Black invests an extra move to shut the White Bishop. Polgar herself used 3…Nc6 while Veselin Topalov liked to play 3…b6. 4. d4 Polgar won’t allow e5 and is probably looking after a convenient transposition into the Open Sicilian. Bulgarian GM Krum Georgiev played a dozen of games in this fashion.

4… Nf6 5. Bd3 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Nc6 7. Bb2 With 7.Nxc6 White would take the play into Taimanov/Kan Sicilian setups, which are well known to Movsesian. But the game continuation won’t puzzle him either, as Black is lining Sheveningen or Hedgehog formation. Again a curiosity, Polgar had this position with Black in a rapid game against Kramnik (1994) and lost.

7… d5 Movsesian still prefers Taimanov… Is he aware that he is repeating Polgar’s moves from the 1994 game? Now most likely 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Nd2, as 8. exd5 exd5 is not attractive to White when the pawn is moved to b3.

8. exd5 Nxd4 9. Bxd4 Qxd5 10. O-O Bd7 This original position is now resembling some lines from the French defense. Most likely White will continue 11. Bc4 as 11. c3 looks awkward, 11. Bb2 loses tempo and allows active 11…Bc5, while 11. Bxf6 would leave the White King exposed to an attack.

11. Bc4 Qa5 12. Qe2 Be7 12…Bc5 was interesting, but then White simply retreats his Bishop 13. Nd2 A sensible continuation, also suggested by the audience on the Chessdom / Chessbomb platform. The Knight is heading to f3 and possibly e5.

13… O-O 14. Nf3 Rfd8 15. Rfd1 White would certainly like to move the pawn back to b2, as like this the dark squares are slightly weakened and White Bishops might be harassed by Black pieces. But the position is finely balanced. Black should be cautious not to allow a sudden attack on the kingside.

15… Be8 16. a3 Polgar is trying to cover at least one of the weakened squares. Perhaps in the long run she plans b4, Bb3, c4… but she must be certain that her pieces won’t be left hanging in the air. 16. a4 was also interesting, to secure the post for Bc4.

16… Qc7 17. Be5 Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Qa5 19. Bb2 Rd8 20. b4 As anticipated, Polgar is expanding with her pawn majority on the queenside. Meanwhile, Movsesian used the opportunity to exchange the Rooks.

20… Rxd1+ 21. Qxd1 Qc7 22. Qd4 Black has a wide choice of moves, b5, a5 or even Ba4!?

22… a5 23. Bd3 axb4 24. axb4 Qd6 25. b5 Keeping the light-squared Bishop out of play but surrenders the c5-square.

25… Qxd4 26. Bxd4 Nd7 27. Be4 Nc5 28. Bxc5 Bxc5 29. c4 FM Rosenthal: Judith shows her class by understanding she is worse but finding a variation where she shoul hold nicely. The only line that bothers me is 29. … b6 30.Ne5 f6!?

29… b6 30. Bc6 Kf8 FM Rosenthal: for example 31.Bc6 Bxc6 32.Nxc6 and suddenly the knight has no realsquares or 31.Nd3 Bd6 keeping the bishops on 31. Ne5 after white exchanges his bihsops it look natural to bring the knight to d3.

31… Bd6 32. Nd7+ And a draw was agreed. Good game by Judit, she was trying to find a way to victory during the whole game, but Movsesian showed precise play and held the position. The draw is the most logical result of the day. Thank you for following with us and see you tomorrow for more live commentary! ?-?

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