Judit's Combos

GM Judit Polgar
Polgar, J
Chilingirova, J
  Tisdall, J
Polgar, J
  Polgar, J
Hansen, L
Polgar, J
Fernandez Garcia, J
  Polgar, J
Karpov, A
  Shirov, A
Polgar, J

Polgar, J - Chilingirova, P

Thessaloniki Olympiad, 1988
White to move, mate in 3 moves

This was Judit's first Olympiad, she was only twelve and still playing with the ladies team. She made an astonishing performance of 12.5 points of 13 games on board 2. Besides the team gold, of course, she could take home individual gold medals as well.

This combo is one of my favorites especially when I teach about the back rank and weakness of black squares around the king.

17.Qxf8+!! 1–0
Black resigned, due to the forced mate after 17...Kxf8 18.Bh6+ Kg8 19.Re8#

Tisdall, J - Polgar, J

Reykjavik, 1988
Black to move and win

This tournament was special for the fact that we played close to where the famous Fischer- Spassky match was played in 1972. Not to mention, seeing the geysers!

This is another great example of the back rank problem, as well as a demonstration of playing the whole board on the open files and ranks with the rooks.

33... Qa4+! 0–1
After this beautiful queen sacrifice, white resigned. After capturing the queen with 34.Rxa4, Rxa4+ forces the king to the back rank 35.Kb1 Rh1+ white can pull the rook and queen back, but after taking both it's checkmate.

Polgar, J - Hansen, L

Vejstrup 1989
White to move, mate in 5 moves

The White king is far from being happy out on h4, but i's Judit's turn! The following combination was totally missed by one of the strongest GMs of Denmark. It's a great illustration of the strength of double rooks on the seventh rank.

33.Qg7+! 1–0 realizing the power of this queen sac, black resigned. 33... Kxg7 34.Rfxf7+ (Going forward would lead to immidiate mate: 34...Kh6 35.Rh7#) Kg8 35.Rg7+ Kh8 36.Rh7+ Kg8 37.Rbg7# The bishop is taking away the escape route from the king. Checkmate!

Polgar, J - Fernandez Garcia, J

Dos Hermanas, 1993
White to move, mate in 4 moves

Some of the strongest chess tournaments are organized in Spain. Judit has some great memories from these events. Taking second place behind Karpov in this category 14 competition was surely one of them.

Watch out for those rooks again! 35.Qxh7+!! Kxh7 36.Rxf7+ Kh6 37.Rh8+ 1–0 Black resigned, stopping Judit one move before a rare pawn mate: 37... Kg5 38.h4#

Polgar, J - Karpov, A

Essent Crown, Holland 2003
White to move and win

The Netherlands is a great country for chess; they host some of strongest tournaments as well as very interesting events. One of them is this yearly event: a competition between an ex-world champion, the best junior, strongest female and number one Dutch player. Judit won this event 3 times so far.

25.Bxh7+! Kxh7 26.Qh5+ 1–0 Black resigned, since after sacrificing both bishops, the black king will be chased and mated in the middle of the board: 26.. Kg8 27.Bxg7 Kxg7 28.Rg3+ Kf6 29.Qg5#

Shirov, A - Polgar, J

Buenos Aires, 1994
Black to move

Some of the best players participated in a special Sicilian Theme tournament in Argentina. It's probably the wildest openings of them all. This combo is proof of it!

16...Ne3! I just love this move! The black queen cannot be taken because 17.Qxg5 Nf3# 17.Qg3 Qxg3 18.Nxg3 Nxc2+ 19.Kd1 Nxa1 20.Nxb7 b3 21.axb3 Nxb3 22.Kc2 Nc5 23.Nxc5 dxc5 24.Be1 Nf3 25.Bc3 Nd4+ 26.Kd3 Bd6 27.Bg2 Be5 28.Kc4 Ke7 29.Ra1 Nc6 0–1

Read more about the tournament and this great game by Robert Byrne in The New York Times