GM Polgar vs. GM Berkes
Opening: C11: French
Player(s): Polgar, Berkes
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From time to time on ICC we remember great players of the past who have recently passed away. This week, I would like to honor one while she is still alive. Judit Polgar, playing board five for the silver medal winning Hungarian squad in the Olympiad, scored a respectable 4.5 from 6. Shortly before the end of the tournament, she announced her retirement from competitive chess.
Like Kasparov, she may be settling for a loss in her final game, in this case at the hands of American GM Sam Shankland. It is hard to believe the great prodigy is 38, though at the same time, it seems Judit has been around forever (I remember watching her play in the World Under-17 Championship in 1986 - at age ten!). No woman in history can approach what she has accomplished. She long shunned women's events; there's no question she could have been women's world champion for as long as she wanted to be. Polgar was able to surpass almost all of her male colleagues, reaching a peak of #8 in the world in 2005. Over the course of her career she has rounded her game to complement the relentless attacking prowess she demonstrated early on. This week's feature game demonstrates the awesome tactical arsenal Judit brought to the chessboard. She easily overwhelmed a reigning World Under-18 Champion and future three-time Hungarian Champion. Her 14th move in particular is one of the more stunning and beautiful moves I have ever seen. Let's watch and enjoy.