Polgar vs Kaidanov in a Sicilian Theme match

by ChessBase
2/27/2010 – The Sicilian is like an alligator – one of the natives of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where the theme match took place. Judit Polgar and Gregory Kaidanov played four games, a Sveshnikov, Dragon, Najdorf and a Scheveningen at classical time controls. All were sharp and all won by White. The sponsor, Sicilian fan Jeff Smith, provided the $16,000 prize fund. Pictorial report.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


This match, sponsored by Business Consultant Jeff Smith, took placed on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Since Jeff is addicted to the Sicilian he talked the two opponents into making it a theme match. Game order: 1 Sveshnikov, 2 Dragon, 3. Najdorf, 4 Scheveningen. Classical time control of 90min/40 moves, no draw offer before move 40 (none was offered – White won all games). The prize fund was US $16,000, funded by Mr. Smith.

GM Gregory Kaidanov, 50, was born in Berdychiv, Ukraine but moved to Kaliningrad, Russia, in 1960 and to Lexington, Kentucky, USA in 1991. Greg is one of the most active grandmaster teachers in the United States. You must not confuse him with Greg House.

GM Judit Polgár, the youngest of the three Polgar sisters, is by far the strongest female player in chess history. At one stage she was ranked the number eight player in the world. She and her sisters, GM Susan and IM Sofia, were part of an educational experiment carried out by their father László Polgár, in an attempt to prove that children could make exceptional achievements if trained in a specialist subject from a very early age. He and his wife Klara educated their three daughters at home, with chess as the specialist subject. Judit is married to Gusztáv Font, a veterinary surgeon from Budapest. They have two children.

Judit Polgar vs Gregory Kaidanov in game two

Polgar,Ju (2687) - Kaidanov,G (2583) [B78]
Sicilian Theme Match Hilton Head USA (2), 23.02.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.Kb1 Re8 13.h4 h5 14.g4 hxg4 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Rdg1 e6

Let the fireworks begin: 17.Bh6 Qf6 18.fxg4 Bxh6 19.Qxh6 Qg7 20.Qd2 Nf6 21.g5 Nh5 22.Nce2 Nc4 23.Bxc4 Rxc4 24.b3 Rc5 25.Ng3 Nxg3 26.Rxg3 Rec8? (Black had to defend with 26...e5)

This is the kind of flesh-and-blood position that Judit revels in. 27.Rgh3 e5 28.Rh4 exd4 29.Qh2 Kf8 30.Qxd6+ Kg8 31.Qxd7 d3 32.c4 Qc3 33.R4h2 b5 34.e5 Qxe5 35.Rh7 R5c7 36.Qd6 1-0. [Click to replay all four games]

Game three – White won all the four Sicilian games

Former Women's World Champion Susan Polgar (Judit's older sister) star off game four

Greg analysing after game two

Judit with the typical gesture of postgame GM analysts

Judit Polgar talks about her match against Gregory Kaidanov

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island a town in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States and is a popular vacation destination (in 2004, an estimated 2.25 million visitors pumped more than $1.5 billion into the local economy).

Zoom, pan and enlarge to explore – or view larger map

The island has a rich history that started with seasonal occupation by native Americans thousands of years ago. The Town of Hilton Head Island is well known for its "eco-friendly" development and enjoys an unusual amount of tree cover relative to the amount of development.

Hotel and beach front at Hilton Head Island

The Liberty Oak in Harbour Town

Hiding in the water an aligator, one of the oldest inhabitants of the island

Charles Fraser, visionary developer of Hilton Head

Another inhabitant of Hilton Head Island

Biking along the beach

The Sponsor

Sponsor Jeff Smith on the top of Harbour Town Lighthouse.

Jeff was the organizer and sponsor of this exceptional and exciting event. He is an ex-Toyota employee (Labor relations and shop floor management) and now business consultant for the Toyota System. He played chess back in his college days at Auburn University, AL. He picked up the game again five years ago in his late 30s and even hired a coach. "I actually got to the point of understanding GM games," he says. "Wow!"

Jeff Smith and Sofia Polgar, Judit's older sister, who lives in Israel

"I first noticed this chess culture at a little center in Queens, NY," Jeff continues. "I took some lessons from coach Sofia Polgar. I noticed how she explained complex things to a beginner at my chess level – just like a good teacher. Between lessons I would walk out into the large area of the little club and see young children solving 6 to 8 move tactical puzzles with club manager Leon. Amazing little kids – seeing everything without moving the pieces and remaining so calm and enthusiastic. Sofia’s sister Susan ran this club at that time. So, I sponsored some events with both Susan and Sofia to help people experience their inter-personal gift of good character and joy both of them bring to their work."

Official event web site (by MonRoi)all photos by Zeljka Malobabic

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register