The battle of the sexes – Kasparov vs Polgar

3/11/2009 – Four years ago Garry Kasparov retired from competition chess. The greatest female player of all time has also not been very active in the last few years. In his Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos looks back at one of the many memorable encounters between the two. Be there at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

The Linares tournament is coming to a close, and with it the fourth anniversary of Garry Kasparov's retirement from active tournament play. The greatest chess player to date is out of the game, and the greatest female player ever – Judit Polgar – hasn't been very active the last few years either. So this week we'll commemorate them both by looking at one of the many interesting games in their fascinating (if rather one-sided) rivalry.

Our game for this week's show took place in what was one of the great annual events, the now-defunct Tilburg super-tournament. 1997 was a banner year for Tilburg, with Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, and (in a breakout performance) Peter Svidler tying for first with 8 out of 11. Despite the photo-finish, Kasparov was the early leader, jumping out with 5.5/6, including an impressive round 2 win against Polgar. The game starred Kasparov showing off in all phases of the game: powerful and systematic opening play, dynamic attacking chess in the middlegame, and tremendous tactical skill in converting his opportunities.

In addition to the game's value as a demonstration of Kasparov's skill, I believe it's also of value to you, the viewers, for some of the opening and early middlegame concepts seen in the game. Kasparov hinted at a pawn roller approach against Polgar's Nimzo-Indian, a la the famous Botvinnik-Capablanca game, and Polgar nipped the usual buildup in the bud by playing ...c4 before White could bring the bishop to d3 and prepare e4. What could White do now?

The answer is...to be revealed tonight, during the show. So tune in at 9 p.m. ET (that's Wednesday night; Thursday morning at 3 a.m. CET) and find out! To watch, log on the the Playchess server (aka the "Fritz" or "ChessBase" server) at the right time, go to the Broadcast room and look up Kasparov-Polgar under the Games tab. The show is free for Playchess members. Hope to see you then!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).



Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007
 

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.


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