Understanding before Moving 41: The Critical Move (4)

by ChessBase
8/22/2021 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 41st installment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman takes another look at critical moves, this time with the help of Judit Polgar. | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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.


If there is one player for whom a statue should be erected, it is Judit Polgar. She is the only female player who has managed to break the male dominance at the very top. At her peak she was number eight in the world and apart from Magnus Carlsen she won at least one game against all World Champions after Fischer.

But in 2014 Judit Polgar retired from tournament chess though she did not abandon chess altogether; on the contrary. After her retirement, she has been popularizing our beautiful sport by helping to organize the annual "Polgar-day" and she also often works a commentator for top events. And I have to say that I am in awe of her skills as a commentator because she combines great insight into the game with humor and wit.

I also still have fond memories to the day when I and a few chess friends were invited to visit the Polgar family in Budapest after a tournament in Hungary. At that time Judit was only seven years old but we were stunned by her fantastic skills in blindfold chess.

The diagram position below shows a position from a game between Judit and Veselin Topalov. The position is sharp and it is time to search for critical moves. How did Judit develop a strong initiative and how could the game continue?


This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


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


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register