Ignoring the Ignorer

Benoit-I. Polgar 1969, Black to move and win

No need to panic!

Gonzalez-Chemin 2000, White to move and win

Gonzalez – Chemin 2000
In one of those positions that we chess fans love, both kings feel the hot breath of enemy pieces on their necks. Eager to strike first, Black decided to go for the jugular with 25…f5, threatening the unstoppable 26…Bg5. (The defensive 25…Ra6 was correct). Unfortunately for him, White had a punishing blow prepared:
26.Rxd6!! Bg5
There is no way back. Bailing out with 26…Qa1+ 27.Nxa1 Rxa1+ 28.Kd2 Bxd6 runs into 29.e5! Rxd1+ 30.Kxd1 Bc5 31.Bxf5! Rf8 32.Qc4!
27.Rxd7+ Kc8
Heading for higher ground with 27…Kb6 doesn’t help because of 28.R1d6+ Kb5 29.Rb7+ Ka4 30.Qxg5! Rxg5 31.Rd4!
Black probably thought that White was simply deciding to make a draw. A wicked surprise awaits.
(28.Rd8+ Bxd8 29.Bxf5 Qa6! 30.Rd6 Bg5 31.Bxe6+ Kc7 32.Rd7+ Kb6 33.Rd6+ Kc7 would have only drawn.)
28…Rxg5 29.Rd8+ Kc7 30.R1d7+ Kb6 31.Rd6+ Kc7
31…Kb5 32.Bf1+ Ka4 33.Rxa8 mate
32.R8d7+ Kc8 33.Nc5!!
Reality strikes Black over the head like a hammer. Black’s queen can only sit back and watch as White’s small but well-coordinated army rolls over Black’s king.
33…Ra6 34.Nxa6 Qxa6 35.Rxa6 Kxd7 36.exf5 exf5 37.Rh6 wins easily.
34.Rc6+ Kb8 35.Rb7+
Black resigns.

Ignoring the Ignorer

Benoit-I. Polgar 1969, Black to move and win

On his last move, White cheekily ignored Black’s threat to his bishop by attacking the queen on c6 with 25.Rac1. Not one to be disrespected, Black decided to teach his opponent some manners.

25…Rxg3+ 26.Kh2 Nxf4!

Ignoring White in return.


27.Qb3+ Kh8 28.Rxc6 doesn’t help because of 28…Rxh3+ 29.Kg1 Bxd4+ 30.Rf2 Rae8! 31. Rc1 Bxf2+ 32.Kf1 (32.Kxf2 Re2+ 33.Kg1 Rg2+ 34.Kf1 Rh1#) Rh1+! 33.Kxf2 Re2+ 34.Kf3 Rh3+! 35.Kxf4 Rf2 mate.

27.Kxg3 is also off limits to the simple 27…Ne2+, forking the rook and king, or the even more crushing 27…Qg2+! 28.Kxf4 h6!! 29.g6 (29.h4 Re8! cuts off all escape routes) h5! and White will not survive for long.

27…Rxh3+ 28.Kg1 Bxd4!

The point! Now Black wins everything back with interest.


29.Rf2 Bxf2+ 30.Kxf2 (30.Kf1 Be3!) Nxd3+ wins the queen.

29…Ne2+ 30.Kg2 Rg3+

30…Nxd4 was just as good.

31.Kf2 Nxd4 32.Rxd6 Rxd3 and Black went on to win.