Reports | November 22, 2010 19:17

Polgar beats Ivanchuk and Topalov to win rapid knockout in Mexico

Polgar beats Ivanchuk and Topalov to win UNAM festival in MexicoJudit Polgar scored one of her best results in years on Sunday by winning the first UNAM quickplay knockout tournament in Mexico City. She first beat Vassily Ivanchuk in the semi-finals and then also managed to win the final against former world number one Veselin Topalov.

Polgar wins in Mexico | Photo Europe-Echecs

The first UNAM chess festival took place 13-21 November in Mexico City. The longest event was the Ibero-American championship, and when this tournament had almost reached its end, a big number of activities were packed into just four days.

There were simuls by Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov (download a number of their games in the links below), a demonstration of a replica of the chess machine "The Turk", an "Art and Chess" exhibition, lectures, symposia, concerts, films, workshops, multimedia shows and the Ajedrez UNAM Quadrangular tournament, with Veselin Topalov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Judit Polgar and Manuel Leon Hoyos.

The festival was part of the centenary celebrations of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The aim was "to promote the practice of chess through numerous activities, including recreation, competition, debate, culture and artistic creativity, directed not only towards university spectators or chess experts, but also towards the general public", according to the official website.

The festival also aimed to "contribute to the possibility that this discipline will be included as an educational subject in the curriculum from the lowest level, in both public and private schools, as it is an essential tool for improving the cognitive level of attention, concentration and memory among children and young people".

Polgar wins Quadrangular

The main chess event was a four-player knockout with four games of ten minutes and five seconds per move in both the semi-finals and the final. It ended in a marvelous victory for the only female participant: Judit Polgar. The former Hungarian prodigy, who hasn't played much in recent years as she preferred to spend time with her family, this weekend showed how strong her chess still is when she's in top shape.

In the semi-finals Polgar beat Vassily Ivanchuk - arguably the favourite to win this event - after losing the first game in a Caro-Kann. Unfortunately this game was saved incorrectly in the PGN file, and the next one, where she beat Ivanchuk, must be incomplete as well. After a draw in the third, Polgar again managed to beat her opponent with the black pieces in yet another 4...Qb6 Sicilian, mainly because Ivanchuk went too far in trying to win.

In the other semi-final, Veselin Topalov was far too strong for local hero Manuel Leon Hoyos, who is sometimes the second of Ivanchuk. Topalov won the first three games, and then drew the fourth with Black.

In the first game of the final, Polgar used the Dutch Defence to draw an interesting game - unfortunately again not saved correctly and incomplete, as Black misses a mate in one several times. (It's a real shame that time and again, even after about fifteen years of online chess, new tournaments keep on having problems with transmitting the games live and/or correctly saving the moves for later download.)

Then, Polgar duly won three games in a row! First she outplayed Topalov with the white pieces in a Berlin Wall and then she easily defended against the Bulgarian's sharp handling of yet another Dutch Defence (1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4. h4 d6 5.h5 Nxh5 6. Rxh5 gxh5 7.e4). Having won the first prize already, Polgar then played the King's Gambit and won with a proud king on f3.

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Frits Fritschy's picture

I've regularly heard women (I'm thinking of one in particular) say they never felt better than when they were pregnant. The trouble starts after the kid has arrived. You might wonder if men don't have kids...
It all comes down to statistics. Only a small number of women like chess (might be mainly because most of their girlfriends think it's not a girl thing - peer pressure is stronger than antagonist oppression: fighting it is treason); it's not a big number of relationships where man and woman share responsibility for raising the kids and an even smaller number where the man wants to do most in this field - which is necessary if the chess playing parent spends a lot of time in hotels.
So it's, say, 5% of the chessplayers that is female times 5% of the women that have talent times 5% of the women that finds a man willing to give up his own career - optimistically. So (admitted I'm not a statistician) having one woman top level player is extraordinary.
Instead of talking about pregnancy, it would be a better idea to wonder why all the talented girls stop getting much stronger after attaining a certain level. Kosteniuk has a kid now, but before that, why didn't she go past 2600 like all the boys of her age and rating did? What about talented girls like Stefanova, Skripchenko, Lahno, Koneru, to name just a few? They became grandmaster and felt they could sit back and enjoy that?

ebutaljib's picture

Pregancy is not illness :)

I think it is the child caring after giving birth that takes the most energy, not the pregancy itself.

JaNisamTesla's picture

My point is, all things being equal, women who want a family get pregnant and men don't. I think we can all agree that being pregnant has a negative impact on your ability to playing elite chess, as would any serious illness. The difference is that being pregnant is unique to women and occurs at a very high rate.

Vladimir, i totally agree with you, I think having separate wc and leagues undermines women, but I don't think we should criticize Ms. Kosteniuk for anything other than the quality of her chess (which,admittedly, is lower than her male counter-part).

chess's picture


bob's picture


chess's picture

statistic of human chess games:

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5:

1:0, 43.58%
0:1, 34.87%
½:½, 21.55%

1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef:

1:0, 42.40%
0:1, 37.59%
½:½, 20.01%

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5:

1:0, 42.53%
0:1, 36.03%
½:½, 21.44%

not much difference ...

chess's picture

statistic human games for
1.e4 e5

1:0, 41.11%
0:1, 28.82%
½:½, 30.06%

statistic for computer chess games:

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5

1:0, 39.23%
0:1, 31.54%
½:½, 29.23%

1.e4 e5 2.f4 ef

0:1, 40.93%
1:0, 32.33%
½:½, 26.75%

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5

1:0, 43.28%
0:1, 22.39%
½:½, 34.33%

arkan's picture

that last game is just wonderful

Creemer's picture

Very good to see Polgar play like this. I hope her progress will continue. It would be wonderful if she could make a stand in some big tournaments again and rejoin the elite, where I think she belongs.

Stefan's picture

Bravo Judit !

rocean's picture

Polgar must be a World Champion ;)

reality check's picture

Nice to see GM J. Polgar taking male scalps again. However, she'd get more hair for her efforts playing (at least one) Womens World Champioship. It would also boost the WWC's credibility.

vladimirOo's picture

I do not think the WWC deserves such credibility. Judith Polgar has shown that women do not need a separate ligue or WC, but truly can fight with the 'male' players if their dare to. That's the difference between Polgar and say Kosteniuk's legacies.

JaNisamTesla's picture

While I may agree with you personally, especially about the difference between Susan and Alexandra, what is your response to those who that the the womens world championship is a way to level the playing field between men and women. For example, pregnant women can't devote as much time to chess as men. Susan went on a long hiatus from elite play to care for her children, something no elite male has ever done.

Obviously there is no simple answer, but I think it's fair to acknowledge that if Kasparov somehow got pregnant, that his chess would decline (or at the very least he would become inactive for a period of time). The fact that Susan insists on playing against men is a testament to her fighting spirit and courage as player.

ebutaljib's picture

Judit, not Susan ;)

JaNisamTesla's picture

Indeed, I don't know why I confused the two.

vladimirOo's picture

Indeed i admire Judith's fighting spirit. But i might argue that she is the exception that justifies the rule! Despite every drawbacks of being a woman, she is still playing at the top level.

Furthermore, i do not how a separate WC for women is "a way to level the playing field between men and women". Be honest, it is way to dispense women for playing seriously against the best players. Do you really think that if Polgar had spend his time in running after the Women WC she would have improved that much and been that strong? Let's face reality, Women WC just weakens women talents for women's general level is very weak (around IM)! Of course there are many, despiseful, reason for that situation but that should motivate talented women to improve!

Life sure is easier when you are happy with the WWC title, easy money for easy title...

One last point about pregnancy. It is sure a big disadvantage, but take for example a player with a serious illness (Tal for instance), and you ll see that play is possible. Or if you disagree with this case, see Ponomariov: a break in a career when dealt with it properly and carefully is not a definite end!

reality check's picture

You don't have to get pregnant raise children to become an inactive chess player.
Garry is an impregnable guy after all and for some five years did not defend his WC title and was absent from tournament play for about one year as well.
The issues that kept him away from competitive play were... your guess is as good as mine.

matedforlife's picture

Kasparov pregnant? A sight I would not want to see! The only thing worse would be Kasparov breast feeding. Poor baby would get a hairball in its throat.

reality check's picture

Your right, we dont need a separate women's league or WWC and GM Judit Polgar has proven women can win in events dominated by men but we have both.

Why not stage a WWC which  included J. Polgar, K. Humpey, A. Kosteniuk and M. Carlsen? Since he's so keen on the Tournament format now used to determine the Womens World Champion we allow him to play.

World #2 Carlsen, going after his 2nd Chess Oscar wins, beats them all without cheating becomes the first she-male WC. Good for chess.

Paul's picture

ha ha ha ha- what a king! GO POLGAR GO!

Joe's picture

Lol.. In the first game Topalov-Polgar, transmission must be mistaken? Black has Rh1 mate even in the final position as well as previous load of moves.

Guillaume's picture

I'd suggest you read the article, in particular the penultimate paragraph. Maybe the answer to your question is there.

john's picture

simul games link broken for me :-(

Peter Doggers's picture

Corrected now.

WGIFM's picture

Congratulations for Judit. King's defence... Well done!

Ianis's picture

Congratulations to Judith Polgar for a remarkable performance

chess's picture

Judit is the best:))

ops's picture

Topalov is a real gentleman:)
just joking...:)

chess's picture

is not the best move against 1.e4 e5 2. f4 .....d5!?

Fernando's picture

There's something weird in the first Caro kann against Chucky.
The Queen resting a longtime on a4 while the black b5 pawn is just watching !

sixko's picture

Have there been any interview with Judit detailing her future plans in the sport?

Zeblakov's picture

ßravo my sister Judit.

Now Topa ---deleted---

Bacchante's picture

Judith crushes you.

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