The dazzling Judit Polgar, 14, helped the Hungarians beat the Soviet team in the Women's Olympiad.
The narrow victory by the Hungarian team over the Soviet Union's team in the Women's Olympiad hinged on matches with the Czechoslovakians.And at the center of the action was Polgar. The Olympiad matches were held in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia.
As the next-to-last round started, the Hungarians - the two older Polgars, Zsuzsa and Zsofia, as well as Judit and a fourth player, Iloko Madl - trailed the Soviet team by 11/2 points. Members of that team were the women's world champion, Maya Chiburdanidze; the former world's champion, Nona Gaprindashvili; Alisa Gallyamova; and Ketevan Arakhamia.
But in the match with Czechoslovakia, Gallyamova was upset by J. Hajkova-Maskova, and, when Chiburdanidze drew with Eliska Klimova-Richtrova and Arakhamia defeated P. Polakova-Kisova, the three-board match ended in a tie.
At the same time, Hungary rolled over Argentina, 3-0.
"In the final round the next day," Robert Byrne of the New York Times noted, "both the Soviet Union and Hungary won their matches, 3-0, and Judit Polgar took the swing point by winning sharply from Hajkova-Maskova.
"Of course, that put the two teams even at 35-7, but the Hungarians took the gold medals on tie-break points."
- LIGHTNING - "The old saying that lightning does not strike twice in the same place," Byrne further writes, "still recruits believers although it is not sound meteorology.
"Moreover, its metaphorical extension to other matters, such as chess, is equally dubious. That's what Jan Timman, the leading Dutch grandmaster for 20 years, learned in his Katholicke Radio Omroep exhibition match in Hilversum, the Netherlands, with Yasser Seirawan, the Seattle grandmaster and current U.S. champion.
After being crushed in Game 3 of the series in 23 moves, Timman played the same branch of the Nimzo-Indian defense in Game 5.
"Even though he produced a new wrinkle, it only enabled him to hold out for three more moves against Seirawan's inspired play.
"The irony is that Timman may have stumbled on a good idea without knowing it. There is a possibility that his innovation could have taken him in a different direction, one that might have brought white's initiative to a halt. As it was, the game decided the match in Seirawan's favor at 31/2-11/2, although the final game was played for the public and ended in a draw."
Byrne further comments on the opening:
"The aggressiveness of Seirawan's opening system is disclosed after 7Bg5!?, which followed a suggestion of John Van Der Wiel, a Dutch grandmaster.
"White is tempting black to win a pawn with 7 . . . h67 8, Bh4 g5, 9. Bg3 g4, 10. Nd2 cd, 11. Nb5, but even though black has the resource 11. . . . Ne4, 12. Nd6 Nd6, 13. Bd6 Bd2, 14. Kd2 Nc6, Timman refused to try it, just as he had refused in Game 3 the first time it was presented to him. So the question of the soundness of this gambit remains unanswered.
"Nevertheless, the idea that Timman tried, the immediate 7 . . . Nc6 without first interpolating 7 . . . h6, deserves attention and perhaps a better fate than it got.
"After Seirawan's spirited 0-0-0!?, threatening to strand the a5 bishop, Timman got rid of it with 8 . . . Bc3, looking forward to the pulsillanimous 9 Qc3?! Ne4, which would comfortably have led to a simplification of the position."
If any readers would like a copy of the complete game with Byrne's notes, it is yours free for the asking.
- TOURNAMENT - A four-round tournament will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at the T.O. Smith Elementary School in Ogden for players K-6th grades. Carol Thornock, faculty member, is the organizer and director. The first round is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Entrance fee for the meet is set at $3.50.
- CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SOLVERS! - Ramon E. Bassett, Ardean Watts, Robert W. Lee, David Moody, Ted Pathakis, Hal Knight, Hal Harmon, Ashley Ann Graves, Kay Lundstrom, Eugene Wagstaff, Jack Crandall, Kim Barney, William DeVroom, Russell Anderson, Nathan Kennard, Aaron T. Kennard, Raeburn Kennard, Stanley Hunt, Edwin O. Smith, Jim Reed, Alison Hermance and Gordon Green.