Kasparov – Polgar

Curious situation from Linares, 1994

Judith Polgar

Judith Polgar

The norms of chess say that if a piece is touched during a game, it should be moved (except for the cases where the player applies the jadoube rule). It is impossible to imagine a take back on a GM level. However, it has happened on several ocasions, as the interesting Milan Matulovic Jadoubovic case.

Probably the biggest precedent in history happened in the Linares tournament in 1994. Garry Kasparov took a move back in his game against Judit Polgar. Except Judit, no one else saw the takeback, but Spanish TV filmed the scene. Kasparov dropped the Knight on c5, lifted hand a bit, then saw he was losing a Rook, took the Knight back to d7 and few seconds later played Nf8. Judit was stunned, looked around for the arbiter but didn’t complain at all. Here is the game, you can see that the mistake on move 37 would have been decisive.

Judit Polgar – Garry Kasparov

Linares, 1994

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 e6 7.Be2 Be7 8.0-0 Qc7 9.Qe1 Nbd7 10.a4 b6 11.Bf3 Bb7 12.Kh1 Rd8 13.Be3 0-0 14.Qg3 Nc5 15.f5 e5 16.Bh6 Ne8 17.Nb3 Nd7 18.Rad1 Kh8 19.Be3 Nef6 20.Qf2 Rfe8 21.Rfe1 Bf8 22.Bg5 h6 23.Bh4 Rc8 24.Qf1 Be7 25.Nd2 Qc5 26.Nb3 Qb4 27.Be2 Bxe4 28.Nxe4 Nxe4 29.Bxe7 Rxe7 30.Bf3 Nef6 31.Qxa6 Ree8 32.Qe2 Kg8 33.Bb7 Rc4 34.Qd2 Qxa4 35.Qxd6 Rxc2 36.Nd2 Here Kasparov played 36…Nc5 and the same moment he saw 37.Bc6 which is winning Rook for White. He grabbed the Knight and put it back to d7. 36…Nf8 37.Ne4 N8d7 38.Nxf6+ Nxf6 39.Qxb6 Ng4 40.Rf1 e4 41.Bd5 e3 42.Bb3 Qe4 43.Bxc2 Qxc2 44.Rd8 Rxd8 45.Qxd8+ Kh7 46.Qe7 Qc4 0-1