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Peter Leko vs Anatoly Karpov
Russia - The Rest of the World (2002) (rapid), Moscow RUS, rd 5, Sep-09
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov Variation. Modern Main Line (B17)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-09-02  refutor: another one of the "big 4" in the remaining candidates match bites the dust, and to karpov's caro-kann. karpov looked out of form in the earlier rounds, but i think leko overestimated his position when he sacced the exchange.
Nov-29-02  centercounter: Certainly not one of either player's best efforts. Leko clearly had a better position prior to the sacrifice, although it was unclear how to convert the win. It is a shame that Leko spurned the draw around move 44, but the psychological momentum of such an attack is very difficult to overcome in the heat of battle, even at the very top level.
Aug-17-04  notyetagm: The English Chess magazine had detailed analysis showing that Leko missed a <beautiful> win after 33 ... ♕xa2?? with the incredible tactical shot 34 ♕c2!!, setting up the double threat of mate to the Black king and a discovered attack against the undefended Black queen.

Anyone have the forced winning line?

Aug-17-04  Lawrence: Of the 3 engines Fritz, Junior, and Shredder, Shredder 8 finds 34.Qc2 the fastest and likes it the most, +1.79 (8 min search at 3 GHz) but that doesn't seem to be a big enough advantage to talk about a surefire win.
Apr-04-06  notyetagm: <Lawrence> Rybka gives +3.18 so the move 34 ♕c2! is stronger than the other chess engines suggest, since Rybka is the gold standard these days.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Yes, 34.Qc2 would have been cool. The main immediate threat seems to be 35.Be8 which can follow for example after 34...Qa6. Then 35...Nf8 36.hxg5+ Kxg5 (36...fxg5 37.Bg7#) 37.Rg7+ Kh6 (37...Kh4 38.Qf2#) 38.Rg6+ leads to mate in several moves. 35...Qa5 with intention 36.Be8? Qc5+ doesn't work as well for 36.Qf5 Qc5+ 37.Kh2 Qf2 (what else?) 38.Be8 Qxh4+ 39.Kg1 Nf8 40.Bxf6 Rg8 41.Bg7+ Rxg7 42.Qxf8 . And if black tries to stop Be8 by 34...Rdd8, then 35.Rxh7+ Rxh7 36.hxg5+ leaves him in huge troubles. 36...Kxg5 37.Bxf6+ simply wins the Queen. Somewhat better though still hopeless seems to be 36...fxg5 37.Bg7+ Rxg7 38.Qxa2 but white can even improve this by lovely 37.Be8!! (see diagram)

click for larger view

and black cannot take the Bishop e8 for 38.Qc6+ with mate in next move.

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