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Peter Leko vs Judit Polgar
FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005), San Luis ARG, rd 4, Oct-01
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation English Attack (B48)  ·  1-0


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Peter Leko vs Judit Polgar (2005)
Photograph copyright © 2005 World Chess Championship Press.  Used with permission.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-02-05  csmath: You can also see that Leko is capable of tactical battle, only he isn't courageous enough to play it. This time he had to since he was at -2. Before the tournament it was said it is about Anand, Topalov, and Leko. I think it still is, only Svidler has joined in.

Leko can come back, if he plays more fighting chess he is capable of beating anybody there. With draws he can pack himself and go home.

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  TheSlid: It would appear to be quite cold in the playing area - all players in jackets and Judit is lamenting having forgotten her gloves.
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  azaris: No wonder - people said it was going to be a cold day in hell when Kasim beats Anand.
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  TheSlid: <azaris> LOL!
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  Petrocephalon: <csmath> I'm still perplexed why you insist on adding a question mark to ..Qc7. It sure looks like black needs to move her queen somewhere after 19.Rg5, so which square do you advise?

Did Susan Polgar offer any variations after 18..Ba3? It's just that the cure seems not much better than the disease: 18..Ba3 19.Na4 hg 20.Rxg5 Qc7 21.Qd3 Be7 and now can't white attack with 22.Rxg6 fxg6 23.d5?

Oct-02-05  csmath: 18. ... Ba3
19. b3

(Na4 as you suggest is also leading to advantage for white ... hxg5, Rxg5 ... Qb4 but far away from winning)

19. ... hxg5
20. Rxg5 ... Qc7
21. f5 ... Rb4
22. Qd2 ... Nh4

White is better but the position is sharp and black has her chances.


Frankly 20. Qc7 is largely irrelevant, Judit is in serious trouble by that point. It just shows that she did not see Nb5 coming. You are right, she really has no good moves at that point. All the moves are losing, including Qc7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrocephalon: OK thanks. I was missing ..Qb4 as a response to 18..Ba3 19.Na4.
Oct-02-05  csmath: On the moves 18-21 Leko spent more than 30 minutes.

He saw this all.

21. Nb5 is a brilliant tactical hit, the whole combination is beautiful.

Susan says that they both did not play very well. I disagree, Leko played very well and very sharp. He can do it when needed, indeed.

Oct-02-05  notyetagm: Yes, 21 ♘b5! starts a wicked petite combination based on the tactical theme of <interference> that captures Judit's valuable dark-squared bishop, leaving her position riddled with dark-squared weakness. It is the weakness of the dark-squares d6 and b6 in particular that figures prominently in the continuation that forces Judit to resign on move 25.

It is very reminiscent of a petite <interference> combination that Judit played against Karpov at Corus 2003 (see 16 ... ♗b4+! in Karpov vs Judit Polgar, 2003), in which Judit captured Karpov's light-squared bishop on b5 with her bishop, gaining control of the a6-f1 diagonal and trapping Karpov's uncastled king in the middle of the board.

Oct-03-05  SEMENELIN: Moreover Judit had lost a lot of pieces at move 25 judit could lose a pawn at b5 and a rook at h2. When you lose a lot of pieces to a great player like LEko you cannot expect to really win. It is really acceptable for Judit to concede.
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  peters4n6: help a novice here, what's the punishment for 12...Qxa2 ? I see the black queen somewhat trapped, but not completely.
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  WannaBe: <peters4n6> Do you mean in this game? or which line are you referring to? I can't see how black can play Qxa2 on move 12.
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  peters4n6: woops, I mean 12...Qxh2
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  WannaBe: <peters4n6> if 12. ... Qxh2 13. Rg3 0-0
14. Bg2 Bxc3
15. Qxc3 Ned5
16. exd5 Nxd5
17. Qd2 Qh4
18. g5 Nxe3
19. Qxe3 h5
20. f4 d5 8.87/17

Courtesy of Shredder9

Oct-03-05  John Abraham: Polgar brushing some dust off the table prior to the start of the game...
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  DutchDunce: No, Judit! Don't do it! It's lucky pixie dust!

Too late..... :(

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  mallowisious: I am wondering, is that water in a wine glass, or is it indeed white wine? Does alcohol help a GM play??
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  orio24: <mallowisious: I am wondering, is that water in a wine glass, or is it indeed white wine? Does alcohol help a GM play??>

In this case it's just water. Alcohol doesn't help GM play. But who knows, maybe at the lower level it does. Beside playing the usual mistakes one might enjoy the game more :).

Nov-22-06  RookFile: A crushing win by Leko.
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  twinlark: Full credit to Leko’s deft tactical flourish that finished the game quickly after Polgar blundered with <18...Nh5??>. It has to be said though that this game was murdered before it matured.

<csmath>'s suggestion of <18....Ba3 19.b3 hxg5 20.Rxg5 Qc7> would have certainly prolonged the game. This continuation can generate an abundance of tactical pyrotechnics in many variations, although after <21.e5>, Black’s Knights end up all over the edge of the board with White fully dominant in the centre.

<18....Ba3 19.b3 hxg5 20.Rxg5 Qd8> seems a better bet to breathe some life back into Black’s game. It also produces some colourful tactical possibilities and some striking looking positions, with plenty of pitfalls for both sides, although objectively White would almost certainly have the edge.

It was a great pity the game ended so abruptly as it was just starting to get interesting.

I'd have to disagree with earlier commentary that <9. ... Ne7 is inferior to 9. ... Ne5>. The former is certainly a much tougher variation to play OTB (as Nisipeanu also discovered in Shirov vs Nisipeanu, 2009), but objectively it's no worse; it just needs more preparation than one would usually give to a variation. Another good move by Black is Anand's <9...Na4> with equality (thanks for pointing out that variation, <SimonWebbsTiger>).

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: Some further thoughts.

The dismissive comments about this defense strike me as silly. Judging an opening by the game's outcome is a dubious exercise.

For example, in this game, Susan Polgar's comment that Judit should have played <12...d5> is right on the money. At worst, it fully equalises as a response to Leko's somewhat hopeful <12.Rg1>, and White has to be very careful not to fall behind.

Judit's actual move, <12...Ng6> was a perfectly fine move, as far as I can determine, also equalising but without setting as many problems for Leko to solve.

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  twinlark: and finally...I'm pretty sure that <17...d3> equalises.
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  LoveThatJoker: GOTD: The Mighty Magyars



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  perfidious: < csmath: ....Susan (Polgar) says that they both did not play very well. I disagree, Leko played very well and very sharp....>

You believe your judgment is better than that of an experienced grandmaster? This smacks of supreme arrogance to me.

<....(Leko) can do it when needed, indeed.>

Pity he doesn't, instead of opting for safety first the majority of the time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < twinlark: Some further thoughts.

The dismissive comments about this defense strike me as silly. Judging an opening by the game's outcome is a dubious exercise....>

This comment is bang on: the Sicilian Taimanov is perfectly playable for Black.

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