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Peter Svidler vs Peter Leko
Morelia-Linares (2006), Morelia MEX, rd 3, Feb-20
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-22-06  SlavAttack: Stevens, I searched the archive and Topalov has 107 drawn games in less than 25 moves, out of 1,176 played in more than 18 years. About 5-6 per year for his career, and less than 10% of all games he played. Thanks for the tip.
Feb-22-06  euripides: I like the Sofia rules too. But I think after all the queen's side pawns and the queens have gone this might be a draw even under Sofia rules.
Feb-22-06  SlavAttack: For comparison,

Svilder has 201 draws in less than 25 moves out of 965 games over 17 years, Leko has 171 out of 1,104 (also over 17 years), Kramnik has 308 out of 1,652 (in 18 years), Kasparov 261 out of 2111 (33 years), Ivanchuk 258 of 1672 (22 years), Morozevich has 40 out of 667 (15 years). Draw your own conclusions (pun intended).

Feb-22-06  Stevens: Well how many do you want per year? You asked when the last time he agreed to a short draw was. I gave you several recent examples. No need to get over excited. I'm not denying that Topalov is more aggressive that Leko, far from it. I'm saying that players play to their strengths. Topalov to attack, Leko to defend. If you don't like Leko's play, dont watch the games. If he suffers from poor results, less invitations, a lower rating, less endorsements etc then that's up to him.

Any reference to soccer is pointless. It's a totally different game and totally different rules. To say that players not leaving the field at half time proves that short draws are wrong is non sensical.

Feb-22-06  Stevens: < Draw your own conclusions > i conclude that Leko has more short draws than Topalv. I knew that already. The difference is i don't object to it. It's a difference of opinion thats all. Like i said, if he suffers professionally thats up to him to change the way he plays.

I was also a fan of the no draw before move x rule too. It meant that whilst following the games live you didnt constantly dread the 1/2-1/2 sign coming up.

But to say short draws are a disgrace is also overdoing it in my opinion. There are always reasons. In this case, they are both leading the tournament, both off to good starts, and both consider that a draw against each other is a good result. They'll try for wins in other games if they have ambitions to win the tournament.

Feb-22-06  SlavAttack: <f he suffers from poor results, less invitations, a lower rating, less endorsements etc then that's up to him.>

And what if he does not suffer from poor results? Then that means lower rating and endorsements for chess! No one will watch a tic-tac-toe tournament.

Feb-22-06  Stevens: If he doesnt suffer then maybe not enough people feel that his play is unacceptable.
Feb-22-06  Stevens: for the sake of chess i hope that Topalov continues to do well, as he's a fighter. he just needs a bit more charisma. also, FIDE needs a new president.
Feb-22-06  Fan of Leko: How can you compare chess to soccer, where there are no pieces to trade. In soccer one man can kick a goal but in chess youn need to force checkmate to win. Besides in every World Cup there are games where the teams just need a tie to advance, so they don't seriously try to win, just kick the ball back and forth at midfield (sometimes after trading goals to help their tiebreaks). Sometime in sports a little cooperation pays off better than dog eat dog competition.
Feb-22-06  SlavAttack: <Fan of Leko: Besides in every World Cup there are games where the teams just need a tie to advance, so they don't seriously try to win, just kick the ball back and forth at midfield (sometimes after trading goals to help their tiebreaks). Sometime in sports a little cooperation pays off better than dog eat dog competition.>

Do you remember Brazil - Italy 1982. Brazil needed a tie to continue, except they did not know what it meant to play for a tie. Same in Chess, some people play like Brazil, some play to draw.

Stevens:<Stevens: If he doesnt suffer then maybe not enough people feel that his play is unacceptable>. So he may be popular within chess fans, the 2 or 3 left of them if the game became boring. But chess definitely suffers!

Feb-22-06  azaris: <Draws happen in soccer, but nobody leaves the pitch at halftime.>

Unless they happen to be Sol Campbell...

Feb-22-06  Fan of Leko: <SlavAttack> Was that when Maradona (sp) was playing? he had some incredible games.
Feb-22-06  sitzkrieg: <Slavattack> No disrepect but as far as i can see this position is dead draw, no way any player can stir it up or blunder in that position. Thats the thing with chess, sometimes openings lead to a dead draw position and its perfectly legitimate. It is nonsense to criticize people with 2,5 out of 3 for making a draw where those who avoid it loose.
Feb-22-06  magerk2: Considering the score between them, 7 to 2,Leko should be more content with a draw than Svidler.Svidler has pretty much owned Leko.
Feb-22-06  devilwolfdog: I'm not criticizing the players. I'm criticizing the system that supports these ridiculous 20 move draws. The reason the position is "dead drawn" is that neither player tried to win from the very beginning. They both receive 1/2 for not trying to win. The proper scoring system is

Win = 1
Draw = 0
Loss = 0

With the above scoring system and with classical time controls you would see some of the most exciting chess ever played because the fear of losing would be completely eliminated. You would see a lot more games like the Topalov-Aronian third round game where players fight in excess of 100 moves to try to find a win.

Feb-22-06  SlavAttack: <Fan of Leko:> Yes, Maradona did play in 1982, it was his first WC. Brazil, Argentina and Italy were in the same 3-team second-stage group. Maradona was constantly abused, especially in the match with Italy (e.g., torn jersey, etc). The Brazilian team featured Zico and Socrates, but had horrible defense and even worse goalkeeper. Italy beat them 3:2 with 3 goals by Paolo Rosi. Italy eventally won the World Cup, and Rosi was the player of the tournament.

By the way, for all of my criticism, Leko and Svidler are two of today's most solid players, and one could bet on them with more certainty than on more entertaining players such as Invantchuk, Ponomaryov, or Morozevitch. On the other hand, when a win is a must, I would go with the latter three -- for example, the last round of the team championship (Russia v China), when Moro really pulled a miracle.

Feb-22-06  Jim Bartle: Yes, Maradona played in 1982, but the Argentine team was simply no match for the magnificent Brazilian team, probably the best team I've ever seen (despite the loss to Italy). Maradona got so frustrated that he struck a Brazilian player near the end of the game and was red-carded.

And I would certainly say there are some parallels in style between football and chess. In each one side can either go forward and go for a win, while risking a loss, or hang back and protect a tie (or draw).

Feb-22-06  C.G Jung: <Leko and Svidler are two of today's most boring players>

I think the same.

Feb-22-06  Stevens: To award nil point to those who draw is doing a huge injustice when one considers the 123 move battle with Topalov the other day. Some of the most amazing games have been drawn. You should never be punished for a draw. It is then also ridiculous to say "ok, award 0 pts to those who draw in less than x moves" because if they want to draw and play safe, they will.
Feb-22-06  Jim Bartle: For Fischer-Spassky 92 there was a rule that after any draw less than 30 moves, a SECOND game would start a half hour later. So once they agreed to a draw in 18 or whatever moves, then remembered the rule and shuffled pieces around to move 30, then called it a draw.
Feb-22-06  diction: what´s the fuss about? this is a obvious draw- if you just calculate a few moves ahead
Feb-22-06  SlavAttack: Jim Bartle, I can't agree with you more: Brazil in 1982 and in 1986 played the most magnificent, spellbinding football one can dream of. They did not win the WC either time, of course. Now, Germany, on the other hand was a solid second in 82, 86, and first in 1990 with the kind of football that sometimes sends opposing players to hospitals. In a public opinion poll in the mid 80's, Hitler was only the second most hated man in France. Tony Schumacher was #1.
Feb-22-06  Jim Bartle: Brazil was glorious to watch in the 80s, with Falcao running everything in the middle.

Of course Maradona was virtually unstoppable in 86, just unreal. So why was he given a special exception allowing him to use his hands (the "hand of God")?

Feb-22-06  ganstaman: Oh, by the way, I've changed my mind. There isn't much reason to play on. It would be boring to play and even more boring to watch. Each player would just have to hope the other one blunders, which may happen if one of them falls asleep at the board. And to stop the game a few moves before the queens are removed isn't so bad as it's fairly easy to see what will happen.

The problem with chess (if it is to be considered a problem) is that you can't generalize much about draws. It would become very subjective to say whether some players were playing for a draw or a win (maybe they thought about winning, but saw that they were behind and therefore chose a draw over a loss). Also, I'm pretty sure that players don't make money for winning games, but instead they make money for winning tournaments. Therefore, their focus is on the tournament and not any individual game. Sometimes a draw is best. If you would want to change the payouts to a per game basis with a small bonus for the overall winner, then maybe there would be less drawing.

If you haven't yet, take a look at Hamppe vs Meitner, 1872. It's a 19 move draw, and I think each player deserves their 1/2 point. Hard to say that black didn't try, or that he should have looked for a win somewhere else when down a queen or so.

Oct-21-06  Bufon: Seems that most of the time:

Svidler + Leko = short draw

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