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Peter Leko vs Veselin Topalov
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2009)  ·  Neo-Grünfeld Defense: Exchange Variation with 6.e4 (D72)  ·  0-1
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Given 7 times; par: 64 [what's this?]

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sac: 23...f3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-06-09  minasina: OK, Topalov won with black pieces. He is still struggling for the first (by the way, 1st) place of tournament.
Oct-06-09  minasina: ...well, not really anymore since Carlsen beat Wang Yue.
Oct-06-09  shintaro go: Leko's just playing bad right now.
Oct-06-09  Whitehat1963: Topalov just owns Leko lately, having won 10 of their last 13 decisive results (all games).
Oct-06-09  ILikeFruits: is this...
ownage...
Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: Typical Topalov win where he complicates a less than desirable position only to come out ahead and dominate rook(s) with bishops.
Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: 23 Bxa7 f3 24 Bh1 is passive but 2 pawns are worth a bit of trouble.
Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Marmot PFL: 23 Bxa7 f3 24 Bh1 is passive but 2 pawns are worth a bit of trouble.> Well, against someone like Topalov, after 24...b5 and Rc4 it's going to be quite a lot of trouble... A move later in the game, after 23...f3:


click for larger view

There's the lovely idea of 24.Bh1 Rf4!! 25.Qa3/a5 (25.gxf4 Qg6+ and mate) Ra4 and wins.

Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Typical Topalov win where he complicates a less than desirable position only to come out ahead>

Judging by engine analysis, unlike his win against Jakovenko from round 6, he wasn't even in an "undesirable position" during this game at any stage, and didn't take any excessive risks. His whole play, starting from the 17...f5 pawn sac, appears to be both aggressive and very sound.

Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: ... And showing a much better handling of the opening than Carlsen, who played against Leko 12...Nc4 in his game from 2 rounds ago (Leko vs Carlsen, 2009).
Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: < Eyal> Players and spectators alike are much too intimidated by Topalov (except for Carlsen).
Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <eyal> <A move later in the game, after 23...f3:...There's the lovely idea of 24.Bh1 Rf4!! 25.Qa3/a5 (25.gxf4 Qg6+ and mate) Ra4 and wins.>

I like the line, but what happens after 25 c4!? Then what?


click for larger view

Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Marmot PFL> Maybe, but regardless of any psychological considerations, I think there were good objective chess reasons for Leko not to like this line (not that there are such good alternatives by this stage - perhaps 23.gxf4 exf4 24.Bxf4 Bxc3 25.Qd6, where it's White who's offering an exchange for a pawn and the keeping of the bishop pair). I don't think Topalov was "bluffing" here - Leko stepped into some very good preparation backed by accurate play. I agree, though, that Carlsen would have probably found a way to put up stiffer resistance...
Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Jimfromprovidence: <eyal> <A move later in the game, after 23...f3:...There's the lovely idea of 24.Bh1 Rf4!! 25.Qa3/a5 (25.gxf4 Qg6+ and mate) Ra4 and wins.>

I like the line, but what happens after 25 c4!?>

Thanks, I should have mentioned it - 25...b6 26.Be3 (or Bd6) Rfxc4 27.Qa3 (not forced, but no other square seems especially better) e4:


click for larger view

Material is equal here, but still it seems clearly winning for Black - he completely dominates the board, and White is practically playing with a piece less.

Oct-06-09  2Towers: Topalov's favourite: Bishop over Rook!
Oct-06-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: A lot of Grunfelds in this tournament - a Grunfest, if you will. :-)

12 ... c4 gives Black the initiative, even though this Pawn is soon lost. <Eyal>'s line with 24 ... Rf4!! is very nice.

Note 26 ... Qf7 27. Qxa7?? Bh3+ & 28 ... Qxa7.

Great preparation and execution by Topalov.

Oct-07-09  Hesam7: <Eyal: <Marmot PFL: 23 Bxa7 f3 24 Bh1 is passive but 2 pawns are worth a bit of trouble.> Well, against someone like Topalov, after 24...b5 and Rc4 it's going to be quite a lot of trouble...>

Could you provide some analysis? After 23. Bxa7 f3 24. Bh1 b5 25. Qb3 I don't see how Black has compensation for two pawns.


click for larger view

Oct-07-09  badest: <Hesam7> But wouldn't that just be a variation of Eyal's idea "Rf4!!" ... maybe Rb4 ... Rh4 ... (Leko is has very few resources to defend against Q R R p and the white B).
Oct-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Hesam7> I can't give you anything immediately forcing, but after 25...Rc4 to be followed by e4, the resulting position indeed looks rather similar to the one in the diagram of the line with Rf4 - Black has a strong grip on the position, while the white bishop on h1 is locked out of the game. But since White has two more pawns it's relatively better for him, of course (my engine accordingly evaluates this position as ca. -1, compared to ca. -3 in the other line...)
Oct-07-09  percyblakeney: Azmaiparashvili, Gaprindashvili and Ye Jiangchuan write in their annotations:

<Better was just to take pawn and play next position: 23.Bxa7 f3 24.Bh1 b5 25.Rfd1 Rc4 26.Qb3 e4 where of course black have full compensation and dangerous initiative>

http://www.chess-pearlspring.com/ww...

Oct-08-09  uscfratingmybyear: Eyal says "There's the lovely idea of 24.Bh1 Rf4!! 25.Qa3/a5 (25.gxf4 Qg6+ and mate) Ra4 and wins." Qa5 is met by b6 and after Ra4 it looks Bxf3 will hold.
Jan-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <uscfratingmybyear: Eyal says "There's the lovely idea of 24.Bh1 Rf4!! 25.Qa3/a5 (25.gxf4 Qg6+ and mate) Ra4 and wins." Qa5 is met by b6 and after Ra4 it looks Bxf3 will hold.>

Huh? I said [25]Qa5 is met by Ra4. How does Bxf3 hold and where did you come up with b6?


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