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Levon Aronian vs Peter Leko
Tal Memorial (2009), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Nov-07
Semi-Slav Defense: Anti-Moscow Gambit (D44)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 9 times; par: 64 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-07-09  I Like Fish: well...
what shall I say...
to this...
first...
Nov-07-09  kurtdereli: 42 .. f5 ?
Nov-07-09  Katu: 21 ... Bg7?
Nov-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: 24...Ng6?

Seems that Leko missed a chance to regain the pawn by 24...Bxb2 after the white rook was chased from the 7th rank, and he didn't have to fear anymore the tactics of Rxd7 or Bxe6 (as in moves 22-23). After that, it's hard to point to any specific mistake by Leko - Aronian "just" played the endgame excellently; Leko couldn't find any way to really improve the position of his pieces, Black's pawn majority on the Q-side was completely neutralized, whereas the advance of White's K-side pawns turned to be decisive. Prompting the rook exchange by 36...Bc3 was probably not a good idea and hastened Leko's end. 42...f5 is funny, but he was completely lost by this stage anyway.

Nov-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Position after 25.Bc1:


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Here, black played 25...O-O-O. Maybe it's no great blunder, but I liked 25...Ke7 better, connecting the rooks but keeping the king for defensive purposes on the kingside.

After 25...O-O-O, white started slowly going to work on developing kingside pressure, and black didn't have the resources to stop it.

Nov-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: ha! how often do u see a resign after en passant - this will have to be a wednesday puzzle one day.
Nov-07-09  Ulhumbrus: 19...b4 weakens the c4 pawn. An alternative is 19...0-0-0 beginning a plan to start an attack on the g5 pawn.
Nov-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Artar1: An Interesting Semi-Slav Game: Black Missed 24…Bxb2

<1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5> (9.Be2 is by far the more common move.)

<9...Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Nxg4 Nxg4 12.Qxg4 Qxd4 13.Rd1 Qf6> (13...Qg7 was played in Eljanov (2641) -- Dreev (2705) Russian Championship 2005, 0–1)

<14.a4 h5 15.Qg5 Qxg5 16.hxg5 a6 17.Be5>


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17.Be2 h4 18.Rxh4 Rxh4 19.Bxh4 Nd7 20.f4 Bb4 21.Bf2 c5 22.Bh5 Nf8 (Black is okay in this complex position. Both sides will push their pawn masses, on opposite wings, to try for a breakthrough.)


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<17...Rg8 18.Rxh5 Nd7 19.Bf4 b4 20.Nb1 c5 21.f3 Bg7 22.Rh7 Bd4 23.Bxc4 Nf8 24.Rh5 Ng6?!>


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The position is difficult. Are there other ways to play it? For example, 24...Bxb2 25.Be3 Bc6 26.Bxc5 Bxa4 27.Rd2 Be5 28.Ra2 Bd7 29.Nd2 Bc3 30.Bxa6 e5 Black has compensation for the pawn: he has a passed b-pawn and an actively placed bishop at c3. White will need to stop the advance of Black's b-pawn while pursuing activity on the kingside.


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<25.Bc1 0–0–0> (Maybe it would have been better to leave the Black king in the center and to play 25...Ne5?)

<26.b3> Why not 26.Nd2? Now if

a) 26...Nf4 27.Rh2 Rxg5 28.g4 Black's position looks overextended and the White knight controls b3, c4, e4, f3, and f1.

b) 26...Bc6?! 27.Bxa6+ Kb8 28.a5 Now Black must worry about both sides of the board.

c) 26...Ne5? 27.Be2 White's up a pawn with a better position.

d) 26...Rh8 27.Rh6!

<26...Ne5> (Another alternative is 26...Rh8 27.Rh6 Rhg8 [27...Rxh6? 28.gxh6 Rh8 29.g4±] 28.Rh7 Ne5= White is up a pawn but Black's position is solid and his pieces are active.)


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<27.Be2 Rd7 28.Rd2 Rgd8 29.Rc2 Ng6 30.Kf1 Kb8 31.g3 Ka7 32.Nd2> (White's position is better; Black's position has been reduced to passivity.)

<32...Ne5 33.Nc4 Nc6 34.Rd2 a5> (Black's position deteriorates with each move.)

35.Rd1 Ba6 36.f4 Bc3? (Exchanging rooks only helps White advance his kingside pawns.)

37.Rxd7+ Rxd7 38.Rh7 Bc8?! (This move does nothing, but Black's position is hopeless anyway. Somewhat better is 38...Bxc4 39.Bxc4 Kb6 )

39.Be3 Bd4 40.Bxd4 cxd4 41.Bd3 Kb8 42.e5 f5? 43.gxf6 (Even better is 43.exf6! White now has two connected passed pawns instead of one!)

Nov-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I thought Leko lost when he took his Bishop off of the b7-h-1 long diagonal. This allowed Aronian to start moving his Kingside pawns.
Nov-07-09  Paraconti: leko jist isn't the same player after losing the last game in the 2004 championship match with Kramnik and his first game in the 2005 championship tournament against Topalov (a won game). He probably doesn't have the mental strength to really believe he can be world champion any longer, especially with the advent of Aronian and Carlsen. What a pity.
Nov-07-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  OneArmedScissor: Aronian's play has a very Karpovian style to it in this game. Good stuff.
Nov-07-09  Aspirador: This is a typical Leko loss. He reaches a position where he has good play but unfortunately keeping the balance requires active play. Then Leko cannot bring himself to play active defence, so he stays passive, even immobilizes his queenside pawns, and finally white's kingside majority decides.
Nov-07-09  yalie: <Paraconti: leko jist isn't the same player after losing the last game in the 2004 championship match with Kramnik and his first game in the 2005 championship tournament against Topalov (a won game). He probably doesn't have the mental strength to really believe he can be world champion any longer, especially with the advent of Aronian and Carlsen. What a pity.>

Much as I like Leko as a person, he has never really been in the same class chesswise of a Anand or Kramnik ever (or Topalov / Aronian / Carlsen currently).

This myth that he was somehow great in 2003-2004 has been propagated by <acirce> and other Kramnik fans to justify Brissago 2004 as a serious title defence.

Nov-08-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Artar1: 38.Rh7 Bc8?! (This move does nothing, but Black's position is hopeless anyway. Somewhat better is 38...Bxc4 39.Bxc4 Kb6)>

It does <something> - with 38.Rh7 White is threatening g6, so Bc8 supports the rook on d7... 38...Bxc4 39.Bxc4 defends against g6 more indirectly, since once the bishop leaves e2, the rook can get out of the pin on the 7th rank by a check on d1.

Nov-08-09  shintaro go: Safe to say Leko is on the decline.
Nov-08-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Artar1: <Eyal:>

<It does <something> ->

Yes, right you are. I've corrected the game in my forum. I can't do anything about the comments I have made here.

Nov-09-09  Ulhumbrus: <yalie: <Paraconti: leko jist isn't the same player after losing the last game in the 2004 championship match with Kramnik and his first game in the 2005 championship tournament against Topalov (a won game). He probably doesn't have the mental strength to really believe he can be world champion any longer, especially with the advent of Aronian and Carlsen. What a pity.> Much as I like Leko as a person, he has never really been in the same class chesswise of a Anand or Kramnik ever (or Topalov / Aronian / Carlsen currently). This myth that he was somehow great in 2003-2004 has been propagated by <acirce> and other Kramnik fans to justify Brissago 2004 as a serious title defence.> Leko is one of the strongest players in the world. He came close to winning the Brissago match. He was in fact leading by one point before the final game which Kramnik managed to win, thereby drawing the match but retaining his title.
Nov-09-09  KamikazeAttack: True Leko was a much greater force in 03/4 than he is today. He was so difficult to beat. His progress seems to have stalled since the match.

He just doesn't seem have much confidence and this has adversely affected his creativity.

Nov-10-09  think: Why can't Black play 38. ... Bxc4 39. bxc4 b3 or 39. Bxc4 Rd1+?
Nov-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If <38...Bxc4 39.bxc4 b3> then <40.g6>. If <40...b2 41.Bxb2 Bxb2 42.gxf7>, Black must sacrifice his rook to stop the f-pawn promoting.
Nov-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If <38...Bxc4 39.Bxc4 Rd1+ 40.Kf2 Rxc1>, then <41.g6 Nd8 42.gxf7 Nxf7 43.Rxf7+ Kb6 44.Bxe6> and White has three connected passers.
Nov-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: After 38...Bxc4 39.Bxc4 Rd1+ 40.Kf2 Rxc1 41.g6 Nd8, 42.e5! is even stronger than gxf7, because the advance of the g-pawn can't be stopped. 38...Bxc4 39.bxc4 b3 40.g6 is indeed bad for Black, but it's worth noting that in principle White should not play 39.bxc4, since this would give Black some annoying counterplay with his newly created passed b-pawn after first preventing g6 by 39...Re7, for example (the complete immobilization of Black's Q-side pawn majority is one of White's major trumps here).
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