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Peter Leko vs Fabiano Caruana
Tata Steel Group A (2013), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-17
Spanish Game: Closed. Martinez Variation (C78)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-17-13  lost in space: Peter Leko won? What a surprise. Draw was expected.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <lost in space> Given Leko's tendencies, certainly a drawn result was odds-on.

Had Caruana played to prevent g4-g5 with 39....Qe7, his position still looks slightly uncomfortable, but he can defend.

Jan-17-13  lost in space: hmmm, not that obvious why black resigned.

This could happen starting from the final position:

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45..Rb7 46. Rf1 Qc7 47. Qh3 Qd7 48. Qh5 Rcx3 49. Rxf8+ Bxf8 50. Bf6

Black has only meaningless moves while white is preparing a king side invasion, getting his B on f6, creating mating threat in conjunction with the Qh5.

click for larger view

Will now ask my comp and let the end position run over night.

Jan-17-13  GlennOliver: Cannot find the White win from that position, a draw seems most likely.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Robed.Bishop: I recall while watching the game that Houdini rated the final position over 3.0.

In my world, this would be played out.

Jan-17-13  attica: <lost in space: This could happen starting from the final position: 45. ... Rb7 46. Rf1 Qc7 47. Qh3 ...> In your line, 47. Rf7 is probably stronger. See the third line of computer analysis to the game at the tournament site at . That line gives 46. ... Qb5.
Jan-17-13  FadeThePublic: those rooks on the B file make this lost, talk about doing nothing
Jan-17-13  newzild: Leko spent 50 minutes finding the winning 41. fxg6.
A few moves earlier, Leko had assessed his position as winning, but after his opponent reached the time control with 40...g5, Leko went and made a cup of tea. When he returned, he couldn't find the win anymore because the only capture he could see was 41. hxg5. Only after long and deep thought did he remember that the pawn had moved two squares and he could capture it en passant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Peter commenting...
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <What, <41. fxg6> is legal??>
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Leko always looked to have a significant edge to me, thanks to his control of c4 and b6; Black had no counterplay. But 40.g4 surprises me; is 40...Bxh4 really that bad?
Jan-18-13  lost in space: Here a computer analyse of the final position:

click for larger view

shredder 12, d=24 (overnight)

A: +6,71; 45...Rxc4 46. Qxc4 Ra3 47. Qf1 Rxc3 48. Qf7+ Kh8 49. Rg3 Qxf7 50. gxf7 Rxg3 51. Rxg3 Kh7 52. Be7 and d6 is lost, later on also the c-pawn.

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B: +9,47; 45...Rb7 46. Qf3 Rb1 47. Rxb1 Rxb1 48. Nxd6 Qxd6 49. Qf7+ Kh8 50. Be7 and Black is lost, e.g. 50...Qb8? 51. Bf6 and mate

click for larger view

C: +9,68; 45...Kh8 46. Nb6 Rxb6 47. axb6 Rxb6 48. Qf3 Kg8 49. Qf7+ Qxf7 50. gxf7+ Kxf7 51. Bd8 and Black is lost

click for larger view

I am really surprised that Black is so helpless in this position. A first look at the position was not that clear - at least for me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <But 40.g4 surprises me; is 40...Bxh4 really that bad?>

Yes, if White plays accurately: 40...Bxh4 41.g5 hxg5 42.Bxg5 Bxg5 43.Rxg5 f6 (43...g6 44.Qh3! followed by Rh5) 44.Rh5 Nh7 45.Qh3 g5 46.Rh6! with the threats of both 47.Nxd6! and 47.Rg6+ Kh8 (47...Kf8 48.Qh6+) 48.Rxf6.

<Leko always looked to have a significant edge to me, thanks to his control of c4 and b6; Black had no counterplay.> Indeed, an excellent game by Leko.

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