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Garry Kasparov vs Peter Leko
Corus Group A (2000), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Jan-28
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-06-07  costachess: the move 18.g4 is for wonder!!
Feb-08-11  Eyal: <18. g4 clamps down on the key f5 break for Black which he hopes will ultimately liberate the Bg7. It also prepares to support the Knight on d5 with Bg2 if necessary […] 21 h4 (A remarkable concept, not just attacking but aiming to restrict the black queen and in prevents the freeing idea of ...Bh6 and takes on e3. 21...Bh6 would be met by 22.g5 . Note that the f5 break is well and truly blocked).> (

However, 23…d5! Followed by 25…e4 releases Black’s pieces and gives him enough counterplay to draw. White’s counter-attack with 29.g6 looks dangerous, but also suffices only for a draw:

<During the post mortem, Kasparov revealed that he'd taken a long time on the clock here to try and make 31 Qg4 work. He thought that all the lines were working and he had a mate on the board until he discovered Leko's saving (and winning!) continuation of 35 ..Rxf2+! Therefore, he had to play the drawing 31 Qg3.

31 Qg4? bxc3 32 Rg1 f5 [defending g7 - 32…f6?? 33.Qe6] 33 Qg6 cxb2 34 Rd1 This was Garry's original idea. The concept being a potential Rd8+! and Qf7 mate 34 ..Rc2+ 35 Kf1 Rxf2+! 36 Kxf2 Qf4+ 37 Kg1 Bd4+ A) 38 Kh1 Qf3+ 39 Kh2 Be5+ 40 Kg1 Qe3+ 41 Kf1 (41 Kh1 Qh3+ 42 Kg1 Bh2+ 43 Kf2 Qf3+ 44 Ke1 Bg3+) 41 ..Qh3+ 42 Qg2 Qxb3; B) 38 Rxd4 38 ..b1Q+ 39 Rd1 Qe3+ 40 Kh1 Qf3+ 41 Kg1 Qbxd1+ 42 Bxd1 Qxd1+ 43 Kh2 Qd2+)>

Btw, the engines show that after 31 Qg4 bxc3 32 Rg1 f5, 33.Qh5(!) still draws for White, but not more than that: 33...cxb2 34.Rd1 (again with the idea of Rd8+ and Qf7) 34…Rc2+ 35.Kf1 Rxf2+ 36.Kxf2 and now the white queen defends the key square f3, so Black has no more than perpetual with 36…Qh2+; other options are 34...Bf6 35.Rd8+ Bxd8 36.Qh6+ Qg7 37.Qd6+ Qe7 (37...Ke8 38.Ba4+ Kf7 39.Bb3+ Ke8) 38.Qh6+ and perpetual; or 34...Rc6 35.Qxf5+ (now 35.Rd8+ Ke7 36.Qe8+ Kf6 isn’t enough, because there’s no mate on e6) 35...Bf6 (35...Ke7?? 36.Qf7#; 35...Ke8?? 36.Qh5+ Kf8 37.Rd8+ Ke7 38.Re8+ Kd7 [38...Kf6 39.Qg5#] 39.Qf7+ Kd6 40.Qd5#) 36.Qd5 Kg7 37.Rg1+ Kh6 38.Qd2+ Kh5 39.Qd5+ Kh6 40.Qd2+ etc.

Overall, a good game by both players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in the 11th round; two rounds earlier Leko had played 13..0-0 against J.Polgar and had achieved a draw after being much worse. The alternative 22 Qd3..Rc5 23 Be4..d5 24 Nxd5..Bxd5 25 Bxd5..e4 26 Bxe4..b4 wins material but Black's counterplay would have been quicker than in the game. 23..d5! eliminated White's powerful knight as 24 Bxd5?..Bxd5 25 Nxd5..Qb7 would have been winning for White. White's king proved to be insecure after 26 Ke2?!; 26 Qd2..Qe5 27 Bb3..Qc7 28 0-0 looks like a possible improvement.

After 27..Qc7: Leko-"When I found the plan of ..Qc7 and ..Rf5, I was very happy.", Kasparov-"Now I have to open up your king, otherwise I can be worse."

29 cxb?..Rc2+ 30 Bxc2..Qxc2+ 31 Kf1..Qd1+ 32 Kg2..Qf3+ 33 Kf1..e3 would have been winning for Black.

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