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Peter Leko vs Veselin Topalov
Belgrade Investbank (1995), Belgrade SRB, rd 3, Nov-16
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Amsterdam Variation (B93)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-23-09  returnoftheking: This is one of Leko's first wins against a top player and annotated in Timman's book "power chess with pieces".

As usual Timman is annoyingly arrogant and he nags about other annotators a lot but his own analysis is not exactly faultless either. Still here some of his remarks on this game:

12..Nxf3 13.Qxf3 Ng4 14. Nde2 with equal position. (RTK doesn't see what compensation white has for the bishop pair but at any rate its better for black then the game continuation.)

Timman praises 24..Qb6 as a smart defensive effort whereas the engine points out Ng4! f.e. Bxd6 Qb6.

Topalov probably initially missed that 34..gxf5 is not possible on account of Nxe5 Qe8 and 36. Qf2! So he had to take with the queen.
Timman assesses the resulting position as an "elementary win for white". My engine evaluates the same position (after 35. Nd2) as just a little bit better for white.

For the rest of the game Leko uses his blockade and the queen side majority excellently but he misses 47. Nc3! that would have won immediately after Topalov's blunder on move 46.

Though I did not like all of the annotations this is indeed a game worth pointing out as Leko clearly demonstrates the strong knight against weak bishop theme. A nice game if you prefer quiet strategy over wild tactics.

Apr-23-09  Jim Bartle: Good stuff there, RTK.
Apr-24-09  I Like Fish: Leko...
when young...
You must make allowance....
for his lack...
of experience...
Apr-24-09  returnoftheking: TY JB
May-05-18  Ediciones3jaques: Que es TTK?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: What a phenomenally boring game, as aimless as 2-minute blitz, without the slightest semblance of a plan. I can't believe that was played by Leko and Topalov. Maybe the janitors played it when they left the room.
May-09-18  nummerzwei: <Timman assesses the resulting position as an "elementary win for white". My engine evaluates the same position (after 35. Nd2) as just a little bit better for white.>

It seems to me that Timman, while exaggerating, is closer to the truth here.

May-09-18  SChesshevsky: Seems a good example of how a GM thinks about piece placement or at least how a 16 year who got to be GM thinks.

I'm guessing the computer says that at 35. Nd2 it's probably half a pawn + or so. But White's got all the light squares and qside pawn majority and Black probably can't afford to drop the isolated pawn. So it's probably not very fun for Black knowing any slip probably puts him much worse or losing.

But a slip by White might equal draw. So could be an "elementary win for white" for a top master but maybe not that easy for anybody else.

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