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Garry Kasparov vs Peter Leko
Linares (2003), Linares ESP, rd 10, Mar-05
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. General (B30)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-05-03  refutor: 4.Bb5 is unusual for Kasparov...i wonder if he was expecting 3. ... e5 like Leko has played before?
Mar-07-03  alhine: Interesting game on both sides. Leko probably wanted to avoid normal Nadjorf lines since K knows both sides too well. What is striking is whites avoidance of d4. White can't get this in since he castled first and black replied 5...Nd4. I would've expected 5.Bxc6 followed by 6.d4 then castling. Black may have missed a strong opportunity on move 20. If instead of 20...Be5, he plays 20...Rg5 (threatening 21...Bxh3), White can't respond 21.Qxh5 due to 21...Rxg2+ winning the white queen. A good reply for white is hard to find. This highlights the fact that both white bishops are temporarily passive and the white queen is outgunned for the moment.
Mar-07-03  ughaibu: Wouldn't a5 be a strong response to Rg5?
Mar-07-03  alhine: It certainly is forcing. 21.a5 seems to force 21...Qa7 (other moves allow 22.Bxd4). One thing though, after 21...Qa7, Black still threatens Bxh3. Perhaps now whites best would be 22.Kf1 (now the white queen can safely take on h4). Black would now have the time to play 22...Rc8 threatening Rxc4, followed by Bxc2, and Rf5. I don't have a "Fritz-Friend", this is entirely intuitive.
Mar-08-03  Marnoff Mirlony: I also would have played 5. d4. It seems to be the natural move to play. Kasparov took the more passive approach to the game. The problem with these tournaments is sometimes they'd just rather take the draw than play for the win and risk losing.
Mar-09-03  alhine: To Marnoff Mirlony: You may be right, there have been a few disappointing draws, but there have been plenty of exciting, attacking games. Top tier players (with World title aspirations) don't want to show too much, while the young guns go all out. I think in this game, each was trying to get out of book as soon as possible.
May-16-06  spirit: i just love Leko for this game...26...Rxc4 made me laugh my intestines out.It is games like this that make me wonder if chess isn't life
Oct-26-07  timhortons: in larry kaufmans book "chess advantage in black and white" he notes that kasparov 21.QF3 lost the informant 87 kasparov states that 21.Qd2! Rc8 22.a5.. Qa7 23.f4 Bf6 24 Qf2 would have kept an edge
Oct-18-09  timhortons: [PlyCount "40"]

. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Qc7

(4... e5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nxe5
Nxe4 7. Nxe4 Qd4 8. d3 Qxe5 9. f4 Qd5 10. Qe2 Be7 11. c4 Qd8 12. O-O O-O 13. f5 ) 5. O-O Nd4 6. Re1 a6 7. Bc4 d6 8. Nd5 Nxd5 9. exd5 g6 10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. d3 h6 12. b4 Bg7 13. Qe2 Bf6 14. Qf3 Kf8 15. Bb2 Qb6 16. a3 h5 17. h3 (17. h4) 17... h4 18. Qf4 Bf5 19. Rab1 Rh5 20. a4 Be5 (20... Rh8) *

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a variation discussed in chess advantage book.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Earlier in the tournament Anand had played 6 Nxd4 against Leko and had gone on to win when Leko accepted a dangerous pawn sacrifice; Kasparov stuck with the main line 6 Re1. Kasparov surprised Leko with the very rarely played 7 Bc4 rather than the usual 7 Bf1. 7..d6 was new; 7..e6 had been played previously. Leko spent 35 minutes on 9..g6 which Kasparov considered to be "probably the only move"; alternatively 9..Bg4 10 c3..Nxf3+ 11 gxf..Bh5 12 d4 would have left White with a promising initiative. 21 Qd2 would have been a better choice with some edge for White. Leko's 29..exd was necessary as something like 29..Bd1 30 Qxb7..Qxe2 31 Qa8+..Kg7 32 Bxd4+..f6 33 d7..Rh8 34 Qxh8+..Kxh8 35 d8(Q)+..Kg7 36 b5! would have been poweful for White.

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