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Judit Polgar vs Peter Leko
Hunguest Hotels Super Chess Tournament (2003), Budapest HUN, rd 5, Apr-15
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-13-05  Albertan: Polgar,J (2715) - Leko,P (2746) [B33]
Budapest 2003 , 16.04.2003

B33: Sicilian: Pelikan and Sveshnikov Variations

1.e4 c5

The Sicilian Defense.

2.Nf3 Nc6

Contesting the d4-square.

3.d4 cxd4
4.Nxd4 Nf6
Developing another minor piece and winning a tempo. 5.Nc3 Almost always played here,the lost tempo.


He immediately displaces her knight at the cost of giving her control of the d5-square. [ Much more popular in my database is to play ...d6 first ie. 5...d6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 a6 8.0-0-0 h6 9.Be3 Be7 10.f4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 b5 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.Kb1 0-0]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 6.Ndb5

Almost always played here.He entices her to play ..a6. The White knight threatens to head for d6 or he could also intend 7.Bg5.


Almost always played in my database,he gives support to his e-pawn and opens up the diagonal to develop his queen's bishop.


Again a move almost universally played here at this stage,developing another minor piece and pinning his knight.


Almost universally played in this position in my database,he drives her knight back to a3.


[ Rarely played in my database is 8.Bxf6 ie. 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.Na3 b5 10.Nd5 f5 11.Bd3 Be6 12.0-0 Bxd5 13.exd5 Ne7 14.c3 Bg7 15.Qh5 e4 16.Bc2 Qc8] Returning to the moves of the game which continued:


Again a move almost always played in this position by Black threatening ...b4.


The most often played continuation,giving up the two bishops to Leko. [ The other main idea is to take advantage of the d5-square and occupy it via Nd5 ie. 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 0-0 12.Nc2 Bg5 13.a4 bxa4 14.Rxa4 a5 15.Bc4 Rb8 16.b3 Kh8 17.0-0 f5 ( 17...g6) ]

Returning to the moves played in the game, Leko next played:


[ Rarely played is 9...Qxf6 ]


Almost always played here,she occupies one of the most key squares in this opening,d5,which hampers his ability to coordinate his pieces.


The most often played move,he attacks the pawn which is defending the knight. [ Also popular is the move 10....Bg7 ie. 10...Bg7 11.c3 f5 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Nc2 0-0 14.Nce3 Be6 15.Bd3 f5 16.Qh5 e4 17.Bc2 Ne7 18.Rd1 Ng6 19.f4 ( 19.g4) ]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 11.Bd3

The most popular continuation,she develops her last minor piece and overprotects her e-pawn in the process. [ The other popular idea here is to play 11.c3 ie. 11.c3 Bg7 12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Nc2 0-0 14.Nce3 Be6 15.Bd3 f5 16.Qh5 e4 17.Bc2 Ne7 18.Rd1 Ng6]

Play in the game continued:


Again a move almost universally played by Black in this position,he develops another minor piece and attacks her well-placed knight.


She aggressively posts her queen,pinning his pawn on f7 in the process.Now she threatens to win a pawn and a tempo via 13.exf5. [ More popular in my database is to castle ie. 12.0-0 Bxd5 13.exd5 Ne7 14.c3 Bg7 15.Qh5 e4 16.Bc2 Qc8 17.Rae1 0-0 18.Kh1 Ng6 19.Bb1 Re8]

Leko's next move in the game was:


He leaves his h-pawn enprise and attacks her g-pawn,offering to exchange a pair of pawns. [ More popular in my database is to fianchetto the king's bishop: ie. 12...Bg7 13.0-0 f4 14.c4 bxc4 15.Bxc4 0-0 16.Rac1 Rb8 17.b3 Qd7 18.Rfd1 Kh8 19.Qh4 Bxd5 20.Bxd5 ( 20.Rxd5) ]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 13.g3

The most popular move,declining the exchange of pawns.


Attacking her queen winning a tempo.
[ Slightly more popular in my database is the move 13...Rg4 ie. 13...Rg4 14.f4 exf4 15.Nxf4 Rxf4 16.gxf4 Qf6 ( 16...fxe4; 16...Qa5+) ]

The next move in the game was:


The lost tempo.
[CC: 14.Qxh7 Bxd5 ( 14...Rc8 15.h4 Rg4 16.c3 Rg7 17.Qh5 fxe4 18.Bxe4 Bg4 19.Qh8 f5 20.Bg2 Kf7 21.Ne3 Qf6 22.Bd5+ Ke7 23.Bxc6 Qg6 24.h5 Qg5 25.h6 1-0 Jorge Bort,E-Linares Quero,A/Albacete 2001/EXT 2002 (25)) 15.exd5 Ne7 16.0-0-0 Qb6 17.Kb1 Qxf2 18.Rhf1 Qc5 19.c3 e4 20.Be2 Nxd5 21.Nc2 Rc8 22.g4 Nxc3+ 23.bxc3 Qxc3 24.Nd4 Bg7 25.Rxf5 Rxf5 26.Qxg7 Rf2 27.Qh7 Qb4+ 28.Ka1 Qc3+ Bauer,C-Komarov,D/France 1997/EXT 99/1/2-1/2 (29)]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 14...Bxd5

He finally decides to eliminate her well posted knight. [ The only other move in my database is 14...Rg4 ie. 14...Rg4 15.f3 Rg8 16.Qd2 Rc8 17.c3 h5 18.Nc2 h4 19.a4 Na5 20.Qe2 Bh6 21.axb5 Kf8]

Polgar now played:


Winning a tempo unless he now plays ...Ne7.


Threatening to win her d-pawn.


This move may be a theoretical novelty.She offers to give up the exchange. [CC: 16.c3 e4 ( 16...Bg7 17.h4 Rg6 18.Nc2 e4 19.Be2 Qc7 20.a4 b4 21.h5 Rh6 22.cxb4 Qb7 23.b5 Bxb2 24.Rb1 Bc3+ 25.Kf1 a5 26.Ne3 Rf6 27.Rc1 Be5 28.Rc6 f4 29.gxf4 Rxf4 30.Nc4 Nf5 31.Rg1 Sideif Sade,F-Yurtaev,L/Dnepropetrovsk 1980/EXT 2002/1-0 (42)) 17.f4 Rg6 ( 17...Rg8 18.Be2 Qb6 19.Nc2 Bg7 20.Qd2 Bf6 21.a3 Kf8 22.Kf1 Kg7 23.Kg2 Rgc8 24.Rhg1 a5 25.Kh1 Rg8 26.Bh5 Qc5 27.Rad1 Kf8 28.Rg2 Rb8 29.h3 Ng6 30.Qe1 Qc8 31.Qg1 Bd8 32.Be2 Bezgodov,A-Tolstikh,N/Samara 2000/CBM 78/1-0 (80)) 18.Be2 Qb6 19.Qd2 b4 20.cxb4 e3 21.Qc2 Qxb4+ 22.Kf1 Bg7 23.Nc4 Rc8 24.Rd1 Kf8 25.Qd3 Rc5 26.Nxe3 Bxb2 27.Bf3 Rc3 28.Qe2 Qa3 29.Kf2 Bc1 30.Rxc1 Rxc1 Bezgodov,A-Smirnov,P/Samara 2000/CBM 78/1/2-1/2 (88)]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 16...Qb6

Attacking her knight. [ Taking the knight would be a bad mistake as the following variation shows: 16...axb5?? 17.Bxb5+ Nc6 18.Bxc6+ Ke7 19.Bxa8 ]


She saves her knight. [ Fritz 7: 17.Qd2 e4 18.Qxg5 exd3 19.Nxd6+ Qxd6 20.cxd3 h6 21.Qh4 Bg7 And Fritz evaluates Black as having sufficient compensation for the two pawns.]


Regaining material equality.


Attacking his queen threatening to win it.


He avoids the loss of a tempo by checking her King. [ Fritz 7: 18...Qb4+ 19.c3 Qxc3+ 20.Kf1 Nxd5 21.Be2 Rd8 22.Qa4+ Ke7 23.Rd1 Nc7 24.Rd3 Qc1+ 25.Kg2 Qf4 26.Qc2 Ne6±]

The game continued:



He protects his d-pawn from being captured at the cost of a tempo. [ Fritz 7 preferred to play ...e4 ie. 19...e4 20.Be2 Bg7 21.Rb1 Rg6 22.Nb6 Rb8 23.Bxa6 Qa5 24.Bb5+ Kd8 25.Nc4 Qxa2=]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 20.Rb1

She gains control of the open b-file and frees up her queen from having to protect this rook any more. [ Fritz 7: 20.Ne3 e4 21.Bxa6 Bg7 22.Rb1 Kf8 23.Rb3 Qc5 24.h4 Rg6 25.h5 Rg5˛]


He attacks her bishop forcing it to move to e2. [ Fritz 7: 20...Nxd5 21.Be2 Qd4 22.Qxd4 exd4 23.Nd2 Nc3 24.Re1 Nxe2 25.Nf3 Rh5 26.Nxd4 f4=]

21.Be2 f4!?

He offers a pawn sacrifice. [ Fritz 7: 21...f4 22.Nb6 Bg7 23.h4 Re5 24.Rb3 Qa5 25.Nc4 Qxd5 26.Nxe5 Qxd1+ 27.Bxd1 Bxe5 28.gxf4 Bxf4]

The game continued:


Attacking his rook forcing it to move (winning a tempo) [ Analysis:(a)Fritz 7: 22.Rb3 Qf6 23.Nb6 Bg7 24.Bxa6 Kf8 25.Nd7+ Rxd7 26.Rb8+ Nc8 27.Rxc8+ Rd8 28.gxf4 Rg6 29.Rxd8+ Qxd8=; (b) If she had taken the pawn it would have given Leko an advantage: 22.gxf4?! Qh3+ 23.Ke1 Rxd5 24.Nd2 Bg7 25.c4 Rxd2 26.Qa4+ ( 26.Qxd2?? Bc3 ) 26...Kf8 27.Kxd2 Qc3+ 28.Kd1 d5 29.c5 Qxc5 30.Qxa6 Rc8]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 22...Qf6

Threatening ...f3.

23.gxf4 She decides to simply the position. Fritz evaluated this move as favoring Leko. [ Fritz 7: 23.Nb6 Bg7 24.Bxa6 Kf8 25.Nd7+ Rxd7 26.Rb8+ Nc8 27.Rxc8+ Rd8 28.gxf4 Rg6 29.Rxd8+ Qxd8=]

Leko now played:


[ Fritz preferred to play ...Rxd5 ie. 23...Rxd5 24.Qe1 Bg7 25.Rg1 Rc5 26.Rbg3 Bh6 27.Qb4 Kf8]

Polgar now moved her knight:


The knight is headed for g2.


Developing the knight on the diagonal was also the plan of Fritz 7. [ Fritz 7: 24...Bg7 25.Bxa6 Kf8 26.Bb7 Rb8 27.Rg1 Rg6 28.Rxg6 hxg6 29.Qg4 Qxh2 30.Qxe4 Re8]


She goes up a pawn in material. [ Fritz 7 preferred to chase the Black rook: 25.h4 Rg6 26.h5 Rg5 27.Bxa6 Kf8=]


He creates a double attack against her knight and threats ....Bd4. [ Fritz 7: 25...Kf8 26.Rg1 Rxg1+ 27.Kxg1 Ra8 28.Bc4 Nf5 29.Nxf5 Qxf5=]


Winning a tempo by attacking his queen.



Attacking the rook winning a tempo.


Feb-13-05  Albertan: 28.Rhh3

She decides to activate her rook.
[ Fritz 7 preferred to advance the White passed pawn: 28.a4 Kf8 29.h5 Rf6 30.Rhh3 Nd4 31.Rbg3 Qxd5 32.c3 Qa5 33.cxd4 Qxa6+ 34.Kg1 Bh6=]


He places his king in a more secure position. [ Fritz 7: 28...Bh6 29.Bb7 Ke7 30.h5 Rg7 31.Nh4 Rdg8 32.Nxf5+ Qxf5]


Gaining more control over the b-file and guarding both her c- and a-pawns. [ Fritz 7: 29.c3 Bh6 30.Qe2 Ne7=
( ‹30...Qxd5 31.Bb7 Qe6 32.Qxe4±
( ‹32.Bxe4 Re8=) ; ]


[Analysis: 29...Bh6 30.c4 Nd4 31.Rb8 Rxb8 32.Qxb8+ Kg7=]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 30.h5

Attacking his rook.


[ Another idea was 30...Rg5 ]


[ After 31.c4= and White can hope to live 31...Nd4 32.Rbe3 Re8 33.Bb5 Nxb5 34.Qxb5 Bg5 35.Re2 Bf4 36.Nxf4 Qxf4 37.Ree3=]

The game continued:


Now Leko has a big advantage as he attacks her rook. [ 31...Qxd5?! 32.c4 Qa8 33.Nf4]

Feb-13-05  Albertan: 32.Rbe3

Pinning his e-pawn and possibly intending 33.c3.


Attacking her rook. [ Another idea was 32...Nxe2 33.Rxe2 Qg5 34.Rg3 Qxh5 35.Rxg8+ Kxg8 36.Re1 ]


She offers to exchange rooks.
[ 33.Reg3!?]


Now he threatens ....Bxe3.

[Analysis: 33...Qxd5?! 34.c4 Qc5 35.Qxc5 dxc5 36.Rxe4=]

The game continued:

34.Reg3 f5

[ Analysis: 34...Nf5 35.Qc6 Nxg3+ 36.Rxg3 Bd2 37.Rxg8+ Kxg8 ]


the final mistake, not that it matters anymore [ Better was 35.Bc4 f4 36.Rg4 Nxc2 37.Kg1 f3 38.Bb5 Qa1+ 39.Kh2 ]



[ 36.Rxg5 a fruitless try to alter the course of the game 36...Rxg5 37.Kxe2 f4 ( ‹37...Qxd5 38.Qb3 f4 39.Qxd5 Rxd5 40.h6 ) ] The game continued:


Attacking her rook.


[ 37.Ng2 doesn't change anything anymore 37...fxg3 38.Rxg3 Bh6 ]


38.Kf1 Qxd5

[ If 38...Bxh4 39.Rb1 Qf6 40.Qe3 ]

39.Nxf3 Qc4+

[ 39...exf3?! is the weaker alternative 40.Rhxf3+ Kg7 41.Qb7+ Qxb7 42.Rxb7+ Kh6 43.Rff7 ]

The game continued:

40.Rd3 exd3

[ 40...exf3?! is clearly inferior 41.Qxd6+ Kg7 42.Rhxf3]

41.Qxd6+ Be7


[ Analysis: The move 42.Qxd3 there is nothing better in the position 42...Qxa2 43.Qf5+ Qf7 44.Nd4 Qxf5 45.Nxf5 ]

The next moves in the game were:



[ 43.Nd2 a last effort to resist the inevitable 43...Qxa2 44.Rg3 Qa1+ 45.Kg2 dxc2 46.Nb3 ]

The game concluded with these moves:

43...dxc2+ 44.Kg2 Qc3 [ 44...Qc3 45.Ng5 Bxg5 46.Rxc3 Bxh6+ 47.Kf3 c1Q ( 47...Rf7+ 48.Kg3 c1Q 49.Rxc1 Bxc1 ) 48.Rxc1 Bxc1 49.a4 Re5 ] 0-1

Jul-30-05  Queens Gambit: I really like this game!!!!
Aug-04-05  Queens Gambit: I would like to hear opinions of this wonderfull and uncommon game.
Aug-05-05  SEMENELIN: Judit Polgar was not sure how to break the defense of Leko. She justs wastes pieces and breaking her own defense. observe her threats it is really meaningless and has no possible good outcome.
Sep-28-05  Caissanist: Albertan: thank you very much for your thorough and articulate annotations. I have always wondered why more games are not annotated in this move-by-move manner, you learn more and enjoy the game more when everything is explained.
Nov-24-12  Atking: Yes <Albertan> you did here a great work! Thanks. <SEMENELIN> I wonder if 21.f4 was not a key move of Judith great concept. 21...cxB simply 22.cxd R moves and 23.Qa4+ Just an idea to keep Judith story beautiful.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "When Judit lost to Leko, the silence in the hall was deafening, and people who tried to congratulate Peter on his victory got some angry words from Polgar fans."

- IM Istvan Almasi

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 16 Nxb5!? is an aggressive innovation that has not been repeated; later in the tournament Acs played the more restrained (and popular) 16 c3 against Leko and went on to win a nice game. Almasi thought that 19..Rd8!? was too passive recommending 19..e4 20 f4..Rg6 21 Be2..Rc8 instead. White went wrong with 21 Be2?..f4; instead 21 f4 was necessary when after 21..Rg6 (21..exd? 22 cxd..fxg? 23 Qa4+ wins) 22 Rb3..Qf6 23 Be2..Bg7 24 Kg2 and White has some advantage. Leko was critical of 30 h5?!(weakening g5) and 31 Be2?! but did not offer alternatives. After 34..f5! Black was winning. Also strong would have been 38..Bxh4 39 Rxh4..e3.

I often find games with the Sveshnikov difficult to understand. Leko and Almasi both analysed this game and had very views on where White went wrong.

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