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Loek van Wely vs Peter Leko
Corus Group A (2006), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 10, Jan-25
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation. Keres Defense (E32)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-25-06  Whitehat1963: Leko's having a helluva tournament! In fairness, this one could easily have been another draw.
Jan-25-06  Scarecrow: I don't like 28. - Rxc1+. It seems to me that Leko was going for the draw a bit 'mechanically' here. White's bishop pair seemed very strong to me and keeping the rooks on may have reduced their activity a bit (just a guess).

Isn't 30. - g6 a (slight?) mistake? Although I see that after 30. - h6, the f7 pawn may be vulnerable and require constant protection by the king, but in the game 33. Nd2 is very bad news. (Maybe black is simply losing by force after that.)

Maybe 32. - Ndb6 was an option, with 33. Bxf6 Nxd2 34. Bxd2 Nc4 35. Bc1, but it is very hard for black to protect his a-pawn with white having the bishop pair.

Jan-25-06  Fan of Leko: I am sad for the loss, but good lesson by van Wely in using the bishop pair. he used the h pawn well to tie black down. Instead of f6 maybe h6 and Kf8-e7 is better. Peter had been lucky before to beat Loek so often without a loss so the result is fair.
Jan-25-06  Scarecrow: At the same time, very decent play by Van Wely. I think it was solid throughout the game, he chose the right time for simplifications, and 33. Nd2! is a nice touch. (The last move is something even I was able to see.)
Jan-25-06  Scarecrow: Sorry, when saying "33. Nd2" I mean "32. Nd2" of course.
Jan-25-06  Ulhumbrus: Leko conceded the bishop pair for nothing and on this occasion paid for doing so.
Jan-26-06  Runemaster: According to the database, this is van Wely's first win over Leko in 22 attempts.
Jan-26-06  EricCartman: I predict Leko to be under 2700 in half a year probably. Take a look at this game, he plays very bad here, not paying too much attention to all the threats
Jan-26-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Scarecrow> <Isn't 30. - g6 a (slight?) mistake?> Yes it is. This gives White a new target, the g6 pawn.

<Maybe 32. - Ndb6 was an option, with 33. Bxf6 Nxd2 34. Bxd2 Nc4 35. Bc1> I do not think so. White plays 35. Bb4 (better than the passive 35. Bc1) with a won game.

Jan-26-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 24... e5!?, maybe the greek gift. If 25. Be5!? Ne5 26. Rb6 Nd3 27. Rb7 f5, with counter play for the pawn.
Jan-26-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 34. g5!?. Maybe better 34. Ba6 with advantage for White. In the game actually played, after 34. g5!?, Black should have played (instead of 34... fg?!) 34... Bb7 35. Bg6 fg. White stands better anyway (Bishop pair, better pawn structure) but this sets a more difficult problem to White than what Leko played.
Jan-27-06  TigerPawns: they shouldn't invite leko to any more super tournaments. i have no problem with clear simple chess (karpov, petrosian, maybe even kramnik) but this guy is just so desperate to draw that he's playing weak moves. as an aside, every weak game he plays makes the "title defense" kramnik played against him seem more pathetic.
Jan-27-06  iron maiden: Well, keep in mind that last year in Corus he scored +4 to take clear first place. That score probably reflected his Brissago form better than his subsequent results, which haven't done anything to distinguish him from a "normal" top-ten player.

Jun-22-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  geezerbloke: < EricCartman: I predict Leko to be under 2700 in half a year probably. Take a look at this game, he plays very bad here, not paying too much attention to all the threats >

Funny how things turn out at the time of writing he is 2738 and was higher 6 months after the comment. Qualified comprehensively for Mexico and must be regarded a major threat there.

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