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Peter Leko vs Mikhail Gurevich
Candidates Match: Leko - Gurevich (2007), Elista RUS, rd 1, May-29
French Defense: Steinitz. Boleslavsky Variation (C11)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-29-07  gorash: 46.Nxe6+ wins in a more elegant and faster way, but of course it's quite hard to notice OTB. Nevertheless, Leko chose a safe path to maintain the pressure (as usual) and kills Gurevich in the end by this solid knight manoeuvre. nice game by Leko
May-29-07  Scarecrow: <gorash> Nice observation. Leko's switch to 4. e5 (from 4. Bg5 of game one) paid off. He managed to get to and endgame that favored him because Black's piece activity was insufficient to stop White's pawns. A great example of winning a game with pawns on the same side.
May-29-07  sheaf: leko avoids lines leading to long variations instead goes for the most strategic kill, he is fun to watch when on fire.
May-29-07  Karpova: Very instructive endgame technique by Leko.
Black's bishop is completely useless while white has a strong passer. After 51.Nf6 black will have to give away his only defender and let the white king invade.
May-29-07  Davolni: Nice game by Leko....

Congrats to Leko and all his fans and of course his family ( wife, father-in-law/coach etc)

Gurevich should start his packing to turkey....

May-29-07  dabearsrock1010: I love games like this because you can see before the time control white wasting moves just to get to the control and black is simply helpless and cannot improve his position. It reminds me of Fischer vs. Spassky in their championship match, I think game 6, when Fischer moves his rook up the file one square at a time
May-29-07  gorash: yes, black was helpless and couldn't improve his position while white just had to make a choice which pawn to push. I guess pushing the f- or h-pawn would also win (instead of the g-).
May-29-07  sheaf: <gorash>that very much depends on the style, if it was topalov you can expect an f pawn push which (which may still be winning) some kind of a quick action, anand or kasparov would go for 46.Nxe6 kind of stuff which is not really fireworks but still more forcing, leko would go for minimum fuss and maximum impactful play. amazing stuff, around move 30 the position looked so equal and very lekovian, he produced a gem of an endgame that too against a french expert and an endgame expert who has worked with anand kasparov kramnik.
May-29-07  Ezzy: Leko (2738) - MMikhail Gurevich (2639) [C11]
FIDE candidates Matches Elista, Kalmykia Russia, 29.05.2007 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Ne2 Qb6 11.Bxc5 Nxc5 12.Ned4 Ne4 13.Qe3 b4 14.Bd3 Bb7 15.0–0 0–0 16.Rae1< Novelty I think. There is a game with 16 a3 >16...Nxd4 17.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 18.Nxd4 g6 19.Ra1<That would of been way off beam for one of my candidate moves :-) But it does threaten to open up 'a' file and pressure the a6 pawn or just try to control the only possible open file.> 19...a5 20.a3 Nc5 21.axb4 axb4 22.Kf2 Rfc8 23.g4 b3 24.Ke3 bxc2< [24...Ra2 25.Nxb3 Rxb2 26.Nxc5 Rxc5 seems more active]> 25.Rxa8 Rxa8 26.Bxc2 <Leko has the advantage. More space, better placed knight, more active king, better bishop and more mobile passed pawn.> 26...Kf8?!<Black should probably be activating and coordinating his pieces instead of allowing white to make threats - eg 27 Rc1 threatening 28 Bxg6> 27.Rc1 Rc8 28.Ra1 Ra8 29.Rxa8+ Bxa8 30.b4 Na6 31.b5 Nc5 32.Nb3 Nd7 33.Kd4 Ke7 34.Nc5 Nb6 35.h4 Kd8 36.Bd3 Ke7 37.Be2 Kd8 38.Bf1 Ke7 39.Bd3 Kd8 40.Bc2 Ke7 41.Bd1 Kd8 42.Be2 Ke7 43.g5 Kd8 44.h5 Ke7 45.h6 Kd8 46.Bd3 <[46.Nxe6+ fxe6 47.Bh5 gxh5 48.g6 hxg6 49.h7 is a nice finish.]> 46...Ke7 47.Bc2 Kf8 48.Nd3 Nd7 49.Nf2 Ke7 50.Ng4 <and Gurevich resigns before he gets squeezed off the board. Whites king will invade and the b pawn will get pushed. Black is helpless>. 50...Kd8 51.Nf6 Nxf6 52.gxf6 Kd7 53.Kc5 Bb7 54.Kb6 Bc8 55.Ka7 1–0

Gurevich had every opportunity to play more actively but decided on the passive route, unless he didn’t see the more active continuations.

Gurevich has been losing to 2380 and 2400 players recently, and so I wouldn’t expect him to cause Leko too much trouble.

May-31-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Maxim Dlugy: A very nice win by Leko. Perhaps Gurevich should have tried to be more active with 22...f6. White doesn't seem to have much advantage then.

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