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Peter Leko vs Teimour Radjabov
Morelia-Linares (2008), Morelia MEX, rd 1, Feb-15
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Chelyabinsk Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Given 15 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-16-08  acirce: Yes, it's hard to see where exactly Radja started to go wrong. That's often a sign of a good game. He is at least in trouble after 28.Be6! I don't even know if he could have tried 28..d5 because after 29.Bxd5 Nxd5 30.Nxd5 Bxd5 31.Rxd5 Rxd5 32.Rxd5 Qxc3 33.Qf8+ Kh7 34.Qf5+ Rg6 the pinned rook is a big problem. But it would probably have been possible a couple of moves earlier, for example 25..d5 26.Nxd5 Nxd5 27.Bxd5 Bxd5 28.Rxd5 Rxb3 29.Qxa5 Qxa5 30.Rxa5 Rxc3 31.Rxe5 which is very drawish despite Black being pawn down, but with two pairs of rooks I guess White would play on.

The novelty I think was 23.Re1.

If Black had tried 32..Ng6 this could have happened: 33.Bf7 Qxf2 34.Bxg6 Qxe3 35.Rxb7 Qf4+ 36.Kg1 (36.Kh1 Qf1+ 37.Kh1 Qf4+ etc) and now either immediately 36..Rc8, threatening ..Rc1+:

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37.Qc5! is the only winning move, but it is quite enough.

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..or first 36..Qe3+ 37.Kh1 (37.Kh2 Qf4+) Rc8:

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Now c5 is also controlled by the queen, so 38.Qc5 is impossible. Instead, though, the queen has lost its control of f8, so instead 38.Rc7! - once again the only winning move.

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An elegant problem-like concept.

(If Black instead plays ..Rd8 in either line White has more options.)

Feb-16-08  percyblakeney: Mark Crowther says that the novelty was Radjabov's 25. ... h6 but that was maybe a surprise to both players and better novelties have probably been played in more promising positions anyway.
Feb-16-08  acirce: Ah, there's a correspondence game as usual! (<25...Rc6 (...) Buczinski,H (2311)-Surin,M/ICCF Email 2000>) Have to learn to take those into consideration sooner or later. Even Topalov's 12.Nxf7 had already been played in correspondence.
Feb-16-08  hovik2003: I usually don't follow Leko's games often, but I have never seen Leko playing so aggressively minded and by moves full of energy.
Feb-16-08  acirce: <Leko followed Khalifman's recommendation from 'opening for white according to anand 10'
The line in book says
23. .. Qc7 24. Bf1! freeing the c4-square for the knight. Posted by: Mefisto at February 16, 2008 09:20>
Feb-16-08  ahmadov: <I guess Radjabov played for a win and didn't accept an ending with three pawns against two pawns on the same flank, with both rooks for each side. So he took his chances, but Leko was better and won a very well played game.>

Feb-16-08  ahmadov: This game shows that Leko is prepared well for this tournament and that we will see more exciting games played by him in the next rounds...
Feb-16-08  acirce: Btw, the book Mefisto mentions is brand new. It's supposed to be the last one in Khalifman's series (which is excellent as far as I am able to tell - but I "only" have six of the volumes!)

Feb-16-08  Ezzy:

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Instead of 23Qb8 (which wastes a tempo after 24 Qa1 Qc7 because if 25 Qxa5 Ra8 traps the queen. So 23Qb8 means the queen moves twice after 24 Qa1. Why not 23Qc7 immediately.

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Instead of 30Qe1+ perhaps just accept you are positionally worse and try to simplify to an endgame eg 30Qc7 31 Nc4 Rxd6 32 Qxd6 Qxd6 33 Nxd6

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It seems that Radjabov tries to win positions where he stands worse. There must be a critical time in a chessgame where you 'ease off' to get something out of the game.

Anyway, well played Leko. A nice uncontested victory. 31...Re8 was just aweful from Radjabov.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Ybrevo: Did Radjabov run out of time? Or does White have a winning attack I cant see?> The point is that 37...Rxc6 allows the quick mate 38.Qf8+ Kh7 39.Qxg7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <talisman: <Ybrevo> well he's a piece down with a back rank problem. i was going to post "where did radj go wrong?" 1st sight goes to 28...Qxc3 but what else does he have?> 28.Be6! threatens Nc4. So the only other move would be 28...d5. But after 29.Bxd5 Rxd5 (avoiding the pinns) 30.Nxd5 Nxd5 31.Rxd5 Rxd5 32.Rxd5 Qxc3 33.Qf8+ Kh7 34.Qf5+ Kg6, White has an overwhekming advantage.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <ounos: Maybe missed when played 28. ... Qxc3 that after 33. Bf7, the Bb7 is undefendable (Rb8 -> Rxb7)?> Nice point. 33...Rb8 34.Rxb7! Rxb7 35.Qf8+ Kh7 36.Qg8 mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Instead of 30Qe1+ perhaps just accept you are positionally worse and try to simplify to an endgame eg 30Qc7 31 Nc4 Rxd6 32 Qxd6 Qxd6 33 Nxd6> Simpler 31.Rxd8 Qxd8 32.Nc4 Nc6 33.Nd6. Black's position collapses.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: Very well conceived planning and execution by Leko in the middlegame--I like his sequence of moves: 24.Qa1 25. Red1 26. h3 27. Qa3
Feb-16-08  SniperOnG7: Seriously, playing the Svesh is no longer that great anymore eh...White gets all the fun in the 9.Nd5 variation. Nicely executed game by Leko with a clear concept against the classic d6 weakness.
Feb-17-08  The Chess Express: <hovik2003: I usually don't follow Leko's games often, but I have never seen Leko playing so aggressively minded and by moves full of energy>

Why thank you. Radjabov might have tried 12. Rb8 when 13. Be2 Bg5 14. 0-0 a5 15. Qd3 Ne7 16. Nce3 Bxe3 17. Nxe3 would have kept me to a minimal advantage.

Note that 12. Rb8 13. a4 is not as good now. 13. bxa4 14. Ncb4 Nxa4 etc.

Feb-18-08  ahmadov: <The Chess Express><Why thank you. Radjabov might have tried 12. Rb8 when 13. Be2 Bg5 14. 0-0 a5 15. Qd3 Ne7 16. Nce3 Bxe3 17. Nxe3 would have kept <<me>> to a minimal advantage.> Are we now having another GM on this web site? Is this GM Leko? That sounds great!
Feb-18-08  The Chess Express: <ahmadov: Is this GM Leko?>

Only in spirit ;)

Feb-19-08  positionalgenius: Great win by Leko! Its time for him to win another top tournament.
Feb-19-08  ahmadov: <The Chess Express: <ahmadov: Is this GM Leko?> Only in spirit ;)> That is enough for being Leko, no? :-)
Feb-23-08  chessya11: Leko really has Radjabov's number: this is win #6, with no losses and 7 draws.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Open Defence: I wonder if the Sveshnikov was a wise choice against Leko... if I am not mistaken he had contributed to a few innovations in it for Black earlier so he must know it well
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Well, both are known as Svesh specialists, and most of their previous encounters - with Leko as White - were played in this opening ( However, Radja's overall record in these encounters is really not so great...
Mar-04-08  ajile: Radjabov should throw the Schliemann Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5)at Leko. Make him play a more tactical vs strategic game to get an advantage with White.
Apr-07-08  The Chess Express: Hmmm ... a bit too risky me thinks.
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