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Ernesto Inarkiev vs Peter Leko
FIDE Jermuk Grand Prix (2009), Jermuk ARM, rd 1, Aug-09
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-10-09  Bobsterman3000: A nice win, but it would not surprise me if this ends up being Leko's only decisive game for the whole Grand Prix...
Aug-10-09  kurtrichards: 20. Ba2 and the bishop will remain for the rest of the game in that a2 square.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <44.Kxf6 Re6#> is a rare mating pattern in a rook endgame. Inarkiev probably realised it too late.
Aug-10-09  Hesam7: Interestingly enough Inarkiev had played the same line with Black: Grischuk vs E Inarkiev, 2008. But Leko deviated from that game by playing 14...Be7.
Aug-10-09  Knight13: <but it would not surprise me if this ends up being Leko's only decisive game for the whole Grand Prix...> As long as there are 2600s roaming around this shouldn't be his only decisive game. But we'll see.
Aug-10-09  molinov: I think criticism towards Leko should not be placed on this page. Here he plays a great game (23.d5!?) and his draw porcentage still comes up. 31.Bb1 may have put up more resistance.
Aug-11-09  dotsamoht: I like Leko.
Aug-11-09  randzo: he should took the pawn with qeen not pawn and he will be better.So Leko s sacriface wasnt sound.
Aug-13-09  raskerino: My quick computer analysis gives white a pretty big edge (.6-.8) on move 18-19 which diminishes slightly with Ba2 rather than Bb3 (which seems to make sense given it's problems in the game continuation), and then abruptly drops to an edge for black after 21.f4?!. Rather 21.Rg3 seems to lead to what the computer calls equality, and I'd call an interesting position after 21... Kh7 22.Qf3 Bg7. One of the computer's first thoughts here was Bb3 which seems to underline the inaccuracy of sticking it on a2.

23... d5 is an interesting choice, but either Ne6 (of h5) look like good alternatives, white's attack is somewhat illusory, 23... Ne6 24.f5 Nc5 25.Qd5 (the e4 pawn is attacked) g5 when it is hard for white to continue on the kingside (the f8 bishop is very good) and an eventual ...Na4 will be annoying to meet. Perhaps 26.b3 should be considered? But it's ugly.

23... d5?! seems to give up black's advantage, and I agree with the above poster that 24.Qxd5 was the correct way to take, but I think calling the sacrifice unsound needs to be proven, I see a small edge at best, let's look at the line: 24... Qxd5 25.exd5 Nb7 (I'm unsure whether to play this or 25... Rxe3 here) and I feel black's fine due to the good knight, and the crummy white bishop, a possible line could be 26.a4 Rxe3 27.Nxe3 Nc5 when the computer thinks it's equal, looking at the position and playing it out makes that declaration appear sensible, 28.Ng4 Kg7 29.g3 Rd8 30.axb5 axb5 when black will regain the pawn with an edge (though with opposite bishops it should be tough to convert unless clear targets emerge), ...Na4-b6 regains the pawn if Rd1, while Ne3 is met by ...Ne4 and ...Bc5 most likely. So yes, 24.Qxd5 is a legitimate way to take the pawn, as soon as I play the line out, white's not achieving more than equality. How can that be called unsound?

Alright, Inarkiev takes with the pawn, and the game continues logically, though the whole Rf1-d1 thing seems iffy. By the time we reach move 30 black seems to definitely be better though, so maybe f5 instead of Rf1, and perhaps a4 at some point. After 33.Rf1 (Rf1-d1-f1 never sounds good) white is totally screwed. Leko concludes the game elegantly.

It seems a great game for building something out of a Ruy position in which it looks like black should be getting squeezed. After a few iffy moves from white (Ba2 being the clearest one), black's c5-c4 plan leaves white with a crummy bishop and from there proceeds to sacrifice a pawn for a slow knight maneuver that offers at least equality, and as shown, was difficult for white to meet. The sacrifice should be sound, though as I said above, I believe 23... Ne6 was stronger.

Aug-13-09  tibone: raskerino:<23... d5?! seems to give up black's advantage, and I agree with the above poster that 24.Qxd5 was the correct way to take, but I think calling the sacrifice unsound needs to be proven, I see a small edge at best, let's look at the line: 24... Qxd5 25.exd5 Nb7 (I'm unsure whether to play this or 25... Rxe3 here) and I feel black's fine due to the good knight, and the crummy white bishop, a possible line could be 26.a4 Rxe3>

I donīt think Leko would have taken on e3. 26...Nc5 is better and then if 27.axb5 axb5 28.Rxe8 Rxe8 29. Na3 Ra8!

Aug-13-09  tibone: okay iīm wrong about this. on the official page Tigran L. Petrosian gives this line: 24.Qxd5 Qxd5 25.exd5 Rxe3 26.Nxe3 and white has to be careful to prevent ra8-e8-e2. But why do you think 23...Ne6 would was stronger? Canīt white just get a promising position with moves like Nb4-d5, Qf3, Rad1, Bb1 and maybe f5?
Aug-13-09  raskerino: Oops, didn't really give much evidence for 23... Ne6, I'll give it a try now. The f pawn is attacked, so 24.f5 or 24.Qf3 seem most logical.

24.Qf3 Nc5 25.Nb4 Bg7 26.Nd5 and while my comp says equal and I do like black's knight, white looks more comfortable to me. And while 24... Bg7 25.Rd1 Qb7 has a clever trap (26.Rxd6 Nxf4) White still looks very comfortable, so here's another idea: 24... g5!? 25.fxg5 hxg5 26.Rd1 Qe7 27.Nb4 Be5 28.Nd5 Qf5 and black should hold without problems (and is better if major pieces or his bishop for the d5 knight are traded, due to where his knight will hop to in the endgame), but again I'm finding no advantage. So I think you're right, 23... Ne6 is no stronger than the game continuation.

So, great game leko. Wish I could find sacs like that.

Aug-13-09  tibone: after 23...Ne6 24.Qf3 Nc5 25.Nb4 my chess programm says 25..f5 is the strongest. what do you think about that?
Aug-13-09  raskerino: Hmmm, it doesn't look to me like it's better than the above, but analysis does wonders where my intuition fails.

26.exf5 when there's Q takes and RxR. I'm not sure which you think is better, I'll go a little into the immediate rook exchange.

26... Rxe3 27.Qxe3 Re8 28.Qg3 Qxf5 29.Bb1 Ne4 30.Qf3 d5 31.Nxa6 Bd6 32.Nb4 g5 and black seems really well off. The rook on a1 is so bad.

I sadly don't have time right now for more thoughts than this, but now that I've declared that the sacrifice was as good as anything else, I'll make an equally overly declarative, slightly supported statement the other way: 23... Ne6 was clearly stronger!

Aug-16-09  sandmanbrig: wow, inarkiev played horribly
Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: I have analyzed this game in great depth and posted the analysis on the bottom of the first page of my blog. I hope you can come by and play through this game and my analysis by going to:

I used the program Deep Rybka 3 on my quad core computer to analyze the game.

Aug-22-09  jmboutiere: 18.Qh5 +0.41 Rybka 3; 18.Rd3 +0.37
19.ed +0.41; 19.Bd5 +0.22
21.Rg3 +0.26; 21.f4 +0.05
22.f5 +0.04; 22.Kh1 - 0.07
23....d5 +0.28
26.Ree1 +1.14; 26.Re5 -0.13
28.Kd4 -0.21; 28.f5 -0.06
30....Qe7 -0.50 31g3 -1.01; 31.Kg1 -0.42
33.Qf2 - 1.10;Rf1 -1.92
42.b2 - 2.93; 42.Ke4 - 5.41
43.Ke3 -5.29; 43.Ke5 -8.48
Aug-22-09  jmboutiere: I made a mistake 26.Ree1 has the value -0.16 Rybka 3, not +1.14
Feb-06-10  alexrawlings: This game was brought to my attention in Leonard Barden's chess column where he asks the reader to find the winning move for black at move 42.

This would make a nice tuesday puzzle I think. Black could also have won by 42.. Rxa2 43 Kxd5 c3!

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