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Peter Leko vs Alexey Shirov
European Club Cup (2012), Eilat ISR, rd 3, Oct-13
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-13-12  JonathanJ: Nice zugzwang after 50. ... Kc3
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <And then - Leko sacrificed a rook! That is, he first put a knight en prise, and then gave up the exchange. Can you imagine such a thing? There sits the clam, unfuffled Peter, looking at the board through his spectacles, and suddenly - bang! Shirov, taken aback, stared at the board, his pen still in his hand, and looked in turn at his pieces, huddled round their centralised king, and then at his opponent.

If Leko parts with a rook, one can be sure it is deadly, right? But there is nothing else to do - Shirov took it, and the, calmly moving his queen to d7 at move 19, immediately returned the rook, but stayed on the board. Peter looked pleased, took the rook, and then after 22...f6 realised to his surprise that White had not achieved anything special, and had only helped Black solve his development problems. If anyone could claim an advantage, it was Black, certainly not White.

This sharp transformation had its effect not only on Leko and Shirov, but also on all the other players in the match [SHSM64 - Ugra].


And so it turned out that everything depended on the game Leko-Shirov. It was a choice of two results - would Leko hold or not? Opposite-coloured bishops are opposite-coloured bishops, but nobody should overlook the majesty of Zugzwang. And that is how Aleksey caught his opponent. With all the will in the world, the white bishop could not cover both flanks at once, and Black managed to breach his opponent's defences. Leko resisted until move 69, but.... 2,5:3,5.> (

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