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Peter Leko vs Veselin Topalov
Dortmund Candidates (2002), Dortmund GER, rd 3, Jul-20
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Polugaevsky Variation (B42)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: Topalov woke up from the dead! Leko only needed a draw to win the match (he was leading 2-0 with 2 games remaining), so after 19.e5 and the following exchanges he must have counted on 26...Kxb5 27.Nc7+ Kb6 28.Nxa8+ Ka7 29.Nc7 with a draw after 29...Kb6 30.Na8+ etc.

I don't understand Leko's 49.Kf1. Isn't something like 49.Bxf3 gxf3 50.Rxd5 exd5 51.b5 d4 52.Kf1 e3 53.fxe3 dxe3 a draw?

Oct-07-06  aw1988: No - Black would win.
Feb-18-20  qkxwsm: Wow, the winning idea in <TheAlchemist>'s line is actually pretty nice: instead of 53...dxe3, black plays 53...d3!, and after 54. Ke1 (forced) h5 white eventually falls into zugzwang.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The other point is that, in the continuation given by <qkxwsm>, White must, nolens volens, play fxe3, even if he does not go in for it straight away, as 53.Ke1 d3 forces 54.fxe3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In Shirov-Agrest Leon 2001 Black played 9..Bb7 and White went on to win; 9..Bf6 was new. Leko must have felt pretty comfortable in the ending with connected passed pawns but Topalov was able to cleverly hold up the pawns while creating kingside counterplay. Leko perhaps should have made more of an effort to activate his king. 42 f3?..e3! 43 Rxf4..Rd1 44 Rb4+..Ka7 would have been winning for Black. A clever variation offered in British Chess Magazine was 49 Bxf3..gxf 50 Rxd4(50 h3..Rd1+ 51 Kh2..e3 and wins) 50..exd 51 b5..Ka7 52 Kf1..d4 53 Ke1..h5 54 Kd2..h4 55 Kd1(55 gxh..f4 wins easily) 55..e3 56 Ke1..d3 57 fxe..h3 and wins.

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