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Peter Leko vs Alexander G Beliavsky
Bled Olympiad (2002), Bled SLO, rd 7, Nov-01
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  1-0



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Given 12 times; par: 52 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-05-03  Open Defence: la variation de Breyer, Je pense qu'il mène aux circonstances favorables
Feb-27-08  Eyal: <Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Peter Leko may not be the most popular player among amateurs, but to neglect his chess would be a pity both aesthetically and instructionally. He is one of the world’s strongest players, after all, and came within a single draw of the world title back in 2004. His wins have a strategic clarity reminiscent of players like Capablanca and Fischer, and that makes them very useful to study. We’ll have a look at just such a model game in this week’s show, a win over Alexander Beliavsky from the 2002 Olympiad in Bled.

Beliavsky, no slouch himself, essayed the Breyer Variation of the Ruy Lopez, and despite many years of experience on the Black side of the Ruy, he found himself on the receiving end of a chess clinic. First, Leko put into action a then little-known prophylactic plan which neutralized Black’s hopes of queenside and central counterplay. With that taken care of, he started augmenting the pressure on the kingside, forcing a series of small concessions along the way. The next step was to stretch Black’s defenses too thin, and that required finding the game’s best move. Having found the move, and the various plans it made possible, it was time to administer the denouement, and Leko finished the game in style.

The win was beautiful and strategically complete, and very much worthy of our attention. I hope therefore that you’ll join me tonight, Wednesday night, at 9 p.m. ET (3 a.m. CET) as we examine this masterpiece; you’ll be glad you did!> (

Feb-27-08  Riverbeast: I guess for Leko, this is considered a 'beautiful win'.

Compared to other games I've seen, it still looks somewhat pedestrian

And why did black take 34...gxh5 ? It'a not too hard to see black gets torn up after this move. What happens if black just plays 34...Rf7 ?

Feb-27-08  Eyal: <What happens if black just plays 34...Rf7?>

34...Rf7 35.Rg3 Bb5 36.Ne3 and the threats of Nf5 and Rxg6 are decisive, e.g. 36...Bxf1 37.Rxg6+ Nxg6 38.Qxg6+ Kf8 39.Nxf6 Rxf6 40.Qxf6+ Ke8 41.Kxf1; or 36...Bd7 37.Nf5 Nxe4 (37...Bxf5 38.exf5 g5 39.Nxf6+) 38.Rxg6+ Nxg6 39.Qxg6+ Kf8 40.Nh6 Be8 41.Qg8+ Ke7 42.Ng7 Rxg7 43.Nf5+ followed by Nxg7.

Feb-27-08  Alphastar: <Riverbeast: I guess for Leko, this is considered a 'beautiful win'.> If you find a positional gem like this one 'boring' or something of the like, you are missing a whole part that makes chess beautiful. It's not only huge attacks with numerous sacrifices that make the game nice. I prefer grinding out a small positional advantage to going for an attack no matter the cost.
Feb-28-08  heuristic: according to opening explorer, 15.a4 is more common. thus, 15.b3 must be the "little-known prophylactic" plan.

although its the top of the pawn chain, 21...cxd5 seems better. 22.cxd5 f5 23.Bxc5 dxc5 24.exf5 Nxd5 25.Rc1 e4 and BLK is in control.

I don't like 27...Bc8. WHT is striving for h5, so 27...Qe7 or Qd7 with the aim of Qf6 seems good. even the fireworks with 27...f5 looks better than the passive Bc8. 27...f7 28.exf5 (28.h5 fxe4) Bxd5 29.Rxb8 Rxb8

it may seem "pedestrian", but WHT makes no mistakes (strategically or tactically). Leko's solid play is acknowledged by Beliavsky with the resignation at 39.Qf4. BLK has been squeezed steadily for 12 consecutive moves!

Feb-28-08  Belezky: By adding some information I would like to create a context in which this game has been played and echo's which this game produced.

At 34th Olympiad /year 2000/ Beliavsky played Zaitsev System against Leko and drew. Leko vs Beliavsky, 2000

This game was played two years later at Bled Olympiad. :)

With Black Beliavsky has tried almost all possible 9th moves. And he is one of the most experienced Ruy Lopez players.

About 15.b3... Well, move was known before (1st official game - Unzicker-Tal 1960) and White scored well (Anand, Polgar played it among others). Leko's impressive win surely was a key to risen popularity of this line after 2002. By the way, two times before this game Beliavsky faced that move and reacted with ultra-sharp 15... d5. Not long ago Mamedyarov was playing this line with big success. Probably, ukrainian Grandmaster didn't want to check Leko's home preparation in d5-line. I highly suggest to look at Leko-Short /Wijk an See 2005/ game. You can see that previous experience has helped Hungarian Grandmaster to outplay English GM. Also, take a close look at comments to that game which include a reprint of highly instructive Leko's comments from New In Chess magazine. Leko vs Short, 2005

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 17 Rb1 had been played rarely before this game but is now considered to be a key move in the line supporting the c4 push (due to the unprotected bishop on b7) as well as taking the rook off the long diagonal lessening the risk of a Black sacrifice on d5. In the draw Scherzer-Wells 1995 Hungarian Team Championship (game not included in this database) Black had played 20..Rec8; 20..Nc5 was new. 24..Bxh6?! was risky; 24..Nf8 would have been more solid.

Leko after 30 Nd2!:
"The most difficult move of the game. It's really incredible that White's attack will conduct itself once the knight gets to c4. The point is that transferring the knight gives White three pluses: firstly, the black queen will be on hand todefend the d6 pawn; secondly the third rank is opened for another powerful piece, the rook, to enter the fray and the bonus is that once the rook gets to the third rank, the g3 knight is ready to be sacrificed on f5 or h5 to open up the g file. These are the ideas, but it goes without saying that exact calculation is required."

30..Bd7? was too slow; 30..f6 31 Nc4 would have been better though White would have retained a solid edge. 31..Bb5 32 Nf5!..gxf 33 Nxd6 would have been winning for White. 33 Nf5?!..gxf 34 Rg3+..Kf7 35 Rg7+..Ke8 36 Qxf6..Be6! would have been very unclear. 38..e4?! shortened the game but did not change the result.

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