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Peter Leko vs Vasyl Ivanchuk
"Frozen in Amber" (game of the day Jun-11-2006)
13th Amber Rapid (2004) (rapid), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 5, Mar-25
Modern Defense: Standard Defense (B06)  ·  0-1



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Given 31 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-29-04  morphynoman2: The very fiery and brilliant player, Vassily Ivanchuk plays a very exciting game, showing that Black does NOT have to be content with passive defense. A very good game that you should study ... ESPECIALLY if you play the Black side of the Pirc! From "Chess Express"
May-29-04  csmath: Well, Leko completely lost his line of thought here. He started rather tepid allowing Ivanchuk completely dominate the queen's flank and when he realized that he got into even a bigger trouble with his 20th and 21st move. Then he changed his mind again trying to shift forces into some undefined attack. Check again how many times his knight went into d2-f3 and his queen e3-g5. He finished the game by blundering exchange, in already lost position. This isn't a good game by Ivanchuk but rather confusing game by Leko. Surprise worked out very well. Try Pirc against Kasparov, see how long it would last! See how Speelman got spanked in a miniature 1989.
Jun-23-04  Everett: See Kasparov struggle against the Berlin! Surprise can work, on both sides of the board.

Ivanchuk, along with Kramnik and obviously Karpov in his day, is part of a select few with whom Kasparov requires his full attention, deservedly so.

Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1995

Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1994

Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1991

Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1997

Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 2002

Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 2002

These are Ivanchuk's six wins, no repeats in the database, against Kasparov. Taking out repeated wins (I didn't check the draws) Kasparov leads the series 11-6, obviously impressive, but few have 6 wins against Kasparov in classic time controls

Jun-23-04  rags: The last two games are not classic time controls. One is rapid and the other is sudden death
Jun-24-04  Everett: Rags, thanks.

What time control is sudden death?

Jun-30-04  mystique.mystique: Ivanchuk was believed to be the next world champion... I was a fan of Ivanchuk before (I think in 1992...)
But his prime did not make him to be the world champion...
Jun-30-04  mystique.mystique: To all the users: mahal ko kayong lahat...
Jun-30-04  Lawrence: <mystique.mystique>, Mga munti kong anak! But some of us are just a bit rusty on our Tagalog.
Aug-23-04  mystique.mystique: Great...You know tagalog...that exhilarating...

Anyway Lawrence im a English teacher too.

Aug-24-04  Lawrence: <mystique.mystique>, actually I don't, but the things you can find with Google nowadays are amazing.
Jul-31-05  notyetagm: Total domination by Ivanchuk.
Jun-11-06  CapablancaFan: Zugzswang!(Well almost) White really is frozen. Any move he makes...loses! The proof?

1. White has no way of saving the e1 rook without sacraficing his d1 rook. Kinda like pick your poison.

2.White's queen on h6 only has 2 safe squares to move to in which they both have absolutely no influence on the game (Leko would only be wasting a tempo).

3.White's e4 pawn is doomed, just a matter of when Ivanchuk will decide to pick it up.

4.Both of white's knights have no where to go (safely).

5.Leko has a bad bishop on f1 that just keeps getting worse.

6.Black has 2 MONSTER passed pawns on the a and b files. Leko simply has no satisfactory answer for this.

Ivanchuk effectively shut down Leko's game. I'm just wondering at what point did Leko realize he was hand tied, bound, and gagged.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: If you go way, way back to Keene & Botterill's books on the Pirc and Modern, circa 1970, you'll a few games with pawn structures like this one after nine moves: White seems to have a solid position, but in reality, the e4 pawn is a liability that eventually causes his entire position to become paralyzed.

6.f3, followed eventually by 0-0-0 and insane pawn storms and assaults upon opposite-side castled Kings, is usually best here, but Ivanchuk's deferred ...Nf6 and early ...b5 are interesting ideas that might have deterred Leko. I wonder if Ivanchuk intended to leave his Ng8 undeveloped for as long as possible and use the extra tempo on the Queen side attack.

Jun-11-06  FrenchFrog: <Keene & Botterill's books on the Pirc and Modern, circa 1970> amongst the greatest opening books I've ever read. I know a guy who reached IM level, using only the book about the modern as black repertoire. Here Ivanchuk shows us that chess is a matter of strategy...That's the kind of games hard to prepare wit a computer
Jun-11-06  kavalerov: Along with <csmath>, I can't say I'm a terrible fan of this game. It's rapid, which might explain why Leko plays so terribly weak. Sacrificing the b-pawn might have been okay, had Leko been able to do anything against the poor position of the Black Rook. However, it's hard to suggest protecting it with either rook as a much better option than the sacrifice. 20. Nd2? was clearly the crucial mistake, giving the Black Rook a nice central outpost with a tempo (two tempi, if you count 27. ... Rb2 28. Nf3 b4, after which Ivanchuk has two connected outside passed pawns). Finally, Leko plays 30. Ne2? and has nothing left but to resign since he will go down the exchange on top of all his positional difficulties.

<Capablanca Fan> I believe 'zugzwang' refers to positions where if the player in question could "pass" his move, he would be fine, but since he is required to move he will lose. No matter who moves in the final position, White is already lost.

Jun-11-06  kevin86: White's game seemed to be the simpler of the two;black played with more guile and deliberation. The final move was a smothering of a ROOK.

Leko seemed off of his game on that day:(

Jul-01-09  Sir Geoffrey: A very important note to remember especially for the pure Modern Defence players is that White could immediately steer the game into a 150-attack classified under the Pirc defence by playing 5.Bd3!

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