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Peter Leko vs Levon Aronian
Morelia-Linares (2006), Linares ESP, rd 14, Mar-11
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-12-06  csmath: Not trying hard?

Well, a4-antiMarshall has been quite popular to avoid forced Marshall lines. I used to consider Kasparov's taste to be a guidance here but now I am more and more convinced that a4-antiMarshall isn't way to make much for the white.

Aronian also plays sidelines with b4, Qc8, and Kh8. This last move is indeed original and very simple with a nice plan that follows. The whole black defence is consistent but it is hard to see any meaningfull plan for the white.

15. c3?! looks quite stereotypical and not effective since black is already breaking out with f5 establishing clear countergame.

Leko's defensive insticts betrayed him in 21. Bg4?! and after this move it is all Aronian.

This game seems almost effortless and yet so effective. Much, much easier than Topalov's grind in 13th round. Very impressive by Aronian, and very nice and quite simple game.

If you like effortless positional play by otherwise tactically inclined player, this is your game.

Mar-12-06  Fan of Leko: <csmath> Trying hard isn't only at the board, but also in preparation for the game. Both areas Aronian had the edge, at least in part because of Leko's loss the previous day. From watching GM games, and also from playing I know how a tough loss hurts a player's confidence and takes a while to recover from (except for the very toughest players). As for the opening, yes the Marshall is very tough to crack. For years I did well with accepting the pawn but avoiding d4(8 c3 d5 9 ed5 Nd5 10 Ne5 Ne5 11 Re5 c6 12 Re1 Bd6 13 g3 Qd7 14 d3 Qh3 15 Re4). Only really works though if black doesn't know it well, or if you can play like Moro- Morozevich vs Grischuk, 2002
Mar-12-06  percyblakeney: Not often Leko has a more or less lost position with white in just over 20 moves...
Mar-12-06  csmath: Leko didn't want to accept Marshall since it is too drawish I guess (Lekoish) but he had no any fuel left to play original anti-Marshall, exactly to the contrary with Aronian. I think Botvinnik used to say - it is better to play with any plan than without.
Mar-12-06  SimonBrazil:
Mar-13-06  notyetagm: <csmath: ... If you like effortless positional play by otherwise tactically inclined player, this is your game.>

This just proves what a complete player Aronian is. His friends call him a cheap tactician but here he positionally outplays the positional master Leko.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I think e4 players avoid the marshall gambit because it has scored so well for black; not because it is drawish
Mar-13-06  Jim Bartle: Also I think theory on the Marshall goes through to move 30 or more, so there's a tremendous amount of memorization required.
Mar-13-06  csmath: Marshall is very drawish, I would know since I am 90% e4 player. It is next to impossible to win it with whites assuming you have all the variations memorized as Jim says (in my case computer play :-)).

AntiMarshall systems, both a4 and h3 are better choice,in my view. Kasparov used to play both but he ended up with h3 which I now think is better as well.

In either case you have to be able to think outside the stereotypes. The move 15.c3 Leko played in this game is a typical example of ineffective stereotypical move. Leko has not found any plan against Aronian sidelined play so he played a typical antiMarshall move that usually works well in antiMarshall but not with black bishop on e6. If the black put his bishop on b7 on the move 8th then this c3 move would be a standard plan after rook exchanges. However in the position in this game it simply opened b-file for the black rook.

This is what I called a planless play. Leko did not have a plan, Aronian did. And more importantly Aronian obtained clear cut positional advantage in the first 20 moves, so much so that no matter what Leko could have done afterwards, it would have been hard to save the game.

Mar-13-06  csmath: In this game Aronian easily outplayed Leko and effortlessly so, clearly playing a simple positional plan that Leko had not anticipated.

Leko's play here is actually positionally clueless.

I attributed this to a heavy grind Topalov applied on Leko in the 13th round. That was a very strenuous game where Leko tried to play lengthy passive defence but was smited anyway. That game probably took out all the energy Leko had. Sometimes it is real hard to play against Topalov (Aronian would know that too.)

Mar-13-06  little fluffy: Hi veigaman.

"I think a5 was a terrible move by leko."

Terrible? But it is theory and even Kasparov plays it. = =

Kasparov vs Short, 1993
Kasparov vs Grischuk, 2002

Mar-13-06  notyetagm: <csmath> Sometimes a loss costs you more than one point.
Mar-13-06  csmath: Of course. It is not a secret that most players (the exceptions being Topalov, Chucky, and Polgar) prefer to take a quick draw after such an exhausting loss like Leko's in the 13th round.

The problem here is that Leko apparently wanted to win the tournament, otherwise I guess he would have played Marshall since he is one of the experts on that opening. Or perhaps he was afraid that Aronian had some dangerous sideline in the sleeves.

I think Aronian has become quite a dangerous and inventive player. His win in Linares is not a coincidence.

Mar-13-06  notyetagm: Yes, and all the Magnus fanatics think that he is going to beat Aronian in their upcoming match. Good luck with that.
Mar-13-06  alexandrovm: <little fluffy: Hi veigaman.

"I think a5 was a terrible move by leko."

Terrible? But it is theory and even Kasparov plays it. = => yes, the so called anti-marshall system, for white. And Kasparov has a lot of good results in the Ruy Lopez, with white...

Mar-14-06  Brown: <little fluffy> Those two games you site were both pretty comfortable for the black side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: This game is my "Game of The Month," for March, 2006 (; if you are interested.
Mar-22-06  whatthefat: <LMAJ>
The game is quite well annotated there, but I would question its selection as GOTM. According to your analysis, white makes the following errors: 13.Bg5!? (maybe ?!) 14.h3!? (probably ?!)
15.c3?! (really ?)
17.Ba4?! (really ?)
21.Bg4!? this play could also be of doubtful value (?!) 22.Ra2? (maybe ??) 32.f3!? (probably ?!)

This is surely a lot of errors for a GOTM isn't it? And why all these dual-annotations? For instance, what does "?! (really ?)" mean? This should simply be '?' then.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <whatthefat>

Your comments have been noted, however if I waited for the perfect game ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: By the way, Eric Schiller has (repeatedly) pointed out that whether one uses '!?' or '?!' or even '?' is just a judgment call anyway. What strikes one person as an inferior move may appear to only be mildly interesting to another.

I have actually developed a system whereby the machine helps arbitrate this ... for example, an inferior move should be clearly anti-positional, overly risky, etc. AND it should cause AT LEAST a .30 change in the computer's evaluations ... sometimes a whole lot more.

Apr-06-06  Jim Bartle: AJ: "I have actually developed a system whereby the machine helps arbitrate this ..."

Actually I think this is a case of a cure worse than the disease. A person who understands the game as you do (serious here, not mocking) should stick with his evaluation, taking all factors, tangible and intangible, into consideration, and make a judgment. Better than depending on a number spit out by a machine.

I think your annotations are good (though not so thrilled with the politics...). Don't see any need for major change.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <Jim Bartle>
Actually the machine has been of enormous help and plays an ever greater role in my annotations.

Just 5 short years ago, I looked upon the machine with a rather skeptical eye. Today, machines are extremely accurate ... and will almost NEVER blunder, as a human will do.

I have (already) lost count of the number of older games where there were question marks ... that were completely UNDESERVED ... yet stood, some for over 150 years. ONLY with the aid of a machine was I able to pinpoint the exact mistake.

However, having said all this, I still consider a machine just a TOOL. It will never replace me. I may give a move an exclam ... simply because it appeals to me. (Even if the machine finds it in .000003 seconds.)

Part of the emphasis of my pages is how HUMANS play chess ... and also what moves we find surprising or pleasurable.

Apr-23-06  Open Defence: Normally the goal of the Anti-Marshall is to weaken Black's Q side pawns ... the reverse happened here... interesting that White has never won with this sequence per the database Opening Explorer
Oct-27-07  notyetagm: What a stupendous game by Aronian.
Jul-24-09  notyetagm: <notyetagm: What a stupendous game by Aronian.>

I second my own thought, a *stupendous* achievement by Aronian.

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