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Alexey Shirov vs Peter Leko
Dortmund Candidates (2002), Dortmund GER, rd 1, Jul-13
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-02-07  attica: This game is analyzed at
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Game 1 of their 4 game semi-final match in the Candidates tournament; Leko went on to also win game 3 to clinch a spot in the finals. In one of the main lines of the Sveshnikov 18..Ng6 had been the most popular move; 18..Rb8 was new and was voted the best opening innovation in Informant 85. Leko used this innovation again successfully in game 2 of his finals match with Topalov. Shirov spent a full hour on 19 f3 avoiding the super-sharp 19 g4; Topalov, characteristically, chose 19 g4 in the finals but with the same lack of success. 20 cxb..Bxb2 21 fxe..Bxa3 22 Rf3..Qxc2 23 Rh3..Rfd8 24 Qxh7+..Kf8 25 Rxa3 would have been strong for Black.

Leko on 21..Bxc3:
"A bit strange to exchange this bishop for the passive knight but Black needs to open up as many lines on the queenside as he can."

25..Qxc2 would have been good enough for a draw but Leko was hoping for Shirov to overextend himself. 24 Bb3? led to trouble for White; 24 Bb1..Ng6 25 e5..dxe 26 Bxg6..fxg 27 Qxe5..Qxe5 28 Rxe5 would have likely led to a draw. Shirov did not fall for 33 Bh5?..b3! 34 axb..Qe3 and mate cannot be prevented. There was no perpetual at the end sp Shirov resigned.

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