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Mikhail Gurevich vs Peter Leko
World Championship Candidates (2007), Elista RUS, rd 1, May-28
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation. Keres Defense (E32)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-28-07  notyetagm: From

<Gurevich-Leko opened with a tabiya endgame from the 4.Qc2 Nimzo, where White has the bishop pair and a small edge. In this line, Black is supposed to suffer and be grateful if he gets half a point, but Leko had clearly not read the script and soon took the initiative with 17…c4 and 18…f5. A time-troubled Gurevich saw his position decline sharply between moves 30-40, notably thanks to the neat tactical blow 37…Bb3+. The passed c-pawn cost White an exchange, and Black won soon thereafter>

As FM Giddins writes above, 37 ... ♗d5-b3+! is indeed a "neat tactical blow", based upon the tactical idea that <THE KING IS TOO VALUABLE TOO COUNT HIM AS A DEFENDER>.

May-28-07  notyetagm: 37 ... ♗d5-b3+! is even nicer tactically than I initially thought.

The main point is <38 ♔c2x♗b3? c3-c2! 39 ♔b3-b2? c2-c1=♕+!!> and the White b2-king will be mated on the open a-,b-files by the Black c8-,c7-rooks after one of the White rooks captures the new Black c1-queen.

39 ... c2-c1=♕+!! is a brilliant move in this line. It's point is simply to get rid(!) of the passed Black c2-pawn that White can use to shelter his exposed king from the Black rooks. Once the Black pawn is out of the way, the exposed White king will be mated. White needs the Black c-pawn on the board to shelter his king to avoid a <CORRIDOR MATE> from the Black rooks so Black gets ride of this "shelter", with gain of time to boot.

This line is not forced but simply shows what happens if White makes obvious moves. Someone please check this because this analysis was all done in my head.

May-28-07  notyetagm: (VAR) Position after 38 ♔c2x♗b3? c3-c2! 39 ♔b3-b2? c2-c1=♕+!!

click for larger view

Possible continuation showing mating idea:

click for larger view

This variation is the best example I have ever seen showing how dangerous it is to have your king exposed on open files when the opponent has a pair of rooks. Here Black sacrifices a piece -and- his glorious advanced passed c-pawn to create a <CORRIDOR MATE> on the open a-,b-files.

May-28-07  notyetagm: gives Leko's 37th move the !!-mark, 37 ... ♗d5-b3+!!.
May-28-07  notyetagm: (VAR) I just love how 39 ... c2-c1=♕+!! gets rid of <The Sheltering Pawn>.
May-28-07  Illogic: Great line! Makes Bb3+ all the more impressive.
May-28-07  notyetagm: <Illogic: Great line! Makes Bb3+ all the more impressive.>

For another great example of the move ... c2-c1=♕+! as <CLEARANCE>, see my comments on the first page of B Predojevic vs Carlsen, 2006, in the game continuation 40 ... ♗xb2+! 41 ♔c1xb2 c2-c1=♕+!.

May-29-07  notyetagm: <Illogic: Great line! Makes Bb3+ all the more impressive.>

It really is amazing how Leko came up with the idea of creating a <CORRIDOR MATE> on the open a,b-files with his doubled b7-,b8-rooks in order to help push(!) his advanced passed pawn home.

May-29-07  Knight13: <It really is amazing how Leko came up with the idea of creating a <CORRIDOR MATE> on the open a,b-files with his doubled b7-,b8-rooks in order to help push(!) his advanced passed pawn home.> No wonder why he's rated 2763? :-)

This game is amazing.

May-29-07  Scarecrow: <Chessbase ...Leko had clearly not read the script> Or maybe it was Gurevich who hadn't. His 16. 0-0-0, a novelty, in a way exposed his King to all those attacks <notyetagm> is so enthused by (even to the extent of including this game in no less than FIVE collections :)). It would have been wiser to steer for a slow manoevering game by means of 16. Ne2. See (of course) Kramnik vs Leko, 2006
Premium Chessgames Member
  Maxim Dlugy: It is hard to imagine that white can really be better after 16. 0-0-0.
Sep-05-11  montree: 53...g6! Accurate till the end!
Well played Leko!
Dec-02-18  Walter Glattke: Maxim Dlugy, born January 1966 in Soviet Union, is Grandmaster, lives in USA, says Wikipaedia, if itself, then a qualified comment. Logical move is 37.-Bb3+, 38.Kxb3!? Rb8+ 39.Ka2!? Rb2+ 40.Ka3 Ra7# 39.Kc2 Rb2+ 40.Kd3 Rd2+ 41.Ke4 c2 42.Rac1 Nd5 43.g4 Nc3+ 44.Kf4 Nxe2+ wins. So 38.Kc1 as in the match.
Dec-02-18  malt: 37...Bb3+ 38.Kc1

(38.K:b3 c2 39.Rec1 Rb7+ 40.Bb5 R:b5+ 41.Ka4 Rb7 42.Be1 Ra8+ 43.Ba5...Nc6 )

(38.K:b3 c2 39.Ba6 Rb8+ 40.Ka4 Ra7 41.Ka5 Nc6+ )

38...Nd5 (38...Rb7 )

Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: The Nutcracker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Walter Glattke: Maxim Dlugy, ...if itself, then a qualified comment.>

Thanks for the refutation of the dubious German maxim "less is more"! According to my Ouija board, that's supposed to mean that "if the above kibitzer with the user name Maxim Dlugy is really Maxim Dlugy, then his comment is respectable".

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

Black can remove the blockade of the c-pawn with 37... Bb3+:

A) 38.Kxb3 c2

A.1) 38.Ra(e)c1 Rb7+ 39.Bb5 (39.Ka2(3,4) Ra8+ 40.Ba6 Rxa6#) 39... Rxb5+ 40.Ka4 Rb2(7) 41.d5 Ra8+ 42.Ba7 Rxa7#.

A.2) 38.Be3 Rb7+ as in A.1.

A.3) 38.Kb2 c1=Q+ 39.Ra(e)xc1 Rb7+ and mate in two.

A.4) 38.Ra8 c1=Q 39.Rxc1 Rxc1 with a won ending.

B) 38.Kb1 Nd5 with the idea Nb4, c2, Na2.

C) 38.Kc1 Nd5 as in B.

D) 38.Kd3 Nd5 as in B and also trying to exploit the airy position of the white king. For example, 39.Be3 Nb4+ 40.Ke4 Nc2 41.Rab1 Bd5+ 42.Kf4 Nxe1 wins decisive material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: i got the line 38. Kxb3 c2 39. Kb2 but missed the very gratifying 39. .. c1=Q+ with mate to follow.
Dec-02-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 26 dpa done

<1. = / + (-0.26): 35.Bg3> Rd7 36.Bc2 c3+ 37.bxc3 Rxc3 38.Rab1 Nc6 39.h5 Kg8 40.Bg6 Ra3 41.Rec1 Rd8 42.Bc7 Rda8 43.Be5 Nxe5 44.dxe5 Rd8 45.Ke2 Ra2+ 46.Rc2 b3 47.Rcb2 Kf8 48.Ke3 Ke7 49.g4 Rc8 50.Be4 Bxe4 51.Kxe4 Rxb2 52.Rxb2 Rc3 53.Rd2 Rc2

<2. = / + (-0.49): 35.Kc1> c3 36.h5 b3 37.Bg3 Rd7 38.bxc3 Rxc3+ 39.Kb2 Rd3 40.Bf4 Rxd4 41.g3 Nc6 42.Be2 Nb4 43.Red1 Rxd1 44.Rxd1 Ra7 45.Kc3 Nc6 46.Rd2 Ra2 47.Be3 Rxd2 48.Bxd2 b2 49.Kxb2 Nd4 50.Bd1 Bxf3 51.Bc3 Bxd1 52.Bxd4 Bxh5 53.Kc3 Bf3 54.Kc4 h5 55.Be5 g5 56.Kc5 h4 57.gxh4 gxh4

Dec-02-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 24 dpa done

<1. = (-0.11): 33.h5> Rb7 34.Bg1 Nf5 35.Bf2 Rd7 36.Rac1 Bb7 37.Kc3 Ne7 38.Bf1 Bc6 39.Kc2 Nf5 40.Kc3 Ne7 41.Kc2

2. = (-0.17): 33.Kc2 h5 34.Bg3 Rd7 35.Bf2 Nf5 36.Bf1 Rh8 37.Re5 g6 38.Be2 Kg7 39.Rc1 Rb7 40.Rf1 Ra7 41.Re1 Rf7 42.Bd1 Rhf8 43.Be2 Rd8 44.Rd1

and 3. = (-0.22): 33.Bf1 ...

Dec-02-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 24 dpa done

<1. = (-0.10): 26.h5> Rb7 27.Kc2 Rd7 28.Rfd1 Kf7 29.Kb1 Rb7 30.Bd3 Ne7 31.Be2 Rb6 32.Rg1 Nf5 33.Bd3 b4 34.a4 c3 35.Rge1 Nd6 36.Bg6+ Kg8 37.Bd3 Nc4 38.Bxc4 Rxc4 39.b3 Rc8 40.Kc2 Kf7 41.Bg3

2. = (-0.11): 26.Rfe1 Rb7 27.Bd3 b4 28.a4 Nd6 29.Bc2 c3 30.b3 Rf7 31.h5 Nf5 32.Re2 Rd8 33.Re5 Rdd7 34.Rd1 Rf6 35.Rde1 Kf7 36.Bxf5 Rxf5 37.Rxf5+ exf5 38.Kc2 f4 39.Re5 Kf6 40.Bh4+

Dec-02-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 26 dpa done

1. = (0.00): 20.Nf4 Rfe8 21.Be2 g5 22.Nh5 Kf7 23.h4 gxh4 24.Bxh4 c3 25.bxc3 Rxc3 26.Nf4 Rxa3 27.Bd3 Ra4 28.Kb2 Rb4+ 29.Ka3 a5 30.Bxf5 exf5 31.Bf2 b5 32.Rxh6 Ra4+ 33.Kb2 Rb4+ 34.Ka3 Ra4+

2. = (0.00): 20.Rc1 Kf7 21.Nc3 Nf6 22.Be2 Rfd8 23.Rhe1 Ba8 24.Red1 Nd5 25.g4 Nfe7 26.Bg3 Nxc3+ 27.bxc3 Rd5 28.Re1 Ra5 29.Ka2 Nd5 30.h4 Ne3 31.Rh1 Bd5 32.Bf4 Ng2 33.Be5 Ne3 34.Bf4 Ng2

Dec-02-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4 d 27 dpa done

<1. = (0.06): 16.Ne2> f5 17.exf5 Nxf5 18.dxc5 Nxc5 19.Bxc5 bxc5 20.Rc1 Rac8 21.Nf4 Nd6 22.Ng6 Rf7 23.Be2 Bd5 24.0-0 c4 25.Ne5 Rb7 26.Rc2 Rb3 27.Rfc1 a5 28.f4 g5 29.fxg5 hxg5 30.Rf1 Rcb8 31.Bxc4 Nxc4 32.Nxc4 Rc8 33.Rfc1

<2. = (0.03): 16.Rc1> Rac8 17.Bb5 Nc6 18.Ne2 cxd4 19.Bxc6 Bxc6 20.Bxd4 f6 21.Kf2 Rfd8 22.Rc3 Bb5 23.Rhc1 Rxc3 24.Nxc3 Ba6 25.h4 Nf8 26.Be3 Rd7 27.h5 e5 28.Nd5 Kf7 29.Nb4 Bb7 30.Nc6 Bxc6 31.Rxc6 Ne6 32.Ke2 Nd8 33.Rc1 Ne6 34.b4 Rd6 35.g3 Rd8 36.Rc6

Mar-20-23  tonsillolith: The White bishop looks all safe nestled at <f2>, but <18...f5!> exposes its vulnerability and requires capitulation of the center <19. exf5> or <19. e5> along with important central light squares.

Black then thoroughly blockades the <d4> pawn for the remainder of the game, putting the squares <d5> & <f5> to good use.

Leko sure knows how to play a <Nimzo>.

Mar-20-23  SChesshevsky: Leko at his positional best. A masterclass in keeping a bishop bad. In this case, amazingly two B's bad.

After 21...Nd5, white has only 1 safe forward square between the two B's. After 23. h4, he has none. And it doesn't get much better until it's just about too late.

Probably quite a bitter loss for Gurevich and very satisfying win for Leko.

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