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Peter Leko vs Veselin Topalov
Morelia-Linares (2008), Morelia MEX, rd 7, Feb-23
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. English Attack (B80)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-23-08  Marmot PFL: Nice tactics from Topalov in Leko's time shortage.
Feb-23-08  ValmonUni: wow... impressive topa
Feb-23-08  piteira8: Did black miss Philidor's checkmate on move 38?
Feb-23-08  piteira8: Oops-the queen is in not in the f1 a6 diagonal. Sorry about that.
Feb-23-08  chessmoron: 35.Qxd1 is a strange move. Even though Leko may have severe time pressure there's no way he missed Rxd1 .
Feb-23-08  Eyal: From a discussion of Leko's performance in the main tournament page, after his loss in this game: <he has a beautiful wife, this can be disturbing>.
Feb-23-08  Eyal: <35.Qxd1 is a strange move.> Well, 37.fxe4?? is even stranger. And this after his great defensive game against Aronian yesterday... Aronian is probably asking: why couldn't he have such a meltdown against ME?
Feb-23-08  alicefujimori: Glad Topalov decided to switch back to 6...e6 against 6.Be3. Imo the positions after 6...e6 suits him more than the positions resulting from 6...e5.
Feb-24-08  percyblakeney: If I got it right Topalov now has +4 -0 =6 in his ten latest games with black against Leko.

After his win in the first round Leko has been going -3 in Morelia, playing too slowly and getting himself into time trouble. He will need a very strong finish in the Linares half to have a chance to reach an even score, but it won't be easy.

Feb-24-08  Laci: <percyblakeney: If I got it right Topalov now has +4 -0 =6 in his ten latest games with black against Leko.> You are wrong. Based on games present in chessgames.com database Topalov beats Leko +3 -1 =6 with black pieces. The overall score is +13 -12 =30. However, according to another database, altogether Leko still beats Topalov +15 -12 =31. Topalov definitely has recently made the gap narrower between them.
Feb-24-08  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 25 Rdf1, 25 Rdc1 seems more consistent, doubling Rooks on the c file. Instead of 32 Re1, 32 Rf1-c1 prepares the invasion Rc8. The way it goes, it is Topalov who makes an invasion on d1 instead.

36..e4 brings out the difference which a pair of Ns in the board makes. Without a N to assist her, the Black Q would have a job holding her own against White's Rooks. With a pair of Ns on the board, White has to avoid a range of additional possible Black threats, including those of getting mated. Black's e pawn attacks the White f pawn which denies the g4 and e4 squares to Black's N. On 37 Rc8-d8 Black does not have to play 37...exf3 when 38 gxf3 may hold the game but can advance the e pawn further by 37...e3. On 38 Re1 Nd5 39 Kg1 Nf4 If White plays 30 Rxe3 Black has 30...Nxg2! and if 31 Kxg2 Qg5+ forks the K and R.

Leko's main mistake may have been to lose time towards his Q side play. Even if he lost only two or three tempi, that was enough to pass the advantage or even a win to Black.

Feb-24-08  ivan999: the database includes rapid and blindfold games.
Feb-24-08  MeatGrinder: <Laci: <percyblakeney: If I got it right Topalov now has +4 -0 =6 in his ten latest games with black against Leko.> You are wrong. Based on games present in chessgames.com database Topalov beats Leko +3 -1 =6 with black pieces. The overall score is +13 -12 =30. However, according to another database, altogether Leko still beats Topalov +15 -12 =31. Topalov definitely has recently made the gap narrower between them.>

Leko hasn't won a single classical game against Topalov since 2002. The last 6 decisive games between them are all in Topalov's favour. 4 of them are with black - 1 in 2002/Dortmund, 1 in 2005/San Luis and 2 this year in Corus and Morelia.

Feb-24-08  eisenherz: 34. Dxd1 is the losing move. Much better was the simple Txd1, leaving the game slightly better for black.

37.fxe4 just loses faster. Better was 37.Tdc1, but that also loses to 37 ... fxe3.

Feb-24-08  Microdot: Instead of 34.Qxd1?, 34.Rxd1! lead to an easy draw after 34...Rxd1+ 35.Qxd1,Qxc4 36.Qc1!,Qxb4 37.Qc8+,Qf8 38.Qxa6 =
Feb-24-08  whatthefat: <Laci: <percyblakeney: If I got it right Topalov now has +4 -0 =6 in his ten latest games with black against Leko.>

You are wrong. Based on games present in chessgames.com database Topalov beats Leko +3 -1 =6 with black pieces.>

<percyblakeney> is perfectly correct for classical games.

Feb-24-08  Hesam7: <alicefujimori: Glad Topalov decided to switch back to 6...e6 against 6.Be3. Imo the positions after 6...e6 suits him more than the positions resulting from 6...e5.>

Playing 6...e6 after 6.Be3 is kind of a gamble. Instead of 7.f3 White can respond with 7.g4 and Black has a choice between an inferior version of the Keres attack (Scheveningen players usually try to avoid the Keres attack) or he has to go for the sharp Prenyi attack: 7...e5 8.Nf5 g6 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5.

Feb-24-08  Hesam7: <percyblakeney: If I got it right Topalov now has +4 -0 =6 in his ten latest games with black against Leko.>

I have a feeling that the first game in San Luis had a very bad psychological effect on Leko.

Feb-26-08  D.Observer: 39. g3 Qxb4 and the e-pawn will be down later. Or black may play 39. ... Nf2+, which is a very hurtful fork for white.
Feb-28-08  Abejorral: <percyblakeney: If I got it right Topalov now has +4 -0 =6 in his ten latest games with black against Leko.>

Topalov is Leko┬┤s Daddy.

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