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Leko – Topalov LIVE!

Corus 2008 live commentary with GM Vladimir Dimitrov

Corus 2008 commented games

Round 1: Mamedyarov Carlsen / Aronian – Topalov / Spoelman – Cheparinov / Peng – Caruana

Round 2: Topalov – Ivanchuk / Kramnik – Radjabov / Cheparinov – Movsesian

Round 3: Adams – Carlsen / Polgar – Topalov / Smeets – Cheparinov

Round 4: Van Wely – Topalov / Carlsen – Aronian

Round 5: Ivanchuk – Carlsen / Aronian – Anand/ Topalov – Gelfand / Grivas – Caruana

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PGN Leko Topalov

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{After the day off Topalov seems to have overcome the mishap in the 1st round. Yesterday he defeated in a energetic manner Gelfand. However today he faces as Black one of the most solid players – the Hungarian GM Peter Leko. Let’s hope that will result in a fascinating game.}

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.a4 Be7 11.Be2 Qc7 12.O-O O-O {A popular variation of the English Attack in Najdorf took place in this game. Instead of castling at opposite sides, Topalov prefers a more positional approach with complex strategic plans.} 13.Rfd1 Rfd8 {In such structure the control over the ‘d5′ square is vital for evaluating the position. That explains the setups chosen by both players.} 14.a5 b5 {The reason to keep the Rook on ‘a8′. After 15.axb6 Nxb6 Black is ready to answer the capture on ‘a6′ by d6-d5. An example is 16.Rxa6 Rxa6 17.Bxa6 d5 18.Nb5 Qb8 19.Na5 Bd7 20.exd5 Nfxd5 with strong compensation.} 15.Nd5 {Leko correctly decides to avoid the above mentioned complications.} 15…Bxd5 16.exd5 Rac8 17.c3 Qb7 {Topalov has comfortably equalized the game.} 18.Ra3 g6 19.Na1 {This Knight is heading to ‘b4′.} 19…Re8 20.Nc2 Bf8 21.Nb4 Bg7 {Both players improve the positions of their pieces} 22.Rc1 e4 23.f4 Ng4 24.Bxg4 hxg4 25.Qe2 Nf6 {Topalov does not wish to fix the pawn structure with 25…f5 after which the position would be quite drawish.} 26.Rd1 Rc4 27.Qd2 Qc8 28.Raa1 g3 29.h3 Nh5 30.Rac1 Bh6 {Prepares to transfer the Knight to f5 even if an exchange sacrifice is necessary.} 31.b3 Rc7 32.Nc6 Ng7 33.c4 bxc4 34.Rxc4 Qd7 35.Qc2 Rb7 36.b4 Nf5 37.Bc1 e3 38.Re1 Rb5 39.Qd3 f6 40.Re4 Rxe4 41.Qxe4 Qf7 {Both players passed the time control, the position is still balanced. Leko invests a lot of time in his 42nd move. As the ‘g3′ pawn restricts his King and this may prove dangerous in some lines, 42.Nd4 Qxd5 43.Qe8+ Kh7 44.Nxf5 Qxf5 45.Qxe3 Rxb4 46.Qxg3 with probable draw seems to be the safest continuation.} 42.Nd4 Qxd5 43.Qe8+ Kh7 44.Nxf5 Qxf5 {45.Rxe3 is met surprisingly by 45…Re5!} 45.Qxe3 Rxb4 46.Qxg3 {46…Bxf4? loses because of 47.Re7+ Kg8 48.Bxf4 Rxf4 49.Qb3+ while 46…Rb1 47.Qh4 will eventually lead to a perpetual.} 46…Re4 47.Rxe4 Qxe4 48.Qe3 f5 {Lets Leko to capture at ‘a6′, but the other options lead to easy draw.} 49.Qxe4 {With only a few minutes remaining, Black didn’t dare to play 49.Qa7+.} 49…fxe4 50.Kf2 d5 51.g4 d4 52.Bb2 Bg7 53.Ba3 {After 53…d3 White has unpleasant choice – to let e4-e3 or lose the ‘a5′ pawn} 53…Kg8 54.h4 Kf7 55.Bc5 Ke6 56.h5 gxh5 57.gxh5 d3 58.Ke3 Bh6 59.Bb4 Kd5 60.Bd2 Bf8 {The second time control is passed as well, White position is completely hopeless as a result of 49.Qxe4? entering into an obviously lost Bishop ending.} 61.Bc1 Bc5+ 62.Kd2 Kc4 63.h6 Bf2 64.Kd1 e3 65.Bxe3 Bxe3 66.h7 Bd4 {Veselin put a fierce fight this game forcing his opponent into two time-troubles, the second being decisive for the outcome. Second win in a row for Topalov, quite a disappointment for Leko.}

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