Kasparov(GM) (2847) - Leko(GM) (2736)
Ciudad de Linares (Linares, Spain), 03/05/2003
Round 10 [Khalifman,A]
Strange tradition - one more time Kaspaov's White game is the event of the day. And
now actually He really MUST WIN. Otherwise only one remaining White make his chances to score another
tournament victory really slim. However, he was not so eager to prove White's advantage in Sveshnikov
lately... So 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 or what?
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Qc7 5.
6. ... a6 7. Bc4 d6 A new one. In Jansa - Mrva, CSSR 1992 7...e6 followed.
8. Nd5 Nxd5 9. exd5
[9. exd5 Bg4 looks
like the natural choice
10. c3!? Nxf3+
(10. ... Bxf3!? 11. gxf3
11. gxf3 is aggressive and true]
9. ... g6 This is very solid (after
long think) but Garry and Co must have thought about it.
[9. ... g6 10. Nxd4
cxd4 11. d3
Bg7 12. Bg5 and
Black can't complete his development without some moral losses.]
10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. d3
h6 Rather unhappy choice but Bc1-g5 was
too much a threat. Actually more I look at this position more I don't like Black. It's not for WCh match
[11. ... h6 12. Bf4!?
Bg7 13. Qd2 still
causes some problems]
12. b4 Bg7 13. Qe2 Another
way to prevent Black's castle. Might be good as well - see previous comment.
[13. Qe2 Be5 and
Kf8 might be appropriate defensive plan for Black.
(or 13. ... Bf6 )]
13. ... Bf6 14. Qf3 Step
by step. However, after 14...Kf8 it looks a bit strange. Did Garry miss something?
14. ... Kf8 15. Bb2 No, he didn't! He just changed the object - now black pawn d4 is in danger.
15. ... Qb6 Resignation?!
[15. ... Qb6 16. Qf4!]
16. a3?! A bit sadistic
16. ... h5 17. h3 The same style.
17. ... h4 And now step by step it's getting harder and harder to make use of Black's weakness. Maybe Garry forgot about playing matches with defensive genius like Karpov? Bravo, Peter! So my previous assessment was probably caused by genius carma: still 12.Bf4 was required - pawn d4 didn't happen to be a real weakness.
18. Qf4 Bf5 So is White better? for sure! What can he do? Unclear.
19. Rab1 Rh5 20. a4 Be5 21. Qf3 Rc8
[21. ... a5!? Why not?]
22. a5 Qd8 23. Re2
Rc7 This battle of nerves must be decided
24. Rbe1 Qc8 25. Rxe5 dxe5 26. Rxe5 Rxc4 27. dxc4 Qxc4 The situation has changed, the assessment hasn't. Black is slightly worse but must be able to hold.
[28. Re2 Bxc2!? This
pawn can't be poisoned.]
28. ... Bxc2 29. d6
exd6 30. Rd2
[30. Rd2 Qb3 ]
30. ... d3 Aggressive move but
not the only one.
[30. ... Qb3! was enough for a draw
in somewhat better position.]
31. Qxb7 Rf5 32. Qd7
f6 33. Qxd6+
Kf7 Another good fighting draw but now
Kasparov's chances to win Linares are very slim.