Kramnik(GM) (2807) - Leko(GM) (2736)
Ciudad de Linares (Linares, Spain), 03/09/2003
Round 14 [Khalifman,A]
We were all hoping that the last round would be very interesting. However, now it's
not clear at all. Vladimir's minimalistic strategy during the entire tournament tells very much in favour
that this game will not take long. The only factor which can stop him doing so is that in this case Leko
will be the first on tie-break. However, we can only hope...
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Will it be called "Linares variation" after this tournament?!
3. ... e5 4. Bc4 d6 5. d3 Be7 6.
[8. ... Bg4 ]
9. Bxf4 h6 10. Nf3
Be6 11. Nd5
Bxd5 12. exd5
Na5 13. Nh4
Nxc4 14. dxc4 Highly
top ical line tested a couple of times in the last Israel championship. So probably Vladimir is more
aggressive than expected. 14...g5 15.Nf5 looks extremely dangerous. However, it might be the part of
the opponents' preparation.
14. ... Nxd5
[14. ... g5 15. Nf5]
15. Qxd5 Bxh4 might
be good enough for draw - however, might be not. White is definitely slightly better but is it much enough?
16. Rad1 Anyway it doesn 't look like the most clever opening choice by Peter. Now White can play for win without any risk. Long thought by Leko means that he's not happy at all.
[16. Rad1 Be7 17. Rd3!? with
some attacking ideas on the kingside.]
16. ... b6 Might be a good choice.
At least Black doesn't have to think about weak pawns b7 & c5 anymore.
[16. ... b6 17. Bxd6
Be7 18. Be5
Bg5!? and it's quite difficult for White
to increase the pressure.]
17. Bxd6 Be7 18. Be5
Bg5 Good move. It seems like Black has
solved all problems finally.
19. Bd6 Be7 See comment before move 1...
[20. Bf4 Bg5!? doesn't
change a lot]
20. ... Bf6 Well, well... What was
wrong with 20...Bg5?
21. c3 Qxd5 22. cxd5 Rad8 Still a little better for White - still not enough for win.
23. Bxh6 Bxc3 24. bxc3 gxh6 25. Rfe1 Rd7 26. c4 a6 27. a4 b5 28. axb5 axb5 So Peter defend ed well (especially 16...b6!) and deservedly wins his first title in Linares. Congratulations to him and Vladimir as well although Kramnik's performance was high-class but too solid.
29. cxb5 Rb8 30. d6 Rxb5 31. Re7 Rbb7 32. Rxd7 Rxd7 33. Kf2 Kg7 34. Kf3 Kf6 35. Rd5 Finally!