Leko – Kramnik

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nf3 d6 5.c3 (No Petrov here as well.)

5…Nc6 6.Bb3 a6 (It seems that Leko just wants to have a normal game instead of a deeply analyzed Petrov. That is why he played 2.Bc4. This may be a good idea to give him a chance to have a decent game.)

7.0-0 Ba7 8.Re1 (We are still in theories. No deviation so far.)

8…0-0 9.h3 (White prevents the Bg4 pin. Still in book.)

9…h6 (Same idea to avoid the Bg5 pin.)

10.Nbd2 Re8 11.Nf1 Be6 12.N3h2 (Clearing the f file for a potential f4 push.)

12…Bxb3 13.axb3 (This position is equal. Black has a good Bishop pointing at f2. White has a good potential square for the Knight on f5.)

13…Qd7 (I do not expect much fireworks with this position where no pawn has been exchanged.)

14.Qf3 Qe6 15.Ng3 Ne7 16.b4 (Kramnik’s position iw quite solid and he can sit back all day to defend something like this.)

16…c6 17.Ng4 (I am having a hard time coming up with a strong plan for White as Black is quite solid.)

17….Nxg4 18.hxg4 d5 (Leko spent a lot of time right here after 18…d5. White has a number of choices such as 18.g5, exd5 or Nf5. Tough choice. I prefer 18.g5 a little better but all are playable.)

19.Nf5 (He settled for this move. If Nxf5 then gxf5 would be my preference.)

19…Rad8 (I still evaluate this position as equal. White has some space advantage but Black has a stronger center.)

20.g3 (The idea of this is to bring the King to g2 then Rook to h1.)

20…f6 21.Kg2 dxe4 (Finally! A break!)

22.dxe4 Nxf5 23.gxf5 (I am not sure what Leko is trying to achieve. This position slightly favors Black, but not much.)

23…Qc4 (White has to exchange the Bishops. This is the best chance for an even endgame as Black’s Bishop is far more mobile than White.)

24.Be3 Bxe3 (White must capture back with the Queen. Black is slightly better but Leko should be able to hold.)

And Kramnik offered a draw and Leko accepted. 1/2

Posted by Picasa
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
Tags: , , ,