In the style of Capablanca and Fischer – Peter Leko

2/27/2008 – Peter Leko may not be the most popular player among amateurs, but to neglect his chess would be a pity both aesthetically and instructionally. He is one of the world’s strongest players, and his games are very useful to study. Our Playchess.com lecturer Dennis Monokroussos proves this with a 2002 Leko masterpiece against Alexander Beliavsky from the Olympiad in Bled. Enjoy.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Peter Leko may not be the most popular player among amateurs, but to neglect his chess would be a pity both aesthetically and instructionally. He is one of the world’s strongest players, after all, and came within a single draw of the world title back in 2004. His wins have a strategic clarity reminiscent of players like Capablanca and Fischer, and that makes them very useful to study. We’ll have a look at just such a model game in this week’s show, a win over Alexander Beliavsky from the 2002 Olympiad in Bled.

Beliavsky, no slouch himself, essayed the Breyer Variation of the Ruy Lopez, and despite many years of experience on the Black side of the Ruy, he found himself on the receiving end of a chess clinic. First, Leko put into action a then little-known prophylactic plan which neutralized Black’s hopes of queenside and central counterplay. With that taken care of, he started augmenting the pressure on the kingside, forcing a series of small concessions along the way. The next step was to stretch Black’s defenses too thin, and that required finding the game’s best move. Having found the move, and the various plans it made possible, it was time to administer the denouement, and Leko finished the game in style.

The win was beautiful and strategically complete, and very much worthy of our attention. I hope therefore that you’ll join me tonight, Wednesday night, at 9 p.m. ET (3 a.m. CET) as we examine this masterpiece; you’ll be glad you did!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).



Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007
 

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.


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