Linares 11: Leko falters against Kramnik

3/2/2004 – For the longest time it looked like Peter Leko would once again take a full point with the white pieces against his favourite opponent, Vladimir Kramnik. But on move 32 the young Hungarian stumbled and allowed Kramnik to spin a mating net. The other games were drawn. We bring you a report and pictures.

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21st International Chess Tournament
Linares Feb. 19 – March 5, 2004

Linares Round 11

Round 11 (Tuesday, March 2, 2004)
Peter Leko 
0-1
Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Games – Report
Round 12 (Wednesday, March 3, 2004)
Francisco Vallejo 
 
Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
 
Peter Leko
Vladimir Kramnik 
 
Garry Kasparov
Games – Report

Before the rest day here is the cross table for ten rounds. Note that due to the odd number of participants some players have one less game than others, so the total score is not really very meaningful. You can look at it this way: Kramnik is +2, Kasparov and Leko +1, Topalov +0, Shirov and Vallejo – 1, Radjabov –2.

Here is the most exciting game of the day:

Leko,P (2722) – Kramnik,V (2777) [B33]
XXI SuperGM Linares ESP (11), 02.03.2004


Position after 32.Ra7-d7??

Peter Leko, who had been pushing with the white pieces throughout the game, got his queen into a spot of trouble by moving it from e7 to h3 a move earlier. Now he blocked it in with his rook. Kramnik was able to take immediate advantage of the situation with 32...Rh5. Now the queen cannot escape (after 33.Qg4 Rg5 34.Qh3 Bf6 there is a deadly threat of mate on g2), so White must counterattack: 33.R7d6 Bf6 34.Rxf6.

It looks as thought White has defused the situation, but Kramnik came up with the killer: 34...Qc2! threatening ...Qxe2 and mate to follow. White cannot defend: 35.Re1 Qd2 36.Kf1 Rxh3 and it is all over. The game finished 35.Qxh5 Qxe2 36.g4 Qf2+ and Black has a forced mate in seven. 0-1.

Pictures from round eleven


Peter Leko starting off with great hopes


Watch it Veselin, the kid's giving you The Stare


Alexei Shirov worked hard to beat the local boy – in vain

Pictures by Jesús J. Boyero Gabarre

All results so far

Round 1 (Thursday, February 19, 2004)
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Garry Kasparov
Teimour Radjabov 
0-1
Peter Leko
Round 2 (Friday, February 20, 2004)
Kasparov, Garry 
½-½ 
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½ 
Alexei Shirov
Veselin Topalov 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Round 3 (Saturday, February 21, 2004)
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Peter Leko 
½-½
Garry Kasparov
Round 4 (Sunday, February 22, 2004)
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½ 
Peter Leko
Veselin Topalov 
½-½ 
Teimour Radjabov
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
Alexei Shirov
Round 5 (Monday, February 23, 2004)
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Peter Leko 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Garry Kasparov 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Round 6 (Wednesday, February 25, 2004)
Veselin Topalov 
½-½ 
Garry Kasparov
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½ 
Peter Leko
Alexei Shirov 
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Round 7 (Thursday, February 26, 2004)
Peter Leko 
1-0 
Alexei Shirov
Garry Kasparov 
  1-0 Francisco Vallejo
Vladimir Kramnik 
  1-0 Veselin Topalov
Round 8 (Friday, February 27, 2004)
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Garry Kasparov 
½-½ 
Alexei Shirov
Peter Leko 
½-½ 
Teimour Radjabov
Round 9 (Saturday, February 28, 2004)
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Garry Kasparov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Vladimir Kramnik
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Round 10 (Sunday, February 29, 2004)
Veselin Topalov 
1-0 
Alexei Shirov
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½ 
Teimour Radjabov
Garry Kasparov 
½-½ 
Peter Leko
Round 11 (Tuesday, March 2, 2004)
Peter Leko 
0-1
Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½ 
Veselin Topalov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½ 
Francisco Vallejo
Games – Report
Round 12 (Wednesday, March 3, 2004)
Francisco Vallejo 
 
Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
 
Peter Leko
Vladimir Kramnik 
 
Garry Kasparov
Games – Report
Round 13 (Thursday, March 4, 2004)
Garry Kasparov 
 
Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko 
 
Francisco Vallejo
Teimour Radjabov 
 
Alexei Shirov
Games – Report
Round 14 (Friday, March 5, 2004)
Alexei Shirov 
 
Peter Leko
Francisco Vallejo 
 
Garry Kasparov
Veselin Topalov 
 
Vladimir Kramnik
Games – Report

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