Linares R4: Adams scores, Topalov lets Leko escape

2/26/2005 – British GM Michael Adams scored his first victory, against Vallejo, in Linares 2005. Veselin Topalov had a completely winning position after Peter Leko faltered in time trouble. But then Topalov made one false capture and allowed Leko to save the game with a deadly mate threat. Full illustrated report.

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The XXII Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez "Ciudad de Linares", a category 20 double round robin, is being held in the Spanish town of Linares and from February 23 until March 10 2005. During each round one player rests, and in addition there are full rest days on March 1st and 7th. The games start at 15:30h local time (CET = GMT 14:30h = 9:30 a.m. NY) in the Hotel Anibal. Live covereag of the event is expected on the official web site and on Playchess.com. We will be reporting daily on our news page.

Round four

Michael Adams, number seven in the world, was obviously not feeling too happy about his minus one score so far in this tournament. With white against rookie Francisco Vallejo he played with grim determination to take the full point.

Adams,Mi (2741) - Vallejo Pons,F (2686) [B90]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (4), 26.02.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Ng4 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Bg7 10.h3 Ne5 11.Be2 Nbc6 12.Nb3 b5 13.Nd5 Nc4 14.Bxc4 bxc4 15.Nd2 Bxb2 16.Rb1 Be5 17.Nxc4 Bxg3 18.fxg3 Be6 19.0-0 Rb8 20.Rb3 Rb5 21.Kh2 0-0 22.Nce3 Ne5 23.c4 Rc5 24.Qh5 Kh7

Now watch this world-class player demolish his young Spanish opponent: 25.Rb7 Re8 26.Nf5 Bxf5 27.exf5 Rf8 28.Nxe7 Qa8 29.Rfb1 Rb5 30.cxb5 Qxb7 31.f6 Qe4 32.Rf1 Rh8 33.Nf5 Kg8 34.bxa6 1-0. Q.E.D.

Veselin Topalov is one of the big fighters at the top of world chess. Against Peter Leko he played an excellent game and deserved to win it in brilliant style. But life is not just, and one careless moment in a game of chess can rob you of the fruits of your labour. In Topalov's case it was a little mate threat...

Topalov,V (2757) - Leko,P (2749) [B33]
XXII SuperGM Linares ESP (4), 26.02.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 0-0 12.Nc2 Bg5 13.a4 bxa4 14.Rxa4 a5 15.Bc4 Rb8 16.b3 Kh8 17.Nce3 g6 18.h4 Bxh4 19.g3 Bg5 20.f4 exf4 21.gxf4 Bh4+ 22.Kd2 Ne7 23.Kc1 Nxd5 24.Nxd5 Be6 25.Qd4+ Kg8 26.Ra2 Bxd5 27.Qxd5 Qf6 28.Qd2 Bg3 29.Rf1 h5 30.Rxa5 Ra8 31.e5 Qf5 32.Rxa8 Rxa8 33.Kb2 h4 34.Qxd6 Re8 35.Bb5 Rf8 36.Bd3 Qe6 37.Qd4 Qe7 38.Bc4 Kh7 39.b4 h3 40.Qd3 Qh4 41.f5 Bf4 42.e6 fxe6 43.Qd7+ Kh6

Veselin Topalov has systematically outplayed Peter Leko and is completely winning. But which way to capture with the pawn. 44.fxe6? Topalov choses the wrong one. After 44.fxg6 Rf6 45.Bd3 (or even 45.Qh7+ Kg5 46.Rg1+ Bg3 47.Rxg3+ Qxg3 48.g7+–) 45...Rxg6 46.Bxg6 Kxg6 47.Qxe6+ White has a rook and pawn for a bishop and easily wins. 44...Bc1+?! a clever little trap, which Topalov falls into, in spite of the fact that he has plenty of time on his clock: 45.Rxc1? He had to play 45.Kxc1! h2 46.Rh1 48.Qd6+ Kg7 49.Bd5 and White has no more problems bringing in the point. Also possible was 46.Qd2+ Kg7 47.Rxf8 Kxf8 (after 47...h1Q+ Black cannot defend, even though he has two queens on the board. 48.Rf1 Qa8 49.Rf7+ Kg8 50.Bd5 Qa1+ 51.Kc2 and wins.

45...Qxc4 46.e7 Ra8. Suddenly there is a deadly threat: ...Qa2 mate! 47.Qxh3+ Kg7 48.e8N+ Kg8 49.Nf6+ Kf7 50.Qd7+ Kxf6. White had to give the knight to defuse the mate threat. 51.Qd4+ Qxd4 52.cxd4 g5. Now the black pawn is fast and strong, the black king is well situated and White can no longer win. 53.Rc6+ Kf5 54.b5 g4 55.Kb3 g3 56.Rc1 Ke4 57.Rg1 ½-½.

Anand dominated FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov, and many of his fans on the Playchess server were cheering their man's second victory in Linares. But some of the strong GMs – Nigel Short, for instance, and Asia's youngest GM, 17-year-old Timur Gareev of Uzbekistan – were not so optimistic. And indeed Timur's compatriot held on with impenetrable defensive play. Anand had to agree to a draw after 33 moves.

Round 4 (Saturday, February 26, 2005)
Michael Adams
1-0
Francisco Vallejo
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Leko
Round 5 (Sunday, February 27, 2005)
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Veselin Topalov
Francisco Vallejo
Viswanathan Anand
Garry Kasparov
Michael Adams
Games – Report

Current standing
Scores
Kasparov
+1
Anand
+1
Leko
0
Kasimdzhanov
0
Adams
0
Topalov
0
Vallejo
–2

Schedule

Round 1 (Wednesday, February 23, 2005)
Veselin Topalov
1-0
Michael Adams
Peter Leko
½-½
Garry Kasparov
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Francisco Vallejo
Round 2 (Thursday, February 24, 2005)
Garry Kasparov
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Michael Adams
½-½
Peter Leko
Viswanathan Anand
1-0
Veselin Topalov
Round 3 (Friday, February 25, 2005)
Peter Leko
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Michael Adams
Francisco Vallejo
0-1
Garry Kasparov
Round 4 (Saturday, February 26, 2005)
Michael Adams
1-0
Francisco Vallejo
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Leko
Round 5 (Sunday, February 27, 2005)
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Veselin Topalov
Francisco Vallejo
Viswanathan Anand
Garry Kasparov
Michael Adams
Games – Report
Round 6 (Monday, February 28, 2005)
Garry Kasparov
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
Francisco Vallejo
Peter Leko
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Games – Report
Round 7 (Wednesday, March 2, 2005)
Francisco Vallejo
Peter Leko
Garry Kasparov
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
Viswanathan Anand
Games – Report
Round 8 (Thursday, March 3, 2005)
Michael Adams
Veselin Topalov
Garry Kasparov
Peter Leko
Francisco Vallejo
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Games – Report
Round 9 (Friday, March 4, 2005)
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Garry Kasparov
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
Veselin Topalov
Viswanathan Anand
Games – Report
Round 10 (Saturday, March 5, 2005)
Viswanathan Anand
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Garry Kasparov
Francisco Vallejo
Games – Report
Round 11 (Sunday, March 6, 2005)
Francisco Vallejo
Michael Adams
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Viswanathan Anand
Peter Leko
Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 12 (Tuesday, March 8, 2005)
Veselin Topalov
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Viswanathan Anand
Francisco Vallejo
Michael Adams
Garry Kasparov
Games – Report
Round 13 (Wednesday, March 9, 2005)
Viswanathan Anand
Garry Kasparov
Francisco Vallejo
Veselin Topalov
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Peter Leko
Games – Report
Round 14 (Thursday, March 10, 2005)
Peter Leko
Francisco Vallejo
Veselin Topalov
Garry Kasparov
Viswanathan Anand
Michael Adams
Games – Report

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Topics Linares 2005
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