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San Luis R12: Anand beats Leko with black

10/12/2005 – In the third-last round Vishy Anand outplayed Peter Leko with the black pieces to draw level with Peter Svidler at a point and a half behind the leading Topalov (against whom Svidler drew today). So there is still a theoretical chance that one of them catches up. Illustrated report with video links!
 

The FIDE World Chess Championship is taking place in the Hotel Potrero de los Funes
Complex, in the Province of San Luis, Argentina, from September 27 to October 16, 2005.

Round Twelve Summary

Round 12: Tuesday, October 11th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Svidler
A. Morozevich
½-½
Judit Polgar
Peter Leko
0-1
Vishy Anand
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Michael Adams
Note that tomorrow (Wednesday) is a free day

Current standings at the World Championship in San Luis

Videos to watch


World Championship Diary: Round 12

By Nigel Short – on site in San Luis

3.15pm: The first little joke of the day belongs to Morozevich. I cannot recall the Van Geet Opening (1.Nc3) ever making an appearance in an event of this level. Of course the opening in itself is based on sound principles: its only real drawback is that it has virtually no independent significance. If Whites wishes to take the position down original paths then he must choose second-rate moves with which to do it.


Alexander Morozevich in his game against Judit Polgar

Sure enough, the game quickly reverts to the Sicilian Najdorf. Nevertheless Judit conceded five minutes on the clock in making this decision. Probably this will be of no consequence, but it will not hurt Morozevich to have obtained this small concession.


Judit Polgar pondering Morozevich's opening

3.30pm: The problem with the Petroff Defence is that when the theory ends, the game often ends too – usually in a draw. Therefore it is an ideal opening for those possessed of fast processor, strong work ethic, good memory, and lack of ambition. Unfortunately it is very much a part of modern tournament chess and there is little to be done about it.


Anand playing the Petroff against Peter Leko

Peter Leko, has often had to face this loathsome beast of late, and he was the first to deviate from his disastrous game one of his Brissago match with Kramnik, by offering his g-pawn as a gambit. Anand snatched it; cheekily threatened mate the following move (although allowing his bishop to be incarcerated) but then trapped the White bishop in exchange.

Leko,P (2763) - Anand,V (2788) [C42]
WCh-FIDE San Luis ARG (12), 11.10.2005


Position after 16...Be4

17.Nd2 Bxg2 18.Bg4 Bh1 (threatening ...Qg2#) 19.f3 (trapping the white bishop) 19...Bh4 20.Rf1 f5 21.Bh5 g6 (trapping the black bishop) 22.Kxh1 gxh5 23.Rg1+ Kh8.

This difficult tactical sequence was played at the highest speed and was clearly etched in the hard drives of both players. It seems to this doddery observer that White’s initiative is too slender to trouble the Indian much, and that Black has a reasonably comfortable game.


Topalov playing his pieces like a pianist at the start of his game

5.15pm: It was always a regrettable possibility, but Topalov-Svidler ended in a tame draw. Obviously Svidler faced an uphill task: burdened with irresolution he could not quite decide whether he should go for broke, or try to press without taking undue risk. He chose the latter course, no doubt calculating that even if he were to win that he would still, most likely, require an extra point to catch Toppy due to his inferior tie-break.


Facing a dilemma: Peter Svidler

That looked implausible. On the down side, with Anand snapping at his heels, a defeat would have been costly. Were it not for the fact that there is only one World Champion, I would say that his sober assessment of odds was impeccable. However it might have been better to risk everything, however poor the prospects, in the knowledge that this was his chance for immortality . In fairness I should add that it is very easy for me to pontificate when I sitting here comfortably with nothing at stake. The final position, incidentally, was slightly in Toppy’s favour and therefore very difficult for Svidler to make headway. Doubtless this also influenced the big Russian.


Rustam Kasimdzhanov at the start of round 12

6.00pm: Kasimjanov-Adams featured an Anti-Marshall – a very popular variation here. The reigning World Champion cunningly placed his bishop on d5 in the opening in an effort to exploit Black’s wayward knight on a5: the same theme had already occurred in an earlier game Svidler-Leko, when the Magyar’s stranded cavalry was the root cause of his downfall. Adam’s obtained reasonable activity after dropping a pawn, but omitted to exchange queens on the 25th move – a serious error – which would given him clear equality. The Englishman is now facing a most unpleasant task. I would assess the Uzbek’s chances of winning as great as Adams’ chances of surviving.


Michael Adams, running into problems against Kasim

Anand, meanwhile, is completely winning. My impression is that he has just totally outplayed the Hungarian who appears to have overestimated his chances out of the opening. With a wobbly kingside like that one would have thought he would have been eager to exchange off the queens as soon as possible, but instead he carelessly
allowed the Black queen to go on the rampage. Should Vishy score the full point – as is most probable – he will catch Svidler. Theoretically he could still overtake Topalov, but anyone expecting that is living in cloud-cuckoo land.


Michael Adams' wife Tara watching from the sidelines

6.40pm: I have studiously avoided saying too much about Morozevich-Polgar for the simple reason that I have found it difficult to understand and I am afraid to reveal my ignorance. It looks like Black had no problems whatsoever out of the opening and indeed perhaps stood better, if anything. After the Hungarian has allowed her bishop to be captured on f6, damaging her pawn structure in the process, however, White has obtained the upper hand. Whether this will suffice for victory is another matter – given the limited material remaining.


A chess journalist working with wireless on the hotel deck

This afternoon I have been given the latest analytical aid, Fritz 9, which, it is claimed, is around 100 Elo points stronger than the previous version. If true, it is a giant leap for siliconkind. Anyway, the monster is screaming that Vishy is 7.36 points ahead which in layman’s terms means that it is long past the correct time for Leko to give up.


Peter Leko resigning to Vishy Anand

7.20pm: The inevitable happened. Leko resisted as best he could, but when faced with imminent unstoppable mate in six he resigned. This is a truly woeful performance from one of the pre-tournament favourites and he will be glad when it is all over. Curiously the American statistician, Jeff Sonas, rated Svidler a better bet than Leko before this event – contrary to Elo ratings – the standard gauge of expected performance- and would seem that his obscure formulae are the more accurate.


Adams and Kasimdzhanov agree to a draw

8.00pm: Adams has managed to hold the dodgy endgame against Kasim, who will perhaps be annoyed that he did not make more of his promising position.. Eventually White’s king became too draughty and his pawns too loose to escape the incessant threats of perpetual check.


In the press conference with Morozevich and Polgar

Morozevich-Polgar is proving to be very tough struggle. The Russian is a pawn ahead but his pieces are tangled. Were I to dabble in soothsaying I would predict a draw. Mind you, it is not inconceivable for him to lose if he gets over-ambitious (and tired). No sooner had these words dripped off my quill than a draw was agreed.

Tomorrow is a rest day (yahoo!). See you on Thursday.

All photos: Nadja Woisin, Word Chess Championship Press


Full schedule

Round 1: Wednesday, September 28th

Peter Leko
0-1
Veselin Topalov
A. Morozevich
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
Peter Svidler
½-½
Michael Adams
Judit Polgar
0-1
Vishy Anand
Round 2: Thursday, September 29th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Vishy Anand
Michael Adams
½-½
Judit Polgar
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Peter Svidler
Peter Leko
½-½
A. Morozevich
Round 3: Friday, September 30th
A. Morozevich
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Peter Svidler
1-0
Peter Leko
Judit Polgar
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Vishy Anand
1-0
Michael Adams
Round 4: Saturday, October 1st
Veselin Topalov
1-0
Michael Adams
R. Kasimdzhanov
1-0
Vishy Anand
Peter Leko
1-0
Judit Polgar
A. Morozevich
0-1
Peter Svidler
Free day: Sunday, October 2nd
Round 5: Monday, October 3rd
Peter Svidler
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
½-½
A. Morozevich
Vishy Anand
½-½
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
Round 6: Tuesday, October 4th
Judit Polgar
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand
½-½
Peter Svidler
Michael Adams
½-½
A. Morozevich
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Peter Leko
Round 7: Wednesday, October 5th
Veselin Topalov
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Peter Leko
1-0
Michael Adams
A. Morozevich
1-0
Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler
1-0
Judit Polgar
Round 8: Thursday, October 6th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Leko
R. Kasimdzhanov
0-1
A. Morozevich
Michael Adams
½-½
Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand
1-0
Judit Polgar
Free day: Friday, October 7th
Round 9: Saturday, October 8th
Vishy Anand
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
½-½
Michael Adams
Peter Svidler
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
A. Morozevich
1-0
Peter Leko
Round 10: Sunday, October 9th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
A. Morozevich
Peter Leko
½-½
Peter Svidler
R. Kasimdzhanov
1-0
Judit Polgar
Michael Adams
½-½
Vishy Anand
Round 11: Monday, October 10th
Michael Adams
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Judit Polgar
½-½
Peter Leko
Peter Svidler
1-0
A. Morozevich
Round 12: Tuesday, October 11th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Svidler
A. Morozevich
½-½
Judit Polgar
Peter Leko
0-1
Vishy Anand
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Michael Adams
Free day: Wednesday, October 12th
Round 13: Thursday, October 13th
R. Kasimdzhanov
-
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
-
Peter Leko
Vishy Anand
-
A. Morozevich
Judit Polgar
-
Peter Svidler
Games – Report
Round 14: Friday, October 14th
Veselin Topalov
-
Judit Polgar
Peter Svidler
-
Vishy Anand
A. Morozevich
-
Michael Adams
Peter Leko
-
R. Kasimdzhanov
Games – Report
Tie-breaks: Saturday, October 15th

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