(1) Leko,Peter (2741) - Carlsen,Magnus (2765) [B78]

It is really not easy to guess what opening Carlsen will play. My candidates against 1.e4 were the Aljechin, Open Ruy Lopez or the Dragon. The latter one is extremely dangerous in the hands of Magnus, especially in rapid. But Leko is not afraid to play against any of them. Otherwise he would have started with 1.d4, as it happened in one of their earlier encounter, which Peter duly won!

1...c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6
And in fact it is a Dragon! Not a big surprise, if you know that this was Carlsen's choice in his last two black games against 1.e4!

6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0
Interestingly, in the last 15(!) years Peter had to face the Dragon only once (against Fedorov in Batumi 1999), but there followed 10...Qb8 and White won in 57 moves.

So far both player moved their pieces only once (except for Ng1-f3xd4), so they developed rather quickly. This is how grandmasters play - when they have a chance to do so - bring all their pieces into play as fast as possible.

11.Bb3 Ne5
A pictueresque position, all the knights are on the long diagonal, a kind of centre symmetry.

12.Kb1 Re8 13.h4 h5 14.Bh6
Threatens to take the "Dragon-Bishop"...

14...Nc4 15.Bxc4 Rxc4
... and Magnus allowed it to be taken.

16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Nd5 e5 18.Nxf6 Qxf6
But all these moves have been played already.

[Actually 19.Ne2 happened just exactly four weeks ago, between the two young stars Karjakin and Carlsen in Baku, and that game was drawn after 55 moves.]

And this is the "almost" novelty. So far Re6 happened in most of the games, for example in Lastin-Abbasov, Baku 2008 just eight days ago! This move was played by the relatively unknown Goumas in an old game (a month earlier in Plovdiv...)

20.Qxd6 Be6 21.c3 b5
And finally the real novelty, not following Zherebukh-Goumas any more, where white won in 65 moves.

[22.a3 was possible to stop b4, but it looks threatening that the knight remains unprotected, although after the double attack 22...R4c6 White can still defend with 23.Qb4 I think White might look for some advantage in this line, although here Black has some compensation for the pawn, too.]

22...a5 23.Qg5
This is safe, to get rid of the enemy queen. [23.Nxa5 Ra4 24.Nb3 b4 Was anything but safe for white. After 25.cxb4 Bxb3 26.axb3 White has still three pawns in front of his king, but not in the right orientation! 26...Ra7 27.Qd6 Qf4 28.Rd5 Re8 And Fritz thinks it is +/-, but I find it unclear.]

23...Qxg5 24.hxg5 a4 25.Nd2 R4c7 26.a3
White is a solid pawn up, but his position is blocked.

26...Rd7 27.Kc1 f6 28.gxf6+ Kxf6 29.Nf1 Rxd1+ 30.Kxd1 Rd8+ 31.Ke1 Kg5 32.g3 Rd3 33.Nd2 Bc4 34.Nxc4 bxc4 35.Ke2 Rd6 36.Rh2
[36.Rd1 Rxd1 37.Kxd1 h4 38.gxh4+ Kxh4 39.b4 would be the winning move, but unfortunately Black is allowed to take it "en passant". 39...cxb3-+ Therefore the players agreed draw in the final position.] 1/2-1/2