Leko and Lputian strike back for Petrosian

by ChessBase
6/14/2004 – Peter Leko defeated Vishy Anand and the Petrosian Team cut the World's lead in half with one round to play. After losing three of four Lputian came back and scored a full point against Vallejo. For the first time the World failed to notch a win. Tomorrow sees Anand-Kasparov. We have the results, games and analysis here now.

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¡Viva Petrosian!

Round 5 (June 14, 2004)
Petrosian Team
4 - 2
World Team
van Wely
Overall score: World Team: 16 – 14 Petrosian Team
View games onlineOfficial Site • Reports: R1R2R3R4

Peter Leko made a statement and scored an important point for the Petrosian team in round five. The world #4 from Hungary defeated #2 Viswanathan Anand of India in a tremendous display of technique. He added a subtle twist against Anand's favorite Sicilian line and worked magic to reach a superior rook endgame. Even Anand's legendary defensive acumen couldn't hold out and Leko converted the win in 68 moves. Great chess.

Didn't we tell you not to count out Smbat Lputian? It wasn't pretty, in fact it was a bit ugly, but his win over Vallejo was still sweet for Lputian and the embattled Team Petrosian. The Spaniard won a pawn in the opening, sacrificed the exchange to get good winning chances with set of connected passed pawns, but then blundered it away against Lputian's tireless defense.

Adams-Gelfand and Bacrot-Akopian finished drawn in 20 moves. Vaganian was on the defensive again, this time against van Wely, and he worked his way to his fifth straight draw. The Russian duel between Svidler and Kasparov was an interesting battle. It was Svidler's knights versus Kasparov's bishops and various pawn blows and counters were played. It wasn't clear who was playing for a win, but that usually makes for the best chess! Kasparov pressed, perhaps hoping for another endgame blunder like the one Bacrot made against him in round three. Svidler did not oblige and held the draw down to bare bones.

Going into the final round the World has a two point lead and white on board one, Anand-Kasparov. Van Wely, Vaganian, and Gelfand have yet to win a game and would surely like to make amends.

Leko – Anand after 12.Bf4

Leko didn't get much against Anand's Taimanov this year in Corus Wijk aan Zee with the usual 10.Nb3. This time he innovated with 10.Kb1 and left his knight in the center. One surprising point came a few moves later with 12.Bf4! (diagram).

This ruins Black's development scheme because the 12...e5 fork runs into 13.Nf4 exf4 14.e5! and White has a powerful attack. Anand dodged with 12...Qb6 and then tried to break in the center immediately, perhaps too immediately! Leko later ignored a chance to win a pawn with 16.Bxb5+ and gained a strong central passer.

Lputian – Vallejo after 18...Qc5+

This was a game of many phases and only the final one went well for Lputian, but that's the one that counted. It wasn't going so well in the opening, and he got into trouble here. He met the check and dropped a pawn with 19.Qe3 Qxe3+ 20.Bxe3 Bxc3 21.bxc3 Bxe4.

He had an interesting alternative in 19.Kh1. If Black plays 19...Rhd8 White can get good compensation for the queen with 20.fxe5 Rxd2 21.exf6+ gxf6 22.Rxd2.

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