Miskolc 2010: Gelfand beats Leko 4.5:3.5

8/30/2010 – He tried everything, including a super-sharp line employed by his opponent. But in the end it was top Israeli GM Boris Gelfand who had scored two wins to local hero Peter Leko's one. The event is very popular in the eastern Hungarian city, where it is hosted in the National Theatre by the Lord Mayor. We bring you pictures and GM analysis in our final report.

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Peter Leko vs Boris Gelfand
in Miskolc, Hungary

This Rapid Chess event took place in the National Theater, 1 Déryné str, Miskolc from August 25–29, 2010. The number one Hungarian grandmaster, Peter Leko played a duel of eight games against the top Israeli GM and World Cup winner Boris Gelfand.

The games were played at a rate of 25 minutes for all moves plus an increment of ten seconds per moves. The arbiter of the match is WGM Zsuzsa Veroci, head of Communication of the Hungarian Chess Federation.

At the end of each day of play there was a press conference of 10-15 minutes with both players. On the final day the press conference lasted 30 minutes.

Round seven

Gelfand,Boris - Leko,Peter [D43]
Miskolc Rapid, 29.08.2010 [Berkes/Meszaros]

Aladár Döme, general manager of the Degenfeld Castle Hotel, makes the first move
in the game between Peter Leko and Boris Gelfand. On the right: arbiter Zsuzsa Veröci

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Ne5 Rg8 12.Bxg4 Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Qxd7 14.Bf3 c5 15.dxc5 b4!N Novelty. In the first game 16...Qxd1 happened with mutual chances. 16.Qxd7+ Nxd7 17.Nb5

17...Rc8! The key point of Black's plan. It's a very nice prophylactical move, after that White has no real threats. 18.0-0-0. 18.a3 Rxg3! 19.fxg3 Rxc5 20.Nd4 b3; 18.Nc7+ Kd8; 18.Nxa7 Rxc5; 18.Nd6+ Bxd6 19.cxd6 Nc5. 18...Nxc5 19.Nc7+ Ke7 20.Bd6+ Kf6 21.Bxc5?! 21.e5+ Kg6 22.Rh3 was a better continuation. 21...Bxc5 22.Rd7

22...Ke5! It's a beatiful idea: Black sacrifices a pawn for the domination. The white kingside is completely paralysed. 23.Nxe6 [23.Rxf7 Rgf8] 23...fxe6 24.Rxb7

24...Bb6?! In the critical moment Leko didn't find the best positional plan. 24...Rb8 25.Rxb8 (25.Rc7 Rgc8) 25...Rxb8 26.Be2 (26.Rf1 b3! 27.axb3 Rxb3 28.Be2 Rb4 29.f3 Bd4) 26...Bxf2 27.Bxc4 Rc8 28.b3 Rg8!=/+ Leko missed this move in his earlier calculation. 25.Rd1 c3 26.Rd3! Solves all problems! 26...Rgd8 27.Rxd8 Rxd8 28.bxc3 bxc3 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Leko,Peter - Gelfand,Boris [D43]
Miskolc Rapid, 29.08.2010 [Berkes/Meszaros]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5

9...Bb7 10.h4 Bg7 11.hxg5 hxg5 12.Rxh8+ Bxh8 13.Bxc4. In the last round Leko chooses the sharpest variation, one in which Gelfand won a beautiful game against Grischuk some months earlier. The reason is very logical: in their match Gelfand leads 4-3! 13...bxc4 14.Nxc4 Kf8 15.Nd6. 15.e5 Ne8 16.Qh5 Bg7 17.Ne4 Qe7 18.0-0-0 Nd7 19.Nxg5 c5 20.Qg4 cxd4 21.Rxd4 Bd5 22.Nd6 f5 23.Nxf5 Qc5+ 24.Kd1 exf5 25.Qxf5+ Nef6 26.Rd2 Rc8 27.b3 Kg8 28.Ne6 Qc1+ 29.Ke2 Ne4 30.Rxd5 Nc3+ 31.Kf3 Nxd5 32.Bf4 Nxf4 0-1 Grischuk-Gelfand, Dagomys 2010.4. 15...Qe7 16.e5 Ne8 17.Nce4 Nxd6 18.exd6 Qe8

After this move Leko started to think for a long time. 19.Be5?! In our opinion White has better attacking chances after 19.Qb3. Black has problems because of his b7 bishop, and White can take his rook into the action. 19.Qh5 Bg7 20.Nc5 Bc8 21.Qxg5 f6 22.Qe3 a5; 19.Qb3 Bc8 (19...Ba6 20.Be5 Bg7 21.Nxg5 Nd7 22.Nh7+ Kg8 23.Qg3 f6 24.Nxf6+ Nxf6 25.Bxf6 Qf7 26.Be5-> Bc4 27.0-0-0 Bd5 28.Rh1 Be4 29.Rh6+-) 20.Be5 f5 21.Nc5 Qh5 22.Rd1 Bxe5 23.dxe5 Qh1+ 24.Kd2 Qxg2 25.Kc1. 19...f6 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Nxf6 Qg6 22.Qb3. 22.Qf3 Qf5 23.Kd2 Kf7 The computer thinks that White is OK, but by the classical rules Black must be better! 22...Bc8

23.Ng4? Immediatly loses. After 23.Qf3 Qf5 24.0-0-0 Qxf3 25.gxf3 Nd7 26.Nh7+! In this very special position White has good drawing chances. 23...Qe4+ 24.Ne3 Qxd4 25.Rd1 Qe5 26.Qc2 Nd7 27.Kf1 c5 28.Qh7 Qg7 29.Qe4 Ba6+ 30.Kg1 Re8 31.Ng4

31...Kg8?! 31...Qxb2-/+ was better. 32.Re1 Bc8 33.Re3 Nf6? 33...Qh7!-/+ is controlling the important diagonal. 34.Qc6? 34.Nxf6+ Qxf6 35.Rg3 Kg7 (35...e5 36.Qh4!) 36.Qe3 Kg6 37.d7 Bxd7 38.Qd3+ Qf5 39.Qxd7 Qb1+ 40.Kh2 Rh8+ 41.Rh3 Rxh3+ 42.gxh3=. 34...Rf8 35.Ne5 Nd7 36.Ng4 Nf6. 36...Qd4 37.Rg3 Kg7–+. 37.Ne5 Nd7

Gelfand had no reason to avoid repeating moves, because with this draw he won the match! Objectivly speaking Black's position is still winning. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

The final press conference after the last game (with Gelfand, Veröci, Leko)

The prize giving, with the Lord Mayor of Miskolc Sandor Kali

On the free day the players went on an outing with the organisers and helpers...

... to a trout farm, where the fish are grown in aquaculture

Boris Gelfand and Peter Leko in relaxed circumstances

Afterwards Peter holds a lecture for the local chess community

... and Boris joins in with a talk on one of his best games

Peter, Zsuzsa and Boris pose with young chess fans from Miskolc

Photos by Gabor Veroci

Our annotators

GM Ferenc Berkes, who has been supplying us with analysis of the Miskolc games

IM Gyula Mészáros, who has been his trainer for fourteen years now

Final standing

 Peter Leko
 Boris Gelfand



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