- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 15, 2003

Grandmaster Peter Leko has won the Category 20 elite tournament in Linares, Spain, on tie-breaks over Russian world champion Vladimir Kramnik, the biggest triumph in the young Hungarian's career.
The seven-player field included two former titleholders Russian Garry Kasparov and Indian Viswanathan Anand and the current holder of the FIDE world-title crown, Ukraine's Ruslan Ponomariov. Kasparov and Anand finished a half-point behind the winners, and Ponomariov was alone in fifth after a rough start.
This year's edition of the famous tournament marked the first time in 10 consecutive elite events that Kasparov has failed either to win outright or to share equal first, an incredible streak given the world-class competition he routinely faced.
The full Linares score card: Leko, Kramnik 7-5; Kasparov, Anand 6-5; Ponomariov 5 -6; Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain) 5-7; and Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) 4-7.
The tournament turned on some shaky endgame technique by Anand, who dropped a drawn ending to Kasparov in Round 7 and then did the same thing in a pivotal game against Leko in the penultimate round.
Needing a win to catch Kramnik, Leko gets only a slight pull as White against Anand's solid Petroff, but the weakness of his queen-side pawns keeps Black on the defensive. Black seeks to simplify with 24…Bxe5 25. Bxe5 Re8 26. Bg3 Nf5 27. Bxc7 Qxc7 28. Qxf5 Qxc4, but on 29. d6! Rd8 30. d7, the passed d-pawn ties down Anand's queen and rook.
Anand tries to reach a drawn pawn-down ending with 31. g3 a6 32. h4 b5 33. Rd5 a5 (loses a pawn but Black was running out of non-damaging moves; e.g. 33…Qc1+ 34. Kg2 Qxa3? loses to 35. Re5 Rf8 [Qf8 36. Qe4 Rxd7 37. Re8] 36. Re8 Qd6 37. Rxf8+ Kxf8 38. Qc5!!, when 38…Qxc5 39. d8=Q is mate) 34. Rxb5.
Anand is a strong endgame player, but his technique simply deserts him here. His 40. g4 Kf6 41. Kg3 Rc1?? 42. Rb5! allows the White rook to get off the a-file and revive Leko's winning chances. The Black rook hustles back to the a-file, but after 59. Kc2 f6 60. Kb2, Anand must either clear off the a-file or allow the White king to move up the board.
It's over on 62. Kb4 Kd6 (Rb1+ 63. Ka5 Rxb7 64. a8=Q) 63. Rh7 Ke5 (Black's also dead lost on 63…Kc6 64. Rxh6 Rxa7 65. Rxf6+ Kd5 [Kc7 66. Rf7+ Kb6 67. Rxa7 Kxa7 68. h6] 66. Rf5+ Ke6 67. Rxg5) 64. Kb5 Ra2 65. Kb6 Kd5. Facing the simple 66. Kb7 Rb2+ 67. Kc8 Ra2 68. Kb8 Rb2+ 69. Rb7, Black stopped the clocks.

Bobby Fischer's 60th birthday last Sunday has to rate as a melancholy milestone.
Fischer's paranoia and repulsive political views are well-known and widely condemned, but a chess fan has to count as a huge loss all the games he never played during three decades of near-total inactivity since he won the title in 1972.
My battered hardcover copy of "Bobby Fischer's Chess Games" contains the scores for about 660 tournament, match and informal games Fischer played over a 20-year span. Throw in the matches with Boris Spassky in Iceland in 1972 and in Yugoslavia in 1992, and Fischer's oeuvre amounts to about 700 games, less than a third of what today's active top grandmasters routinely would play over a lifetime.
It was played too late for his superb "60 Memorable Games," but the Buenos Aires tournament of 1970 was yet another Fischer triumph, in which he lapped the field by 3 points with a 15-2 score. Veteran Argentine GM Oscar Panno was one Fischer victim in the event, in a game that showed Fischer's mature classical style of play at its best.
The King's Indian Attack was one of Fischer's favorite setups against the Sicilian, and he emerges from the opening with a small but clear positional plus owing to the slightly weakened squares around the Black king. After 16. Ne2 Bb5 17. Qd2, Panno looks to a queen-side diversion to blunt the coming White king-side attack, but it is Fischer who stakes the first claim to the open c-file.
White's 18. g4! is a Swiss Army knife of a move, initiating king-side hostilities, clearing g3 for the knight, and panicking Panno into launching his queen-side push before he's ready. White for his part methodically proceeds to build up his forces around the Black king.
Black appears to have eased his plight following 24. Qxh6 Rc8 25. Rxc8+ Nxc8, trading off pieces and relying on his bishop at b5 to keep the boxed-in White bishop from joining the attack via f1. But White finds a brilliant solution to the problem of mobilizing his last inactive piece.
Thus: 26. h5 (Ng5?! Nf8 27. Nxe4? dxe4 28. Nxe4 Qd8 holds for Black) Qd8? (a defensive lapse when Black can't afford to slip; tougher was 26…Nf8 27. Qf4 Qc7 28. h6, when White would be forced to work harder to invade) 27. Ng5 Nf8 (see diagram) 28. Be4!!, a thunderbolt that invites the losing 28…dxe4 29. N3xe4 Qe7 (Ne7 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. Nxf7 mate) 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. Ngxh7 Bd3 32. Nxf8 mate.
Black tries 28…Qe7, but Fischer uses a piece sacrifice and his trademark accuracy to clinch the win with maximum efficiency: 29. Nxh7! Nxh7 30. hxg6 fxg6 31. Bxg6 Ng5 (Qg7 32. Bxh7+ Kh8 [Qxh7 33. Qxe6+ Qf7 34. Qxc8+ wins] 33. Qxg7+ Kxg7 34. Bb1 leaves White with a winning ending) 32. Nh5 Nf3+ 33. Kg2 Nh4+ 34. Kg3 Nxg6 35. Nf6+! (the final shot; 35. Qxg6+? Kf8 36. Nf4 Bd7 is actually better for Black) Kf7 36. Qh7+.
With 36…Kf7 37. Qg8 mate all that's left to play, Panno resigned.

XX Linares SuperGM Tournament,
Linares, Spain, March 2003

1. e4e534. Rxb5g6
2. Nf3Nf635. Qd5Qxd7
3. Nxe5d636. Qxd7Rxd7
4. Nf3Nxe437. Rxa5Kg7
5. d4d538. a4Rd1+
6. Bd3Nc639. Kg2Ra1
7. 0-0Be740. g4Kf6
8. c4Nb441. Kg3Rc1
9. Be20-042. Rb5g5
10. Nc3Bf543. Rf5+Kg6
11. a3Nxc344. h5+Kg7
12. bxc3Nc645. a5Ra1
13. Re1Re846. Kg2Re1
14. cxd5Qxd547. f3Re6
15. Bf4Rac848. Kf2Kf8
16. Bd3Qd749. Rb5Kg7
17. Rb1Bxd350. Rf5Kf8
18. Qxd3b651. Rc5Kg7
19. d5Bf652. Rb5Kf8
20. c4h653. Rb6Re5
21. h3Re754. a6Kg7
22. Rbd1Rd855. a7Ra5
23. Rxe7Nxe756. Rb7Ra3
24. Ne5Bxe557. Ke2Kf6
25. Bxe5Re858. Kd2Ke6
26. Bg3Nf559. Kc2f6
27. Bxc7Qxc760. Kb2Ra4
28. Qxf5Qxc461. Kb3Ra1
29. d6Rd862. Kb4Kd6
30. d7Qc663. Rh7Ke5
31. g3a664. Kb5Ra2
32. h4b565. Kb6Kd5
33. Rd5a5and Black resigns

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1970
1. e4c519. Ng3Qb6
2. Nf3e620. h4Nb8
3. d3Nc621. Bh6Nd7
4. g3g622. Qg5Rxc1
5. Bg2Bg723. Rxc1Bxh6
6. 0-0Nge724. Qxh6Rc8
7. Re1d625. Rxc8+Nxc8
8. c30-026. h5Qd8
9. d4cxd427. Ng5Nf8
10. cxd4d528. Be4Qe7
11. e5Bd729. Nxh7Nxh7
12. Nc3Rc830. hxg6fxg6
13. Bf4Na531. Bxg6Ng5
14. Rc1b532. Nh5Nf3+
15. b3b433. Kg2Nh4+
16. Ne2Bb534. Kg3Nxg6
17. Qd2Nac635. Nf6+Kf7
18. g4a536. Qh7+Blackresigns
David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at [email protected].



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