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Kasparov held by Leko
February 25, 2003 16:47 IST
After suffering a shock defeat in the previous game, the world's highest rated player Garry Kasparov failed to make the most of a winning position to settle for a draw against Grandmaster Peter Leko of Hungary in the 20th Linares Super Grandmasters chess tournament in Linares, Spain.
After getting his first of two byes in the meet, World Cup champion Viswanathan Anand of India will be back in action in the fourth round with white pieces against Braingames
champion Vladimir Kramnik, who played out an eventful draw against Spaniard Francisco Vallejo Pons.
The other game of the day between Azerbaijani sensation Teimour Radjabov and World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine was a dull draw lasting just 11 moves.
Kramnik, on two points from three games, shot in to the sole lead after the draw while Anand and Leko are close behind on 1.5 points from two games apiece.
Radjabov holds the fourth position having scored fifty per cent like Vallejo, while Kasparov finds himself much down the leader board with just one point from his 3 games played so far.
Kasparov, who fought till the end, had himself to blame as he missed out on a few winning opportunities against Leko.
Playing white, the Hungarian went for ultra sharp and fashionable English attack against the Sicilian Nazdorf and enjoyed a better position as the middle game surfaced.
Kasparov worked out his counter active measures with a brilliant rook sacrifice on the 38th move that turned the tables on Leko and the Russian looked right on top in the ensuing queen and pawns endgame.
However, in the second time control Kasparov missed the thread of the position and went for an erroneous ‘checking' plan that steered the white king to safety after the dust settled.
The complexities remained for some more time as Leko blundered away his drawing chances on the 71st move but Kasparov failed to give the right reply which, according to a computer programme, would have netted him the full point after 62 more moves.
By the 80th move Leko got a theoretically drawn position on board and the peace treaty was signed on the 87th move.
Vallejo, who opted for the Semi Slav defence with black, surprised Kramnik early in the opening by gaining advantage from a relatively new position.
Kramnik came up with a new idea on the 13th move after a king side Fianchetto that left Vallejo with very little to worry about.
The game was drawn after 30 moves when subsequent exchanges led to a level minor piece endgame.
After his stupendous victory over Kasparov in the second round, Radjabov appeared calm against Ponomariov who was looking to open his account after two disastrous losses in the first two games.
Though the Queen's gambit helped Ponomariov to equalize early, Radjabov appeared in no mood for an intense battle as he settled for a draw.
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