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A strong player does not concern himself with thoughts about whether he stands "better" or "worse". Finding the best moves is enough to worry about without attempting to provide a running commentary on who is winning the race.

In today's game, young Peter Leko lost through a deluded belief that he stood better. Perhaps he did. Perhaps he did not. In any case, his opponent won through concentrating on playing good moves.

White: Viswanathan Anand

Black: Peter Leko

Dortmund 1996

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0-0 b5

A move of dubious credentials. 7...Nf6 is to be preferred.

8.Nxc6 dxc6 9.Bg5 Bb7 10.Qd2 Nf6 11.Rad1 b4 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Na4 c5

Black has the bishop pair and chances of a concerted attack on g2 down the g-file and long diagonal. His king's safety, however, gives cause for concern.

14.Bf3 Rg8 15.Qe3 Rg5 16.b3 Bd6 17.g3 Be5 18.Bg2 Bd4

Both players have been heading single-mindedly for this position. A more circumspect man as Black might have contented himself with the development scheme of h5, Be7, Kf8 and Kg7.

19.Rxd4! cxd4 20.Qxd4 Qe7 21.h4 Ra5!

Well played, young man! Instead 21...Rg8 22.Nc5 leaves White on top. Now Black plans to meet 22.Qb6 with 22...Rxa4 23.bxa4 Rc8 .

22.Qd2! Rd8 23.Qh6

When the rook's away, the queen will play. The target is the h-pawn.

23...Bc6 24.Nb6 Rxa2 25.Nc4 Bb5 26.e5! f5

After 26...fxe5, White planned 27.Nxe5 when Bxf1 loses to Bc6+.

27.Rc1 Qc5 28.Nd6+ Rxd6 29.exd6 Qxd6 30.Bf3 Bc6? (see diagram)

Before this, the game was delicately poised with Black's extra pawn balanced by White's threat to the h-pawn, which was in tun counter-balanced by Black's lurking idea of Qd2. Now, however, White has a neat tactic to seize control.

31.Qf4!Qd7 32.Qb8+ Ke7 33.Bxc6 Qxc6 34.Rd1 Qe8 35.Qxb4+ Kf6 36.Qd2 Qc8

With his rook offside, Black is doomed.

37.Qg5+ Ke5 38.Qg7+ f6 39.Qh6 resigns

Mate by Qf4 is not to be denied. , ,a, ,

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