London Grand Prix round 6, Peter Leko used a novelty in a well-known position in Najdorf variation of the Sicilian defence
LEKO - GIRI
Earlier players played only Qa5 here (this move number can differ as in the opening it is possible to repeat the position in quite a standard way Be3-Ng4-Bc1-Nf6). Leko offered a pawn sacrifice: 15.Kb1.
"I prepared this move three years ago before the Grand Prix tournament in August 2009 - explained Peter, - and at that moment I liked the idea. But since than a lot of time has passed and my computer shows this move in the first line so i think many players knew this move though. Perhaps there are games between computers or correspondence ones which we do not know, so I didn't look upon this move as a novelty really. So I didn't play like that against Wojtasek during the Olympiad. But as I expected Giri to play the Petrof defence which I analyzed during my day-off I was surprised to see the Sicilian and I decided to surprise him in my turn with this pawn sacrifice.
The only thing that was in my head was a key idea with 17.g3 and 18.f4. Computer variations with some advantage didn't seem to be successful while the play was promising, but my opponent reply 18...а5 turned out to be very good. Without this move white will gradually have a good position.
Giri: "I knew about 15.Kb1. I didn't remember my analysis but I rememeber that the computer tried to grab the pawn on d6 and that it was not at all serious so I thought this novelty isn't something special. Peter thought of an idea with 17.g3 and 18.f4 with position compensation which didn't seem at all simple so I decided to take a risk and make a strange move 18...а5. We both thought during the game that Peter missed 21.Bh6, winning exchange but in our analysis there was a lot of countergame for black so perhaps my move 18...а5 isn't too bad. My opponent decided to avoid principle variations and prefered to play securely. For example, 24.Qb7 was more ambitious, but if he prevents my game I prevent his so the drawish result seems fair".
[Event "1st FIDE GP London 2012"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2012.09.27"] [Round "6"] [White "Leko,P"] [Black "Giri,A"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2730"] [EventDate "2012.09.21"] [ECO "B90"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bc1 Nf6 8. f3 e5 9. Nb3 Be6 10. Be3 h5 11. Qd2 Nbd7 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. exd5 g6 14. O-O-O Nb6 15. Kb1 Nbxd5 16. Bg5 Be7 17. g3 O-O 18. f4 a5 19. Bg2 a4 20. Bxd5 Nxd5 21. Qxd5 axb3 22. Qxb3 Bxg5 23. fxg5 Qxg5 24. Rxd6 e4 25. h4 Qf5 26. a3 Rae8 27. Re1 Re7 28. Re3 Rc8 29. Rd4 Kg7 30. Qb4 Rce8 31. Qd2 Re5 32. Qc3 Kh7 33. Qd2 Kg7 34. Qc3 Kh7 35. Qd2 Kg7 36. Qc3 1/2-1/2