Leko equalises match against Adams

6/5/2005 – After his shock 0-2 start Peter Leko lost game three as well. But just when it looked like he was heading for the biggest disaster of his career the Hungarian chess hero turned the tide and won the next three games in succession. The score is now 3:3 with no draws, tomorrow is the super-exciting "penalty shoot-out". Here's a big illustrated report.

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An eight-game rapid chess match between the world's No. 3 Peter Lékó (Hungary) and No. 6 Michael Adams (England) is being held between June 2nd and 5th 2005 in the Kossuth Cinema of Miskolc, Hungary.

Péter Lékó was born on 8th September in 1979 in Subotica, he has been living in Szeged since 1980. At 2763 Elo he is ranked fourth in the FIDE rank list published 1st April 2005, i.e. number three if one removes the retired Garry Kasparov.

Michael Adams was born on 17 November 1971 in Truro, Cornwall. He was ranked number seven at 2737, i.e. number six without Garry Kasparov.

The event is taking place in Miskolc, the third city in Hungary. The people there are great lovers of sport and culture, it is a city of music festivals and has a long tradition of chess activity. Miskolc has produced multiple-winning teams in national championships, as well as a number of noted players on the international scene.

After the stunning 0-2 beating he took on day one, Peter Leko looked like he was in for the disaster of his career. Game three on Friday, an Archangelsk similar to game one, ended in a third straight loss for the Hungarian champ.

Then the tide changed. Maybe Michael Adams was feeling too confident, or had lost his sense of danger. In game four he played a risky opening (13...f5 on the black side of a Chigorin) and got into the kind of position that Leko plays extremely well. And that is exactly what Peter did during the game. Except for one heart-stopping moment (where he did not play 41.Ne6) he had a cheering Internet audience watching his first win in this match.

After that there was no looking back. In game five Leko quickly took the initiative with the black pieces and traded down to queen plus five pawns for either side, with Black on the attack. It took 48 more moves (a total of 79), but in the end the Hungarian had pulled off a complicated endgame victory. And in game six Leko simply outplayed Adams in another Chigorin (without 13...f5) to level the score at 3:0, with two rounds to go.


Peter Leko with arbiter Zsuzsa Veroci at the end of game four

In the press conference after game six Peter said that what had happened to Adams today was the same as what happened on the first day to him: he could not get over the loss of the first game. Adams said he had played a wrong move in game six, but that Leko had played extremely well. GM Zsuzsa Veroci compared the match to Liverpool vs Milano in which the former had recovered from 0-3 to catch up with 3:3. Tomorrow will be the super-exciting "penalty shoot-out."

Tom William of California summed up the course of the match so far: "I think that the calendar for the Argentina Classical World Chess Championship has made Peter play commoners' chess. His arsenal is more lethal than the common lines of the Ruy, but he'd rather wait for Argentina to unleash the real Peter Leko. For this reason I think Dortmund will be a terrible boring tournament, with no substantial novelties being introduced by the big eight."

Take a look at the table at the following table. That is the advantage of rapid chess and challenge matches like these: full of drama, fighting games, no draws. One should regard them as a sporting discipline, whereas Super-GMs like Wijk, Linares or Sofia are like big scientific research projects.

Peter Leko
0
0
0
1
1
1
-
-
3
Michael Adams
1
1
1
0
0
0
-
-
3

Picture impressions

By Slobodan Adzic


The Kossuth Cinema, the venue – in walking distance of the center of Miskolc


Young girls bringing in the decorations for the interior


The entrance of the Kossuth Cinema


Peter Leko arriving at the venue


Wife Sofie Leko


The first move, with the arbiter Zsuzsa Veroci and the Mayor of Miskolc Sandor Kali


An action scene from game one


The start of game three


Leko and Adams on the stage at the end of a game


The audience inside Kossuth Cinema


The book stall of Chess Press of Szeged


The press center


Lined up for a signature from their hero


The "Leko Plus" rapid tournament for children


It's "the week of the book" in the ten largest cities of Hungary


An outdoor orchestra


The tomb of king and Saint Istvan


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