Dannemann: Kramnik wins first game with black

by ChessBase
9/25/2004 – It can't get any worse than losing the first game with white, but that's what challenger Peter Leko will have to overcome if he is to take the title. In a tremendous game Vladimir Kramnik sacrificed his queen and then squeezed a win in a difficult ending. Directly from Brissago: the game, pictures and video reports!

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Vladimir Kramnik wins game one

Vladimir Kramnik won the first game of the Dannemann world championship. It was everything a world champion's game should be. Superior opening preparation, an excellent queen sacrifice, and total precision in the endgame. Kramnik defeated Peter Leko with the black pieces in the first game of their 14-game classical world championship match in Brissago Switzerland.

Leko,P (2741) - Kramnik,V (2770) [C42]
Dannemann Classical WCh Brissago (1), 25.09.2004

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 No Sicilian, but no Berlin! 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf5 11.a3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nc6 13.Re1 Re8 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bf4 Rac8 16.h3 Be4.

[16...Bf6 17.Nh2 Qa5 18.Bd2 ( 18.Ng4 Qxc3 19.Nxf6+ gxf6 20.Be3 Rcd8<=>) 18...Ne7 0-1 Shirov,A-Bologan,V/Wijk aan Zee 2004/CBM 99/[Huzman] (40)( 18...Rcd8 19.Bf3 h6 20.Ng4 Bxg4 21.hxg4 Bg5 22.Bxg5 hxg5 23.Rxe8+ ( 23.Qc1!+/- Rxe1+ 24.Qxe1 Kf8 25.Rb1 Re8 26.Qc1!+/-) 23...Rxe8 24.Qd3 Nd8!+/= 1/2-1/2 Kramnik,V-Anand,V/Wijk aan Zee 2003/CBM 93/[Huzman] (51) ( 24...Nd8 1/2-1/2 Timman,J-Karpov,A/Wijk aan Zee 2003/CBM 93(24)) ) ]

17.Be3 Na5. [17...Rcd8 18.Nd2 Bg6 19.Bf3 Qd7 20.Qa4 Ne5 21.Qxd7 Nxf3+ 22.Nxf3 Rxd7 23.Ne5 Rd5 24.Nxg6 fxg6 25.a4 Kf7 26.Reb1 1/2-1/2 Leko,P-Bologan,V/Dortmund GER 2004/(26)]

18.c4 Nxc4 19.Bxc4 Qxc4 20.Nd2 Qd5 21.Nxe4 Qxe4 22.Bg5 Qxe1+ 23.Qxe1 Bxg5 24.Qa5 Bf6 25.Qxa7 c5 26.Qxb7 Bxd4 27.Ra2 c4 28.Re2 Red8 29.a4 c3 30.Qe4 Bb6 31.Qc2 g6 32.Qb3 Rd6! 33.Rc2 Ba5 34.g4 [34.Qb7 Rcd8 35.g4] 34...Rd2 35.Kg2 Rcd8 36.Rxc3 Bxc3 37.Qxc3 R2d5 38.Qc6 Ra5 39.Kg3 Rda8 40.h4 R5a6 41.Qc1 Ra5 42.Qh6 Rxa4 43.h5 R4a5 44.Qf4? [44.hxg6 Necessary. 44...hxg6]

44...g5 45.Qf6 h6!-+ 46.f3 [46.f4? Ra3+ 47.Kf2 Ra2+ 48.Kf3 R8a3+ 49.Ke4 Ra4+ 50.Ke3 R2a3+ 51.Ke2 Rb3 52.Qf5; 46.Qxh6?? R8a6] 46...R5a6 47.Qc3 Ra4 48.Qc6 R8a6 49.Qe8+ Kg7 50.Qb5 R4a5 51.Qb4 Rd5 52.Qb3 Rad6 53.Qc4 Rd3 54.Kf2 Ra3 55.Qc5 Ra2+ 56.Kg3 Rf6 57.Qb4 Raa6 58.Kg2 Rf4 59.Qb2+ Raf6 60.Qe5 Rxf3 61.Qa1 Rf1 62.Qc3 R1f2+ 63.Kg3 R2f3+ 64.Qxf3 Rxf3+ 65.Kxf3 Kf6 0-1.

Picture Gallery

The players enter the playing hall for game one of the event

Match director Joel Lautier of the ACP announces the official start, while Peter Leko prepares his scoresheet

Both contestants have taken their seats, but there are still a few things to be done

First the national hymns of Hungary, Russia and Switzerland

Guest of honor Anatoly Karpov ceremoniously makes the first move for Peter Leko

First of all the five minutes of the game belongs to the photographers

Peter Leko, the challenger, begins his first ever world championship game

The more experienced Vladimir Kramnik, who has a novelty up his sleeve

The playing hall in Centro Dannemann

Two of Leko's seconds, Vladimir Akopian and Vladislav Tkachiev in good spirits

Peter's is still doing fine. Wife Sophie and her mother Marina (standing) follow the game with Hungarian WGM Zsuzsa Veröci in the press room

At the press conference after the match Peter Leko comments his loss cheerfully, while Vladimir Kramnik looks exhausted and downcast

Not even one little smile, Vlady? After all you won the game!

Okay, that's more like it. But hats off to Peter for a spirited press conference immediately after the disheartening loss

Pictures by Frederic Friedel

Video reports

Contacts and further information

Rolf Behovits
Press Officer World Chess Championship
Via Ruggero Leoncavallo
CH-6614 Brissago


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register