Leko vs Anand begins tomorrow in Miskolc

by ChessBase
6/2/2009 – It is one of our favourite events of the year: an eight-game rapid chess match between top Hungarian GM Peter Leko and a world-class opponent, in a beautiful theatre in a beautiful town in an atmosphere of extraordinary warmth and hospitality. The players, Leko and World Champion Vishy Anand, have arrived with some minor mishaps and a splendid welcome dinner. Photo impressions.

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Peter Leko vs Anand
in Miskolc, Hungary

Chess fans from five continents can look forward to a spectacular event taking place in Miskolc from June 2-7, 2009. The year’s most prestigious clash in Hungary is being organized at the National Theater, 1 Déryné str, Miskolc.

The number one Hungarian grandmaster, Peter Leko takes up a duel of eight games against the Indian World Champion Viswanathan Anand. The games will be played at a rate of 25 minutes for all moves with a bonus of ten seconds per moves. In case of a 4-4 draw blitz games will decide the winner. The arbiter of the Match will be WGM Zsuzsa Veroci, Head of Communication of the Hungarian Chess Federation.

At the end of each day of play there will be a press conference of 10-15 minutes with both players. On the final day the press conference will last 30 minutes.

Miskolc 2009 – first impressions

Photo report by Frederic Friedel

Our trip starts at Hamburg Airport, where a direct Malev flight to Budapest (1 hour 20 minutes) cost us €36 – both ways. Well, there were taxes to be paid as well, but the total still came to just €125.

Guess whom we ran into at Hamburg Airport: strapping GM Jan Gustafsson, second to Peter Leko

Such a great conversationalist: "Gusti" on the flight to Budapest

At Budapest Ferihegy International Airport a group of fans wait, not for Anand, wife Aruna or me...

... but for this young lady with the unusual piercing (google for her yourself)

At last Anand arrives at Budapest Airport from Madrid, but with a bag missing

Did you know that Lufthansa pays you €100 on the spot for missing luggage? Now if we check in many bags, and label them badly... Naw, not a feasible plan. That's Aruna Anand collecting the Lufthansa bonus.

On our two-hour drive to Miskolc, thankfully a place we know how to pronounce

Arrival at our hotel and warmly greeted by our host Attila Barva (FM, top rating 2400+)

Very nice and very cozy: the City Hotel, where the players and special guests stay

The reception with Zoltan ("Internet? Of course, in every room") Gorami and assistant Adrienn

Feeling at home: this is my fourth time in Miskolc, and I always get the same spacious room (number 36) with the smooth-and-fast Internet connection. One knows it's going to be an enjoyable event.

Psychological warfare by the Hungarian side? This year they have put scales in all the bathrooms

Anand and Aruna get their own translator, Zsuzsanna Rinyu. Hungarian is an island language which nobody outside the country speaks and in which you cannot recognise a single word by its root. Zsuzsa has a very important role to play.

On the first evening we are taken to an exclusive fish restaurant, Kispipa Halászcsávda, for a welcome-to-Miskolc dinner

Nice: Anand and Peter Leko are placed at the head of the table, their wives next to them

Deciding what to take from an incredibly rich menu – Peter and his wife Sofi

Sofi gets what she asked for: a huge plate with grilled trout

Anand telling Peter about the fish he ate on an African safari...

Just kidding, of course. Peter and Sofi enjoying a relaxed dinner

Peter's team: Jan Gustafsson, second, Carsten Hensel, manager, IM Olaf Heinzel, Product Manager of UEP

UEP CEO Stefan Koth, match Arbiter WGM Zsuzsa Veroci, City Councillor György Barta...

... who is our host at this dinner, and makes a welcome speech

Zsuzsanna the Translator and Szilvia Barva, wife of organiser FM Attila

My, how time flies! Lékó Péter, as he is known in Hungary, is set to turn 30 in September (we've known him since he was thirteen). Peter speaks German almost better than English.

His wife Sofi, originally from Armenia, speaks more languages than you care to know about. She can also do wonderful imitations of foreigners – Frenchmen speaking English, Peter speaking German...

Aruna Anand, peeking from behind your photographer, speaks English, Spanish, Tamil, Hindi and a few other Indian languages. Her husband (right) has now become disconcertingly fluent in German (but hasn't picked up much Hungarian so far).

Schedule of the Rapid Chess event

Monday 01 June   Arrival (transfer from Budapest to Miskolc)
Tuesday 02 June 18.00h Opening ceremony and drawing of colours in the National Theater of Miskolc
Wednesday 03 June 16.30h First game of the match
    18.00h Second game of the match
Thursday 04 June 16.30h Third game of the match
    18.00h Fourth game of the match
Friday 05 June 16.00h Public event, ITC International Trade Center, 1. Mindszent Square, Miskolc
Saturday 06 June 16.30h Fifth game of the match
    18.00h Sixth game of the match
Sunday 07 June 16.30h Seventh game of the match
    18.00h Eighth game of the match
    19.30h Closing ceremony



The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.

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