Miskolc 2006: games five and six fighting draws

9/3/2006 – Day three began with Peter Leko outplaying Anatoly Karpov, but just when everyone thought he had it in the bag Karpov pulled off a miracle save. In game two Karpov played aggressively, but only got a draw. We bring you pictures, analysis and the story of an eight-year-old lady who can stand up to a GM in a simul. Meet Timea.

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Peter Leko vs Anatoly Karpov in Miskolc

Chess Rapid Match – Miskolc

Peter Leko and Anatoly Karpov are playing a rapid chess match in Miskolc, Hungary, from August 30 to September 3, 2006. There are two games per day at 16:00h and 17:30h European time.

Péter Lékó was born on 8th September 1979 in Subotica, and has been living in Szeged since 1980. At 2738 Elo he is ranked sixth in the world (July 2006).

Anatoly Karpov, born on May 23, 1951, is the legendary 12th world champion and the most successful tournament player of all time. His peak strength was 2780, his current rating is 2668, putting him at no. 40 in the world.

Day three

Eight-year-old Timea Hercsik with her hero Peter Leko

Timea is one of Hungary's many talents. At eight she is being trained by WGM Zsuzsa Veroci and is making remarkable progress. Yesterday she was playing in the simultaneous exhibition against GM Ferenc Berkes, who told us that he was quite shocked when she got a draw. Timea Herczik was chosen to make the ceremonious first move in game five of the Leko-Karpov match. More about Timea at the end of this report.

Timea stretching to start another 1.d4 duel between Karpov and Leko

In the first game Anatoly Karpov pulled off a miracle save in a game that everyone thought Peter Leko had won. The hall commentator, speaking over infrared receivers, is 21-year-old Hungarian GM Ferenc Berkes, who gave us the following commentary which he and his former trainer Gyula Meszaros produced after the games were over.

Peter Leko - Anatoly Karpov [D26]
Miskolc (5), 02.09.2006 [Commentary: Berkes/Meszaros]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4. Big surprise: Karpov plays QGA (Queen's Gambit Accepted) with Black! 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0! a6 7.Bb3

The game starts as the audience in the packed theatre looks on

7...Nc6 8.Nc3

Karpov pondering on move eight

8...Be7 9.Qe2 cxd4 10.Rd1 0-0!

11.Nxd4! After this game this move will be very popular. 11...Nxd4 12.exd4 Nd5 13.Qf3 Nxc3 14.bxc3 Qc7 [14...Ra7?! 15.d5 exd5 16.Bxd5 Qa5 17.Bf4 b6 18.Be5 Be6 19.Qg3+/-]

15.Bf4? It is a mistake: the c1B is a good attacking piece, the exchange is favour for Black. 15.c4 Bf6

a) 15...e5?! 16.Qg3 Be6 (16...Bf6 17.Bb2) 17.Bh6 Bf6 18.Re1 Rfd8 19.dxe5 Kf8 20.f4 Qb6+ 21.c5 Qxc5+ 22.Kh1 1-0 Aleksandrov-Nikitin, Smolensk 2000;

b) 15...b6? 16.Qxa8 Bb7 17.Bf4 Qc6 18.d5 Qd7 19.Qa7+-;

c) 15...Bd6?! 16.c5 Be7 (16...Bxh2+ 17.Kh1 Bd7 18.g3 Bc6 19.d5+-) 17.Bf4 Qd7 18.Rac1 Qc6 19.d5 exd5 20.Bxd5 Qg6 21.h3 Ra7 22.Qe3 Bf6 23.c6 bxc6 24.Be4 Bf5 25.Bxf5 Qxf5 26.g4 1-0 Kasparov-Spangenberg, Simul, Buenos Aires;

d) 15...Bd7 16.Bf4 Bd6 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.Qxb7 Bc6 19.Qb6+/-; 16.Bf4 e5 17.Bg3 Qa5 18.dxe5 Bxe5 19.Rd5 Qxd5 20.Qxd5 Bxa1 21.c5+/-; 15.Rd3!? Rd8 16.Bf4! (16.Qh5 g6; 16.Bc2 e5! 17.dxe5 Be6 18.Bf4 Rac8 19.Rxd8+ Rxd8 20.Be4 b5) 16...Bd6 (16...Qc6 17.Qe2) 17.Bg5 Be7 18.Qh5 Bxg5 19.Qxg5 h6 20.Qg4 Qe7 21.Rg3 Qf6 22.Qe4+/-.

15...Bd6 16.Bxd6 Qxd6 17.c4 Rb8 18.Rac1 Bd7 19.c5 Qc7 20.d5 exd5 21.Bxd5 h6 instead of this move [21...Bc6 22.Bxc6 Qxc6 23.Qxc6 bxc6 24.Rd6 Rfc8 is an easy draw] 22.g3 [White's attack is not so dangerous, for example: 22.Qh5 Bc6 23.Bb3 Rbe8 24.Rd6 Re7 25.Rxh6 gxh6 26.Qg6+ Kh8 27.Qxh6+ Kg8=] 22...a5 23.h4 [23.c6 bxc6 24.Bxc6 Bxc6 25.Rxc6 Qb7=] 23...Qc8 24.Rd4 [24.Re1 Bc6 25.Rcd1 Bxd5 26.Qxd5 Rd8=] 24...Be6 25.a3 Bxd5 26.Rxd5 Rd8 [26...Qc6?! 27.Qd3 Rbc8 28.Rd6 Qc7 29.Qd5+/=] 27.Rxd8+ Qxd8 28.Rb1 Qc7?! [28...b5 29.c6 b4 30.axb4 axb4=] 29.Rb5 a4 30.Qe4 Kh8 31.Qxa4 Qc6 32.Ra5 Qd5! It is a very good decision, because the White King is out of safety so Black can try to give perpetual check. 33.Ra8 Rxa8 34.Qxa8+ Kh7

35.Qa5?! [35.Qe8 was the best move, but after 35...Qxc5 36.Qxf7 Qxa3 37.Qxb7 h5 the position is theoretical draw.] 35...Qd1+ 36.Kg2 Qd5+ 37.Kf1 Qd3+ 38.Kg1 Qd1+ 39.Kh2 Qd4 40.Kg2 Qd5+ 41.f3 Qa2+ 42.Kh3 Qe6+ 43.g4 Qe3 44.Kg3 [44.Kg2 Qe2+ 45.Kg3 Qe5+ 46.Kf2 Qh2+=] 44...Qg1+ 45.Kf4 Qd4+ 46.Kg3 Qg1+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

After this save Karpov was obviously elated and came in to the second game in a fighting mood. He went for a sharp line to see whether he could get his opponent to perhaps crumble after the disappointment of game five.

Anatoly Karpov - Peter Leko [D47]
Miskolc (6), 02.09.2006 [Berkes/Meszaros]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.Ng5?! It is a very popular move, but 9...Bb7 10.Qf3 h6 11.Qh3 Qe7! after this reply White has to change his value. 12.Bd2 0-0 13.Nge4

13...Nxe4? Mistake 13...b4 gives better chanches for Black. 14.Ne2 (14.Nxf6+ Nxf6 15.Ne4 c5 16.Nxc5 Bxc5 17.dxc5 Rfd8 18.Be2 Rxd2 19.Kxd2 Ne4+ 20.Ke1 Qf6 21.f3 Qxb2-+) 14...Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Ba6!? (15...Nf6 16.Bf3 c5 17.dxc5 Bxc5 18.Bxb7 Qxb7 19.0-0 Rfd8 20.Rfd1=/+) 16.Bxc6 (16.Bf3 Rac8 17.0-0 c5) 16...Rac8 17.Rc1 b3! 18.axb3 (18.a3 Bxa3! 19.bxa3 (19.Bxd7?! Qxd7 20.bxa3 Rxc1+ 21.Bxc1 Qb5 22.Qf3 b2-+) 19...b2 20.Rb1 Rxc6 21.Bb4 Qf6 22.Bxf8 Rc2 23.Nf4 Nxf8-/+) 18...Bb4 19.Qf3 e5 –>.

14.Nxe4 c5 [14...Bb4?! 15.0-0 Bxd2 (15...f5?! 16.a3! /\fxe4? 17.Bxb4 c5 18.dxc5 exd3 19.c6+-) 16.Nxd2 c5 17.Bxb5 cxd4 18.exd4 Nf6 19.Nb3+/=] 15.Nxd6 [15.0-0 Bxe4! (15...cxd4 16.exd4 Bxe4 17.Bxe4 Rac8 18.Rac1 Nf6 19.Bc6 a6 20.Qf3+/=) 16.Bxe4 Rac8=] 15...Qxd6 16.Bxb5 cxd4 17.0-0 d3?! Risky move: Black opens the a1-h8 diagonal. [>=17...Rab8 18.exd4 Bxg2 19.Qxg2 Rxb5 20.Bxh6 Qxd4 21.Rad1 Qf6 22.Bxg7 Qxg7 23.Qxg7+ Kxg7 24.Rxd7 Rxb2 25.Rxa7 Kf6=] 18.Bc3 Qd5! 19.Qg4! Ne5 20.Bxe5 Qxe5 21.Bxd3 Qxb2 [21...Rfd8 22.Bc4 (22.Rfd1 Qxb2 23.Rab1 Qc3 24.Rb3 Qc7=) 22...Rd2 23.b3 Rad8 24.Rad1 h5 25.Rxd2 Rxd2 26.Qh4 Qxe3 27.Qxh5 Qf4©] 22.Rab1 Qc3 23.Rxb7 Qxd3 24.Qa4 Rfb8 [24...Rfd8 25.Rxa7 Rxa7 26.Qxa7 Qe2 27.h3 Rd2 28.a4 Ra2 29.Qb8+ Kh7 30.Qb3 Qd2=] 25.Rd7 [25.Rxa7? Rxa7 26.Qxa7 Rb1-+]

25...Rb4! Nice intermediate move which gives easy draw for Black. 26.Qc6 Qe4 27.Qxe4 Rxe4 28.Rc1 Ra4 29.Rc2 [29.Rcc7 Rxa2 30.h3 Rf8 31.Rxa7 Rxa7 32.Rxa7=] 29...g5 30.h3 Rf8 31.g4 Kg7 32.Kg2 Kg6 33.Kg3 a6 34.Ra7 h5 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Autograph seekers crowd Peter Leko after the end of round six

Score so far

Peter Leko
Anatoly Karpov


Timea Hercsik is eight and a half years old and one of those remarkable young talents that Hungary regularly produces. She learnt chess with her mother Gabriella – actually the mother learnt chess with the daughter and has now stopped trying to keep up. The younger sister, Dalma, is also learning the game.

A Hungarian chess family: Dalma, Timea and Gabriella Mercsik

Timea has an excellent and dedicated teacher: WGM Zsuzsa Veroci. While I am writing this report the two have been working for hours in the room next to mine, as shown in the picture above.

Grandmaster Ferenc Berkes, 21, Elo 2601

Ferenc Berkes, who annotated the two games above, is currently Hungary's sixth strongest GM (after Leko, Polgar, Almasi, Gyimesi and Balogh). The very intense and ambitious young man gave a simultaneous exhibition on the town square on the free day. He told us that he was very impressed that the eight-year-old Timea had held him to a draw. "We must watch this girl," he said. "She is very talented!"

We asked Timea for the game. She reconstructed it in the broadcast room of Playchess, professionally discussing alternate lines with her teacher while she did so. Here is Timea's game:

Berkes,F (2601) - Hercsik,T [A21]
Miskolc Simul, 01.09.2006
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4 3.Nd5 Nc6 4.Nxb4 Nxb4 5.a3 Nc6 6.e3 Nf6 7.d3 b6 8.Nf3 Bb7 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 d5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.b4

12...Nc3 13.Qc2 Nxe2+ 14.Qxe2 Ba6 15.Rd1 e4 16.Qc2 exf3 17.Qxc6

17...fxg2? Here Timea and Zsuzsa analysed alternate lines, especially 17...Bxd3. The text move allows 18.b5, and the bishop is trapped (18...Bc8 19Qxa8). Luckily Berkes missed this shot in the simultaneous display: 18.Bb2? Qd6 19.Qxd6 cxd6 20.Rac1 Rac8 21.Kxg2 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Rc8 23.Rxc8+ Bxc8. The girl has traded down to a opposite colored bishop endgame and challenges the GM to beat her in it. 24.Kg3 Kf8 25.e4 f5 26.e5 dxe5 27.Bxe5 b5 28.Kf4 a6 29.d4 g6 30.d5 Ke8 31.Kg5 Bb7 32.d6 Bc6 33.Kf6 ½-½. Grandmaster Berkes senses that he is not going to trick this opponent and concedes a draw. Bravo, Timea! [Click to replay]

Pictures and report by Frederic Friedel

Topics: Miskolc 2006
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