Miskolc 2006: Leko beats Karpov 4.5:3.5

by ChessBase
9/4/2006 – On the day of his sixth wedding anniversary Peter Leko clinched victory over Anatoly Karpov in the rapid chess match in Miskolc, Hungary. Both games were drawn on the final day, but again they were fighting games that had the packed audience enthralled – especially when Karpov pulled off another incredible save. Pictorial report with annotated games.

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.


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 four

Both games were again fighting draws, with another incredible save by Karpov in a position that nobody thought Leko could not win. The following analysis was provided by the official hall commentators GM Ferenc Berkes and Im Gyula Meszaros.

Leko,Peter (2738) - Karpov,Anatoly (2668) [D27]
Miskolc Miskolc (7), 03.09.2006 [Berkes/Meszaros]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 Karpov takes the pawn again. 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 a6 7.Bb3 cxd4 Karpov deflects from the line of the fifth round. 8.exd4 Be7 9.Nc3 Nc6

10.Bg5 0-0 11.Qd2 Nd5 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Rfe1 Qd6

15.Rac1 [15.Qc3 Be6 16.Qc5 Rfd8 17.Rac1 Rac8 18.Qxd6 Rxd6 19.Rxc8+ Nxc8=; 15.Re5 Be6 16.Rae1 Nc6 17.Rh5 (17.Rg5 Rfe8) 17...Rfe8 (17...h6? 18.Rxh6 gxh6 19.Qxh6 Rfe8 20.Bc2! Rac8 21.Bh7+ Kh8 22.Bf5+ Kg8 23.Rxe6!+-) 18.h3 h6 19.Ne5 f6! 20.Nxc6 bxc6 21.Bc2 Bf7 22.Rxe8+ Rxe8 23.Rh4 Qe7] 15...Bg4?! This unaccuracy gives a hard time for black. [15...Bf5?! 16.Qg5 Be4 17.Nd2 Rac8 18.Rcd1+/-; 15...Be6 16.Ng5 (16.Bc2 Rac8) 16...Bf5 17.Re5 f6 18.Ne4! Qd8 19.Bxd5+ Kh8 20.Rxf5 Nxf5 21.Bxb7 Rb8 22.Bxa6 Nxd4~] 16.Ne5 Bf5 17.Rc3?! Pays back for the loan: [17.Qf4! Rac8 (17...Rad8 18.Rc3) 18.Nd3 Qxf4 19.Nxf4 Be6 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 21.Kf1, and white has a fine edge.] 17...Rac8 18.Rce3 Ng6?! White stole a march on Black, in addition Black slowly gets into a time trouble. [18...Be4?! 19.f3 Bf5 (19...Bg6 20.Nd7!+/-) 20.Qe2!+/- /\Qb4?! 21.Nxf7 Rxf7 22.Rxe7 Qxd4+ 23.Kh1 Rxe7 24.Qxe7+-; 18...f6 19.Nd3 Nc6 20.Nc5 Nxd4 21.Nxb7 (21.Qxd4!? Rxc5 22.Re7) 21...Nxb3 22.Nxd6 Nxd2 23.Nxf5 Rc2 24.Ra3 Rxb2 25.Rxa6+/=] 19.Nxg6 hxg6 20.Re5 Be6 21.h4

21...Rfe8? Blunder. This move loses, although after the better [21...Rfd8 22.h5 gxh5 23.Rxh5 variation white also would have strong attack.] 22.Bxd5 Rcd8 23.Qe3? Peter doesn't consider the possibility of a queen sacrifice whereupon his opponent has good practical chances to save a half point. [23.Bxe6 Rxe6 24.Rxe6 fxe6 25.Qg5 (25.Re4? e5) 25...Qxd4 26.Qxg6 Qxb2 27.Qxe6+ Kh7 28.Qf7 The extra pawn and the vulnerable king in the evolved major piece endgame would have been enough to easily gain the victory.] 23...Qxd5! 24.Rxd5 Rxd5 25.a3?! This move weakens the b3 square. [25.b3 Bd7?! (25...Red8 26.Rd1) 26.Qxe8+! (26.Qc3? Rxe1+ 27.Qxe1 Rxd4 28.Qe5 Rd1+ 29.Kh2 Bc6=) 26...Bxe8 27.Rxe8+ Kh7 28.Re7 Rxd4 29.Rxf7+-] 25...Red8 [25...Bd7?! 26.Qxe8+!] 26.Rd1 Rb5 27.Rd2 Rbd5 [Possibly 27...Rb3 28.Qg5 Rd5 29.Qe7 Kh7 is.] 28.f3 Rc8 29.Kf2 Rcd8 30.Qf4 Rc8 31.Qe4 Rcd8 32.g4 a5 33.a4 [33.Kg3] 33...b5? Black intends to trade the pawns on the queenside, but 33...R8d6! 34.Ke3 Rb6 seems to be a better idea.] 34.axb5 Rxb5 35.Qc6 Rbd5 36.Ke3 Rb8 37.Qc7 Rc8 38.Qb6 Kh7 39.Rd3 [39.Rh2!? Re8 40.Kf2 Red8 41.h5 gxh5 42.Rxh5+ Rxh5 43.Qxd8 Rb5 44.Kg3+-] 39...Rc4 40.Qa7 Rb4 41.Ra3 Rxb2 42.Rxa5 Rbb5

43.Ra3? Mistake. The trade of the rooks is in white's favour. At this point the players had only seconds left so, undersandably, we can not talk about evaluating. [43.Rxb5 Rxb5 44.Qa6 Rd5 45.Ke4 g5 46.hxg5 Rxg5 47.Qc6+-] 43...Rd7 44.Qa8 Rdb7 45.Kf4 Rb4 46.Kg3 Rb8 47.Qe4

47...Rd8 48.h5 [48.Rd3 Kg8] 48...Rbxd4 49.hxg6+ Kh6! 50.Qc2 [50.Qe5 Kxg6 (50...R8d5? 51.gxf7+-) 51.Qh5+ Kf6 52.Qh4+ Kg6 53.f4 Rd3+ 54.Rxd3 Rxd3+ 55.Kf2 Rd5 56.f5+ Bxf5 57.gxf5+ Rxf5+ 58.Kg3 Rg5+ 59.Kf4 f6=] 50...Rd2 51.Qc6 R2d6 52.Qc2 Rd2 53.Qb1 Rd1 54.Qb6 Kxg6 55.Re3 R8d6 56.Qb8 Kh7 57.Re2 R6d2 58.Rxd2 Rxd2 59.Qe5 Rd5 60.Qe4+ g6 61.Qb4 Kg7 62.Kf4 g5+ 63.Kg3 Kg6 64.Qe4+ Kg7 And the point has been cut. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

In the final game of the day Karpov pressed for a win to equalise the match, but Leko defended well and the game ended after 56 hard-fough moves in a draw.

The final score

Peter Leko
Anatoly Karpov

The trophies for the two players

The Mayor of Miskolc (and patron of the tournament) Sándor Káli, Peter Leko,
Arbiter Zsuzsa Veroci and Anatoly Karpov

The seconds: GM Arshak Petrosian, trainer (and father-in-law) of Peter Leko, and
GM Mikhail Podgaets, the long-time second of Anatoly Karpov. Petrosian is also the trainer of the Gold Medal Armenian team at the Olympiad 2006.

Peter gets an exquisit give of fine wines from the Gróf Degenfeld Winery from marketing manager Hedvig Petróczki and hotel director Aladár Döme, who are contemplating chess events with wine and music in the elegant Degenfeld Castle Hotel.

Sofia and Peter Leko, who by chance on the final day were celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary. On the right Sofia's parents Arshak and Marina Petrosian (not related to the great Tigran).

Pictures and report by Frederic Friedel

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


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register