Miskolc 2006: Peter Leko takes the lead

by ChessBase
9/1/2006 – On the second day of their rapid chess match in Miskolc, Hungary, Peter Leko won the first game with the white pieces, in a very exciting effort that started with the unusual (for him) 1.d4. In the second game he held his opponent Anatoly Karpov to a draw. The score is now 2.5:1.5 for the local hero. We bring you another big illustrated report from Miskolc.

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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 two

You could see the surprise on Anatoly Karpov's face when a little boy, son of a sponsor, ceremonially made the first move for Peter Leko. Was it an error by the child or did Leko really intend to abandon his beloved 1.e4 and play 1.d4 in the third game of their rapid chess match? He did, and the two followed a game from San Luis, Topalov vs Anand, until Karpov deviated on move 20. But with the resulting protected pawn on c6 White was able to settle down to a nice torture routine. Karpov was soon very low on time, which led to Peter Leko becoming a little careless and running out of time himself. This in turn led to a few inaccuracies, but in the end the only player who deserved to win did in fact take the full point home.

The fourth game was another Nimzo Indian with 4.Qc2, as in game two. This time Leko deviated with 5.a3, and Karpov got some microscopic advantages, and the game wound up in a rook endgame that White could not win against a player of Leko's caliber.

Score so far

Peter Leko
Anatoly Karpov

Note that there are no games on Friday – just excursions and receptions for the players.

Picture gallery

3:30 p.m. – the BMW limousines are waiting to take the players to the venue

Peter Leko emerges with his entourage: manager Karsten Hensel, family

Anatoly Karpov with a friend and an organiser

Backstage: Peter Leko tells the young lad which move he plans to play...

...and the boy faithfully executes it on the board

Anatoly Karpov: trying to figure out what Leko is up to

The setup on the stage of the theatre, with the giant projection screens

Karpov facing the slow torture of Leko's advanced c-pawn

The final stages of a dramatic encounter

Sorry, he's happily married, ladies...

The start of game four, which Anatoly Karpov determined to win...

...and Peter Leko determined not to lose. It ended in a draw.

In the evening: Hungarian food and wine in the central square of Miskolc

...while a brass and keyboard band entertain visitors with Gershwin and jazz

Pictures and report by Frederic Friedel

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