Miskolc 2010: Leko and Gelfand tied after four rounds

8/27/2010 – This traditional rapid chess event this year pits top Hungarian GM Peter Leko against Israel's strongest, Boris Gelfand, in eight games of rapid chess. After the very beautiful openings ceremony the two played four games in the National Theatre. Boris Gelfand won the very first one, Peter Leko the fourth. We bring you a big pictorial report with the opening ceremony and GM analysis.

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Peter Leko vs Boris Gelfand
in Miskolc, Hungary

This Rapid Chess event is taking place in the National Theater, 1 Déryné str, Miskolc from August 25–29, 2010. The number one Hungarian grandmaster, Peter Leko takes up a duel of eight games against the top Israeli GM and World Cup winner Boris Gelfand.

The games are being played at a rate of 25 minutes for all moves plus an increment of ten seconds per moves. In case of a 4-4 draw blitz games decide the winner. The arbiter of the match is WGM Zsuzsa Veroci, head of Communication of the Hungarian Chess Federation.

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

Miskolc history

As the first match in the Lékó &... series saw Péter Lékó playing against Michael Adams from England in 2005. The exciting duel ended in a 4.0-4.0 tie. Four years ago Lékó’s opponent was the twelfth World Chess Champion Anatolij Karpov in the new shrine of chess, the National Theater, which was totally sold out. The fans both on the spot and those via the Internet were amazed by the games – with good reason. Lékó took the lead by winning the third game and he could preserve his advantage till the end gaining a victory of 4.5-3.5.

Three years ago the special guest in Miskolc was the Russian World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, who had defended his title against Péter Lékó in a 7.0-7.0 drawn match in Brissago, Switzerland, in 2004. Their duel of eight games in Miskolc could be considered a return match. Kramnik won the third and fifth games, Lékó was able to close the gap in the sixth. So the Russian GM won the duel by 4.5-3.5 points.

After these two great champions Péter Lékó faced the young super-talent Magnus Carlson two years ago. Before this match in Miskolc Magnus has not scored any wins against Péter. In course of the match Magnus chalked up two victories and won the match.

Real fans could hardly wait for the fifth, the anniversary duel. The 15th world champions of chess, 39-year-old Viswanathan Anand, could be seen "live” for the first time in his career by Hungarian chess fans. In 2000 Anand won a scintillating 3.5-0.5 match against Alexei Shirov in the FIDE world championship final. In 2007, at the World Championship in Mexico, he remained unbeaten among eight GMs in the tournament, capturing the title from the unified World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. As a confirmation of his greatness as a chess player he defended his title against Kramnik in Bonn, Germany, with 6.5-4.5 triumph. This year he defended his title again against Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov. Anand proved successfully in his Miskolc duel against Lékó with six draws and two wins, although the Hungarian GM had real chances in the fourth game and in general during the match.

Press conference with arbiter WGM Zsuzsa Veröci on the left, Gelfand, Leko, anchors

This year Péter Lékó is facing last year’s World Cup winner, Israeli GM Boris Gelfand. The 42-year-old was member of the gold medalist Soviet team in 1990. On the first board he performed brilliantly at the 2008 Chess Olympics in Dresden in the runner-up Israeli team. As one of the biggest success in his career he finished second at the World Championship in Mexico in 2007 (behind winner Anand), and last year became a world champion candidate in the current cycle.

Afterwards a reception given by the Lord Mayor Sandor Kali (right)

The Lékós, Peter and Sofi, together with arbiter Veröci and Mayor Kali

An encounter with some young chess fans

The traditionally spectacular opening ceremony, this time with Israeli...

... and purely Hungarian motifs

In the end some very fine sweet Tokya wine for the players

Boris Gelfand and Peter Leko, ready for their rapid chess match

Péter Lékó and Boris Gelfand played against each other for the first time in a blitz tournament in Munich in 1994. Since then they have played 26 classical games, with 20 draws and three wins each. In their 30 rapid games the same balance can be observed: 20 draws, 5:5 decided games. In the semi final of the Rapid World Cup in Odessa, Lékó prevailed in 2007, while in two years time Gelfand attained the title.

Report after four rounds

The two players arrive on the stage at the start of game one

The Mayor of Miskolc, Sandor Kali, opens the event with the first move

Péter makes a move while Borisz is already immersed in thought

Boris Gelfand - Péter Lékó [A40]
Miskolc (m1), 25.08.2010 [Berkes/Meszaros]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Ne5 Rg8 12.Bxg4 Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Qxd7 14.Bf3 c5N. Important novelty. The earlier continuation with 0-0-0 was too dangerous for Black. 15.dxc5 [15.d5 exd5 16.e5 unclear; 15.e5 Nd5 16.Ne4 unclear] 15...Qxd1+ 16.Rxd1 a6 17.e5 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Nh5 19.Ne4 Rc8

20.Bf4!! With this fantastic move White is fighting for the initiative. Otherwise his bishop on g3 is out of play. [20.Nd6+ Bxd6 21.Rxd6 (21.cxd6 Kd7=/+) 21...Rxc5 22.Rxa6 Kd7 23.Rg1 Nf4<=>; 20.b4 cxb3 21.axb3 Bxc5 22.Ke2 Be7 23.Ra1 Rc2+ 24.Ke3 Rc6 25.Rhd1 Ng7<=>] 20...f5 [20...Nxf4?? 21.Nf6+ Ke7 22.Rd7#] 21.Nd6+ Bxd6 22.cxd6 Rc5 23.Bxh6 Rxe5+ 24.Kd2 Kd7 25.Bg5 b4 26.a3

26...Rb8! unclear. Black loses flexibility of his pawn structure for the activity of his rooks. 26...a5 27.axb4 axb4 28.Ra1->; 26...c3+ 27.bxc3 bxa3 28.Rb1 Ra5 29.Rb7+ Kxd6 30.Ra1 e5 31.Rb3+/-; 26...Rd5+ 27.Kc2 Rxd1 28.Rxd1 a5 29.axb4 axb4 30.Rd4 Rc8 31.f4 Rc6+/- Xh5N,c4,b4P. 27.axb4 Rxb4 28.Kc2 Rb3 29.Be3 f4 30.Bd4 Re2+ 31.Kc1 e5 32.Bc3 Rxf2 33.Rhe1 Ng3 34.Rd2

34...Rxd2?! This is the first step on the road to the hell! 34...Rxf3 35.Rxe5 Re3 36.Rg5 Ne2+ 37.Kc2 Nxc3 38.Rg7+ Kd8 39.Rg8+ Kd7=. 35.Kxd2 e4! 36.fxe4 Kxd6 37.h5! Nxh5?! 37...Rb5 38.e5+ Ke6 39.h6 a5 in the press-conference the players thought this was the easiest way for a draw. 38.Ke2 Rb5 39.Ra1 Rg5 40.Rxa6+ Kd7 41.e5 Ng7 42.Rd6+! Ke7 43.Rc6 Ne6 44.Rxc4 Kf7 45.Rc6 Rg2+ 46.Kf3 Rg1 47.Ke4 Rf1 48.b4 f3 49.Ke3 In the time-trouble Black had real chance to survive the difficulties, but Black miscalculated. 49...f2? 49...Rc1 50.b5 (50.Kxf3 Nd4+ 51.Bxd4 Rxc6=) 50...Rb1 51.b6 Rb3! 52.Kf2 Ng5!=. 50.Ke2 Rh1 51.Kxf2 Rh3 52.b5 Rh1 53.b6 Rb1 54.Ke3+- The final part of the game doesn't need so much commentary! 54...Ke7 55.Ke4 Rb5 56.Kd3 Nd8 57.Kc4 Rb1 58.Rh6 Kd7 59.Rd6+ Ke8 60.Bb4 Rb2 61.Kb5 Re2 62.Bc3 Ke7 63.Rh6 Kd7 64.Rh7+ Kc8 65.Rh8 Kd7 66.Rh7+ Kc8 67.Rc7+ Kb8 68.Re7 Kc8 69.Bb4 Rb2 70.Rc7+ Kb8 71.Kc4 Rc2+ 72.Kd5 Rb2 73.Be7 Rd2+ 74.Ke4 Ne6 75.Rc6 Re2+ 76.Kd5 Nf4+ 77.Kd4 Kb7 78.Rh6 Rb2 79.Bc5 Ne2+ 80.Kd3 Nf4+ 81.Ke4 Ne2 82.e6 Nc3+ 83.Kd4 Nb5+ 84.Kc4 Ka6 85.e7 Re2 86.b7+. Fine technique by Gelfand! 1-0. [Click to replay]

Péter Lékó - Boris Gelfand [A40]
Miskolc (m2), 25.08.2010 [Berkes/Meszaros]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 Nd7 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 g6 10.0-0 Bg7 11.e4 e5 12.d5 Nb6 13.Bb3 Bg4 14.Rc1 0-0 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Qxf3 17.gxf3 Rfc8! Gelfand improved on his game against Aronian, where 17...Rfd8 happened. 18.dxc6 Rxc6 19.Nd5 Bf8 20.Nxb6. 20.Rxc6 bxc6 21.Ne3 a5 22.Rc1 a4 23.Bc4 h5 24.Be2 c5 25.a3 Rd8 26.Rc2 Be7 27.Kf1 Rd4<=> Nigalidze-Sulskis, Rijeka 2010.3.15. 20...axb6 21.Bd5 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Bc5 23.Kf1 Kf8. 23...Rd8 24.a3 Rd7 25.b4 Bd4 26.Rc8+ Kg7 27.a4 Kf6+/=; 23...Kg7 24.a3 Ra7 25.Ke2 Kf6 26.Rc4 h5 27.a4+/=. 24.a3 Rb8 25.Ke2 Ke7 26.b4 Bd6 27.Rc3 f5 28.Kd3

28...f4! Gelfand closes the position, because he believes in his fortress. 28...fxe4+ 29.Bxe4! g5 30.Kc2 Ke6 31.Kb3+/=. 29.Kc2 Kd7 30.Kb3 (/\Ka4-Kb5) 30...b5!+/=. Closes the enemy's king away, but fixes his pawn on a white square. Gelfand thinks this important b5 pawn is defendable. 31.Bf7 g5 32.Bh5 Ra8 33.Bg4+ Kd8 34.Bf5 Ke7 35.Bc8 Rb8 36.Rc1 Kd8 37.Bf5 Ra8

This is the best position for the fight for on advantage, but with good defence Black can keep his own. 38.Be6 38.h4 gxh4 39.Rg1 Kc7 40.Rg7+ Kb6 41.Rg6 Kc7 42.Rxh6 Be7 43.Re6 Bd6=; 38.Rg1 Kc7! (38...Ke7 39.h4 Rg8 (39...Kf6 40.h5 Ke7 41.Rd1 Ra6 42.Rd5 Rb6 43.Bh3 Kd8 44.Bf1+/-) 40.h5! /\ Rd1-Rd5,Bh3-Bf1 (40.Rh1 gxh4 41.Rxh4 Rh8 42.Rg4 Rf8; 40.hxg5 Rxg5 41.Rh1 h5) ) 39.h4 Rg8 40.h5 Rd8=; 38.Rd1 Ra6 39.Rd5 Rb6=. 38...Ke7 39.Bd5 Rb8 40.Rc3 Kd8 41.Be6 Ra8 42.Bg4 Rb8 43.Rc1 Ra8 44.Be6 Ke7 45.Bc8 Rb8 46.Bf5 Kd8 47.Rc3 Ra8 48.Be6 Rb8 49.Bd5 Ke7 50.a4?! bxa4+ 51.Kxa4 Ra8+ 52.Kb5 Ra1 53.Bxb7 Rb1 54.Kc6 Rxb4 55.Bc8 Rb2 56.Bg4 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Boris Gelfand - Péter Lékó [D43]
Miskolc (m3), 26.08.2010 [Berkes/Meszaros]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0. Gelfand choses a different path, as opposed to the first game, where h4 happened. 10...Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 14.a4 b4 15.Bxb4 Qb6 16.Ba3 Qxd4 17.Qc2 c5 18.Rad1 Qe5 19.Bxc4 Qc7 20.Ne2N. Another stong novelty from Gelfand's repertoire! His plan to transfer his knight to g3 and to exchange his worse bishop with b3, Bb2. 20...Be5 [20...0-0 21.Ng3 Rfd8 22.b3 Be5 23.Bb2+/=] 21.Kh1! 0-0 It could be interesting possibility! 21...h5 22.b3 g4 23.Bb2 h4 unclear. 22.b3 Rfd8 23.Bd3 Nf6 24.f3 Bxh2 25.Qxc5 Qxc5 26.Bxc5 Be5 27.Bc4. Gelfand has some microscopic advantage which is not enough against Leko. 27...Rd7. 27...Nh5 28.Bb6 Rxd1 29.Rxd1 Ng3+ 30.Nxg3 Bxg3 31.Rd7+/=; 27...h5 28.Nc1 Rxd1 29.Rxd1 g4 30.Nd3 Bc7 31.Be3+/=. 28.Bb6 Rc8 29.Nc1 Bc7 30.Be3 Rcd8 31.Rxd7 Nxd7 32.Rd1 Ne5 33.Rxd8+ Bxd8 34.Be2 Be7. 34...f5 35.exf5 exf5 36.b4 Kf7 37.Nb3 Bd5! 38.Nc5 a5= it was easier way for a draw. 35.Bd2 Nc6 36.Nd3 a5 37.Nb2 Ba3. 37...Bd8 38.Nc4 Bc7 is a real fortress. 38.Bc3 Bb4 39.Bxb4 axb4 40.Bb5 Na5 41.Nd3 Nxb3 42.Nxb4 Kf8 43.e5 Ke7 44.Kg1 f6 45.Nd3 fxe5 46.Nxe5 h5 47.Kf2 Kf6 48.Nc4 Bd5 49.Nb6 Bb7 50.Bc4 Na5 51.Be2 Bc6 52.Bb5 Bb7 53.Nd7+ Ke7 54.Nc5 Bd5 55.Ke3 e5! In the time-trouble Gelfand reached some advantage, but Leko can exchange material. 56.Ne4 g4 57.fxg4 hxg4 58.g3 Nc4+ 59.Bxc4 Bxc4 60.a5 Kd7 61.a6 Kc7 62.a7 Bd5 63.Nf6 Bg2! 64.Nxg4 Kb7 65.Nxe5 Bh3! The g3 pawn cannot go ahead. 65...Kxa7? 66.g4. 66.Nc6 Bd7 67.Ne5 Bh3 68.Kf4 Kxa7 69.Ng4 Kb7 70.Nf2 Bd7 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Péter Lékó - Boris Gelfand [C42]
Miskolc (m4), 26.08.2010 [Berkes/Meszaros]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Nc3. Very rare variation which made especially for Gelfand! 7...Nxc3. 7...Bb4? 8.0-0 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bxc3 10.Rb1 0-0 11.Rb3 Bxd4 12.Bxh7+ Kxh7 13.Ng5+ Kg8 14.Qh5 Bf5 15.Rh3!+-. 8.bxc3 Bg4. 8...Be7 9.h3 0-0 10.0-0 can avoid the line with Bg4. 9.Rb1!N. Leko tries to get some advantage waiting for castling. 9...Rb8 10.h3 Bh5 11.Bb5! Be7. 11...Bd6 12.Qe2+! Kf8 13.0-0 with attack. 12.g4 Bg6 13.Ne5 0-0 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Nxc6. 15.Rxb8 Qxb8 16.Nd7 Qb1 17.Nxf8 Bxc2 18.Qd2 Bxf8 and White has a smaller advantage than what hapenned in the game. 15...Rxb1 16.Nxd8

16...Ba3! 17.Bxa3 Rxd1+ 18.Kxd1 Rxd8 19.Kd2 Rb8 20.Re1 h5 21.gxh5?! 21.Re5 hxg4 22.hxg4 c6 23.Re7 a5 (23...Rb1 24.Bc1 a5 25.Ra7+/-) 24.Ra7 Be4 25.Rxa5 Bf3 26.Be7 Bxg4 27.a4+/-; 21.Re7 hxg4 22.hxg4 Rb1 23.Rxc7 Rf1 24.Rxa7 (24.Ke2? Ra1 25.c4 Rxa2 26.cxd5 Rxc2+! 27.Rxc2 Bxc2 28.d6 Ba4=) 24...Rxf2+ 25.Ke3 Rxc2 26.Bb4+/-. 21...Bxh5 22.Re7

22...Rc8! Gelfand's defensive plan is f6, Re8 with counterplay on the e-line. Now Leko's winning chance is minimal. 22...Rb1 23.Rxc7 Rd1+ 24.Ke3 Rh1 25.Bd6 Rxh3+ 26.Bg3+/-. 23.c4?! 23.Rd7 Bf3 (23...Re8 24.Be7) 24.Ke3 Bg2 25.h4 Re8+ 26.Be7 f6 27.Kf4 Kf7 28.Bb4+ Kg6 29.Kg3 was the best chance fighting for winning. 23...dxc4 24.Kc3 Bg6 25.d5 f6 26.Kxc4 Bxc2 27.Kc5

27...Bb1! Leko's idea with 23.c4 was very creative and agressive, but this move shows the dark side of White's plan. 28.Re2 Bf5 29.Kc6 Bxh3 30.Bb4 Rd8? [30...Bg2 31.f4 Bf3=] 31.f3! Bf1 32.Rd2 Bh3 33.Ba5 Rd6+ 34.Kxc7 Rd7+ 35.Kc6 Rf7! Black trying to use his only chance: to push ahead his kingside pawns. 36.d6 Bd7+ 37.Kb7 g5 38.Bd8! White tries to paralyse the coordination between the black pieces. 38...Bg4+ 39.Be7 Bxf3+ 40.Kxa7 Bg4. 40...Rxe7+? 41.dxe7 Kf7 42.Rd3 g4 (42...Be4 43.Re3 f5 44.Kb8 g4 45.a4 Kxe7 46.a5 Kf6 47.a6+-) 43.Re3 Ke8 44.Kb6 f5 45.Kc5 f4 46.Re6 g3 47.Kd6 g2 48.Rf6 g1Q 49.Rf8#. 41.Kb6 Rg7 42.a4? 42.Bxf6 Both players had only few seconds. We don't understand neither why Leko did not capture the f6 pawn! 42...Kf7 43.a5 Rg8 44.a6 Bf3 45.a7 Ra8 46.Rh2 g4 47.Rh6 Ke6 48.Rxf6+ Kd7

After the game the players themselves told us that the position is drawish, but the computer has a different opinion... 49.Rg6 Rc8 50.Rg7 Ke6 51.Rg6+ Kd7 52.Rf6 Bd5 53.Rf5 Bf3 54.Rf4 Rc6+ 55.Kb5 Rc8. 55...Be2+ 56.Kb4 Ra6 57.Bh4! Kc6 58.Rf7+-. 56.Rf7 Ke6 57.Rg7 Bc6+ 58.Ka5 Bf3 59.Kb6 Rc6+ 60.Kb5 Rc8 61.Rg6+ Kd7 62.Ka5 [62.Bh4+/-] 62...Rc5+ 63.Kb4 Rc8 64.Rg7 Ke6 65.Kb5 Bc6+ 66.Kb6 Bf3 67.Rg6+ Kd7 68.Rf6 Rc6+ 69.Ka5 Rc5+ 70.Kb6 Rc6+ 71.Ka5 Rc5+ 72.Kb4 Rc8 73.Bf8 Bd5 74.Bh6 g3 75.Be3 g2 76.Rg6 Re8

After this move White has winning position, but Gelfand lost by time! 1-0. [Click to replay]

Current standings

 Peter Leko
 Boris Gelfand

All photos by Gabor Veroci

Schedule of the Rapid Chess event

Monday 23 Aug.   Arrival (transfer from Budapest to Miskolc)
Tuesday 24 Aug. 18.00h Opening ceremony, drawing of colours
Wednesday 25 Aug. 17.00h First game of the match
    18.30h Second game of the match
Thursday 26 Aug. 17.00h Third game of the match
    18.30h Fourth game of the match
Friday 27 Aug. 16.00h Public event, ITC International Trade Center
Saturday 28 Aug. 17.00h Fifth game of the match
    18.30h Sixth game of the match
Sunday 29 Aug. 17.00h Seventh game of the match
    18.30h Eighth game of the match + final press conference
    19.30h Closing ceremony



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