You could tell this was a serous contest,
when the 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov made the first move for Peter
Leko. However it was Kramnik who welcomed Peter Leko to world championship
chess. Kramnik from the black side of the board stunned challenger Peter
Leko in the first game of the world championship. Kramnik, a super endgame player, slowly turned his vice on Peter Leko today. Kramnik known as
the python used his precision play to out maneuver Peter Leko in a two
rooks vs. queen endgame.
Kramnik sacrificed his queen for a bishop and
rook and headed into an endgame down material with both side having passed
pawns. However it was Kramnik’s passed pawn that would dictate play.
Kramnik forced Leko to sac the exchange for a pawn in order to stop
Kramnik’s passed pawn. Both sides headed into a two rooks and three
connected pawns vs. queen and three connected pawns endgame. It was in
the endgame phase where Kramnik again out maneuvered Leko; Kramnik used
his rooks to take whites f-pawn and forced the rooks and queens off the
board. The battle became a king and three pawns vs. king and two-pawn endgame. Kramnik had the reserve tempos to seize the opposition and the endgame was trivial. Faced with a simple endgame loss, Leko resigned on move
Kramnik also took the early lead in his match against Kasparov in
2000. Kramnik won game two with the white pieces. Kramnik kept the
pressure up on Kasparov all match long, winning a 2nd game.
Only in one game was Kramnik in any kind of trouble. Winning with the
black pieces in the first game of the world championship match is an
incredible start. However this match is far from over. There are 13 more
games to be played. Those who think that with draw odds going to Kramnik
that this match is over are completely wrong. When it is all said and
done. The best player will have won this match. Lets not forget Challenger
Bobby Fischer lost the first two games of the 1972 match and went on to
win it. Karpov, with white, lost the first game to Spassky during the 1974
semifinal candidate match. Karpov then went on to defeat Spassky by a
score of 7-4. Lets not forget that it was Anand who scored first in the
1995 world championship match, only to lose to Kasparov by a score of 10.5
This is a great start to the world championship; the first game
was an exciting game. Should this trend continue, both players would
dramatically increase their marketability. I watched the 2000 world
championship match on ICC. I know what Kramnik is capable of. Peter Leko
has a tough road ahead of him. Kramnik won the opening psychological
battle today. Kramnik has white on Sunday. What does he have in store for
Leko. This 2nd game will be a critical test for Leko, to see
how he reacts to this loss. From what I saw of the video of the press
conference, Leko did not seem shaken; in fact he appeared very confident.
During the game, it was Leko who was in time pressure at each time control.
It was a tense struggle through out. Based on the post game photos,
it appears that Leko looks the fresher of the two. Kramnik certainly looks
drained. Well who could blame him, it's hard to win with black, and its
very hard to win against Leko. I am looking forward to Sundays contest.