Vladimir Kramnik vs. Peter Leko

 A Chess World Championship

  2/2/2004 -   Great news from the Kramnik vs. Leko front. A match has been scheduled for Sept 2004. The sponsor is the Dannemann tobacco company. Itís a classical chess match of 14 games. Hopefully more details about this match will becoming soon.  This is a World Championship match. Vladimir Kramnik is the absolute Chess World Champion. Heís the man who beat the man who beat the man. Vladimir Kramnik became the 14th Chess World Champion in 2000 by defeating then world champion Garry Kasparov in match play by a score of 8.5 Ė 6.5.   Kasparov became World Champion in 1985 when he defeated then World Champion Anatoly Karpov in match play by a score of 13 Ė 11. 

    The big question is who will win this match. Itís tough to call.  Kramnik and Leko have played numerous classical chess games, but all were drawn.  Leko is coming off an impressive showing at Corus. He finished 2nd a half point behind Anand. Leko was the only undefeated player at Corus. Should Peter Leko defeat Kramnik in September; Peter Leko will become the 15th World Champion. Itís tough to bet against a world champion, especially the guy who defeated the great Garry Kasparov. 

    Kramnik is experimenting with new openings and has not had great results recently. He finished in the middle of the pack at Corus earlier this year. However, should Kramnik regain his Brain Games world championship form, then he can defeat anyone.

     Kramnik showed the world that he is a one of the best players by taking on the German National team in a clock simul.  Kramnik played the simul against four strong GMís: Christopher Lutz, Robert Huebner, Klaus Bischoff, and Rustem Dautov. Kramnik played two games with white and black. He was able to win one game and drew the rest.  Kramnik won the match by a score of 2.5 Ė 1.5. His only win was against GM Robert Huebner. 

     Huebner was a top player in the 70ís and 80ís. He was a four-time world champion candidate. He lost a candidate final to Kortchnoi in 1980. Kramnik victory over Huebner was an instructive game.  I watch the game on ICC. Kramnik had the black pieces and was able to secure a passed pawn on the c file. However with all the white heavy pieces around, I thought the pawn was going to be lost.  It seemed like a case of a pawn too far from home.   However the World Champion was able to convert this advantage into an attack on Huebnerís e pawn on the 2nd rank. Kramnik won the e pawn and in the process was able to shatter Huebnerís pawn structure with a queen exchange. When the smoke cleared, Kramnik had a rook and 4 connected king-side pawns versus Huebnerís rook and three isolated king-side pawns.  Huebner put up a good struggle, but Kramnik the fine technician was able to bring the full point home.

1/29/2004 -  replay the game below

This browser is not Java-enabled.