8/21/2005 - The 4th highest rated player in the world, Peter Leko gave an interesting interview which was reported on at Chessbase. Each player is being interviewed before the 2005 World Championship Tournament. When Leko was asked who the favorites where, he said:” This is a difficult question. Of course Anand and Topalov are the favorites if you just consider the ratings. But as I said: all players participating in San Luis are very strong. I think everybody has a decent chance to win this. You know, it is just one event and by the end of the day you need also a little bit of luck. But I am sure that we can expect a very close competition and the winner will be most likely decided in the last round only if not in a possible tie-break.”
think Leko is making a similar mistake he made in his 2004 World
Championship Match with Vladimir Kramnik. Prior to that match, Leko said Kramnik
had the deepest understanding of chess. This lack of confidence translated
into Leko losing the first game of the world championship match. In game one
Leko had a slight advantage. The middle game developed into Leko’s queen,
rook, 3 kingside pawns and an outside a-passer versus Kramnik’s two rooks,
bishop, 3 kingside pawns and an advanced c-passer. Leko played on in this
position, even though he knew he had no practical chances to win. Leko said
he felt the pressure of playing in front of the world. As the
game played out, Leko was forced to exchange his rook for Kramnik’s bishop.
The endgame was transformed into Leko’s queen and three kingside pawns vs.
Kramnik’s two rooks and 3 kingside pawns. Leko played inaccurately and
Kramnik, the python, squeezed out a full point. Leko would take the lead
with a win in game 5 and with an heroic drive in game 8. However, the loss in game
one would come back to haunt Leko. Kramnik turned the pressure up the last
quarter of the match. He finally broke thru to tie the match with a heroic
effort in the final game.
Peter Leko - Chess Reporter