World Championship match is at hand 


 09/15/2004 -
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  At least we’ll see one true world championship match this year. Kramnik vs. Leko is officially going to start in late September of 2004 in a 14 game match in Switzerland. It’s being sponsored by Dannemann Tobacco company. Games will start  on September 25, 2004 thru October 18 2004.   Kramnik will retain his title with 7-7 score. There is no rematch clause.

 Kramnik did  not have a good year in 2003 and early 2004 did not look promising either. He saw his 2800 plus rating drop down to 2764. He also witnessed Anand dropped him out of the number two rating spot. Kramnik also had a horrible Corus 2004 tournament where he experimented with new openings. However,  Kramnik has been doing a very good job recently as the 14th World Champion. Recently, he has been promoting the great game of chess.  He took on the German National team in a simul which he won by a score of 2.5 –1.5. This was a very difficult simul, the team consisted of 4 top German GMs. Kramnik also just completed another simul against 20 opponents including the German Women’s National team in Bonn Germany. 

Kramnik is having a fine world champion type year. He won Linares by beating Peter Leko in a very exciting  game. He also shared first place with Morozevich on the overall scoring at Amber. Kramnik seems to be playing himself into world championship form. In Linares, the Wimbledon of chess, Kramnik and Leko have finished in the top two positions in the last two years.  In 2003 it was Leko time to lead and Kramnik was runner up. Kasparov says that the winner of Linares can be considered the champion of tournament chess. 

    Kramnik is right; he has the official world title. He holds the only title of value. His title is the one that can be traced down all the way to Steinitz, with two exceptions. Alekhine dying and Fischer retiring.  Make no mistake,  Kramnik vs. Leko is a World Championship Match. It is consistent with the rich tradition of man who beat the man who beat the man.  Kramnik is the man who beat Kasparov who beat Karpov.  Peter Leko, rated number 4 in the world, qualified to play Kramnik by winning the 2002 Dortmund Tournament.

  In 2000,  Kramnik won his title by defeating Garry Kasparov at Brain Games.  One half of that match was very exciting. The half with Kramnik with white vs. Kasparov with black was possibly the most exciting chess match I've ever seen. Kramnik won two games, but Kasparov made some incredible saves with the black pieces. Kramnik was able to win the psychological battle in the opening.  The other half of the match, Kramnik with the black pieces was not so exciting. Kramnik was able to nullify Kasparov’s openings with the use of the Berlin Defense.

    Kramnik is right; the title belongs to the chess world and not to any organization. The world champion must earn the title by defeating the previous champion in a match of significant duration. The champion should also put his title up for grabs every few years against the most worthy of opponents. The other responsibilities of a world champion are to promote the game to fans around the world. I believe a champion should visit most of the chess playing continents during his reign.  Should Kramnik retain his title by winning his match against Peter Leko and also his match against the FIDE Champion, I wish Kramnik would be more of an Ambassador of the game. I would like  Kramnik to make a tour of the Americas and play some computer matches and simuls. I wish Kramnik would visit the United States. I would like to see him take on the top US GMs in a simul. I would also like to see Kramnik be greedier at the board and try to distance himself from his peers. 

 Hangin's Prediction

  Predictions Kramnik vs. Leko

  Leko vs. Kramnik at Linares 2004  -  reports from that game

 Kramnik and Leko at Linares 2004  - score sheet is incorrect. Leko got 2nd place on tie breakers over Kasparov.

 Kramnik and Leko at Linares 2003 -

 Kramnik and Leko at Amber