Friday, May 4, 2007

Kramnik beats Leko; Aronian next

By Frank "Boy" Pestaño

THE eight-game rapid match (25 minutes per player plus 10 seconds increment) between the current world champion, Vladimir Kramnik and Hungary’s top player, Peter Leko, has just concluded in Miskolc, Hungary and the champion won by a score of 4.5—3.5.

Time and again, Kramnik, who was born on June 25, 1975 and is the current world champion, has proven that he is one of the best players to ever play the game, excelling in traditional match play, blitz and blindfold games.

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He is renowned as an extremely solid player in all levels of the game and a tough opponent under any circumstances.

He has won at Corus, Linares, Dortmund and Monaco in addition to winning the gold medal for Russia in several Olympiads including top board play.

By winning over Veselin Topalov in 2006 he consolidated the title thus uniting the chess world under one undisputed champion.

Peter Leko was born in Subotica, Serbia but plays for Hungary. His latest ranking is number 8 in the world with an Elo rating of 2,738.

He has won Linares, Dortmund and Wijk Aan Zee and his style of play is very solid and very difficult to beat, much like the young Karpov, whom he outplayed in this same city last year.

To recall, this is the third time that the players have gone heads-on and everybody were expecting a close game.

The first duel was played in January 2001, which Kramnik won by a tight 7-5 score.

In 2004, the two dueled again for the world championship and Kramnik snatched a victory from certain defeat with a win in the last game of their 14-game match to tie the score at 7-7.

According to the rules, Kramnik retains his title if the match is drawn. Here is the round by round result:

Game 2: Leko—Kramnik, draw (51 moves Ruy Lopez Closed)

Game 3: Kramnik—Leko, 1-0 (44 moves Queens Indian)

Game 4: Leko—Kramnik, draw (52 moves Ruy Lopez Closed)

Game 5: Kramnik—Leko, 1-0 (57 moves English Symmetrical)

Game 6: Leko—Kramnik, 1-0 (49 moves Ruy Lopez Centre Attack)

Game 7: Kramnik—Leko, draw (30 moves Anti-Meran Gambit)

Game 8: Leko—Kramnik, draw (30 moves Ruy Lopez Anderssen)

Miskolc is the third biggest city in Hungary and has a tradition of featuring their top player and favorite son, Leko, against highly rated players, in 2005 versus Michael Adams and Anatoly Karpov in 2006.

KRAMNIK V. ARONIAN. Next to play the world champion in another eight-game rapid match is World Cup champion Levon Aronian in Yerevan, Armenia starting today.

Aronian was born on October 6, 1982 and is currently ranked fifth in the world with an Elo rating of 2759. He has proven to be a worthy opponent of Kramnik by winning the category 20 Linares/Morelia 2006 super-GM tournament.

One of his memorable achievement was winning the Gold medal for Armenia at the 2006 Turin Olympiad over tournament favorite Russia, holding his own against the world’s best on board one.

His games are unconventional and exciting and he is not afraid of complications.

He was the champion in the Under-12 division in 1994 and in the Under-20 in 2002 so he is used to playing top level chess.

Other major accomplishments most memorable achievements must be his role in helping lead his Armenian compatriots to a deserved gold medal at the Turin Olympiad in 2006 where he anchored the Armenian team on board one.

Despite the fact that he is relatively new to the elite stage, the young grandmaster is a two-time World Junior Champion (Under-12 in 1994 and Under-20 in 2002) and maintains a light and positive attitude under all circumstances.

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