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soikins ♡ 65 ( +1 | -1 )
WCH Match Kramnik vs. Leko
Just couple of days away. Predictions? Who wins? How many decisive games? Your ideas on what openings are going to be played?

IMO Kramnik will win by a slight margin (+1 or +2) with something like 2-4 decisive games.

Openings are an interesting subject too. Will Leko hold the Queens Indian? Will Kramnik play the Berlin or will he opt for Sveshnikov (GM Shipov thinks this might be Sveshnikov thematic match)? Does Leko have something against the Petroff? What's that with Kramnik and Naidorf? Were his experiments with that serious?

Your ideas?
cairo ♡ 33 ( +1 | -1 )
I predict a small victory for Kramnik, due to his experience of matchplay on this level.
I am afraid that this will be a match of "concrete-chess" with all kinds of "safety first" moves, I hope I'm wrong of course, but looking back on both players record, it could be a bit boring.

Best wishes
loreta ♡ 6 ( +1 | -1 )
Query Has somebody some links to sites to watch it online?
soikins ♡ 45 ( +1 | -1 )
live games Well, the official site ( says:

"The live broadcast is subject to charge. The number of listeners is restricted to 1,000 (we request your understanding).
Tournament ticket: € 10.00
The ticket is valid for the hole tournament."

But I assume it is the live commentary that is "subject to charge" I hope the games themselves will be available live. It would be a great shame if they wouldn't!
bucklehead ♡ 122 ( +1 | -1 )
Championship Chat I learned yesterday that will be doing a live internet broadcast of the games (visit, so that may be the easiest way to get move-by-move updates. I haven't located another site with a live java viewer, for instance, though we'll see on Saturday.

I've also been hoping to drum up interest in live chat on the games by GameKnot members. Some of you may remember that sspiroff set up a chat channel at, and a few of use users have been keeping it warm since. If we could get lots of GK members in there to watch the games, I think it would be a good time. It's extremely simple to use--just visit the link, type in whatever name you want to use, and start chatting!

As for predictions, these two guys have like 40 draws out of 50 games played with each other...probably par for the GM course, so I'll say 3 decisive games out of the 14, with advantage to Leko (just to go against the grain).
soikins ♡ 54 ( +1 | -1 )
chat Thanks bucklehead I will definately visit the chat room during the games (at least during the weekends).

Leko vs Kramnik results:
Classic: +2-1=23
Rapid: +3-6=17
Blitz: +0-0=2

There is a big statistical comparison of Kramnik and Leko at
It's in russian, but thereis not much to read anyway, mainly numbers and charts.
basti1981 ♡ 49 ( +1 | -1 )
I hope it's gonna be Leko, but I think it's gonna be Kramnik, I think this is gonna be a rather boring WCH, very drawish.

I'm also the opinion that, Kramnik will not try the Najdorf again, it's simply not his opening, he was very lucky to draw against Karjakin in Dortmund this year. ( )

I think it's gonna be interesting how Leko is gonna play, he's the challenger so he must go for the win.
honololou ♡ 2 ( +1 | -1 )
what is… the format for the match?
bucklehead ♡ 65 ( +1 | -1 ) They will play a series of 14 games, with the first person to break 7 points being declared the champion (Kramnik retains the title in the event of a tie). In terms of playing time, the official site says, "The rate of 40 moves in 120 minutes, followed by 20 moves in 60 minutes followed by all moves in 15 minutes plus 30 seconds per move, added prior to the move, in this last period only. There will be no adjournments of games." Significantly, section 12.1 of the match rules notes that, "Players shall be informed about the toilettes and rest room facilities two days prior to start of the match."
crocodilopolis ♡ 31 ( +1 | -1 )
See the board If chessfm are doing live commentary on the match you should be able to see the moves on ICC. I don't think you have to sign up or anything. Just download their software (BlitzIn), connect as a guest and type "follow chessfm" to see the board (with a time lag built in since internet radio has a lag for some reason).

basti1981 ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
btw. is also covering the match
ketchuplover ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
definitely not a boring start :)
bucklehead ♡ 25 ( +1 | -1 )
I just want everyone to know... ...that you are missing one of the most exciting draws of all time. If you are not watching, go to and get caught up! Running over it tonight just won't be the same...
bucklehead ♡ 72 ( +1 | -1 )
My mistake! Kramnik with the win in Game 1, in a remarkable performance:

[Event "ICC 120 0 u"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2004.09.25"]
[Round "-"]
[White "*Leko(GM)"]
[Black "*Kramnik(GM)"]
[Result "*"]
[ICCResult "Game in progress"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[Opening "Petrov: classical attack, Jaenisch variation"]
[ECO "C42"]
[NIC "RG.06"]
[Time "08:34:54"]
[TimeControl "7200+0"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8.
c4 Nb4 9. Be2 O-O 10. Nc3 Bf5 11. a3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Nc6 13. Re1 Re8 14. cxd5
Qxd5 15. Bf4 Rac8 16. h3 Be4 17. Be3 Na5 18. c4 Nxc4 19. Bxc4 Qxc4 20. Nd2
Qd5 21. Nxe4 Qxe4 22. Bg5 Qxe1+ 23. Qxe1 Bxg5 24. Qa5 Bf6 25. Qxa7 c5 26.
Qxb7 Bxd4 27. Ra2 c4 28. Re2 Red8 29. a4 c3 30. Qe4 Bb6 31. Qc2 g6 32. Qb3
Rd6 33. Rc2 Ba5 34. g4 Rd2 35. Kg2 Rcd8 36. Rxc3 Bxc3 37. Qxc3 R2d5 38. Qc6
Ra5 39. Kg3 Rda8 40. h4 R5a6 41. Qc1 Ra5 42. Qh6 Rxa4 43. h5 R4a5 44. Qf4 g5
45. Qf6 h6 46. f3 R5a6 47. Qc3 Ra4 48. Qc6 R8a6 49. Qe8+ Kg7 50. Qb5 R4a5
51. Qb4 Rd5 52. Qb3 Rad6 53. Qc4 Rd3 54. Kf2 Ra3 55. Qc5 Ra2+ 56. Kg3 Rf6
57. Qb4 Raa6 58. Kg2 Rf4 59. Qb2+ Raf6 60. Qe5 Rxf3 61. Qa1 Rf1 62. Qc3 Rf2+
63. Kg3 Rf3+ 64. Qxf3 Rxf3+ 65. Kxf3 Kf6 0-1
ketchuplover ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Now that is how u play chess!
soikins ♡ 29 ( +1 | -1 )
the endgame id=bucklehead Kramnik won that endgame at the end! :) Just the way I thought he should. But the draw was there, unfortuantely Leko missed it. :( Incredible endgame technique by Kramnik! I hope this game shuts up everyone who expected dull draws and stuff. Great chess by two great masters!
bucklehead ♡ 24 ( +1 | -1 )
And I hope... shuts up all of you who think of the Petrov as dull and lifeless. When two players are in the mood for a fight (and I believe Kramnik was from the start, otherwise he might have chosen the tamer 8...Nf6 over the combative 8...Nb4), you're going to get a fight, regardless of the opening.
brobishkin ♡ 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Draw?... Solkins, I was wondering if you could shine some light where exactly is the draw?... I've gone through the game a few times on a board and even I can't find the draw... Kramnik played the two Rooks flawlessly... It is said that two Rooks are better then one Queen and Kramnik showed us how true that is...

soikins ♡ 144 ( +1 | -1 )
brobishkin You are right that two rooks are stronger than queen in this endgame. While observing the game I also thought that black should win that endgame, because a pawn falls and then the rooks are exchanged for the queen and grabing the f pawn reaching a K+2P vs K+3 pawn endgame (as it did happen in the game). But after a closer look during the game I came to a conclusion that white has enough resources to draw.

The ideas are 1) loosen blacks king protection with pawn push h5 and pawn exchange on g6; 2) push a pawn to g5 (or h6) thus closing the black king and threatening perpetual on the 8th rank and the long diognal (a1-h8). With this threat black rook can't leave the 8th rank, so they can't double against the f pawn. IMO Leko had good chances to implement either of the plans. He went for h pawn push but made 2 mistakes -- 1) placed queen on h6 (it was a square for pawn); 2) did not exchange on g6, which could have led to a draw (though about this I'm not so shure). So 42. Qh6? (probably missing the trap on h6) and 44. Qf4? gave the draw away.

During the game I liked the idea of placing pawn on g5 and Queen on e7 (if possible -- playing pawn to h4) thus the king is closed and white threatens both -- checks on 8th horisontal and big diognal.

Of course I still have to check all the variations (I went through some, but not enough to give the final verdict). These are just general ideas with no in depth analysis.
loreta ♡ 24 ( +1 | -1 )
:-) Some time ago I was interested in endgames Q vs R+R and collected some games... [I posted some stuff at GK, but I noticed, that only the newest post could be accessible :-( ]. So this game's going to my collection... I'm waiting for a deep analysis...
jjw109 ♡ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Pieces reversed! Anybody else notice that the logo for the championship has White's King and Queen reversed?!
ketchuplover ♡ 1 ( +1 | -1 )
loreta ♡ 41 ( +1 | -1 )
Draw?... At last, I replayed carefully that game :-)
I'm not a big expert but imho, after a pawns structure was fixed (move 44), Black had to win - later or earlier....
So chances for a draw could be somewhere at moves 40-43, only.
The first annotation I found is at:
Has somebody more info?
soikins ♡ 51 ( +1 | -1 )
draw Ok, I'll have to look at the variations closer tonight. Haven't found any serious analysis yet. I was disapointed when GM Shipov din't do his job properly and just claimed that there should be a draw after 40...h5 41.gxh5 gxh5 Rxa4 41.h5 gxh5 42.gxh5 R4a5 43.f4! and did not show more variations.

Though, I can agree that after 44th move there is no draw.
loreta ♡ 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Yep, good site... tnx for link, soikins --- a small addition the main page (who reads Russian) is at
Yep, Shipov just marked 42.Qh6?! without any suggestion and showed a [better] line 44.hxg6 hxg6 45.f3 (or 45.f4!?) - have to look more into these... :-(
ketchuplover ♡ 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Game 3 was drawn. Leko & co better get their thinking caps on if they're gonna solve the Petroff!
soikins ♡ 56 ( +1 | -1 )
draw Seems that Kramniks team is much stronger than Lekos. Tehy have surprised Leko in both his white games and have scored 1,5/2 with black. What can Leko do? He plays 1. e4 exclusively so he has no way to avoid Petroff. Viena game? Scotch Gambit? Kings gambit? Haven't seen Leko play these. Or is he ready to move to 1. d4, 1. c4 or 1. Nf3? If he doesn't find something quickly he will run out of his white games and will have to play agressively with black. Maybe we will see the Sveshnikov already tommorow?
roland_l ♡ 2 ( +1 | -1 )
how bout .. the Steinitz variation?
soikins ♡ 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Steinitz variation In what opening? Ruy Lopez? French?
bucklehead ♡ 180 ( +1 | -1 )
In my spotty database... I have been able to find only about 30 games where Leko has faced the Petrov (though I suspect someone with a better database may be able to find more). But based on this small sample, I must say that things look grim for Peter.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 does look like Leko's best choice here, and I was surprised he didn't venture it in game 3 (if nothing else, then as a way to probe the depth of Kramnik's preparation). His record with it has been good: I found ten games, and Leko scored +8 =2 -0, including a win over Timman in 1997. But that was seven years ago, and he may not have done any preparation on these lines.

There are other roads, some transpositional, that one may take against the Petrov; the problem for Leko is that he seems to have little tournament experience in them. I was only able to find *one* case of a Four Knights game (which can be reached via the Petrov by 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6) and no Petrov-style Three Knights games (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4). Then there is always Morozevich's neat line (which I have seen referred to as the “Millenium Attack” [sic] and the “Sasfèpu Variation”) of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Bd3, where white's KB is less poorly placed than you might imagine. Leko actually drew with this line against Kramnik at Linares 1999. But of course, the upshot of all this is that Leko has chosen these lines exactly twice in his career, and probably did no preparation for them in anticipation of the match.

There are other 1.e4 e5 options of course--King's Gambit, Bishop's Opening, Vienna Game, just to name a few--but again, Leko has not regularly used them in tournament play; and the World Championship may not be the best place to start experimenting (unless all is lost, which it may soon be).

soikins ♡ 60 ( +1 | -1 )
great analysis I completely agree with bucklehead 's analysis. The problem is that Leko plays 1. e4 exclusively, so he doen't have much choice on the first move. He hasn't played 3. d4 against Petroff for 7 years (though his score in the line is 81%) and now he is staggering in the main line. He has had 72% score in the line and is recognized as a good expert in the Petroff as white. Now he is left without his main weapon and that means trouble. I guess we are about to see 3. d4 soon. But there still is 8. Re1 with which Leko had good success in 1998-1999.
jjw109 ♡ 74 ( +1 | -1 )
Leko's team better find something, because I don't think we've seen the end of Kramnik's innovations. 17. ... Qc2 seemed to ambush Leko, requiring what 30, 40 minutes of thought--not a good sign for his and his team's preparation. I haven't found that move in any database, but it was a reasonable move variation that could have been (should have been) worked out beforehand. He's probably left wondering what else Kramnik has. Many observers may not like draws (I'd rather see a deciding fight myself) but draws hold the championship for Kramnik right now. I think though that we'll see a couple of deciding games because Leko will have to play riskier if he wants to win. And you can bet Kramnik's team has spent a lot of time on 3. d4.
soikins ♡ 35 ( +1 | -1 )
pieces reversed Oh, now I see what do you mean jjw109 about the reversed pieces. Some others also have noticed this. See here:
item 259
loreta ♡ 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Draw and life... It's pitty that nobody goes deeper into positions and I don't see any ideas if White really could draw in game #1...
Anyway, I've lived long enough and remember times, when Petroff's defence wasn't fashionable (and when Karpov has hated Caro-Kann)... World changes... :-)
jjw109 ♡ 51 ( +1 | -1 )

lol!!! I'm actually James Willis! I posted the comment to Tim's website because in his diary he had comments about board reversal (black square on white's right), etc., and thought he might like to be informed of this blunder. I think it's hilarious that white's K-Q reversal has happened before at high-level professional play, and as I said how can we expect Hollywood to get things right if the organizer's of our World Championship can't either! Let's hope Leko doesn't sit down and the board the next game and his K and Q are reversed!
slowdive ♡ 8 ( +1 | -1 )
and why are there so many rows on that board? dramatic symbolic effect?
snake_man ♡ 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, once again, it looked as if Leko was unprepared. He spent almost half his time on moves 13 & 14. Onlyto come up with the book moves. It would take a miracle for him to pull this out now.
ketchuplover ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
They're even Steven now :)
ketchuplover ♡ 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Game 6 drawn after 20 moves
honololou ♡ 48 ( +1 | -1 )
maybe I am unable to appreciate… the finer points of GM chess, but I believe that game 6 is the kind of game that gives chess a bad
name. The game is drawn after only 20 moves with all of the pieces still on the board. Only a
pair of pawns have been exchanged. IMO, they may as well just agree to draw the game before
making ANY moves and save themselves the trouble. As fans and spectators, are we supposed to
get excited about this? Could someone enlighten me?
werwolf ♡ 108 ( +1 | -1 )
About 6th game I` think that Leko decision to offer draw was a psychological move - after 5th game when he surprised Kramnik with opening (as soikins mentioned - Leko usually playing 1.e4) and overplayed Kramnik in "his field"(very technic). Kramnik felt demoralised. In next game Leko with black getting better position from the opening - one reason more to demoralize Kramnik. If Leko would play for the win , then, if he wouldn`t win, then Kramnik could return his confidence ( by making draw in worst position, or winning it). And if someone are going play for the win, then he must take a risk of losing. But try to imagine yourself in the place of Kramnik - your opponent after winning you, in the next game overplaying you again and offering draw - it means that he feeling so confident about success in next games. I` would feel very uncomfortable.
Now I` think that Leko will try to strike in next few games wiht white - playing safe, and awaiting when Kramnik will become enervous....
snake_man ♡ 100 ( +1 | -1 )
well... I agree with werwolf , that is precisly what happened, niether player really wanted to risk losing that game. But that doesn't answer honololou's point, which was valid. How can chess gain new fans when some of the most watched games, neither player really even tries to win? In the US, the most watched sport is American style football (I know it shouldn't be called football, but that debate is for another place), if two football teams went out onto the field and made efforts like that, the fans would probably riot! And if it happened as consistently as it does in chess, the sport would probably fold due to the enormous lack of fans it would suddenly suffer. I think this is a terrible example about the state of professional chess in the world right now...
roland_l ♡ 15 ( +1 | -1 )
I wonder ... ... if for every draw in a match the organizers were to take money from the prize pool what would happen? Less draws I bet ...
soikins ♡ 204 ( +1 | -1 )
snake_man IMO we should look at what are the goals of the players, then we will be able to see why they make these short draws. There is no point in arguing-- well, they should think about the future of chess. People act in their own interest and don't give a damn about such general issues like future of chess and world hunger.

In this case the goal is clear -- one must win the match. The current game is just one part of the match. The strategy for the game could be taking a rest. This is a wise strategy that helps achieving the goal -- winning the match. We can't judge players for acting rationally and we can't expect them to stop acting so. The same principles apply for tournaments.

Therefore there should be other format. If a chess game is similar to a game or set in tennis, then we should have all the sets in one day. Thus we wouldn't have the problem of "destroyed expectations" (by "destroyed expectations" I mean a situation in which a viewer expects to see a 7 hour game, but recieves a 14 move draw in half an hour). If one game ends in a quick draw, it will be followed by the next one. This of course requires shorter time controls. Blitz would be perfect but rapid is also fine.

Of course, the draws will still occure on some occations. How could we eliminate them? Simply -- make the matches so short that there is no need for rest. Let there be 2 game matches. Or maybe we can move to a sudden death games at once (white has 5 minutes, black -- 4; white must win; in case of a draw black is declared the winner)? That would be just great! No draws, and even if there is a draw then there still would be a winner!

Hmmm.... Isn't that the Ilumzhinov way that I just described? Has it helped? IMO -- no. Maybe draws are not the problem of chess? Maybe the real reason why people don't watch cess is chess itself? Chess sucks, it is boring, long and we don't understand it. Why should people watch it?
snake_man ♡ 78 ( +1 | -1 )
haha That is an interesting concept. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind a draw, if both players go out, play their best, and no one is really better than the other guy that day. I can live with that. I just hate the ones like this where it seems that they both decided before the game that this was gonna be a draw. In game 6, most of the experts seem to agree that Leko had an advantage in the games final position, he also had 30 more minutes on the clock. Seems to me, that even if Leko decided that a draw was acceptabe to him in this game, he should at least play on a bit and see if Kramnik makes a time pressure mistake. Like was said before, if he wins this one, that could be devistating to his opponent.
snake_man ♡ 79 ( +1 | -1 )
also. soikins To your last paragraph, obviously, chess will never have the fan base that football or tennis do. But I think that there are more people out there that could be fans, if the game did something to reach out to them. What? Im not sure, but certainly these almost predetermined draws dont help. I don't and probably never will understand the game like these GMs do, or even players such as yourself do. But that doesn't mean that I can't see when a game is exciting. For example, Even I, a lowly patzer, understood the importance of Leko's 1.d4 in game 5. And I could have never won that endgame, so I have some understanding of what that took.
honololou ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
has interest faded???? Leko has claimed the lead!!!
sly_lonewolf ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
link... Somehow shouldn't this thread ( be in this Chess Related section?

A good win by how will Kramnik response?
werwolf ♡ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Now Kramnik must go to complicated positions - in calm game he`s chances to overplay Leko are minimal......
soikins ♡ 109 ( +1 | -1 )
ChessBase analysis At they say that Kramniks home preparation went untill 24. Qxe2? somehow I don't believe he could prepare such a blunder at home. Computer spots the tactic quickly. Kramnik started to think after Leko's 19. ... Rae8.

I also don't understand why people say this was a great game or something. Ok, Leko played very well in zeitnot (though he "only" had to find Qd3 in 4 minutes, for the rest of the combination Leko could think on opponents time), but Kramnik made a childish error by trying to play quickly in opponents zeitnot. That was an amazingly stupid thing to do for a superGM.

Also I don't understand why 8. c3 is a risky move at this level. IMO 8. c3 is a simple draw offer. Is it a courage to play an agressive theoretical line (a bunch of lines) that leads to a draw? The only risk is that your memory will fail you. 8. h3 is a much more agressive way, it requires greater courage. Kramnik deserved a loss after a move like 8. c3. The 20 move draws were of a greater interest to me, that this game.
loreta ♡ 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Has interest faded???? To: honololou
No, it hasn't faded... I watch the mach, but... (soikins mentioned that world) I DON'T UNDERSTAND many thinks - psycological weapons, selection of variations to play... I didn't see any attack, any risky move... Ant the last game was like some kind of nonsense... I don't understant it as well... :-)