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Peter Leko vs Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik - Leko Classical World Championship Match (2004), Brissago SUI, rd 9, Oct-09
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Check Variation Intermezzo Line (E15)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-10-04  clocked: In the last four years, top players with higher "chicken factors" than Kramnik: Grischuk, Ivanchuk, Svidler, and worst of the bunch...Anand

Notable anti-chickens:

Shirov, Morozevich, Topalov, and the man who loves chess the most...Korchnoi

Oct-10-04  refutor: i'm sure kramnik's theory was that he needed to "regroup" this game, but i find it hard to believe someone would play the queen's indian in a (short) match where they're down 1 game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Kramnik and Leko were perfectly content to say that this game was concluded equally at move 17. Are you saying they are wrong?>>

Kramnik and Leko did not agree to a draw because they believed that there was no play left in the position. They agreed to terminate the proceedings because neither particularly had an advantage (which by the way is hardly the same as saying there is no play left) and both were content with a draw, Leko because he leads in the match, and Kramnik because he had Black.

Oct-10-04  clocked: Better reasons are given by Leko in the postgame interview.
Oct-10-04  suenteus po 147: <Eggman> If "no play left in the position" is hardly the same as "neither particularly having an advantage," then I would have to respond that all draws by agreement are made when there is still "play left in the position." Thereby we are arguing over the abolishment of the draw by agreement, if players should be compelled to continue with "play left in the position."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Thereby we are arguing over the abolishment of the draw by agreement, if players should be compelled to continue with "play left in the position.">>

Yes, pretty much. In my view allowing draws by agreement only if permission is granted by a qualified referee (who deems the position to have no play left) is a perfectly viable option, there is nothing strange or unprecendented about it (after all in sports, which by the way are indeed games, a referee would deny permission to terminate a contest by agreement by the combatants), and it would not require ABOLISHING draws by agreement per se.

Oct-11-04  Bigbluedog: I love to play or see fighting chess. I try to avoid draws in my games because I view a draw as a failure on my part even if I play black. That being my viewpoint I still say these guys are playing a MATCH , not just one game! Each felt a draw would benefit them. It is a decision best left to the players and makes sense when considering that a MATCH may have its own strategy just as a game does. I too feel it should have been played on farther but I am merely a spectator not one of the players! the doggieman
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: At this level, playing with the White pieces is pretty significant. Kramnik has to be satisfied to hold a draw so quickly--it's a few extra hours of sleep and/or preparation for his next shot at Leko with the White pieces. Leko has a reason to be happy--he's one game closer to the title. If I had a one point lead in a match and the White pieces, I would try to make it a two point lead, but maybe that's why I'm not playing for one of the world championships.
Oct-13-04  Cornwallis: How many games are in the Kramnik-Leko
match? Cause at this rate, I can only see an interminable amount of draws and Kramnik won't catch up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The winner is the first to win ten games.
Oct-13-04  iron maiden: <Cornwallis> There are three more games.
Oct-15-04  alexandrovm: If Leko wins tomorrow, is the end for Kramnik! One win, or two more draws. Only two more draws...
Oct-18-04  tintin: I i'm happy with a draw with a supirior player, as long as i am not winning, or have not stuffed up a won position. Against a worse player however, it is a failure. I don't really care whether i am white or black.
May-08-05  Orbitkind: Seeing all these short draws when playing through the Leko-Kramnik 2004 match reminds one why the match received criticism. I'm looking forward to Kasparov's book on his matches with Karpov; that was a real clash of titans. I'm glad that agreed draws are no longer allowed in many tournaments now, and I hope it will apply to all tournaments. I think it is unfair on the player because of the pressure you can be under, you may throw away a chance of a brilliant win by bailing out when the tension is very high. If this bailing option didn't exist then the player could just concentrate on the game and not about his 'match' options. Also I'd welcome the large number of endgames we would see.
May-08-05  iron maiden: The percentage of short draws in the Kasparov-Karpov matches (particularly the first) and all of Kasparov's subsequent title defenses were easily comparable with what we saw from Kramnik-Leko.
Oct-23-05  Unicornio: This is the famous Mini-Match of Drawmnik, what a shame!!!!!

A drawers festival..

Oct-24-05  Dionyseus: Kramnik declined to appear in the post-conference, the commentator said Kramnik was not physically well.

Leko was asked why he very often takes long thoughts during the opening, and he said "it is fine with me." He went on to explain that after 15...Nc7, he tried to look for a plan, but after thinking for so long he could not find a plan, so he simply played e4.

Anyone remember Leko's lost to Anand in San Luis? He spent about an hour after a natural opening move by Anand, came up with no plan, and went on to lose the game. Leko's opening preperation needs work.

Oct-15-06  Bufon: What is this, sort of a bad joke??

A 18 move draw with white in a WC match?? and then some Leko fans says he has a fighting spirit...


Oct-15-06  alicefujimori: <Bufon>Given Leko's reputation, it wasn't suprising that he took a draw as white in 14 moves. But it was definitely a suprise when Kasparov did something similiar in London 2000.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Kasparov vs Kramnik, 2000 was a bit of a suprise at the time.
Oct-17-06  Whitehat1963: Chess interuptus!
Mar-07-08  Hesam7: From chesscafe's book review on "From London to Elista" (some info on what happened after game 8 before and during game 9):

<Kramnik is quoted as saying: <After this game the situation became critical. I was unwell, Leko was unbelievably inspired, and most importantly, the worst-case scenario for this match had come into being – Leko had gone +1 and had left his routine of just holding on.>

And the drama deepens. The night before the next game, Kramnik’s blood pressure rose, his pulse was racing and he couldn’t sleep. He was taken to a doctor, who said Kramnik was fine – he was just very tired and very agitated, and needed to sleep.

Perhaps feeling a bit relieved, Kramnik didn’t take the medication he was given and went to sleep. However, in the midst of Game 9 Kramnik apparently had difficulty concentrating and quietly took the pill. Bareev explains what happened next:

<While Leko was thinking, Volodya took this pill and realised that it possessed a colossal relaxation effect. He simply couldn’t think, his legs turned to jelly, he urgently needed to sleep, he couldn’t even get up from the table! He realised that the situation with his head wasn’t very good … Kramnik absolutely couldn’t play at this point. The pill turned out to be incompatible with playing chess. Exploiting the fact that Leko had been thinking for a long time and acting uncertainly, Kramnik offered a draw … If Leko had known he was playing with a half-dead man, he should’ve continued playing. In general, the situation here was strange – Leko didn’t know that Kramnik had taken the tablet, and that it had gone badly for him. He’d basically taken a sleeping pill.

When the game ended, Kramnik, naturally, refused to come to the press conference, because he couldn’t speak. I don’t know what the journalists thought … he’s losing the match, in a complicated position he has an hour more on his clock, and instead of trying to continue playing and posing problems, he offers a draw. From the outside it looks like resigning the match. After this we practically carried him out, he walked, but leaning on people. Leko didn’t know about that. We took Volodya out to the car and drove him to the hospital.>>

Jul-03-08  Abejorral: Most of the games between these two draw masters are boring....

Hopefully they will eventually retire soon.

Sep-18-08  sergeyvicherik: Drawnik!!
May-08-14  Whitehat1963: Exchange a pawn, shuffle a couple of pieces, call it a day. Wonderful.
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