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Peter Leko vs Vladimir Kramnik
Budapest RWE Gas m (2001) (rapid), rd 10, Jan-02
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation (B45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-13-04  ughaibu: Square Dance: That's all fine and in fact I haven't even looked at this game and didn't know who behaved how, I just wanted to conjecture a point about attitudes. From my own experience I can say losing at chess used to effect me, not too strongly but enough to feel cold walking home, shogi never effected me like that because there isn't the same feeling of having the right to a draw. I may be wrong with "because", the other side is that as almost all games have decisive results we dont have to stretch our ethics in search of wins, they happen naturally. I dont think I'm contradicting myself regarding your previous situation(?), for me the most important thing is the games social function.
Feb-13-04  square dance: <ughaibu> i wasnt saying that you were wrong at all, i hope i didnt give that impression, but just adding to my previous post and replying to yours.
Feb-13-04  ughaibu: Thanks, I wasn't sure.
Feb-13-04  Lawrence: square dance, Geurt Gijssen in "An Arbiter's Notebook" in Chesscafé.com has explained several times about this question, and every time he does so I agree with you and think "How unfair." It's something like "If a draw is offered and refused and even with poor play one side would not lose then the arbiter shall declare a draw." In other words they are rewarding the guy who has misspent his time by giving him a draw. I like Geurt but hate his column because of all the nittpicking that goes on among chess players. You could check in the chesscafé archives.
Feb-13-04  rover: Catfriend: There is a 2 minute draw rule but it doesn't apply for Rapid play, only classical time controls.

square dance: We'll have to disagree on this. I think if a game is obviously drawn so much that the defending side has demonstrated the drawing technique then a draw should be agreed. The argument that "he should have managed his time better" does not convince me, since some positions can be dragged out almost forever, degenerating the game into a "who can move faster" competition. Which, in my mind, has little to do with chess.

Feb-13-04  square dance: <rover> then there should be a rule against it. i think there should be, but if there is not why cant a professional play for a win?
Feb-13-04  rover: Possibly, but a good rule is difficult to create.
Anyway, I'll give Kramnik the benfit of doubt. Possibly this game was played with an increment, in which case Leko just didn't know the technique well enough to deserve the draw.
Jan-07-05  themindset: i agree with rover here, speed-moving should not decide the winner.
Jan-19-05  Granite: Speed moves should certainly decide the winner in a timed game, that's why the clock exists doesn't it? Rapid chess is a "who can move faster" competition in that it's a "who can think faster" competition. If someone comes out ahead on time with an otherwise equal position I'm going to nurse the clock to beat them every time. How many games have we seen lost near time controls in matches when the game was even? Should we discount those as being unsportsman like as well because he won the game based on a blunder made in time pressure?

Moreso, it's not as though these men are playing a casual game of chess at the local pub, they're professionals who do this for a living, I'm not going to fault someone who's working his hardest over the board to make his money by whatever means are deemed fair by the governing body.

Leko knew the rules when he agreed to this game, just like Kramnik did, and I don't see anything unsporting about playing by the rules both players agreed to before the game began. Frankly if Leko offered me a draw in a position like this when I was clearly going to win on time seems far more unsporting and rude then playing for a win with the rules agreed to.

I'd also like to point out that it's VERY unfair to draw when you could win in tournement play. It's unsportsman like to manipulate player scores artificially and to play without doing your best to gather as many points as you can. Imagine if Kramnik did offer a draw and another player lost a ranking and therefore prize money because of it, I'd be furious! This game ended exactly as it should.

Truely, if you find speed moving to be an offense to what you consider good chess then don't play it, and don't support it, but it's certainly a valid form of the game and has demonstrated itself as such for many years. Personally I think violence in sport is 'unsportsmanlike' but I certainly don't fault a football player from tackling his opponent, I simply don't watch football.

Nov-02-05  Udit Narayan: So much for Kramnik's art of the short draw...
Nov-02-05  aw1988: <ughaibu: In a game like shogi in which even the strongest players usually lose at least 30%>

How does that happen?

Nov-02-05  ughaibu: I dont understand what you mean.
Nov-02-05  aw1988: It seems like an awful lot of losses for one season.
Nov-02-05  ughaibu: A top professional probably plays around 60 games a year, losing around 20 of them.
Nov-02-05  aw1988: Oh, that's more realistic.
Jan-10-06  alexandrovm: sometimes Kramnik fights until the end, good to see that once in a while...
Mar-22-07  gambitfan: I do not understand at all this final position!

Endgame Rook against Bishop is very complicate !

(Leko, Kramnik, 2001) 0-1

click for larger view

Oct-05-07  gambitfan: An interesting enfgame : ♖ // ♗

38 moves after the last pawn taking...

A difficult endgame!

Jan-23-08  whatthefat: <aw1988: Oh, that's more realistic.>


Nov-18-12  Tigranny: Sort of unfair to Leko that he lost in a clear draw and Kramnik just kept playing on.
May-21-13  Drakulo: Shouldn't the white king stay on the safe a1 corner with his bishop around? That's a fortress, which means an easy draw. I can't see why Leko had to move his king elsewhere.
May-21-13  Nerwal: <Shouldn't the white king stay on the safe a1 corner with his bishop around? That's a fortress, which means an easy draw.> This game was rapid without increment, so there's little point discussing the chess value of the last few moves... By pure instinct Leko uncornered his king, that's pretty much all there is to it...

Still there are some very rare cases where being in the right corner or close to it loses :

click for larger view

White to play wins

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Nerwal: This game was rapid without increment, so there's little point discussing the chess value of the last few moves.....>

Same as many other games at that speed, the value of which is thereby diminished, except for those generally looking to belittle the play of those stronger than themselves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <This game was rapid without increment, so there's little point discussing the chess value of the last few moves....>

Given the move numbers, it would be extreme zeitnot even in a classical game.

Oct-27-21  Sally Simpson: I was reading about this game in an old Chess Life, August 2001, page 63.

The arbiter, Gábor Kállai told Benko if Leko had claimed a draw due to it being a known theoretically drawn position then under the FIDE rules he would have to declare it a draw. (I'm not 100% if these rules still apply in rapid chess. They seem to change every time it rains.)

Leko offered Kramnik a draw but did not approach the arbiter so consequently Leko lost on time.

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