Person of day   -  8 SEPTEMBER 2021

PETER LEKO

PETER LEKO

Peter Leko was a true wunderkind who became the world’s youngest grandmaster in 1994 when he was 14 years, 4 months and 22 days old. In that same year, Peter won the world U16 championship. 

In 1999, Peter Leko was one of the world’s top ten chess players. A master of openings, Leko plays the “original” version of classical chess. He possesses brilliant technique, he is inventive and determined in defence, he avoids unnecessary risk and he loses very rarely.  

In the summer of 2002, when the chess world still had two world champions but the Prague Agreement was already signed, Peter Leko triumphed at a tournament in Dortmund and won the right to the champions’ match against Vladimir Kramnik. This contest took place from 25th September to 18th October 2004 in the Swiss city of Brissago. After losing at the start, Leko surged ahead and retained his lead until the final, 14thgame. Kramnik managed to win that one and equalise the score- 7:7 (+2-2=10), thus retaining his crown. 

Peter Leko played in FIDE’s round-robinworld championships, coming 5th in 2005 and 4th in 2007. Healsoplayedinknockoutchampionships. The Hungarian grandmaster won prizes at multiple international tournaments, some of which are noted hereafter: the 1999 Capablanca Memorial in Cienfuegos, 2ndplace in Wijk aan Zee in 2004 and 1st place at the same tournament a year later, victory in Linares in 2003 and second place a year later, and victories in Dortmund in 1999 and 2008, Dubai in 2002 (rapid chess), the 2006 Tal Memorial in Moscow, Odessa and the PCA rapid World Cup in 2007. 

Leko loves to play Chess960. In 2001, at a festival in Mainz, Peter Leko easily defeated Michael Adams in a match of eight rounds and was recognised at the first world champion of Chess-960. 

At the present time, Peter Leko remains one of the leading chess theorists and players, although he spends some time training others, like Vishy Anand, whomLeko helped in his match against Magnus Carlsen. At the 2014 Olympiad in Tromso, Leko was the leader of the Hungarian team which won silver medals.