Game 1, 25.09.2004

(from the official site: Anatoly Karpov makes the 1st move)

Kramnik wins first game with Black and takes the lead

Press release from the organizers

Brissago, September 26, 2004. On Saturday Vladimir Kramnik won the first game of the Classical World Chess Championship at CENTRO DANNEMANN (Brissago/Switzerland). The titleholder from Russia defeated his challenger Peter Leko (Hungary) after 65 moves. The first move of the World Chess Championship was made by guest of honor and former Champion Anatoly Karpov (Russia).

Kramnik played Russian defence. His move Sa5 is a new idea, which leads to an interesting situation: White becomes a queen for a rook, a bishop and a pawn. The position seems to be in a balance, but black gets a dangerous passed pawn. Leko also tries to play for a win but loses some time.

Still, after the exchange sacrifice on c3, the position looks like a draw. The endgame Queen versus two rooks is rather rare. At first Leko defends well, but later he misses the trick h7-h6 (Queen f4 ? is decisive mistake, otherwise the position should be drawn) and now Kramnik sees his chance. He plays precisely and wins a first game with black pieces.

[Event "Kramnik - Leko"]
[Site "Brissago, Switzerland"]
[Date "2004.09.25"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Leko"]
[Black "Kramnik"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2741"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[Opening "Petrov: classical attack, Jaenisch variation"]
[ECO "C42"]

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