World Champion Vladimir Kramnik
Press release from the Organizers
Brissago, October 18, 2004. Vladimir Kramnik from Russia is still the World Chess Champion. In the last and decisive game of the Classical World Chess Championship at the CENTRO DANNEMANN, he defeated his challenger Peter Leko (Hungary) in a dramatic game after four hours and 41 moves.
The 29 year old Russian, who was one point down since Game 8, today turned the tables and equalized the score. With a final result of 7 to 7 points Kramnik as titleholder remains the World Champion. “I had to give everything, especially at the end, to win against such an opponent. Peter Leko is an incredible defender. For me it was more difficult than my match against Kasparov in the year 2000”, said Kramnik after the game.
His 25 year old challenger from Hungary said: “It was a very hard fight. In the end it was not enough for me to win the title. I’m disappointed, but I’m looking forward to the future. I’m 25 years old, and I hope to get a new chance to become world champion.”
It was a Caro Kann defense once again. Kramnik chose a sharp variation and got an advantage out of the opening. Leko defended well and was able to neutralize some threats and to reach the endgame, which looked only slightly better for the World Champion.
But here Kramnik started to play really impressive chess. With a positional pawn sacrifice he managed to break into the black position. Suddenly his pieces became coordinated ideally. When he pushed his f-pawn, black defense started to collapse. Facing inevitable checkmate in two moves, Leko resigned the game.
[Event "Kramnik - Leko"]
[Site "Brissago, Switzerland"]
[Opening "Caro-Kann: advance variation"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h6 5. g4 Bd7 6. Nd2 c5 7. dxc5 e6 8. Nb3 Bxc5 9. Nxc5 Qa5+ 10. c3 Qxc5 11. Nf3 Ne7 12. Bd3 Nbc6 13. Be3 Qa5 14. Qd2 Ng6 15. Bd4 Nxd4 16. cxd4 Qxd2+ 17. Kxd2 Nf4 18. Rac1 h5 19. Rhg1 Bc6 20. gxh5 Nxh5 21. b4 a6 22. a4 Kd8 23. Ng5 Be8 24. b5 Nf4 25. b6 Nxd3 26. Kxd3 Rc8 27. Rxc8+ Kxc8 28. Rc1+ Bc6 29. Nxf7 Rxh4 30. Nd6+ Kd8 31. Rg1 Rh3+ 32. Ke2 Ra3 33. Rxg7 Rxa4 34. f4 Ra2+ 35. Kf3 Ra3+ 36. Kg4 Rd3 37. f5 Rxd4+ 38. Kg5 exf5 39. Kf6 Rg4 40. Rc7 Rh4 41. Nf7+ 1-0
In the photo: (from the official site: The Trophy of WCC 2004)