Game 7, 05.10.2004


Half-time at the World Chess Championship:
Equal Score between Kramnik and Leko

Press release from the organizers
Brissago, October 5, 2004. 7 of 14 games have been played at the Classical World Chess Championship at CENTRO DANNEMANN (Brissago/Switzerland) – and at half-time of the match the score between titleholder Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and his challenger Peter Leko (Hungary) is equal. Both have 3,5 points – Kramnik won the first, Leko the fifth game of the Championship. The match with a prize fund of one million Swiss frank will continue on thursday.

“I’m sure, that the second half of the match will be a fight now”, said Leko (25) after today’s game, that ended in a draw after three hours and 21 moves. The 29 year old Kramnik said: “It’s a very difficult match. Now the tension will grow from day to day.”

Today Leko tries 1… d4 again. The World Champion chooses a rare move order and brings a first surprise: After nine moves the position from the Queen’s gambit accepted arises with a small difference, that White already played a4. Kramnik uses a weak b4 square for his knight and wants to blockade the isolated pawn d4. Leko doesn’t feel at home in a new opening and decides to simplify the position.

After 13. d4-d5 he can hope only at a small advantage, but Kramnik plays a strong defensive move 16…bc8. White is forced to go to an endgame where his activity is just enough to compensate the Black’s bishop pair. After the draw Kramnik now has one game more with White in the second half of the match.

[Event "Kramnik - Leko"]
[Site "Brissago, Switzerland"]
[Date "2004.10.05"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Leko"]
[Black "Kramnik"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2743"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[Opening "QGD Slav: Soultanbιieff variation"]
[ECO "D16"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. Be3 O-O 11. Ne5 Nb4 12. a5 Bd7 13. d5 exd5 14. Nxd5 Nbxd5 15. Bxd5 Nxd5 16. Qxd5 Bc8 17. Rfd1 Qxd5 18. Rxd5 Be6 19. Rb5 Bf6 20. Nf3 b6 21. axb6 1/2-1/2