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Leko’s liking has professional reasons

other Updated: Oct 15, 2008 22:51 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant
Hindustan Times
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In 2004, Peter Leko and Vladimir Kramnik played a hard-fought match for the World Championship title (non-FIDE) in which the Russian just about survived, winning the 14th and final game to tie scores 7-7 and retain his title.

Peter Leko, the Hungarian prodigy who at one time was the world's youngest Grandmaster at 14, gave the classical world champion the biggest scare of his life before succumbing to a brilliant game.

Four years later, Leko is helping Kramnik in his match against Viswanathan Anand. Despite them sharing a manager, their association came as a surprise to many.

Leko, who is also a good friend of Anand, however, termed his decision to assist Kramnik as professional. “I am friendly with both Anand and Kramnik, but we all are professionals. We are friends and also rivals when we are playing in a tournament. My decision to work with Kramnik was made purely on professional basis.

“Both Anand and Kramnik are great players and have been very successful over the last decade. Importantly, we are seeing two of the best players in the world play against each other,” said Leko, who has been working on and off with Kramnik since the start of the year.

When asked about who initiated the deal, Leko said he would not like to reveal that now. “I don’t want to discuss anything related to that during the match. But I wanted to be at this match and this is a good opportunity for me.”

Leko, who spent time with media at the press centre, refused to say anything about the second game in which Anand came up with an opening that he has not used in recent times.

But Anand’s choice of opening did catch many by surprise and though people here thought something special was in store, the game went on expected lines with Anand managing only a slight advantage in the middle game.

Leko dismissed questions on whether Anand’s choice of opening came as a surprise to Team Kramnik.

But one thing is for sure. If Kramnik comes up with a bolt from the blue, this Hungarian 29-year-old would definitely have a hand in it.