Reports | January 04, 2009 20:10

Rematch Ivanchuk-Leko starts with two draws

Leko-IvanchukFrom 3rd to 5th January, Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Leko are playing a 6-game rapid match in Mukachevo, Ukraine. It's a return match of a previous encounter between the two, in October 2007, that ended in 6-6 after which Ivanchuk won the blitz tiebreak. Yesterday the first two games ended in a draw. In the first Ivanchuk missed a clear win in the ending.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow Ivanchuk and Leko play two games a day with a time control of 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move. They started with two draws; today at 15:30 CET is game 3 and 17:00 CET is game 4, to be followed live here. Tomorrow will have the same schedule: 15:30 CET game 5, 17:00 CET game 6. Note that the original url of the official website is still being blocked by Google because of previous problem with trojans; however you can reach it here.

In the first game Ivanchuk missed a clear win in the ending and then tried to win a basic N+p vs N ending a bit too long - apparently he had to adjust to the idea that he wasn't going to win it (we know the feeling, don't we). The next game ended in a draw remarkably quickly, especially for a rapid game. Ivanchuk's novelty 11...Qb8 removed the sting out of Leko's new 7.Nf3 repertoire against the Najdorf, after which the Hungarian immediately decided to force matters.

  Player ELO 1 2 3 4 5 6 Result
Ivanchuk, V UKR
Leko,P HUN

The organiser behind the match is Josef Resch, President of Universal Event Promotions, which you might remember from the Anand-Kramnik match. In Mukachevo, a small town in western Ukraine, he founded the local chess club "32x64" a year ago, which organized a great number of different chess events already.

Two interesting quotes from the players, taken from the official website:

LekoLeko: "I have become much stronger, and my play is more various now. I hope I'll have a few more chances to get the world crown. I have got a lot of experience and now I know what the World Championship means and next time I won't make the same mistakes. Though I didn't win the match with Kramnik, I am still an optimist. I'm looking forward to new meetings and tournaments. From year to year I like winning more and more and if you work hard and honestly it won't be in vain. I'm still growing and developing as a chess player."

IvanchukIvanchuk: "Chess is many-sided game in my view. It combines not only sport and art but psychology of life and philosophy. Chess influence a lot on our world outlook especially when a person plays chess very well. I thing the science of philosophy is rather close to chess. But when we speak about art I thing music, theatre and ... circus are the closest to chess. Chess managed to combine a lot of things which seem incompatible. For example logic and poetry. The main - thing is never stop working. Once M.Botvinnik said: "If you want to play chess very well you have to learn the whole life." I fully agree with him. I'd like to win, to make my rating higher. I'm still very ambitious but today I'm more balanced and calm so I can get a real pleasure from the play and show good results."


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

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