Leko vs Carlsen Rapid Match
The present year’s most prestigious clash in Hungary is going to be organized at the National Theater of Miskolc. The No. 1 Hungarian GM, Péter Lékó takes up a duel of eight games against the Norwegian Wunderkind, the pretender, Magnus Carlsen this time.

As the first move of the Lékó+ series Péter Lékó played against Michael Adams in 2005. The exciting duel ended up with a tie of 4-4. In 2006 Lékó’s opponent was the twelfth world champion of chess, Anatolij Karpov, who, during his carrier, gained 166 competition victories setting a record that can not likely be broken in the future. The two leading players fought in the new shrine of chess, the beautiful National Theater of Miskolc. The auditorium was totally sold out. The fans on the spot and via internet were amazed by the games – with good reason. The homepage of the event, www.lekokarpov.hu was visited frequently by reaching more than 3 millions of clicks on it. Lékó put himself on the lead by winning the third game and he could preserve his advantage till the end gaining a victory of 4,5-3,5.

In the pursuance of the series last year, our GM’s opponent and the special guest of Miskolc was the recent World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik who deprived Garri Kasparov of his world championship title in London, in 2000. Kramnik defended his title against Péter Lékó in Brissago, Switzerland, in 2004. In the autumn of 2006 he won the world championship final for uniting titles against the Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in the tie-break. We could consider their duel of eight games in Miskolc as the return match for Brissago, although, as it already happened in Budapest, 2001, they are going to play rapid games. We had the possibility to follow a brilliant duel between the two GMs and, furthermore, the homepage of the game - www.lekokramnyik.hu – was clicked by more than three and half million users. Kramnik won the third and fifth games, Lékó could nevertheless close up in the sixth, however, the Russian GM won the duel by 4,5-3,5.
Both players were satisfied with the level of the games, Kramnik was happy about winning the game which he described as fight of equal forces. The brilliant contest, nonetheless has proved the fact that the ability of significantly faster decision-making is required from the Grand Masters as far as the rapid stroke is concerned, since they have much less time to evaluate the positions. Intuition and creativity claim therefore an increased role.

After the great champions Péter Lékó is facing the pretender, Magnus Carlsen this year. Just as Lékó but ten years after, the Norwegian Wunderkind, who is also known as Mozart of the Chess, was the youngest GM in the world.
At the age of fifteen he became world champion candidate and finished the last year’s World Cup on the third place. In the first super competition of the year, in Wijk aan Zee, he fascinated the chess world with his dead-heat first place. Afterwards he repeated his success in Linares by finishing on the second place left behind exclusively by Viswanathan Anand.

Lékó and Carlsen met for the first time beside the chess board at the Tal Memorial Competiton in Moscow, 2006 where they played draw. After that they have played eleven games. Beside 7 draws Lékó won in last year’s Morelia/Linares, the Corus competition in January and, finally, in this year’s Linares tournament. In rapid style the have played 1-1 so far, they finished by draw at the rapid world Championship in Moscow.

In accordance with the Ranking List of January 2008, Lékó occupies the eighth place with ELO-points of 2753 while Carlsen has the thirteenth place with 2733 points.