Peter Leko (b. September 8, 1979 in Subotica, Serbia and Montenegro) is a Hungarian chess player. He became a grandmaster in 1994 at the age of 14 years (a world record at the time). In the January 2006 FIDE list, he has an ELO rating of 2740, making him number seven in the world, and Hungary's number one. He is considered to be one of the most important opening theorists in the professional circuit.
Under the terms of the so-called "Prague Agreement", masterminded by Yasser
Seirawan, and intended to unite the two World Chess Championships, Leko's 2002
win at Dortmund qualified him to play a match against Vladimir Kramnik. It was
intended that the winner of this match would play the winner of a match between
Garry Kasparov and the FIDE World Chess
Champion (first Ruslan Ponomariov, then Rustam Kasimdzhanov) to decide the
undisputed world champion. After several delays, the match was held from
September 25-October 18, 2004. It ended in a 7-7 tie, which entitled Kramnik to
remain the reigning "classical" world champion.
In 2001, Peter Leko narrowly defeated Grandmaster Michael Adams in an eight game Fischer Random Chess (Chess960) match played as part of the Mainz Chess Classic. As a result, Leko was hailed by many as the first Fischer Random Chess world champion. This claim is not universally accepted, since there were no open qualifying matches. Many do accept the claim, however, since this was also true of the first orthodox world chess champion titleholders, and both players were in the top five in the January 2001 world rankings for orthodox chess.
In September-October 2004, Peter Leko played and drew (+2 -2 =10) a match against Vladimir Kramnik in Brissago, Switzerland for the World Chess Championship. Since the match was a draw, Kramnik retained the title.
In October 2005, Leko played for the FIDE World Chess Championship title in San Luis, Argentina, along with other notable players such as Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov, and was ranked 5th with 6.5 points. For more information, see FIDE World Chess Championship 2005.
Leko is an extremely solid player and is considered to be one of the most difficult players in the world to defeat. He has been criticized in the past for a perceived lack of killer instinct and a propensity to draw a large percentage of his games. As white, Leko almost always plays 1. e4, and as black he often plays the Sveshnikov Sicilian or Grunfeld Defense. In addition, Peter is renowned for his endgame skill.
Peter Leko's games