Peter Leko
(September 8, 1979)
Rating Elo –
Peter Leko was a real chess prodigy, achieving in 1994 the title of Grandmaster at the youngest age ever: 14 years 4 months 22 days. The same year Peter won gold in the World U-16. In 1999, Peter Leko entered the top 10 chess players of the world. With his excellent knowledge of the opening theory, Leko plays ‘pure’ chess, classical games, that is. His playing is characterized by a fine technique, he also demonstrates the necessary inventiveness and consistency in defense, avoiding unnecessary risks, all of which together results in him rarely suffering defeat.

In the summer of 2002, with the Prague Agreement having already been signed, while the world still had two world chess champions, Peter Leko won the Chess Meeting in Dortmund and the right to become the official challenger to the then world champion Vladimir Kramnik. That competition was held from September 25 to October 18, 2004 in Brissago, Switzerland. Losing at the start Leko broke forward later, leading right until the final 14th game. Kramnik nevertheless managed to break late, tying the score — 7:7 (+2-2=10) – and thus retained his title. Peter Leko competed in FIDE World Championship Tournaments (in 2005 when he was placed fifth and in 2007 where he finished fourth), as well as in knockout championships. The Hungarian grandmaster has won prizes and medals in numerous international tournaments; to name but a few: Cienfuegos (The Capablanca Memorial) 1999, Wijk aan Zee 2005 (second in 2004), Ciudad de Linares Chess Tournament 2003 (second in 2004), Dortmund in 1999 and 2008, the 2002 Rapid Grand Prix in Dubai, 1999 Rapid Grand Prix in Bordeaux, Tal Memorial 2006 in Moscow, the 2007 ACP World Rapid in Odessa.

Leko enjoys playing Fischer Random Chess (Chess960) and shows good results there. In 2001, at the Mainz Chess Classic festival, Peter Leko defeated Michael Adams in an eight-game match, becoming the first World Fischer Random Chess Champion.

Peter Leko continues to be one of the leading chess theoreticians, while also pursuing his career of a chess player, even though he sometimes supplements this with a bit of coaching (seconding, for example, for Viswanathan Anand against Magnus Carlsen). In the Chess Olympics of 2014 in Tromsø Leko led Hungary’s national team, which won silver in the end.