Ivanchuk vs. Leko

Report by GM Mikhail Golubev
for ChessToday.net

The Ivanchuk versus Leko match was started nicely on the 2nd of January in the Mukachevo cultural centre, where all 6 games are to be played from the 3rd to the 5th of January.

The main organizer of the match Mr. Josef Resch of the Universal Event Promotion led the opening ceremony. There was a press conference at the end of it.

Ivanchuk and Leko answered various questions. “Chess is more than a sport”, said Ivanchuk.

It is interesting that Mr. Resch said that before the Dresden Olympiad and Congress he proposed to FIDE that UEP will take care of the 2010-2011 world championship cycle, i.e. candidates tournament + championship match. Later he was a bit surprised that things on which he agreed with FIDE (i.e. Candidates event) became a subject of the bidding procedure, recently announced by FIDE. But UEP will participate in that and Mr. Resch hopes to organize the Candidates event.

At the opening ceremony, almost everyone spoke Ukrainian, with the exception of Resch and Leko who spoke Russian to the audience (and spoke German between themselves when Peter needed to clarify something). Leko has made obvious progress in Russian, and even understands some Ukrainian when it is similar to Russian. Leko’s manager Carsten Hensel was also present, as well as the Ukrainian chess federation President Viktor Petrov, and the local Mukachevo officials, including the major Zoltan Zoltanovich Lengyel.

And of course, the players’ wives were present too.

The first two games of the match were drawn on the 3rd of January.

My next report will appear in Chess Today after the match, as I will be playing in a rapid chess open here, which runs alongside the match.

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