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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leko explains his break from chess!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

While we are on the subject of Peter Leko being knocked out from the first round in the World Cup of Chess that just started in Khanty Mansiysk and while we are on the subject of whether you can stay without your regular chess 'fix', here's a nice article from Chess In Translation. It's about Peter Leko explaining his return to chess after a break. 

One of the stories of the recent World Team Championship in China was the return of Peter Leko after a long absence from competitive chess. He played as though he’d never been away, posting an unbeaten 2800+ performance. In an interview he revealed what was behind his decision.

The interview came as part of Vladimir Barsky’s fifth round report for the Russia Chess Federation website. At the time Hungary had recovered from a slow start to post a remarkable sequence of three wins over Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Israel. Peter Leko was instrumental, winning his games on top board against the latter two teams (note you can play through all Leko’s games in China in the viewer after the interview).

To begin with, why is it so long since we’ve seen Peter Leko in action?

I wanted to take a certain break. For the last 10 or even 15 years I’ve been playing non-stop at the very highest level, and after last year’s Dortmund I decided to take a break. True, I still had to play at the Olympiad for the Hungarian team; I didn’t perform very well there, but that no longer had any influence on my decision.

You simply wanted to take a rest from chess?
Yes, that was the original plan. But after two weeks I sensed I couldn’t get by without chess, it was my life, and I started to work on it. I decided that I wouldn’t play before the World Team Championship, and it was very pleasant simply to work while not experiencing the continual stress of knowing that tomorrow you’re again playing against Anand, Kramnik, Aronian or Carlsen, and you’ve got nothing in the opening!… Simply to work on chess and not think about what to play tomorrow. Of course, it was very hard in the first round here. It’s even hard just now! My head isn’t yet working automatically. After a 9-month break it’s not so easy. You can play training games at home but that’s completely different – you don’t feel as though a real battle’s going on.

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