Péter Lékó

Péter Lékó



hungary Hungary

Péter Lékó and Levon Aronian could argue during the WEISSENHAUS Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge about which of them was the first world champion in chess960. Both would be right. Lékó won a 960 match against Michael Adams in 2001, the first such match between super grandmasters, which was only subsequently declared a world championship. When Aronian won in 2006, the private tournament was already called the World Championship.

Lékó certainly has one thing over Aronian in the 960 context: he played the game with the man who invented it. Chess960 is also known as “Fischer Random” because it is based on an idea by Bobby Fischer. Fischer lived in Hungary for a while in the 1990s, where the exceptional talent Lékó caught the attention of the former world champion. And so it came about that the two played a few games in private.

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The Hungarian became grandmaster in 1993 at the age of 14, the youngest in the world at the time. Lékó’s long list of sporting successes almost included winning the World Chess Championship. In 2004 in Brissago, Vladimir Kramnik saved a 7:7 tie in the last game, drawing the match against Lékó and retaining the title.

Lékó’s career as a world-class grandmaster gradually turned into one as a coach and commentator. Perhaps he doesn’t even get to argue with Levon Aronian about chess960 at the Weissenhaus resort because he’s cycling with Vincent Keymer instead? Lékó and his long-time protégé share this hobby. Among other things, Lékó is valued by chess fans for his encyclopedic knowledge. He will certainly bring this to bear as commentator of the WEISSENHAUS Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge.


  • Vice World Champion: Lékó narrowly missed winning the classical Chess World Championship 2004. The World Championship match against Vladimir Kramnik ended 7:7, with Kramnik retaining his title.
  • Tournament Victories: Lékó has won many of the most significant, strongest chess tournaments, including the annual tournaments in Dortmund, Linares, Wijk aan Zee, and the Tal Memorial in Moscow.
  • Team Player: At eight Chess Olympiads, Lékó won two team silver medals and one individual gold medal. At three Team European Championships, he won silver and bronze with the team, plus an individual silver.
  • World Champion: Lékó has won numerous medals at Youth World and European Championships. In 1994, he became U16 World Champion.
  • Youngest Grandmaster: In 1994, Lékó was awarded the Grandmaster title. He was 14 years, 4 months, and 22 days old, the youngest Grandmaster in the world at that time.
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