Peter Leko (Hungary)

RAKESH RAO

ARVIND AARON

World ranking: 4. Rating: 2763. Date of birth: September 8, 1979.

THE youngest challenger in the fray, Peter Leko was the world's youngest Grandmaster in 1994 at the age of 14 years, four months and 22 days. He has come a long way since then.

He was within a draw of taking the World `Classical' title from Vladimir Kramnik at Brissago last year but lost the final encounter of their 14-game match. The 7-7 deadlock saw Kramnik retain the title he snatched from Kasparov in 2000.

The Hungarian, known for his hunger for success, wasted no time in despair and won the Corus title in January 2005 after inflicting a rare defeat on Anand, the eventual runner-up. The title also made Leko the only player in the last three years to complete a career `Grand Slam' by winning at Dortmund (in 2002), Linares (in 2003) and Wijk aan Zee (in 2005).

Known for his preparation and physical fitness, Leko is extremely creative and solid at the same time. Though he could not show any great form in Dortmund this year, Leko enjoys the reputation of someone who loves challenges. He gets criticised for taking too many draws but none can question his liking for deep tactical complications.