Once the youngest chess grandmaster in history, Peter Leko, born September 8, 1979, has now become one of the top players in the world, ranking no.5 on the FIDE rating list as of January 1, 2001.
He was born in Szeged, Hungary, and has had iconic status in his home country since achieving the grandmaster title at the age of 14. A string of phenomenal results followed, and a prediction by Peter himself that he would one day be world champion, but his performance began to level off slightly in the late nineties. However, he has recently been making strides again, winning tournaments against the world's best players.
Peter attributes a lot of his chess success to his fitness regimen, believing, as does Garry Kasparov, that physical fitness is one of the keys to the kind of mental endurance and strength that is necessary to win a modern chess tournament. He particularly likes to play soccer, tennis, and that well-known engine of physical fitness, bowling. He practices with and is coached by a team of grandmasters including:
Besides his victories at conventional chess, Peter is also the unofficial world champion at Fischer Random chess, a variant devised by the famous world champion Bobby Fischer that involves a random initial piece formation, instead of the normal arrangement. Peter defeated English grandmaster Michael Adams in the first high-profile Fischer Random match.