<We have it on the authority of Raymond Keene that after the fourth game of the 2004 Kramnik v Leko match in Brissago Peter Leko declared:
‘My cousin Sammy told me a true slugger – a Szeged slugger – will always swing for the fences, and that is exactly what I am going to do. I am going to knock Kramnik out of the room with my “home run punch”. My trainer and I have been developing it in camp. I just hope Vladimir’s head is screwed on tight or it may end up on top of the demonstration board!’
After quoting these words, on page 114 of his book World Chess Championship Kramnik vs. Leko, Mr Keene reported:
‘Kramnik made a face – and a fist – but chose to reserve a fuller reply for the chessboard.’
But did Leko, a gentleman, speak any of those words attributed to him by Mr Keene? Drawing this matter to our attention, Alan O’Brien (Mitcham, England) writes:
‘It struck me that this mix of boxing and baseball terminology sounded unusual coming from a Hungarian, so I decided to trace the source of the quote. The first time I have found it mentioned is at Leko vs Kramnik, 2004. In a posting dated 3 October 2004 somebody using the pseudonym “Offramp” asserted that the words quoted above (completed with “I will knock Kramnik senseless. He is going down in game five. And he is going down HARD!”) had been spoken by Leko during a press conference after game 4.
Incidentally, Raymond Keene mentions the www.chessgames.com site many times in his book on the match, but not in this case.
I was curious as to where “Offramp” had obtained the quote, and at the webpage http://www.eastsideboxing.com/news/... I found the following text:
“Sosa: ‘I'm Going to Knock Manfredy Out of the Park!’
… Dominican national lightweight champion Victoriano Sosa predicted a ‘home run-style’ knockout against former WBU champion Angel Manfredy when they rumble, Saturday, 9 November, on the pay-per-view extravaganza ‘Real Fights!’ …
Sosa, the cousin of Chicago Cub home run king Sammy Sosa, spoke today from his training camp outside Chicago …
‘My cousin Sammy told me a true slugger – a Sosa slugger – will always swing for the fences’, said Sosa. ‘And that is exactly what I am going to do. I am going to knock Angel out of the ring with my “home run punch”. My trainer and I have been developing it in camp. I just hope Manfredy’s head is screwed on tight or it may end up in the bleachers!’ …
‘I will knock Manfredy senseless. He is going down in five. And he is going down HARD!’”’
Yet another memorable episode ...>