Chris Wood and Tom Adeyemi consigned Hull to a 2-1 defeat as Leeds dealt the Tigers' promotion hopes a blow at windswept Elland Road.
Trailing by two goals, Ahmed Elmohamady offered Hull hope with a goal soon after the interval but substitute Chuba Akpom headed wide of an open goal just before the end.
Hull boss Steve Bruce predicted the game would not be for the faint-hearted and Andrew Robertson immediately brought down Leeds winger Stuart Dallas in full flight. Alex Bruce, son of the Tigers' boss, rattled the near post from a narrow angle against his old club but the flag was raised.
Leeds used Wood alone up front with co-striker Mirco Antenucci on the bench, while Hull, without hamstring victim Abel Hernandez, had Sone Aluko and Mohamed Diame as a two-pronged strike force.
A small number of Leeds fans kept their promise to stage a 17-minute walkout, 17 minutes into the match. Supporters in the south stand were protesting over owner Massimo Cellino's running of the club, including the 'pie tax' - a £5 increase in ticket prices through a voucher renewable at catering kiosks.
Cellino was not present to witness the mini walk-out which saw a huge majority of fans remain in their seats.
Hull lost Alex Bruce, who limped off in the 20th minute, enabling Curtis Davies to return after illness. Tigers keeper Allan McGregor pulled off a desperate save to foil Adeyemi on 25 minutes but Leeds opened the scoring five minutes later.
Dallas motored down the right and his cross was swept in by Wood for the New Zealander's seventh goal of the season. It could have been worse for Hull in the 34th minute when midfielder Alex Mowatt sent a rising drive crashing against the bar.
Marco Silvestri saved well from Tigers pair Robertson and Diame before a vastly improved Leeds doubled their advantage in the 45th minute despite the blustery conditions. McGregor parried Lewis Cook's fierce low shot straight to Adeyemi who lashed in the rebound.
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Hull began the second half with much greater purpose and Elmohamady latched on to a cross from the left in the 51st minute to beat Silvestri from a few yards out. Leeds should have had a penalty when Cook was barged over by Moses Odubajo in the 54th minute.
Silvestri was in top form in the Leeds goal and he denied Diame who was left one-on-one.
Hull had an unsuccessful penalty claim (78) when Sam Clucas hit the deck and there was applause from both sets of supporters as former Leeds winger Robert Snodgrass left the bench to continue his recovery from a dislocated knee with nine minutes left.