Sept. 24, 2009
By Jaime Pilapil
Chess titans Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov won each of the two rapid matches yesterday in Valencia, Spain.
However, Kasparov (Elo 2812) stretched his lead to 3-1 going to the 8-game blitz today to complete the first stop of a series of exhibition games that will bring them to France, England, United States and probably to their home country Russia.
Their next stop after Valencia is Paris this December.
The Kasparov-Karpov rematch aims not only to promote chess but to rekindle their historic rivalry which started 25 years ago when they first fought in the World Chess Championships in 1984.
The 1984 match was never completed after FIDE, the chess governing body, ordered a halt due to exhaustion of the players and no winner was declared. Karpov, who was then the defending champion, lost 22 pounds after five months.
Yesterday, Karpov (Elo 2619) won the first of the two scheduled rapid games, but Kasparov bounced back and took the second game. Kasparov won the first two rapid games last Wednesday.
The match in Valencia is considered historic because the queen piece in chess allegedly originated in this city which boasts of an architectural wonder, the Center for Arts and Science where the Kasparov-Karpov rematch is being held.
During the sideline of the games, Kasparov denied rumors that he had not talked to Karpov. He said they are now friends and in good talking terms. However, they stay in separate hotels and take separate entrances and exit doors of the match venue.
Karpov resumed his active chess career after appearing in various exhibition games, mostly blitz and rapid tournaments.
Kasparov clarified that he is not going back to active chess. He is content holding exhibition games and acting as coach to Norwegian young chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.
In yesterday’s first game, Karpov, playing white, subdued his rival in 36 moves of Gruenfeld Indian defense. Kasparov took the second game in 33 moves of Queen’s Gambit Declined. -30-
Sept. 24, 2009