Tuesday, September 22, 2009

25 years after their infamous first match, karpov and kasparov again face off across the chess board!

in the 1984 world chess championship, garry kasparov challenged then world champion anatoly karpov (who had assumed the title in 1975, when bobby fischer refused to defend it). the first man to win 6 games would win the title. karpov immediately jumped out to a 4-0 lead! but, unexpectedly, over the next five months the games excruciatingly continued on until, with the score 5-3 in karpov's favor, in the match was abruptly called off after the 48th game!

the organizers claimed the 1984 match was cancelled because of serious health concerns - but both players adamantly wanted it to continue. the "rematch" in 1985 was won be kasparov and he assumed the title of world champion. in subsequent matches, kasparov successfully defended the title against karpov.

despite the passage of time, the two are still rivals! while kasparov retired from competitive chess, karpov continues to play the game. karpov was, and is, a major proponent of positional chess - slowly accumulating seemingly minor advantages until they, cumulatively, overwhelm the opponent. kasporov eschewed positional ideas in favor of the direct attack.

in that way, kasparov was much closer in style and philosophy to bobby fischer. unfortunately, neither karpov or kasparov ever played against fischer. the three are generally considered the greatest players of their generations - if not the last half of the 20th century. bobby fischer died last year, so they will never meet across the board.

the exhibition match, in valencia, spain, will consist of a dozen speed, and semi-speed chess games. it begins today.

update: kasparov hasn't lost his edge in retirement! he won the both games on the first day of the match and now leads 2-0!

day two: karpov won the first game and kasparov won the second. kasparov leads 3-1!

day three (blitz match): karpov won the first game, they drew the second, kasparov won the next FIVE straight games, and the drew the last game.

kasparov wins the match 9-3!!

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