Legendary Russian chess rivals Karpov and Kasparov to play again 25 years after famous battle
Karpov vs. Kasparov 1984   /  Photo: www.terra.es

Legendary Russian chess rivals Karpov and Kasparov to play again 25 years after famous battle

11 Jul, 11:40 PM

Russian chess legends 46-year-old Garry Kasparov and 58-year-old Anatoly Karpov are to renew rivalry in a showdown in Valencia in September. The match has been confirmed by Kasparov's close associate Mig Greengard.

Russian press quoted Valencia's chess federation as saying they would play a 12-game match between September 21 and 24 with four rapid games and eight blitz games.

The match could help chess regain its popularity, grandmaster Narek Seferjan told RIA Novosti news agency.

“Chess lovers throughout the whole world are hoping that this upcoming encounter between the two great KAs will see a rebirth of chess,” he said.

The two men first played each other 25 years ago. However, the match in Spain could be their last encounter.

"It will be 25 years since the start of the matches (against Karpov), there is nostalgia about this unique event," Kasparov, now a Russian opposition politician and Kremlin critic, told AFP. "This is where modern chess began."

The September 21-24 match is not expected to reflect the suspense of their first encounter and will be more of "a ceremonial tournament", Kasparov said, explaining there would be a time-limit on moves.

The five-month 1984 match was ended without any result by World Chess Federation chief Florencio Campomanes on alleged health grounds, a decision that was controversial, as both players said they wanted to continue.

Kasparov later narrowly defeated Karpov. He won the world championship in late 1985 and defended his title the following year. The last time he played Karpov was in 1990 when he narrowly won.

The match is happening after a series of long negotiations with two European and one South American city.

Kasparov has been active in the political opposition to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin since announcing in 2005 he was withdrawing from competitive chess and creating his own political party.

Karpov was undisputed world chess champion from 1975 to 1985 and FIDE world chess champion from 1993 to 1999. Both Karpov and Kasparov are considered among the greatest chess players ever.

Tags: Chess tournament, Karpov, Kasparov, Spain, Russia

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