CHESS legends Anatoly Karpov, 58, and Garry Kasparov, 46, players with very different playing styles, contested five consecutive world championship matches between 1984 and 1990. They renewed their old rivalry late last month at an exhibition match of four rapid and eight blitz games in Valencia, Spain. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of their first match in Moscow in 1984.
In an earlier rapid-play encounter, at New York in 2002, Karpov had prevailed 2.5-0.5. Since then, his rating has slipped below the world’s top 100 to 2619. He arrived in Spain early, spending a week with three grandmasters (Alexander Onischuk, Viktor Bologan and Alexander Riazantsev) preparing for the new contest.
Kasparov has not played mainstream chess since retiring from the professional arena in 2005, immediately after winning the Linares Super Tournament for the ninth time. He was at the top of the world ratings totem pole with 2812 at the time. Preparing for Valencia, he attuned himself to techniques appropriate to quicker forms of chess.
There was a widespread expectation that Kasparov would prevail. He surged to the lead in rapid-play with two consecutive wins.
Here is the second game. White: Kasparov. Black: Karpov. Opening: Queen’s Gambit Declined. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.e3 Ne7 9.Bd3 Nd7 10.Nge2 h6 11.0-0 0-0 12.a3 a5 13.Rad1 b6 14.e4 dxe4 15.Nxe4 Qb8 16.N2c3 Ba6 17.Bxa6 Rxa6 18.d5 Nxd5 19.Nxd5 cxd5 20.Rxd5 Ra7 21.Qd2Nc5? 22.Nf6+! (white’s lightning strike leads to victory) 22 . . . gxf6 23.Qxh6 f5 24.Qg5+ Kh8 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Rxf5 Ne4 27.Qh4 Re8 28.Rh5 f5 1-0.
Averbakh v Bebchuk: White to play and win
Karpov struck back, winning the third game. White: Karpov. Black: Kasparov. Opening: Grunfeld Defence. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nb6 7.Ne2 c5 8.d5 e6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nec3 Na6 11.a4 exd5 12.exd5 Nb4 13.Be3 Bd4 14.a5 Bxe3 15.axb6 Bd4 16.bxa7 Bf5 17.Na3 Rxa7 18.Ncb5 Rxa3 19.Rxa3 Bxb2 20.Re3 Qb6 21.Qe2 Bg7 22.Rd1 Bd7 23.Na3 Bd4 24.Re7 Ba4 25.Rc1 Qf6 26.Rxb7 Bb2 27.Rxc5! Bxa3 28.h4 (even better was 28.Ra5) 28 . . . Nd3 29.Ra5 Nc5 30.Rba7 Qd4 31.Qe3 Qxe3 32.fxe3 Bc1 33.Kf2 Nd3+ 34.Ke2 Bc2 35.d6 (black’s curiously placed minor pieces cannot stop the pawn’s advance) 35 . . . Re8 36.Ra8 1-0.
Applying pressure in the fourth game, Kasparov clinched a 3-1 victory in the rapidplay component of the match.
Karpov drew first blood in blitz play. After settling down with an early draw in the
A. Karpati: White to mate in two second game, Kasparov powered ahead with five successive wins, and ended with another draw to triumph 6-2. The overall match score was 9-3 in Kasparov’s favour, in line with their rating differentials.
Two Canberrans have had successes further afield. Shaun Press won the Solomon Islands International at Honiara, and Emma Guo the Blayney Open in NSW, a YulgilbarThink Big grand prix event.
Last week’s solutions: (1) 1.e5! dxe5 2.Ne4 Nh5 (if 2 . . . Nxe4 3.Rxf8+!) 3.Qg6 exd4 4.Ng5 and black resigned, for if 4 . . . hxg5 5.Qxh5+ Kg8 6.Qf7+ Kh8 7.Rf3 wins. (2) Key 1.Qd1, threat 2.Qxf3#. If 1 . . . Kxg4 2.Nf4#, or 1 . . . Bxg2 2.Bf1#, or 1 . . . Bxg4 Bf5#, or 1 . . . Bxd1 2.Be2#, or 1 . . . Be2 2.Bxe2#, or 1 . . . B elsewhere 2.Be4#. Phil Viner