Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kasparov - Karpov, Valencia

The rapid game rematch between World Chess Champions and long rivals Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov is underway in Valencia, Spain. ChessBase's "Karpov - Kasparov: Match starts in Valencia today" has good photos, but ChessVibes's "Kasparov Crushes Karpov" has even better ones. Hans Ree has the best commentary in his recent "Kasparov as Lion Tamer" (from his Dutch Treat column at ChessCafe), where he compares it to "a tennis match between Björn Borg and John McEnroe" which fans of a certain generation will watch "with great interest, hoping to see some fine shots, but mainly to evoke old and cherished memories."

The fans did get to see at least one fine shot so far, which came in the second game (see diagram below).

Kasparov - Karpov, Game 2 in Valencia
White to Play and Win

You can follow the games live and after at Chessgames.com's Kasparov - Karpov Rapid Match page, TWIC, ICC (with membership or free trial), or the official site. Next games start at 1 pm ET on September 23. And visit The Chess Mind, where Dennis Monokroussos is annotating the games, with good notes on the first two. Karpov blundered to end the first game with 24.Ne6?! (better 24.b4! unclear) -- possibly losing on time as he did so. But Kasparov's fine shot in the second game was hard to see coming.

Good commentary at Mig's blog (of course), at Dylan Loeb MacClain's Gambit blog (plus NY Times coverage), and from Macauley Peterson's Chess.fm Blog. And take your pick from a Google News search. The match is definitely sparking interest around the globe.

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