** pic taken from chessbase.com**
While we are celebrating our Eid Mubarak, there was an exhibition match that brings back the two chess legends on the chess board for the first time after their last encounter for the world championship title in 1984. The match marks the 25th annivesary since the 1984! The match is played from 21st September - 24th September 2009 at Valencia, Spain...
Karpov - Kasparov.. the two chess legends when I was a kid, the name kept popping.. especially Kasparov, he is known not only to the chess fans, but also to the rest of the world. Wherever I go, when I mentioned I play chess, they will often pronounce the name Kasparov to me.. and that proves how widely famous he is!
The match is certainly the match of a lifetime that has been waiting by all the fans... I think even in Malaysia, there are people who keep up todate of the results! Well, since it is an exhibition match, they both agree for 4 rapid games and 8 blitz games! I guess.. the solution of having rapid and blitz game is better, since both have been long inactive from professional chess for years now.. Karpov has made his chess appearance more of a hobby rather than serious play. He did compete in few tournaments, but the focus is different now. Kasparov has been retiring from chess since 2004, now a serious politician for the opposition in Russian politics. He also writes many chess books, giving advises and help on Kasparov Chess Foundation (I think the foundation is somewhere in US). And currently, the latest news, Kasparov is collaborating with Magnus Carlsen for the latter World Champion project! (great news to all Magnus fans).
Both players came from different era, Karpov (now aged 58, born in Zlatoust USSR) was the world champion after Bobby Fisher refused for the match in 1975 (he later on fought hard to prove to the world that he is the best player after all). Karpov kept the title until 1985 (at the age of 24-34 years old). I met him once at the World Junior Chess Championship 1993 at Bratislava, he was there for the closing ceremony. He was indeed a very nice person back then.
Kasparov, (who is now aged 46, born in Baku, Azerbaijan but choose to be a Russian Citizen). He was a chess prodigy, and has been predicted to be the world champion when Mikhail Botvinnik first saw him at the age of 6. He won the World Champ title from Karpov after a long hard fought battle in 1985. And kept the title undefeated for more than 20 years until 2000, when he lost the title to Vladimir Kramnik. But still, one cannot forget the beautiful, stylish and brilliance that he posses on the chess board! (I never had the chance to meet him in person, but I do hope one day I will get the chance).
It was an interesting battle overall.. Kasparov won the rapid match by 3-1 (Karpov won the last match), and Kasparov also won the blitz match by 6-2.
*source of the news taken from www.chessbase.com and www.chessvibes.com *