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Kasparov and Karpov in chess duel

The two chess masters at a news conference

One of the greatest rivalries in the history of chess has resumed as Garry Kasparov takes on Anatoly Karpov in the Spanish city of Valencia.

The 12-game rematch is taking place 25 years after the two chess legends first competed for the world title.

That epic, gruelling encounter lasted five months in Moscow, before being called off without a clear winner.

Kasparov went on to snatch the world crown from Karpov in 1985 and then defended his title the following year.

Strict time limits

The five-day match in Valencia will end on Friday and is being played under strict time limits.

Kasparov took an early lead, winning the first two one-hour games.

The event is being broadcast live on Valencia's regional government website (www.gva.es), with organisers expecting millions of chess fans to tune in.

EPIC 1984 FACE-OFF
Games 1-9 - Karpov races to 4-0 lead
Games 10-26 - draws
Game 27 - Karpov leads 5-0
Games 28-31 - draws
Game 32 - first Kasparov win
Games 33-46 - draws
Games 47-48 - Kasparov makes score 5-3
Match terminated - no winner

Kasparov, now aged 46, has been preparing for the clash by training in Norway with teenage prodigy Magnus Carlsen.

Kasparov has described the match as "a ceremonial tournament".

Meanwhile, Karpov, 58, has been sparring with a computer and a group of grandmasters from a base on the Spanish coast.

The Valencia tournament comes 25 years after the two grandmasters - then both representing the Soviet Union - squared off for the first time for the world crown.

Kasparov, now one of Russia's opposition leaders, was only 21 when he took on Karpov, then aged 33, in the 1984 match.

Karpov raced to a 4-0 lead after nine games in the "first to six wins" match, with some experts predicting a 6-0 whitewash.

Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov in 1991
In all, Karpov and Kasparov have battled in five world title matches

But Kasparov battled on, drawing the next 17 games. He lost game 27, but - after another series of draws - claimed his first victory in game 32.

Kasparov eventually managed to close the gap to 5-3, before the duel was controversially stopped by the then Fide (World Chess Federation) boss Florencio Campomanes on alleged health grounds.

The decision was taken despite both players saying they wanted to continue.

In the 1985 rematch, Kasparov beat Karpov, becoming the youngest world champion and heralding a new era in chess.

In 1993, Kasparov broke away from the Fide to form the Professional Chess Association and play English grandmaster Nigel Short for the world title, claiming his hand was forced by corruption and mismanagement. He was beaten for the world championship by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

Karpov was Fide world champion from 1993 to 1999.

The chess world title was only unified in 2006.



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