Chess grandmasters Kasparov and Karpov play match in Spain

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Anatoly Karpov in 2006
Garry Kasparov in 2007

Anatoly Karpov and Gary Kasparov, two former chess world champions, are playing a twelve-game match against each other in Valencia, Spain, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first world championship match between the two.

As of Wednesday, two of the twelve games had been completed. Kasparov had won both games, which were held at a "rapid" time control, 25 minutes per player per game, with three seconds added after each move.

"I didn't know whether my instincts would work," said Kasparov after winning the first two games.

Kasparov, 46, is said to have an advantage over Karpov, 58, due to his younger age. Kasparov, however, said, "I wouldn't make any predictions yet [on the outcome of the match]. Karpov was and still is a great opponent. I have to find out whether I will be able to keep my calm."

The games are estimated to have been watched by up to ten million chess fans on the internet. The website hosting the games temporarily had to shut down due to high traffic.

In 1984, Karpov and Kasparov played for the world championship title in what would become an iconic match. Karpov was defending his title against the challenger, Kasparov. The match was suspended after five months and 48 games, as neither player was able to gain enough of a lead to determine a clear winner.