Clash of the Titans – man vs woman

6/11/2004 – Two legendary world champions are scheduled to play a match to promote chess in the USA. Anatoly Karpov, 12th world champion, faces the 8th women's world champion Susan Polgar in September the city of Lindsborg, Kansas. We use the opportunity to bring you up to date on the women's world champions.

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Clash of the Titans

Battle of two world chess champions

(New York, NY; Lindsborg, Kansas) The United States Chess Federation (USCF) is pleased to announce a six-game Clash of The Titans Chess Battle between 7-time World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov and 4-time Women’s World Champion Susan Polgar.


Eighth Women's World Champion Susan Polgar

The legendary World Chess Champions will compete in the most exciting triple challenge of Rapid Chess, Blitz Chess and Advanced Chess. This historic colossal battle and unique match will mark the first ever official chess match between a Men’s World Chess Champion and a Women’s World Chess Champion. Anatoly Karpov and Susan Polgar have long been true ambassadors to chess. This time, their mammoth battle is designed to help promote chess in the United States.

World Champion Susan Polgar, a three-time Olympic Champion and six-time Olympic medalist will also lead the US Women’s Olympiad team in the upcoming 2004 Chess Olympiad in Mallorca, Spain in October 2004. The US Women’s Olympiad team will attempt to bring home the first ever Women’s Olympiad medal for the United States. World Champion Anatoly Karpov will be participating in the 57th Super Russian Championship in Moscow in November 2004. The Russian Championship is the strongest and most prestigious national championship in the world.


12th Men's World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov

On Saturday, September 18, 2004, the Brain versus Beauty – Clash of the Titans Opening Ceremony will start with a Chess Parade. It will be held in downtown Lindsborg, Kansas from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. The King and Queen Parade headed by World Champions Anatoly Karpov and Susan Polgar will lead a group of top chess grandmasters and scholastic chess teams. These teams will participate in the Champion’s Cup Scholastic Tournament followed by exciting strategic chess exploration. The official media press conference will be held immediately after the Parade.

The Battle of two World Champions will be held at the Bethany College Theater on September 18-19 in 6 exciting matches with 2 Rapid games at the time control of 20 minutes with 5 seconds delay, 2 Blitz games at the time control of 5 minutes with 3 seconds delay and 2 Advanced Chess at the time control of 25 minutes with 5 seconds increments.

The United States Chess Federation (USCF) has officially sanctioned the match. The Karpov – Polgar match is supported by the State of Kansas and the city of Lindsborg.

Retrospect of the Women's World Champions

There have been 10 women's world champions in the history of the game

1. Vera Menchik
Born in Moscow of Czechoslavakian-British extraction, Vera Menchik was easily the strongest female player of her time, having at one time or other beaten most of the strongest players in the world (the defeated became members of the "Vera Menchik Club"). In 1927 she won the first Women's World Championship tournament with a score of 10.5 out of 11. She defended her title with ease in Hamburg 1930, Prague 1931, Folkestone 1933, Warsaw 1935, Stockholm 1937 and Buenos Aires 1939.
2. Ludmila Rudenko
Ludmila Rudenko from Byelorussian started her career by winning the women's champion of Moscow in 1928. She went on to win the Women's World Championship tournament in 1949, with a score of 11.5 out of 15. She held the title until 1953.
3. Elizaveta Bykova
Elizaveta Bykova was coincidentally born in a town called Bogolyubovo in Russia. In 1938 she became women's champion of Moscow, which she subsequently won a number of times. She was first the USSR Championships of 1947, 1948 and 1950. In 1953 she wrested the women's world championship title from Rudenko in a very hard-fought match.
4. Olga Rubtsova
At 17 Olga won the first USSR Women's Championship. That was in 1927. After that she won a great number of tournaments, including the USSR Women's Championships of 1931, 1937 and 1949 and the Moscow Championships of 1953 and 1954. In 1956 she defeated Elizaveta Bykova to become the fourth women's world champion.
5. Nona Gaprindashvili
She was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and was the greatest female player of her generation. She won the world championship title in 1962 and defended it three times. Gaprindashvili played in men's tournaments, winning amongst others Hastings 1963/64 and and tied for first at Lone Price 1977. In 1978 she came second and earned a full male GM title.
6.Maya Chiburdanidze
The Georgian was one of the first women chess prodigies, becoming the youngest WIM in the history of the game (in 1974 at the age of 13). Her best results were first at Brasov 1974, =1st at Tbilisi 1975 and most impressive of all, second in the 1976 Tbilisi Women's Interzonal and thus qualifying for the 1977 Candidates, wherein, she defeated Alla Kushnir in the final. In 1978, she became Women World Champion by winning a match against Nona Gaprindashvili by 8.5-6.5.
7. Xie Jun
The Chinese player won the World Women's Champion title a total of four times: in 1991 against Chiburdanize, 1993 against Ioseliani, 1999 against Galliamova and 2000 against Qin Kanying in the first FIDE knock-out championship. Xie Jun was directly responsible for a dramatic increase in popularity of chess in China.
8. Zsuzsa Polgar
The oldest of the famous Polgar sisters initially refused to play in women's tournaments, becoming a male grandmaster in 1991 at the age of 23. In 1993 she decided to play for the women's world championship, but did not win the title after a 12-12 draw against Nana Ioseliani. In 1996 she became world champion after beating Xie Jun, and lost the title in 1999 when she refused to play under FIDE's new knockout rules. Susan has also won the Women’s World Chess Champion titles in rapid and blitz chess (both in 1992). [More]

9. Zhu Chen
The Chinese player Zhu Chen became Women's World Champion in the FIDE knock-out event in Moscow 2001, beating Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk in the process. In the recent world championship in Elista Zhu failed to participate due to pregnancy and attached scheduling problems.

10. Anoatneta Stefanova
The latest women's world champion is the top Bulgarian female player who won the title in the FIDE knock-out championship last week (June 5th 2004) in Elista, Kalmykia, defeating Russian WGM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya in the final. [More]

Some interesting factoids

  • Incredibly the eighth and tenth women's world chess champions were born on the same day, exactly 10 years apart. Susan Polgar was born on April 19, 1969, Antoaneta Stefanova on April 19, 1979.

  • Both players were the first and only world champions of their respective countries, which happen to be neighborsm and are smaller European countries (population 10 and 7.5 million).

  • Susan's peak rating was 2565, Stefanova's was 2560.

  • Both players beat Maya Chiburdanidze in their final semifinal matches.

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