It's them vs the rest of us – again

6/12/2002 – Twice before Russia faced off against the rest of the world (in chess): the first time in 1970 in Belgrade and then in 1984 in London. Now FIDE and a Russian news agency have announced a third big match, to be held in Moscow at the beginning of September. More

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Match of the 21st Century

In a press conference held by the ITAR-TASS news agency yesterday a "Match of the 21st Century" was announced. The press conference on Tuesday 12th June 2002 was attended by FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Garry Kasparov, the Russian minister of sport Slava Fetisov and the President of Russian chess federation Andrey Selivanov.

The new Match of the Century is the third in a series which started with the famous match between Russia and the Rest of the World in Belgrade 1970. The second such match was held in London in 1984.


Group photo from USSR vs The World in Belgrade 1970

Board
USSR
Score
  The World
Score
1
Spassky
½ 1 0 0
  Larsen (Denmark)
½ 0 1 1
2
Petrosian
0 0 ½ ½
  Fischer (USA)
1 1 ½ ½
3
Kortchnoi
½ ½ 0 ½
  Portisch (Hungary)
½ ½ 1 ½
4
Polugayevsky
0 ½ ½ ½
  Hort (Czechoslovakia)
1 ½ ½ ½
5
Geller
1 ½ ½ ½
  Gligoric (Yugoslavia)
0 ½ ½ ½
6
Smyslov
½ 1 0 1
  Rehevsky (USA)
½ 0 1 0
7
Taimanov
1 1 ½ 0
  Uhlmann (E. Germany)
0 0 ½ 1
8
Botvinnik
1 ½ ½ ½
  Matulovic (Yugoslavia)
0 ½ ½ ½
9
Tal
½ 0 1 ½
  Najdorf (Argentina)
½ 1 0 ½
10
Keres
½ 1 ½ 1
  Ivkov (Yugoslavia)
½ 0 ½ 0
Total
20½
 
19½

The third match is scheduled for September 8th - 12th 2002 in Moscow. It will be staged over ten boards, using a Scheveningen System and rapid chess (25+10). The following players are most likely to participate:

Russia: Vladimir Kramnik, Gary Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Alexander Morozevich, Evgeny Bareev, Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Alexey Dreev and probably either Sergey Rublevsky, Vadim Zvjagintsev or Alexander Motylev (the current Russian Champion).

Rest of the World: Vishwanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Vesselin Topalov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko, Aleksei Shirov, Judit Polgar and Ye Jiangchuan with possibly Ilia Smirin, Vladimir Akopian, Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Joel Lautier, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Nigel Short and Loek van Wely.

In the press conference Garry Kasparov admitted that chess is the only sport where Russia has a fighting chance against the rest of the world. But the Russian team will not have such a clear advantage as it did in previous years, so a tough and close battle is expected.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov informed the press that the organization of the event and the prize fund (approximately $1,000,000) will be sponsored by "Alfa Bank" – one of Russia’s best-known banks.




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