Karpov to to fight for Mother Russia

by ChessBase
10/10/2001 – We thought he had signed up to play in the 3K Botvinnik memorial, but now FIDE reports that former world champion Anatoly Karpov intends to try a comeback in the FIDE knockout world championship, which will be held at the same time in Moscow. . “I brought the title back to Russia from the West in 1975," said Karpov. "Now I feel it is my duty to wrest the crown from the East and take it back to Mother Russia.” more

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FIDE press release

Former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia announced that he shall join the World Championship organized by FIDE starting 25th November at the Kremlin in Moscow.

“The time is right for me to make a comeback”, Karpov said. “I celebrated my 50th birthday this year with close to 2000 guests at the Bolshoi Theatre and many of my friends encouraged me to make this move. My recent victory at the Najdorf Memorial Cup in Buenos Aires has inspired me to seek the title again”, he said. Another reason was the change of the World Chess Championship cycle rhythm from 1 year to 2 years.

Karpov said that the World Championship being held in Moscow would enable him to give to his beloved Russia his best. “I brought the title back to Russia from the West in 1975. Now in 2001 I feel it is my duty to wrest the crown from the East and take it back to Mother Russia.”

The defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India won the title last year when the World Championship was held in New Delhi and Teheran. “Anand had the home court advantage then. Now I shall have the edge since the World Championship is in Russia,” Karpov added.

Concerning the 3K tournament, Karpov said, “I approached Organizing Committee to coordinate another date at the beginning of next year. I strongly support the idea of that tournament in honour of great M. Botvinnik.”

ANATOLY KARPOV (sgd.) Wien, 10.10.2001

Why 2K?

Editorial commentary from Kasparov Chess

The FIDE site quotes 12th world champion Anatoly Karpov saying he will play in the FIDE KO world championship starting next month in Moscow. This would conflict with the much-anticipated "3K" Botvinnik Memorial tournament with Kasparov and Kramnik scheduled for December, which Karpov says he would like to be rescheduled to January (when it would clash with Corus). Karpov states he wants to reclaim the title for "Mother Russia", but a fear of being stomped by the other two K's might also be a factor. We suspect this was also a move by FIDE to poke 'renegades' Kasparov and Kramnik in the ribs, and Karpov has always gone to the highest bidder. On the other hand, it could turn 3K into the de facto K-K rematch Kasparov has been after!

Reaction of the 3K organisers

As you can imagine, the organisers are not amused by Anatoly Karpov's sudden decision not to play in the tournament. After all they had announced everything a month ago a press conference in the Central Office of the Russian News agency ITAR-TASS. There was even a report in Newsweek. Evgeny Atarov, one of the chief organisers, said that he still hopes to go ahead with a Kasparov-Kramnik match. "If the two champions agree to play the match, the only loser will be Karpov himself." You can read it (in Russian) at Atarov's web site:

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