Spassky beats Karpov in 'Legends' match

5/27/2006 – A two-game match between Boris Spassky and Anatoly Karpov ended in a 1½:½ victory for the veteran Spassky. The "Match des Légendes" took place on May 26th 2006 in Porto-Vecchio, Corsica. The rate of play was 15 mins + 3 secs increment per move. The prize fund was 22,000 Euros, 15,000 for the winner. More.

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Boris Vasilievich Spassky, 69, was born in Leningrad, learnt to play chess at the age of five, won the world junior championship at 18 and was at the time the youngest grandmaster in the world. In 1969 he defeated world champion Tigran Petrosian (in his second attempt) and became world champion. Three years later he lost the title to Bobby Fischer in the "Match of the Century" in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Spassky was always considered a universal talent, very flexible in his style, showing great excellence in all phases of the game. In later years he has shown a reluctance to work hard on the game, relying instead on his natural talent for the game. Since 1976 he has been happily settled in France and became a French citizen in 1978.


Anatoli Yevgenyevich Karpov celebrated his 55th birthday on May 23 this year. He was born in Zlatoust, Russia, and learned to play chess at the age of four, attending Mikhail Botvinnik's chess school at the age of 4. At age of twelve. At 15 he became the youngest Soviet National Master in history. In 1969, at the age of 18, he won the World Junior Chess Championship with a score of 10 out of 11.

In the 1974 Candidates cycle for the right to challenge the reigning Champion Fischer, Karpov beat Polugaevsky and then went on to beat Spassky +4 –1 =6. In the Candidates final he defeated Viktor Korchnoi +3 –2 =19. Since Fischer defaulted on the title match Karpov became the twelfth world champion. He held this title in two matches against Korchnoi, but lost it 11:13 in 1985 to Garry Kasparov, a match that ended his ten-year reign as champion.

Karpov is legendary for his "boa constrictor" playing style. He is solidly positional, taking no risks but reacting mercilessly to any tiny errors made by his opponents.

Karpov,Ana (2672) - Spassky,B (2548) [E11]
Match des Legendes Porto Vecchio FRA (1), 26.05.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d5 6.Nc3 0-0 7.e3 Qe7 8.Rc1 Rd8 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Qc2 c6 11.Bd3 Bg4 12.Ne5 Bh5 13.Qb3 Bg6 14.Be2 a5 15.a3 Na6 16.0-0 Bf5 17.Qb6 Qc7 18.Na4 Ne8 19.Rc3 Nd6 20.Qxc7 Nxc7 21.Nb6 Ra7 22.g4 Be6 23.Rfc1 Ncb5 24.Rc5 f6 25.Nd3 Bf7 26.R5c2 Nc7 27.Nc5 Ne6 28.Nca4 g5 29.f3 Kg7 30.Kf2 h5 31.h3 Rh8 32.Bf1 hxg4 33.hxg4 Nc8 34.Bd3 Nxb6 35.Nxb6 Nc7 36.Kg3 Na8 37.Na4 Nc7 38.Bf5 Nb5 39.Nc5 Nd6 40.e4 a4 41.Re2 dxe4 42.fxe4 Nb5 43.Rd2 Rd8 44.Rcd1 b6 45.Ne6+ Bxe6 46.Bxe6 Re7 47.d5 c5 48.Kf3 Nd4+ 49.Rxd4 cxd4 50.Bf5 Rc7 51.Rxd4 b5 52.Ke3 Rc4 53.Rd1 Rc2 54.e5 Rc5 55.exf6+ Kxf6 56.d6 Ke5 57.d7 Rd5 58.Rc1 Kd6 59.Rc8 Ke7 60.Rc6 R8xd7 61.Bxd7 Kxd7 62.Rb6 ½-½.

Spassky,B (2548) - Karpov,Ana (2672) [B17]
Match des Legendes Porto Vecchio FRA (2), 26.05.2006
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.h3 Bf5 8.Bd3 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 e6 10.0-0 Be7 11.c4 0-0 12.b3 c5 13.Bb2 cxd4 14.Rfd1 Qa5 15.Bxd4 Rfd8 16.Qe2 Qf5 17.Rd3 Qe4 18.Qxe4 Nxe4 19.Rad1 Kf8 20.Kf1 f6 21.Be3 Rxd3 22.Rxd3 Ke8 23.Nd2 Nxd2+ 24.Rxd2 a6 25.Ke2 Rd8 26.Rxd8+ Kxd8 27.c5 Kd7 28.Kd3 Bd8 29.b4 Bc7 30.Kc4 h5

White is already much better. Watch how forcefully Boris Spassky drives home the advantage. 31.a4 Be5 32.b5 axb5+ 33.axb5 Kc7 34.g4 hxg4 35.hxg4 Kd7 36.f4 Bb2 37.f5 e5 38.Kd5 Ba3 39.g5 fxg5 40.Bxg5 Bb2 41.Bh4

Black has no real defence: e.g. 41...Bc3 42.Bg3 e4 43.Kxe4 Bb4 44.Kd5 Bc3 45.Be5 Ba5 46.Bxg7+–. 1-0.



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