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World Chess Championship
Seville bid for the world championship match as a preparation for the 1992 international exposition. The match was played at the Theater Lope de Vega, which was refurbished just before the match began. There was considerable criticism in the Spanish press about Seville's preparations for the match.
At the time of the match, Kasparov was 24 years old and rated 2740. Karpov was 36 years old and rated 2700. The prize fund was 2.800.000 Swiss francs.
Kasparov was accompanied by his mother, his trainer Nikitin, and his seconds GM Dorfman, GM Dolmatov, and IM Azmaiparachvili Karpov was accompanied by his trainer Zaitsev and his seconds GM Lerner, IM Oubilava, and IM Podgaets.
At a press conference on 9 October, Kasparov announced that the GMA, of which he was president, would be holding a series of tournaments to be called the World Cup. He was joined by GMA vice-presidents Karpov and Timman, as well as by Bessel Kok. He also spoke of his autobiographical book Child of Change, which was published shortly before the match and where he gave his side of the events surrounding the first three Kasparov-Karpov matches.
Karpov gave a press conference on 10 October, where he also spoke about the GMA, FIDE, and Kasparov's book. He asserted that Vladimirov had not been working for him in the previous match and that the entire affair was a reaction by Kasparov after having lost three consecutive games.
The chief match arbiter was Geurt Gijssen, assisted by Lembit Vakhesaar of the Soviet Union and Joaquim Espejo of Spain. The chief organizers of the match were Pedro Rodriguez de la Borbolla and Rafael Cid. Kevin O'Connell was responsible for the electronic transmission of the moves. Boris Spassky served as chief commentator for the match.
The opening ceremony, held on 10 October, was hosted by Manuel del Valle, mayor of Seville.
At the last moment, the organizers requested to replace the four rooks on the chessboard by miniature reproductions of various Seville monuments dating from the 13th century. Both players accepted immediately.
Game 1 - Gruenfeld Defense
The opening followed game 13 of the 1986 match until Kasparov varied with his 10th move. Neither player took chances and the game was drawn on the 30th move.
Game 2 - English Opening
Kasparov played 1.c4 for the first time in his life. On his 9th move, Karpov played a novelty which he had prepared for his 1981 match against Korchnoi. Kasparov spent 80 minutes on his reply. A few moves later, Kasparov commenced tactical complications, but was outplayed.
With 3 minutes left on his clock after playing his 26th move, Kasparov forgot to stop it. When he finally noticed, he had only one minute left. He resigned on his 33rd move.
|Game 2 : Kasparov - Karpov|
|after 32...Nf5-e3 0-1|
Kasparov took his first timeout before the third game.
Game 3 - Gruenfeld Defense
The opening followed game 1 until Kasparov varied on his 12th move. The game was drawn after 29 moves with most of the pieces on the board.
Game 4 - English Opening
The opening followed game 2 until Karpov deviated from his 9th move novelty. Kasparov quickly gained the upper hand, then played simple powerful moves to gain a decisive advantage, but almost let the win slip when he grabbed a pawn on his 28th move. Karpov missed the best chance to draw and resigned after Kasparov sealed his 41st move. The match was tied.
Karpov took his first timeout before the fifth game.
Game 5 - Gruenfeld Defense
For the first time in the matches, the players steered into the exchange variation. Karpov produced a novelty on his 12th move with a variation which won a pawn, but which had always been considered harmless, as the extra pawn was doubled. Kasparov spent more than an hour on his 14th move.
Kasparov sacrificed a pawn on his 24th move, which Karpov declined. In moderate time pressure, Kasparov then played a weaker move, which Karpov answered strongly by returning his extra pawn.
|Game 5 : Karpov - Kasparov|
With only a few minutes remaining on his clock, Kasparov launched an attack aimed at White's king. Karpov defended accurately until Kasparov blundered and resigned just before the time control was reached. Karpov led 3-2.
Game 6 - English Opening
The opening varied quickly from the line seen in games 2 and 4. Neither player managed to generate any activity and the game was agreed on the 28th move.
Kasparov took a timeout.
Game 7 - Gruenfeld Defense
The players repeated the opening seen in game 5. On his 16th move, Kasparov was the first to vary. A few moves later Karpov gave back the extra pawn to liberate his pieces.
In some time pressure, Kasparov overlooked a strong move by Karpov and decided to sacrifice the exchange for two pawns to avoid an inferior endgame. Now in an endgame of Q+R+2P vs. Q+B+4P with both kings somewhat exposed, Kasparov had less than ten minutes to make his last ten moves.
Karpov sealed his 41st move and on resumption chose to exchange queens rather than seek an attack against Black's king. Kasparov could have played passively, seeking to hold a fortress position, but instead played rapidly and aggressively. The game was agreed drawn after 79 moves. Some observers believed that Kasparov's team had analyzed all the moves played after the adjournment, which would have been a phenomenal feat of analysis.
Game 8 - English Opening
Karpov played an unusual move order in the opening and found himself in unfamiliar territory a few moves later. By the 20th move, Kasparov had a superior position. Karpov sealed his 42nd move. Kasparov started to sacrifice material just after resumption, opening lines to Karpov's king.
|Game 8 : Kasparov - Karpov|
A few moves later Karpov resigned. The match was tied again at 4-4.
Game 9 - Gruenfeld Defense
The opening followed game 7 until Kasparov varied on his 14th move. Karpov quickly returned the extra pawn and after a few more moves the game settled into an endgame with Q+R+N+4P on each side with both kings exposed to quick attacks.
By the time Kasparov sealed on his 43rd move, the knights had also been exchanged. On resumption, Kasparov sacrificed a pawn to activate his Q+R. The queens were exchanged and the game was agreed drawn after 70 moves when a theoretically drawn position was reached.
Game 10 - Caro Kann
Kasparov switched to 1.e4 for the first time in the match and the game was agreed drawn on the 20th move.
Game 11 - Gruenfeld Defense
For the fourth time the players repeated what had been dubbed the Seville variation. Kasparov returned to the variation he had used in games 5 and 7, but Karpov varied immediately. The queens were quickly exchanged and while Kasparov marked time, Karpov stumbled into a dubious line, blundered, and lost the exchange.
|Game 11 : Karpov - Kasparov|
With B+N+6P vs. R+N+5P, Kasparov sealed a strong move. Karpov resigned a few moves into the second session. For the first time in the match, Kasparov led with a score of 6-5
Game 12 - Queen's Gambit Declined
Kasparov switched back to 1.c4, but Karpov avoided an English Opening, steered into a variation seen in the 2nd and 3rd matches, and produced a novelty on his 6th move. Kasparov nervously pushed his K-side pawns, which only weakened his king position, and then offered a draw after his 21st move, which Karpov quickly accepted.
At match midpoint, the score was 6.5-5.5. Karpov needed to win two games more than Kasparov to regain the title.
Game 13 - Gruenfeld Defense
The 13th game was played on Friday, 13 November. It is well known that Kasparov's favorite number is 13 -- his birthday is 13 April and he was the 13th world chess champion.
Karpov avoided the Seville variation on his 8th move. The game followed known paths until the 18th move. Karpov found himself in an inferior position, played to simplify, and the game was agreed drawn after 36 moves.
Game 14 - Caro Kann
The opening followed game 10 until Karpov varied on his ninth move. The game was agreed drawn on the 21st move.
Kasparov took a timeout.
Game 15 - Gruenfeld Defense
The opening followed game 19 of the 1986 match until Karpov varied on the 12th move. Karpov pushed his passed pawn to d6, creating a double edged position with chances for both sides. To stop Kasparov from penetrating the White position, Karpov sacrificed an exchange and received a few pawns as compensation.
Most of the pieces were exchanged before Karpov sealed his 43rd move in a B+N+3P vs. R+N+P endgame. The game was agreed drawn before the second session started.
Game 16 - English Opening
The opening followed game 4 until Karpov chose a different line on his 6th move. Kasparov accepted a weak pawn structure in return for the two bishops and active pieces. After Karpov found some excellent moves to activate his pieces, the game entered a tactical phase, where he continued to find strong moves.
|Game 16 : Kasparov - Karpov|
When the dust had settled, Karpov was a pawn ahead. Kasparov sealed his 41st move, but resigned before the game was resumed. The match was tied again at eight points each.
Game 17 - King's Indian Defense
After flexible opening moves by both players, the game transposed into an opening which Kasparov had not played since the 1983 candidates matches. The game unfolded along normal lines until, in the course of seven moves, most of the pieces were exchanged, leaving R+B+5Ps each. Karpov had a slight advantage in a more active rook. Kasparov sealed his 42nd move, and the game was drawn a few moves into the second session.
Karpov took a timeout.
Game 18 - Queen's Gambit Declined
The game followed a path which had been seen 10 times during the 1984-85 match as well as in game 8 of the 1985 match. In the previous games the two players had conducted both sides of the theoretical debate. The game veered from the previous encounters on the 18th move, when Kasparov chose a different line than Karpov had chosen in the 1985 match.
After 30 moves, the game settled into a R+Pefg vs. R+Pagh endgame which was drawn at the end of the first session.
Game 19 - Queen's Gambit Declined
The game followed game 18 until Karpov deviated on his 11th move. A few moves later, he avoided transposing back into the previous game and the game followed a fresh course. After the players exchanged two pairs of minor pieces, Kasparov found himself under pressure on the queenside. He promptly sacrificed a pawn.
The queens and other minor pieces were exchanged, leaving an endgame of 2R+Paegh vs. 2R+Pfgh. It is well known that double rook endgames are difficult to win. Neither player made any attempt to change the character of the position, and Karpov sealed his 41st move. In the second session, the game simplified into R+Pegh vs. R+Pfh and was agreed drawn after 62 moves.
Game 20 - Queen's Gambit Declined
Kasparov steered the game into new territory on his 5th move. Most of the pieces had been exchanged by the 26th move, when the game entered a Q+B vs. Q+N endgame, with six pawns each and a slight advantage for Kasparov. Karpov defended accurately and Kasparov was forced to give perpetual check a few moves before the time control was reached.
Game 21 - Gruenfeld Defense
The game followed game 15 until Karpov varied on his 14th move. On his 19th move, Karpov overlooked a tactical trick and a few moves later was forced to sacrifice an exchange for a pawn. Kasparov declined to play for a win and the game was drawn after 28 moves by repetition.
Kasparov took his third timeout.
Game 22 - Queen's Gambit Declined
The game followed game 20 until Kasparov deviated on his 5th move. After exchanging a few pieces, the players agreed to a draw on the 19th move.
After six consecutive draws the match was tied 11-11 with two games remaining. Needing a win and a draw in the last two games, Karpov was forced to seek a win in his last game with the White pieces.
Game 23 - Gruenfeld Defense (by transposition)
After some interesting tactics in line with the Gruenfeld's strategic objectives, Karpov gained a slight advantage due to Black's loose pawn structure. Karpov sealed his 41st move, which was perhaps not the best, but still left him with the upper hand. A few moves before the second time control, Kasparov suddenly blundered.
|Game 23 : Karpov - Kasparov|
|(51.gf Rxf3 52.Rc7+ Kh8 53.Bh6 wins)|
Kasparov resigned a few moves later. Karpov now led 12-11 and was a draw away from reclaiming the title he had lost in 1985, while Kasparov needed a win to retain the title. Many observers wrote Kasparov off before the last game started. He had never won a game against Karpov immediately after suffering a loss.
Game 24 - Reti Opening
Kasparov chose a quiet opening which had not yet been seen between the two players, In the opening, Karpov started slipping behind on the clock, but Kasparov also began to play slowly.
On his 31st move, Kasparov suddenly sacrificed a pawn. Karpov had three minutes remaining on his clock and took it, which should have lost, but Kasparov did not see the win. After Kasparov's move the advantage should have passed to Karpov, but Karpov failed to find the best move.
|Game 24 : Kasparov - Karpov|
(33.Qb5 should win; now 33...Nc5
34.Qd8+ Kh7 35.Qxc8 Qa1+ wins)
A few moves later it was Kasparov's turn to overlook the best line. Karpov reached the time control with only a few seconds on his clock. Kasparov sealed his 42nd move in a Q+B+4P vs. Q+N+3P endgame, with all of the pawns on the same side of the board.
|Game 24 : Kasparov - Karpov|
A few moves into the resumption, Karpov played an inaccurate move and resigned on his 64th move. Thus are the greatest world chess championship matches decided -- two months of mental combat turn on a single move.
Since the match ended in a 12-12 draw, Kasparov retained the title for another three years. Kasparov claimed in a press conference after the match that he had decided to play for a drawn match after the 21st game. 'The two Ks' had played 120 championship games in a little more than three years.