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World Chess Championship
1995 Kasparov - Anand PCA Title Match

The 1995 PCA title match was sponsored by Intel and played on the Observation Deck at the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, 400 meters above New York City's financial center Wall Street.

Kasparov was 32 years old and had played 164 games in title matches. 'Vishy' Anand was 25 years old and a cultural hero in his native India. The two players were ranked first and second in the world. Anand had a well deserved reputation for the extraordinary speed of his play. Three years earlier at Linares, Kasparov had even dismissed him as a coffee house player.

The prize fund was 1.500.000 US$, with 2/3 for the winner. Ten percent of the fund would to go to the PCA. In case of a tied match, Kasparov would retain the PCA title, but the prize would be split.

The match was to last 20 games, each game played at 40 moves in 2 hours, then 20 moves in 1 hour, followed by 30 minutes to complete the game, There were to be no timeouts and no adjournments. Carol Jarecki served as match arbiter.

After winning the PCA Candidates Final match against Kamsky, Anand gathered a team consisting of Arthur Yusupov, Elzibar Oubilava, Jon Speelman, and Patrick Wolff. During three months they worked in a suburb of Madrid for ten hours a day, to prepare Anand for his encounter with Kasparov. Mauricio Perea served as team captain.

Kasparov had prepared at Istria, Croatia, with Yuri Dokhoian, Evgeny Pigusov, and Vladimir Kramnik. His team captain was his mother, Clara, who had performed the same function in all of his previous matches.

The players were enclosed in a soundproof glass room, which gave spectators a view of the two players. The World Trade Center is a magnet for tourists and there were many non-chessplaying spectators who had paid the 15 US$ to experience the magnificent view from the Observation Deck on Top of the World. For them, the match was a bonus. The playing area was not as soundproof as it should have been and the players were frequently distracted by noise from the spectators.

GM Daniel King and IM Maurice Ashley provided live commentary during the games. The games were also broadcast live by the Internet Chess Club. The match received considerable mainstream media attention.

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The games

The first game was played on 11 September. Rudolph Giuliani, the mayor of New York, made the first move, playing 1.c4. Anand quickly replaced the pawn and played 1.e4. He had never played anything else.

The match started with eight consecutive draws, some of them very short. The spectators, most of whom paid 75 US$ to watch a game, were not pleased. Some observers attributed the large number of short draws to Kasparov's unilateral action of awarding himself 'draw odds' before the match.

Anand scored the first full point. He won game 9 after pressing Kasparov positionally and then sacrificing the exchange.

Game 9 : Anand - Kasparov
after 27.Rd1-d5

Kasparov won game 10. He used six minutes for his first 21 moves and said afterwards that everything had been prepared. At the halfway point, the match was equal.

Game 10 : Kasparov - Anand
after 19.Bc1-h6

In game 11, Kasparov declined to play the Sicilan Najdorf which he had used in all games in the match where he had Black, transposing in each game to the Scheveningen. He chose instead the Sicilian Dragon. Anand resigned after overlooking a pretty combination by Kasparov. For the first time in the match Kasparov led; the score was 6-5.

Game 11 : Anand - Kasparov
after 32...Rc8-c2(xP) 0-1

Kasparov had a probable win in the 12th game, but missed a zwischenzug which allowed a draw.

Game 12 : Kasparov - Anand
after 31...e5-e4+

Kasparov repeated the Dragon in game 13. Anand played weakly and Kasparov won in 25 moves.

Game 13 : Anand - Kasparov
after 20...c5-c4

In game 14, Anand played the Center Counter Defense (1.e4 d5), which had never been seen before in a world title match. He obtained a significant advantage in the opening and middle game. In a complicated middle game, Kasparov unexpectedly sacrificed a knight, which Anand did not accept, although he had no better line of play.

After the match, Anand called this position the most critical moment of the entire match. The game saw the first mutual time trouble during the match, with each player having less than ten minutes for the last ten moves. When the smoke cleared, Kasparov had a won game, and led 8 1/2 - 5 1/2 with six games left to play.

Game 14 : Kasparov - Anand
after 27.Nd3-e5

After scoring only 1/2 point in five games, Anand gave up hope and the match ended with four draws. With the exception of game 17, these games were also very short.

Kasparov declared after the match that Anand had been well prepared for the chess, but not sufficiently prepared psychologically. Only three games lasted longer than 40 moves, and of these, only the 17th lasted longer than 60 moves.

This match was the second and last PCA World Chess Championship match. It was Kasparov's sixth consecutive World Chess Champion title, coming ten years after his first match victory over Karpov.

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