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World Chess Championship
1998 Karpov - Anand FIDE Title Match

The match was played at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. This was symbolic of FIDE's dream to have chess recognized as a sport and included as an event in the Olympic Games. Commenting on this possibility during the match, Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC President, explained that the IOC recognized FIDE; of the IOC's 200 national olympic committees, half recognized chess as a sport and half recognized it as a cultural activity.

A new format

This was the first title event to be played under FIDE's new world championship format. The format was subjected to sharp criticism because of the small number of games, the introduction of rapidplay games, and the advantage given to Karpov.

The terms of Groningen had been that both Karpov and Kasparov were seeded directly into the semifinal matches. In the event that one of the two declined to participate, the other would be seeded directly into the Lausanne match.

This meant that a fresh Karpov was meeting a less than fresh opponent. In fact, at Groningen, Anand had played 23 games against six strong opponents. His last game against Adams was played on 30 December 1997, three days before the title match began. In Lausanne he was obviously tired.

Kasparov dismissed the match as between 'a tired player and an old player'. FIDE promised that, for subsequent World Championships, the reigning champion would enter the elimination matches in the second round.

Karpov's many critics pointed out that this was the latest in a long series of advantages which he had enjoyed during title competitions. Difficulties surrounding the aborted 1975 match against Fischer, the 1978 match against Korchnoi, the first three ( 1984, 1985, 1986 ) matches against Kasparov, and the 1993 match against Timman, where Karpov was granted incumbent titleholder status, had all been to Karpov's advantage.

The match

According to the just published FIDE rankings, Anand was ranked 3rd in the world at 2770, behind Kasparov and Kramnik; Karpov was ranked 6th at 2735.

Karpov's team numbered thirteen persons, including Mikhail Podgaets and Ron Henley as seconds. Anand's team consisted of Elzibar Oubilava, Arthur Yusupov, and Peter Leko. The match arbiter was Geurt Gijssen.

Standard games

The first standard game featured a Knight sacrifice by Karpov in the opening. He went on to win the game.

Game 1 : Karpov - Anand Later in the same game
Position Position
after 17.Nd4-b5(xP) after 31.Qh8-g7(xP)+

In game 2, Anand obtained a winning advantage, then blundered, but won after Karpov blundered.

Game 2 : Anand - Karpov
after 34...h7-h6?
(34...Ne2+ 35.Kf1 Qe8 wins)

Game 3 was a 19 move draw. Karpov won game 4 in an endgame of opposite color Bishops.

Game 4 : Anand - Karpov
after 38...a7-a5
(Black wins the endgame)

The fifth game was another draw. In a 'must win' situation in game 6, Anand won after Karpov blundered in the following position.

Game 6 : Anand - Karpov
after 28...Qe7-d8?
(28...Rxg6 leads to equality)

Rapidplay games

Since the match was tied 3-3 after the six standard games, it entered the phase of rapidplay games. Karpov won the first rapidplay game after a tense struggle where both players had chances.

Game 7 : Karpov - Anand
after 49.h4-h5

Finding himself again in a 'must win' situation for the second rapidplay game, Anand sacrificed two pawns. Karpov held them to win the game and the match.

Game 8 : Anand - Karpov
after 11...b7-b6

Terms of the match.

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