Battle Of The Legends: Kasparov vs Short
FIDE couldn’t believe it; they were upset, so upset that they ripped the crown from chess champion Garry Kasparov’s head and said, “This is enough!” In 1993 drama struck the chess world unlike any other conflict seen in the game’s history to date. Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov teamed up to collaborate on what would become chess’s first big saga.
Some chess fans may say, “What about Fischer vs. Spasky?” That was a big conflict in chess but these guys, Kasparov and Short, flew from the nest of FIDE and started their own controversial organization called the Professional Chess Association in 1993. So what happened that caused all of this drama?
“Bad things happen in threes” so they say. The first of the trouble was conjured up in the overall bidding process for the venue of the 1993 World Chess Championships. It was simply a mess. According to FIDE’s regulations the bidding process was to be determined by three groups: FIDE, World Champion Garry Kasparov, and the challenger Nigel Short. Unfortunately that is not what happened and through some strange twist of fate the president of FIDE Florencio Campomanes picked the venue as Manchester without consultation of the other two parties. This was the first move made in the opening of what would become the first big game of chess that the world’s best players would, for the first time, be playing off the board.
Campomanes with the initiative and striking first blood on the board then played a novelty move and took 20 percent of the prize fund promised to the players off the board. It was the equivalent of a double discovery check but he had no idea who he was up against, not one, but two great minds that were trained for intricate battles of tactics and strategy. This 20 percent seizure of the prize fund was the second blow to the two players but now it was their move.
Kasparov and Short did what any other chess player would do if their opponent made dirty and illegal moves on the board of a high stakes game taking place. They took the board and threw it across the room. Okay, maybe they didn’t literally do that but figuratively speaking they most certainly did; they held the 1993 World Chess Championships without FIDE! How did they do this?
For the first time ever a new organization was created to conduct the World Championship Match. Kasparov and Short gave birth to what would be called: the Professional Chess Association. The newly appointed Commissioner was Bob Rice who is an entrepreneur, public company CEO, investor, technologist, banker, lawyer, and author of the book Three Moves Ahead. Together this newly created alliance defeated the odds and disrupted FIDE’s plan to dominate these two men.
Kasparov and Short’s famous match took place in an old historic palace opera house called Savory Theater in Westminster, London. The new sponsor of the chess event was London’s famous newspaper publisher The Times Of London and the event was known to the world as The Time’s World Chess Championship. Amazingly there had been a report that over one million people had tuned in to watch the start of the tournament on television. Kasparov prevailed and defeated Nigel short to become the first ever PCA world chess champion.
In retaliation to the unauthorized chess event conducted by the new Professional Chess Association FIDE stripped Garry Kasparov of his crown and held an alternative World Chess Championship; FIDE struck their third blow in this battle. Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman were selected to play in the FIDE World Chess Championship. Karpov was the victor and for the first time ever there were two World Chess Champions!
Today Saturday April 25th and tomorrow Sunday April 26th at 2:00 pm CDT at the St Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Missouri you can watch Garry Kasparov face off against Nigel Short for the second time! The event dubbed as The Battle of Legends will feature 10 high speed chess games that nobody should miss. Go check it out at: http://www.uschesschamps.com
For some fun chess puzzles and to donate to the writer of this article so he can buy food check out: http://www.chesszombie.com
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See you across the chessboard - Johnny Lupia