Kasparov wins rapid match 3-1 (UPDATE: video added)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Kasparov-KarpovOn the second day of the Kasparov-Karpov rapid match, the Valencian spectators were treated to some high level chess by both legends. Karpov won the third game in good style but again handled the clock poorly in the fourth to lose the match 1-3. At the press conference Kasparov said he regretted the fact that time had played such an important role in the rapid games. Update: video added.

Before the third game started, a very lucid lecture on the Valencian origin of modern chess was given by none less than chess legend Yuri Averbakh. The reknown endgame expert and chess history enthusiast was the first to suggest, back in 1985, that Lucena borrowed many if not all problems of his 1497 book from the now lost Valencian chess book by Francesch Vicent. Afterwards, the 87-year old veteran was more than willing to pose for photographs with fans from the audience and indeed with some journalists as well.

After that, it was Karpov-time. In a very interesting and complex g3-Grünfeld, the 12th World Champion improved on the first match game with 10.Nec3, resulting in a rich position with chances for both sides. True to his style, Kasparov sacced an exchange for activity, and afterwards he indicated that he thought he got out of the complications fine, but in mutual time trouble he started played for tricks rather than a draw and was confronted with his first official loss in almost five years. Kasparov blamed his opportunism on lack of practice; Karpov thought he had simply played a good game.

Everyone expected Karpov to try and level the match in the fourth game, but again he opted for the solid-but-difficult-to-win-with Queen's Gambit Declined, a choice that took Kasparov by surprise. Karpov deviated from the second match game by playing 9...g6 while in our previous report we mentioned that Kasparov himself has indicated in his latest book on their matches 9...b6 is the way to go for Black.

Again, Kasparov got a pleasant edge from the opening, and he managed to expand his advantage slowly, gaining time on the clock in the process. Karpov couldn't avoid his clock ticking away and got into bad time trouble once again. With his opponent's clock about to fall, Kasparov lost concentration and spoiled his advantage, leaving him with just a small plus in the final position where Karpov yet again overstepped the time limit.

Both players gave short press conferences after the fourth game had finished, but interestingly, they preferred to do this separately instead of together, like they had done on the opening day. Since during the game all press had been banned to the last rows of the packed auditorium, many journalists unfortunately arrived too late for the first question of Karpov's press conference.

When Karpov had left the stage, there again was some confusion as to whether Kasparov would attend at all, but in the end he did. We asked him if he, being the passionate chess player he still is, was disappointed that time played such an important role in the match. "Yes, I would have preferred playing these positions to their logical conclusion, but time is simply part of the game." He then reminded everyone how he had started his match with Short in '93: in a very dubious position he won on time.

In conclusion, we think both players can be satisfied in their own way with the result of the four rapid games. Apart from the obvious time aspect, Karpov played some good chess and he managed to taunt Kasparov by winning arguably the best encounter. Kasparov won the rapid part of the match, as probably everyone including himself expected.

In the end though, he didn't crush Karpov so horribly that future sponsors won't be interested in another match celebrating the 25th anniversary of their first World Championship clash.

Games 3 & 4

Game viewer by ChessTempo



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