More on Kasparov-Karpov in Valencia

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Kasparov-Karpov in ValenciaOn July 8 we reported for the first time on the upcoming rapid and blitz match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, to be held September 21-24 in Valencia, Spain. In the mean time, we have booked our flights, and a promo video has been published by the organizers which provides more information on this exciting event.

Update: the official website is www.valenciacunadelajedrezmoderno.com.

On July 7th, the Spanish newspaper Marca broke the news that Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov will play an exhibition match in Valencia from September 21st to 24th, 2009. The exhibition match is part of the festivities of the Valencia Cuna del Ajedrez Moderno program: "Valencia, birthplace of modern chess".

As was discovered recently, it was in Valencia where it was documented first that the queen may move to any square along the file, rank or diagonal on which it stands. The match between Karpov and Kasparov also commemorates the 25th anniversary of their first world championship match, Moscow 1984.

As was revealed by Anatoly Karpov in a recent interview, the match will be part of a series of four matches (all rapid & blitz) remembering all matches they played in the 80s and 90s, and they will probably be held in the same cities: Moscow, Paris and New York.

In the mean time a promo video from the organizers in Valencia was published:

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From the video we learn that in the year 1475, a period of economical and cultural wealth in Valencia, the three poets from Valencia Francesch de Castellvi, Narcis Vinyoles and Bernat Fenollar wrote the poem Scachs d'Amor, which is in fact a manuscript. It tells the story of the fight between Mars and Venus, and an "arbiter of honor" (Mercury). Influenced by the queen Isabella the Catholic, they created a new form of playing chess in honour of the queen, and this meant the birth of a new piece in chess: the Queen. On May 15th, 1495 for the first time a book was published with the rules of this new, modern way of playing chess which is still basically the same as how we play it today. We will return to this fascinating discovery in more detail in a separate article.

A bit more than five centuries later, the game of chess returns to its origin: Valencia. To celebrate this anniversary, two of the most important Russian grandmasters in the history of chess will meet at the chess board: Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.

In the morning of the first day, Monday, September 21st, there will be an official press conference with the players held in the Lonja de Valencia, a building that represents the medieval period of Valencia.

Kasparov-Karpov in Valencia

The Llotja de la Seda in Valencia is a late Gothic style civil building, built between 1482 and 1548, and one of the principal tourist attractions in the city. The UNESCO considered it as a World Heritage Site in 1996 since "the site is of outstanding universal value as it is a wholly exceptional example of a secular building in late Gothic style, which dramatically illustrates the power and wealth of one of the great Mediterranean mercantile cities."



In the afternoon there will be a welcoming festival in the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a place that represents modern times and current Valencian activity. Both players will give simultaneous exhibitions.

Kasparov-Karpov in Valencia

The "City of the Arts and the Sciences" is a entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex and the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia. It's situated at the end of the old riverbed Turia. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the project underwent the first stages of construction in July, 1996 and the finished "city" was inaugurated April 16, 1998 with the opening of L'Hemisfèric. The last great component of the City of the Arts and the Sciences, El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, was presented in October 9, 2005, Valencian Community Day.



The next days, Tuesday and Wednesday September 22-23, the players will play four rapid games of 25 minutes + 5 seconds increment on the clock and on Thursday, September 24th they will play eight blitz games of 5 minutes + 2 seconds increment each. On Friday there will be a closing ceremony.

Both Arne and yours truly have already booked their flights and so the ChessVibes readers are sure of on-the-spot coverage from Valencia!
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