Good news for chess fans:

The newspaper Marca (journalist Jesus J. Boyero) broke the news that Kasparov and Karpov will play a 12 game (4 Rapid and 8 blitz) match in Valencia 21st-24th September 2009. The match is on the 25th Anniversary of the start of their infamous first aborted match in Moscow in 1984-5, this was followed by an epic series of close World title matches which ended in Lyon 1990.

Score! I’m so there. Well, not literally there in Spain, but at least at my computer following the games.

In other Kasparov news, here’s Kasparov’s statement durin ghis recent meeting with President Obama. It seems Kasparov was impressed with Obama:

Q: Aside from Obama’s tone, what about specific positions or policy proposals?

GK: It looks like Putin and his gang have finally met someone who won’t play their little game of give and take. Obama’s tough and he didn’t back away from the most difficult issues. Sovereignty of Russia’s neighbors, mentioning Georgia and Ukraine in particular. He refused to link missile defense to Iran or anything else.

In fact, I don’t see anything that Obama gave up, which likely came as a surprise to Putin, who expected the new American president to be eager to make deals to have a success to report back home. Obama likely surprised some Republicans in the US as well. Before he started his trip, several conservative GOP members wrote an open letter to Obama with recommendations. Not linking missile defense to nuclear arms reduction, defending the rights of Ukraine and Georgia, and meeting with the opposition. From what I can tell, Obama followed each one.

Obama seems like a man who doesn’t try to solve problems that don’t have solutions. He saves his energy and political capital on realistic goals. If there’s a big obstacle he simply takes it off the table and deals with what can be done. Perhaps more importantly he is honest about saying that is what he’s doing. For example, instead of making a lot of meaningless statements about Iran, where Putin’s interests are in direct opposition, Obama moves on to areas where progress can be made. I have to admit I found this practical approach attractive in the end.


  1. #1 Dave M
    July 9, 2009

    I didn’t know Karpov played blitz – I thought he was Mr. Deliberate. But I guess if you’re that good you can play any way you like. Should be interesting, but I for one won’t be glued to the computer, so we’ll need you to report on this for us.

  2. #2 386sx
    July 9, 2009

    I didn’t know Karpov played blitz – I thought he was Mr. Deliberate.

    There’s some Karpov blitz videos on youtube. But still, lots of times people still have to play blitz in tournament games because of the dreaded clock running down though!

  3. #3 sups
    July 9, 2009

    The news actually was published first in an English chess portal, named Chessdom com. Later, Marca published in less details.
    The Chessdom reveals the other possible cities were London and Vien.

  4. #4 Jason Rosenhouse
    July 9, 2009

    In his prime Karpov was an excellent blitz player. He’s now 58, though, and seems to have lost some of his legendary accuracy. He’s remained an active player, though, and is currently playing in a tournament in Spain. Should be an interesting match, though my money is on Kasparov.

  5. #5 windy
    July 10, 2009

    “He refused to link missile defense to Iran or anything else.”

    I don’t know about the rest, but Obama did link it with Iran.

  6. #6 John Kwok
    July 10, 2009

    Would be fascinating to see if both are still capable of playing chess at a grand master level, though I’d agree with you, Jason. I think Kasparov should prevail.

    Am also intrigued about his favorable opinion about our President.

  7. #7 Dick Lessard
    July 11, 2009

    Am I the only one bothered by the mispelling of “September” in the title? Or am I a fool and this is really some clever Russian word-play?

  8. #8 Jason Rosenhouse
    July 13, 2009

    Dick –

    No word-play, just a typo which has now been fixed.

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