Reports | September 25, 2009 9:32

Kasparov beats Karpov 6-2 in blitz match (UPDATE: video added)

Kasparov-KarpovHistory repeated itself in Valencia this week with Karpov and Kasparov meeting each other behind the chess board again, and the third day repeated what we had seen in the rapids: quite a sharp Garry Kasparov easily beating a slow Anatoli Karpov, who just couldn't handle the clock. The 6-2 in the blitz brought the final score on 9-3 for Kasparov. Last video now up.

Like the rapid games, the blitz match took place in the Auditorium of the Palau de las Artes, and just like on Tuesday and Wednesday, the media were banned to the upper four rows. The result of this was that although I wasn't able to get good close-ups with my camera, the high angle gave enough sight of the chess board so that I was able to reconstruct four of the eight games that were wrongly transmitted by the tournament website. (Well, only the first game was wrong, and three others were not complete.) The correct scores can be replayed below.

The blitz match started with a wonderful victory by Karpov in another Queen's Gambit Declined - the 12th World Champion replied to Kasparov's 1.d4 with this opening in all six games! Kasparov called it his worst game of the match but it was still a great performance by Karpov, converting the rook ending into a win with his flag about to fall during the last 15 moves or so (the rate of play was 5 minutes plus 2 seconds increment).


After calming down with an easy draw with Black, Kasparov went on to win a nice game with the white pieces to level the score. The fourth game turned out to be crucial for this blitz match: after another very strong performance, Karpov lost on time in a winning position. Between the games there was a ten-minute break three times, but at half time the pause was half an hour, but still not long enough for Karpov to fully recover.

In the next three games Kasparov completely dominated. Karpov was constantly down on the clock and simply played his worst chess of the whole match. A quick draw in the last game ended the torture, after which the players went to the press room - a five-minute walk from one side of the Palau to the other - for the last time.

Again, they addressed the media seperatately, and again first Karpov, then Kasparov. The former admitted that he had "lost motivation" after the terribly disappointing 4th game; the latter was quite pleased with his play.


On a question from a journo, which came down to "what's next", Kasparov said he'd simply go back to Moscow and return to his life as a political activist. "This was just an exhibition match to promote chess. I think we succeeded."

On my question what, in Kasparov's opinion, had to be the first thing to change in the chess world to bring that media attention to current top events, he repeated what he and Karpov had emphasized at the press conference on Monday: that "FIDE was responsible for everything that went wrong in the past 15 years". He added that as long as the top players would still be accepting the actions of the Kalmykian President, the situation wouldn't improve. "But I don't play a role in that anymore. I can offer them my help, some advice, but nothing more."


The Valencia match has merely confirmed what we already knew about Anatoli Karpov: he hasn't been spending much time on chess in recent years, and therefore his level of play is slowly getting worse, although he'll never loose his beautiful, classical style and occasional brilliance. Garry Kasparov, who is said to play online regularly, who is still busy writing about chess and who has started working with Magnus Carlsen, still plays at at a high level, and hasn't lost his attractive, dynamic style either. It does make you wonder how he'd do against today's elite players.

Blitz games

Game viewer by ChessTempo


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


me's picture

Tkachiev showed how to bring an event that would otherwise go unnoticed into the spotlight :)

Misja's picture

@me: Yes, and that is probably why Tkachiev is one of the 6 nominees of the FIDE President for the World Cup (see Chessvibes 17 Sep 09). And of course Ilyumzhinov also nominated Ivan "no handshake" Cheparinov. The President clearly understands that the way to make chess popular with the general public is to create scandals not too playh beautiful moves. My non-chess-playing friends were not aware of this match or of Kasparov's Nf6+ but if Kasparov had shown up drunk and Karpov had refused to shake his hand I am sure it would have been all over the news. ;-)

Joe's picture

Karpov is simply finished as a competitive chess player. This was an absolute massacre! THE VALENCIA MASSACRE! Hopefully we'll see Kasparov playing an exhibition match against one of the current top players (Anand, Topalov or Kramnik).
But please no more Karpov-Kasparov matches. No more massacres of this sort especially for a legend like Karpov!

Willy Smith's picture

As Kasparov says in the interview, it´s sad tha a match with to ex-champions has more media cover and fan interest than any other chess event this year.
Players not only need to play chess like computers, they need to do things to be noticed in the sport world!

Bob's picture

I think Kasparov is still the best. If he came back to chess he would still beat everybody. Except maybe Carlsen... :)

unknown's picture

Do they confirm their December playing in Paris?

someone's picture

I don't know if he would still be the best. Now he only played against Karpov, it would be another thing to play against Anand, Topalov, Carlsen... I do think he would "easily" get back to top ten of the world. It would be a lot of fun to see him play again with his dynamic style with lots of piece sacs etc... But still, a comeback of Kasparov is just a beautiful dream that will never come true

Thomas's picture

@unknown (and others may also be interested ...): One of the Europe Echecs videos (in French) mentions Dec. 11-13 as dates for the Paris match. The Louvre seems to be a suggested/desirable venue, but not yet confirmed.
Another story may be if sponsors can be found for the remaining revival matches, given that Valencia was altogether very one-sided.

irina's picture

or Aronyan

me's picture

I don't think Karpov will want to play again.

acirce's picture

I personally believe in Mig Greengard's take: "4.5 years away have taken a considerable toll [...] While it's possible he might "play up" against a stronger opponent, and one who wasn't his old nemesis, it's more likely it would take considerable time before he would be anywhere near his old self."

unknown's picture

No video?

Peter Doggers's picture

Just finished the video; hope to be able to upload it before my 18.00 flight, not sure about that. :-) Otherwise I'll do it when I'm back home; should be up around 21.30 then.

Peter Doggers's picture

Not gonna make it, they're boarding - I'd better join. Expect the video in about four hours from now.

Vaseline Poopalov's picture

pfff this whole thing is BS...

Karpov is much older and out of shape so it is not a fair match (remember his last tournament in spain)...

lets see if Kasparov would be so smiley and cocky while competing with real tough opposition...

leser's picture

Kasparov needs to make a comeback in Chess now!

ydb's picture

Kasparov is somewhat like Fischer in one sense... he plays to win... and that way he is way too dangerous for even the current top rated players.

some of the games in this match did show a streak of brilliancy from both Karpov and Kasparov.

Thnx for your coverage and the videos.

MamedyarovFan's picture

As usual, really professional work work by Peter Doggers and ChessVibes. Thanks.

Gillian's picture

Kasparov is Chess and Chess is Kasparov. How can Chess carry on without Garry Kasparov in the limelight? A young successor to this brilliant and charismatic master of the game may, or may not be, in the wings but he has yet to prove himself and at the moment there is practically an empty stage in the world chess theatre. Although it is an extremely tough life at the chess summit, everyone needs him to re-appear, especially children..... to help fill the cultural gap existent in the modern world where machines are replacing everthing and everybody.

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