Independent Pursuits: Chess
Friday 27 November 1998
The event, the first of it's kind on anything like this scale, is sponsored jointly by the Internet Chess Club (ICC) and the venue, the Kosmos Hotel, in Moscow.
There are 12 games on both Saturday and Sunday, play starting on each day at 5pm GMT. I realise that only a minority of readers will have access to the Internet at weekends. But those who do can watch the action live and see the commentary of grandmasters and other strong players by joining the ICC at http://www.chessclub.com ($29 for six months plus a surcharge of $16 for both days).
Although chess is generally experienced in the somewhat dessicated context of moves printed on a page, viewed live, even virtually, it is infinitely more interesting. The match should be a lot of fun, if demanding on people's phone bills, eyes and the patience of any civilians resident with them.
While I've never seen either of these great players play blitz for any extended period, I would certainly expect positional chess of a pretty high standard, albeit interspersed with the odd blunder. This game was their first blitz play-off after two Quickplay draws at the Moscow leg of the Professional Chess Players (PCA) Grand Prix - and the play over the weekend should be even better since they won't have undergone the transition from Quickplay to Blitz.
Kasparov obtained some pressure against the isolated d pawn after the opening but got into trouble after 29...g5! and 32...g4! when the threat of 33...Rh6! forced him to jettison the e pawn. Kramnik's technique then looked very smooth.
White: Gary Kasparov
Black: Vladimir Kramnik
Moscow PCA-Grand Prix 1996
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