The King is dead, but Kasparov is having none of it

In ancient Persia, where the terminology of chess derives, checkmate means "the King is dead". At his press conference yesterday, after losing his title of 15 years, the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was having none of it.

In ancient Persia, where the terminology of chess derives, checkmate means "the King is dead". At his press conference yesterday, after losing his title of 15 years, the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was having none of it.

"I feel I am very much in business," he said. "Very soon I will start proving that this was a very unfortunate slip in my career." Sounding full of bonhomie he said: "This thought [retirement] never visited me during the match."

Kasparov's defeat by Vladimir Kramnik, 25, involved two losses and 14 draws, which was a dreadful result from the internet-televised Riverside Studios match for the man known as "The Beast of Baku". The excessively calm Kramnik won the second game and never looked back.

His second win came in the 10th game, when he annihilated Kasparov in just 24 moves. This has led to questions about whether the great brain has "lost it".

And this is hardly surprising. In a sport where pretty much nothing happens most of the time, driving would-be describers into frenzies of hyperbole, the reign of Kasparov has been a dreamboat of dramatic gestures. He had a spat then a split with the world chess federation, and after he lost to Nigel Short in 1993 he obligingly threw a hissy fit.

Citing lack of preparation and a new "fashion" in chess playing, as exemplified by his former protégé Kramnik, Kasparov left those hoping for histrionics yesterday puzzled.

"The new fashion is very pragmatic," he reflected. "It's very, very professional. It is accumulating the main knowledge of the game of chess and it is a very good choice of openings. It involves excluding additional risk.

"I was aiming to be five or six points clear and in order to get a good result you have to take more risk. His approach," he nodded amiably at the nearly supine Kramnik, "has proven to be superior today and I have to learn. Even at the age of 37 I should learn. After Karpov I had to go through the same kind of academy."

At which point he began to resemble a slightly grizzled PR girl. He had had the best experience of his life with chess over the past two years, he said. He felt he had a lot of energy, "a lot of fresh ideas". He looked forward to sharing the limelight with Kramnik and put his defeat down to the fact that he hadn't lost anything for two years.

He chose to exclude all discussion of his turbulent private life with a swift "the reasons for my loss are purely related to my preparation".

But when he was asked how he could appear to be a calm and happy man, his expression immediately changed. He looked, quite frankly, a bit annoyed. "You want me to cry?" he hissed, raising a crooked eyebrow. "Lay down on the floor? I behave with class all my life and I behave with class now." And he stalked out through the entrance hall, walking over the black and white squared motif on the floor.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software / Web Developer - ASP.NET

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company produces a wide ra...

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones