While some might criticise the opening move as less energetic than 1.e4, and it could even be said that White had some advantage when the draw was agreed, the game has a certain minimalist perfection that is difficult to improve upon.
Karpov's decision to stop at move one was as a protest against the scheduling of the final round to begin at 10.30am. As every true chess-player knows, the brain is designed not to work properly until after lunch. Karpov said he would never have accepted his invitation had he known that the last round would begin so early.
The schedule was included in his invitation, but he had not read it thoroughly.
Fortunately, a draw was all he needed to take the first prize. Gata Kamsky, his challenger for the Fide world championship, finished half a point behind. Karpov might have been forced to work on the morning shift if Michael Adams had not obligingly inflicted Kamsky's only defeat of the tournament. After starting the tournament with a miserable 21/2 points from 7 games, Adams scored three wins and a draw from his last four games to recover to fifth place.
Back in England, three players share first place after five rounds at Hastings. Matthew Sadler and Stuart Conquest both won their fifth-round games to join Bogdan Lalic in the lead on 31/2 points. The pre-tournament favourite, Alexander Khalifman, is lurking dangerously half a point behind, with Miles, Speelman and Yermolinsky on 21/2.
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