Blitz Showdown Between Karpov, Seirawan

By Jennifer Shahade
June 13, 2012

SAINT LOUIS, June 13, 2011 — Both classical games in the Anatoly Karpov-Yasser Seirawan match were drawn, but not without two long fights. The match between legends is underway at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis from June 10-13. In addition to the two classical games already played, two rapid games (June 12) and 10 blitz games (June 13) will determine the winner of the “Clash Between Kings.”

Karpov’s defensive skills have been stellar in both games. After achieving a strong position on the White side of the Slav in game one, he erred and Seirawan won his weak c-pawn.

However, Karpov’s two bishops vs. a knight and a bishop advantage allowed him to keep the balance, and the game was drawn after almost 70 moves. In the post-game analysis, both players indicated that the draw was not as difficult to achieve as commentators and fans believed.

In the second game Seirawan was on the white side of a Queen’s Indian defense.

Karpov deviated from main line theory early on with 5…d5 (instead of …Bb7 or …c5) and ended up with a passive and unpleasant position. Seirawan was pressing all game. After the game, both players agreed that trading rooks with 34.Re1 gave away most winning chances and that 34. g4 was better.

The rapid portion of the clash between legends, Anatoly Karpov and Yasser Seirawan ended in two draws. In the first game, Karpov achieved a dominant position in the same line of the Slav that they played in round one of the classical match. In the post-game commentary, Karpov and Seirawan agreed that Yasser’s main hope was Karpov’s time deficit. In the end, Karpov accepted Yasser’s draw offer in a better position due to his rapidly dwindling clock. He also pointed out that even though black was worse in the final position, he had no active plans, so Seirawan’s position was easier to play quickly.

In the second game, Karpov chose the Lasker Defense of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. This surprised Yasser, and he did not get much with the white pieces. The game was drawn after 34 moves.

A 10-game blitz showdown will determine the winner of this tight match. Tune in to starting at 1 p.m. local/2 EST for live commentary by GM Ben Finegold and WGM Jennifer Shahade.

The players are also scheduled to host an extended live press conference via Livestream at 4:30 p.m. local time today, and chess journalists, bloggers and fans worldwide are encouraged to visit the Chess Club’s Livestream channel and log in using Facebook or Livestream to submit questions. Questions can also be submitted using the hashtag USChess (#USChess) on Twitter.

About the Match

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis hosts former World Champion GM Anatoly Karpov in this special match against legendary GM Yasser Seirawan.

A “unique competition that will test their classical chess skills along with their abilities at both blitz and rapid play.”

Tourney Format:

Two Classical: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of a 30-second increment per move starting from move one. Each Classical game is worth two points.
Two Rapid: 25 minutes plus a five-second increment
Each Rapid game is worth two points.
Ten Blitz: Five minutes plus a two-second increment
Each Blitz game is worth one point.

Prize Fund:

1st Place: $10,000
2nd Place: $7,000

The Opening Ceremony for the event took place on June 9 and featured a special Book Signing Event.

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