Seirawan-Karpov Legends Match

U.S. legend Yasser Seirawan and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov will face will face-off in a legends match at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis (CCSCSL). This is a revisitation of their classic battles in the 1980s. Photo by CCSCSL.

The main site reads:

The two will face off June 9-13 in a unique competition that will test their classical chess skills along with their abilities at both blitz and rapid play. The format will ibe as follows:

  • Two Classical Games: 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 Games: 25 minutes plus a five-second increment. Each Rapid game is worth two points.
  • Ten Blitz Games: Five minutes plus a two-second increment. Each Blitz game is worth one point.

Prize Fund

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


Videos by Macauley Peterson for CCSCSL.


  1. Seirawan-Karpov 2012 Legends Match
    (Classical), Sunday, 10 June 2012

    The first classical game of the Legends Match kicked off with a contentious battle, yet one that ended peacefully. Jennifer Shahade and Benjamin Finegold were on the call and led the audience through the Slav variation. Karpov seemed to have mobility with the two bishops and space on the queenside. Black countered actively and was able to penetrate white’s camp and even win a pawn.

    Both commentators stated that black had slight winning chances, but the two bishops would give white chances to hold. Both were shocked when 64…Nd4 was played allowing Karpov to go into an opposite-color bishop ending. During the post-mortem, both players showed how it was difficult to covert the pawn advantage.

  2. Seirawan-Karpov 2012 Legends Match
    (Classical), Monday, 11 June 2012

    In today’s match, the Queen’s Indian got off to an interesting start with tactical vollies 11. e4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 dxe4 13. Ne5 f6 14. Qc4+ Qd5 15. Bxe4 Qxc4 16. Nxc4. It appeared that white had the slightest edge with two active rooks and black’s bishop stunted behind the d5-pawn. Black played solidly and it soon locked into a equal position. This was the last classical game. They will now play two rapid followed by 10 blitz games.

  3. Seirawan-Karpov 2012 Legends Match
    (Rapid), Tuesday, 12 June 2012

    As fans around the world were screaming for a decisive game in today’s rapid games, they would be disappointed as both of the rapid games were drawn. Karpov tried to squeeze Seirawan with a space advantage, but nothing would come of it. In the second game, Seirawan marshalled the white pieces and got very little. Perhaps tomorrow there will be more action as the blitz battle is slated.

  4. Seirawan-Karpov 2012 Legends Match
    (Blitz), Wednesday, 13 June 2012

    Karpov wins the “Legends Match” 10-8!

    Karpov outlasted Seirawan in the final phase of their exhibition match by the score of 10-8 (2-2 classical, 2-2 rapid, 6-4 blitz-Karpov). The finale of the Legends Match was thrilling indeed.

    While it was apparent that the two players were not as fast as they used to be, the battles were spirited and of reasonable quality. There were several games decided on time and while there were a couple of blunders, but the match attracted fans from 125 countries and the chat room was always buzzing in anticipation.

    Legends Match (Seirawan vs. Karpov), 2012

    The blitz match was exciting and attracted many followers.
    Karpov won the blitz portion 6-4.

    The two players attended a press conference and asked a series of questions. One was asked about possible heirs to the championship throne. Karpov mentioned Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin and Teimour Radjabov, but hesitated to mention Hikaru Nakamura until Seirawan offered his name. He mentioned something about Nakamura being “original” but that he had “bad habits” developed from Swiss tournaments. He used Bent Larsen as an example of a player who was unable the face strong competition because of the habits picked up from his diet of open tournaments. Ironically, Nakamura does not play in a lot of open tournaments these days.

    Karpov was asked whether he had any additional political ambitions in FIDE. He mentioned that FIDE is “wrongly led” and that he will continue to develop his ideas in chess in other realms. He also mentioned the structure of FIDE and the voting system. He advocates a United Nations type of structure where the largest federations have veto power. This was one of his campaign pronouncements which got a mixed reaction.

    Karpov stated that he was impressed with the atmosphere at the St. Louis venue and that much had been done in a short time. Seirawan, who had participated in the U.S. Championship a month ago, gave effusive praise of Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield on the work they have done from make St. Louis the center of American chess… and perhaps one day, the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button