"Clash of the Titans" begins on 18th!

Beginning on September 18th, Former World Champions and fellow Grandmasters Anatoly Karpov and Susan Polgar will meet in an exhibition match with an interesting format. Over the course of the match, the two legendary chess figures will play two games each of rapid (30 minutes per side),  blitz (5 minutes per side) and Chess 960 (also know as "Fischer Random"). The Fischer Random segment was added in symbolic support of another World Champ, Bobby Fischer who is in Japanese custody pending deportation proceedings.

The tournament is interesting not only because it is the first time that two champions of the opposite sexes have met, but because of its modest location. No… not New York, Las Vegas, or Chicago, but Lindsborg, Kansas which has (of late) become a magnet for chess activity. Known as "Little Sweden,"  the town of 3200 is the place where Anatoly Karpov trained before and exhibition match with
Garry Kasparov, the world's highest rated player.

Clash of the Titans

Some criticize the relatively inaccessible location of Lindsborg which sits in the middle of Kansas (100 miles from Topeka). However, the Midwestern the town has been host to the Lindsborg Open, a strong tournament drawing top Grandmasters (See 2003 chart). Mikhail Korenman, a Russian émigré, has developed the Anatoly Karpov School of Chess and was the energy behind this historic event.

Unfortunately, a recent NPR interview with Korenman bills the two players as the "Men's World Champion" and the "Women's World Champion." With the international chess community trying to bring unification to the titles, this marketing faux pas may bring more confusion as to the real meaning of the high-profile match. Nevertheless, the match will be interesting as two very strong players with engage in a meaningful competition. Polgar is working diligently to inspire more girls to take up the board sport and will lead the women's U.S. Olympiad team to Mallorca, Spain next month.

Listen to audio clip on NPR radio

Read, Lisa Gutierrez's article, "Chess Fever hits Lindsborg," Kansas City Star, 9 September 2004.

ChessBase.com, "Clash of Brains in the Plains," 12 September 2004.

Kansas State Chess Association

Posted by The Chess Drum: 12 September 2004