Mar 19, 2001

Match Kasparov - Kramnik

The Hercules of the Chess Olympus at last chose a fitting adversary. Probably some day we'll get to know what broke off his match with Shirov. As for the other highest-level players - Kasparov never suffered much from them. Only minor stings.

We are not going to forecast the result precisely, but a small statistical survey can be interesting for anybody.

Kasparov never lost matches. His rating exceeds the fantastic boundary 2800 by far. Most likely his plans don't include a change of generations. He showed astonishingly stable results in matches, tournaments, chess shows, etc. He ignores FIDE's efforts at the organising of knock-out World Championships, as well as any other.

Obviously, the chess world and amateurs prefer someone other to become number one. This is why the sympathy of fans will be with V. Kramnik who just turned 25. Still, he already lost matches to Shirov, Kamski and Gelfand, and these defeats surely have stained his biography. On the other hand, he won a match against L. Yudasin when he was young, then a match with J. Lautier. In super tournaments he often joins Kasparov at the podium. Once he even won the Grand-Prix race where Kasparov was second with the same score. He got a draw in a big match with the World Champion in the Cosmos Casino in Moscow, though he led in that match for a long time. But in that match the adversaries had only 5 minutes for the whole game each.

Well, this is what we have at present. Let's wait for new results. As for prognoses - turn to bookmakers.

"And his six pawns were scattered like the ships of the Armada that should have conquered England; the Lord blew, and they were all isolated."

-Hans Kmoch, Groningen 1946 tournament book

"Nowadays, when you're not a grandmaster at 14, you can forget about it."

Anand Vishwanathan

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