Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov will play a 12 games match from 21 to 24 September, 2009, in Valencia. It will consist of 4 rapid (or semi rapid) and 8 blitz games and will take place exactly 25 years after the mythical encounter between the two players.
Izvestia: Mr.Karpov, whose idea was to organize your matches with Kasparov?
Anatoly Karpov: I can’t remember exactly, I only know that it was in May of this year. I met with Kasparov in Moscow to discuss various issues not directly related to chess. During the conversation it came up that we have anniversary of our world championship match. Then we decided to meet over the board to celebrate the occasion.
Q: Does that mean that you and your great rival meet very often?
A: Of course, not very often. But perhaps a few times a year we speak about various subjects.
Q: A couple of years ago after the arrest of Kasparov you saw him in the detention center and even tried to bring a chess magazine in. Was that an act of solidarity?
A: That was the least I could do. In that situation, the police clearly overreacted. So Kasparov and his supporters did not have the permission to come out on the streets? It should normally result in a fine, but not with a three days arrest. Yes, Kasparov holds very sharp political opinions, but his actions did not deserve that response.
Q: How many games planned?
A: The initial plan is to play for about six months in all countries where we once had world championship matches. That is, Spain, Russia, Great Britain, France and the United States. Actually, the first rapid match was planned for London, but the negotiations on the organization took a bit longer, and the Spaniards were glad to jump in and take the initiative.
Q: But why Valencia? Your most dramatic match for the title took place in 1987 in Seville.
A: Partly because Seville never had a rich chess tradition. Valencia is entirely different, it is enough to say that one of the city squares is named after me. In addition, Rita Burberry Nola, the mayor of Valencia who manages the city for the last 18 years, loves sports. It is not by incident that they have established a powerful football club, which recently was Spanish champion.
Q: Where will be the playing venue?
A: In the new Opera, in one of the rooms which accepts about 350 spectators. Naturally, it will be packed. Large screens will be installed outside of the building and the passers will be able to watch our game. Incidentally, just before our interview, it has been confirmed that our next match will take place in the Louvre, Paris.Hopefully, early next year we will play another match in Moscow.
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