Kasparov Draws Last Chess Game to Win $1.7 Million


Gary Kasparov earned $1.7 million and a jeweled trophy valued at $1 million on Monday when he retained his world chess championship until 1993 with a draw in his final game with challenger Anatoly Karpov.

Kasparov, who thus won the match 12 1/2 to 11 1/2, already had clinched at least a tie Wednesday when he drew the 22nd game. The two final games were played solely to determine the distribution of the $3-million prize fund. Karpov won Game 23 on Saturday, keeping alive his hope of splitting the prize evenly. But Monday’s result means that he settles for $1.3 million.

In Monday’s game, Kasparov surprised Karpov by using the English Opening for the first time in the match. Kasparov, usually an attacker, appeared content to build a solid position and let Karpov try to disturb the balance.

With $200,000 at stake, Karpov had to play boldly. He tried to complicate the game, but Kasparov’s careful defense gave white the advantage. In fact, white was winning the final position and would ordinarily have played on. Instead, Kasparov offered a courtesy draw, and Karpov accepted.


The championship began in New York in October and shifted to Lyon, France, after 12 games. After 15 tense games, each player had only one win. Then Kasparov broke through, winning his next three games.

Kasparov, 27, is the highest-rated player in chess history. He became champion, the youngest ever, in 1985 when he defeated Karpov in the second of their five championship matches.

Karpov, 39, had been appointed world champion in 1975, when the eccentric American star Bobby Fischer refused to play him. Karpov defended the title twice before Kasparov dethroned him.

Karpov and 14 other grandmasters will compete to become Kasparov’s challenger in 1993.


Here are the moves of Monday’s game:

Kasparov-Karpov 24: 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3 6 Qxc3 b6 7 b4 d6 8 Bb2 Bb7 9 g3 c5 10 Bg2 Nbd7 11 0-0 Rc8 12 d3 Re8 13 e4 a6 14 Qb3 b5 15 Nd2 Rb8 16 Rfc1 Ba8 17 Qd1 Qe7 18 cxb5 axb5 19 Nb3 e5 20 f3 h5 21 bxc5 dxc5 22 a4 h4 23 g4 c4 24 dxc4 bxa4 25 Ba3 Qd8 26 Nc5 Bc6 27 Nxa4 Nh7 28 Nc5 Ng5 29 Nxd7 Bxd7 30 Rc3 Qa5 31 Rd3 Ba4 32 Qe1 Qa6 33 Bc1 Ne6 34 Rda3 Nc5 35 Be3 Qd6 36 Rxa4, Drawn.

Peters is an international master whose column on chess appears in The Times.