Anatoly Karpov of Russia retained his title of World Chess Federation (FIDE) world champion by defeating Gata Kamsky of New York, 10 1/2-7 1/2, in Elista, Russia. Karpov lost the 16th game, but drew the next two to end the best-of-20-game match.
The match was hard fought, with many very long games. Although Kamsky's fighting spirit left a powerful impression, he managed to win only three games against Karpov, 45, the oldest of the world's top players.
Karpov has had a lustrous career, tainted by controversy. He became FIDE world champion in 1975, after the previous champion, Bobby Fischer, refused to accept FIDE's conditions for a Fischer vs. Karpov match. Karpov won two politically charged matches against Victor Korchnoi of Switzerland, then was dethroned in 1985 by a younger rival, Garry Kasparov. When Kasparov formed the Professional Chess Assn. in 1993, FIDE made the dubious decision to strip Kasparov of his title and to arrange a substitute championship match, in which Karpov beat Jan Timman of the Netherlands. The Karpov vs. Kamsky match was FIDE's second world championship match since the PCA-FIDE split.
FIDE vice president Morten Sand of Norway told Reuters, "I think this match was really about the credibility of FIDE." He's absolutely right. FIDE had planned to begin the match in the summer of 1995, but could not find a sponsor. Only four months ago, FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov humiliated chess fans by announcing that the match would take place in Baghdad. Later, Ilyumzhinov reconsidered and put the match in Elista, his hometown. FIDE needed to bring this sorry episode to a conclusion.
For a copy of all of the games of the match, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Chess Palace, 3255 E. South St., Long Beach, CA 90805.
The 1996 U.S. Junior Championship, an invitational tournament featuring the country's dozen best players younger than 21, ended July 2 in Parsippany, N.J. Boris Kreiman of New York and Jorge Zamora Hasbun Jr. of Rhode Island scored 7 1/2-3 1/2 to tie for first place. Zamora won a speed-chess playoff to earn the right to represent the United States in the 1996 World Junior Championship, scheduled for November in Medellin, Colombia.
Eugene Perelshteyn of Massachusetts finished third, at 7-4. The top three earned norms toward the title of International Master.
Other scores: Igor Shliperman (New York) and IM Josh Waitzkin (New York), 6 1/2-4 1/2; GM Gabriel Schwartzman (Florida), 5 1/2-5 1/2; Erez Klein (New York), 5-6; Dean Ippolito (New Jersey) and IM Tal Shaked (Arizona), 4 1/2-6 1/2; David Arnett (New York) and Michael Mulyar (Colorado), 4-7; and Josh Manion (Wisconsin), 3 1/2-7 1/2.
Both the U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women's Championship will be held this month in Parsippany.
Three players tied for first in the Pacific Southwest Open last weekend at the Wyndham Hotel in Los Angeles. Mark Duckworth, IM Mladen Vucic and James Todd shared top honors with 6-1 scores. Duckworth won his first six games, including upsets of IM Jack Peters and SM Levon Altounian, before being stopped by Vucic in the final round.
David Kerman scored 5 1/2-1 1/2 to earn the best under-2300 prize. The top experts were Joseph Blitzstein, Gordon Brooks, WIM Ivona Jezierska, Richard Mattern and Ike Miller, all at 4 1/2-2 1/2. Michael Carr, Fred Parks, Gene Rubin and Jaime Salanga scored 4-3 to tie for best in Class A.
Todd Adams and Brian Havey led the Amateur (under-1800) section with 6-1 scores. Havey, a rapidly improving 11-year-old, was ranked 52nd in the field of 70 players. Sterling Conway-Jones scored 5 1/2-1 1/2 to take the first under-1600 prize. Alvin Anol, Brian Chinnock and Miguel Lee, each 3 1/2-3 1/2, split the under-1400 prizes. Best unrated was Reuel Apon, 4 1/2-2 1/2.
Director Randy Hough fretted over the low number of pre-tournament entrants, but the final count of 153 players enabled the tournament to pay all of its expenses and the $5,000 prize fund. For the 36th consecutive year, the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club sponsored the tournament.
The Southern California State Championship, an eight-player invitational tournament, continues today at the Rancho Senior Center, 3 Sandburg Way in Irvine. Chess fans are invited to watch the games for free. Rounds begin at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. this weekend and next Saturday, and at 10 a.m. next Sunday.