Kasparov vs Kramnik, 2000

Kasparov vs Kramnik, 2000 London, England

Although Garry Kasparov was not recognized as champion by FIDE, the rest of the chess world continued to acknowledged him as the best player. He had continued to dominate the chess tournaments while FIDE’s new system to select their champion, consisting of a single tournament of short knockout matches, offended the sensibilities of both players and fans. However, Kasparov had not played a match in 5 years, and believed that for his title to maintain its credibility, it was time to take on a new challenger. The Braingames organization was created by a group headed by Grandmaster Ray Keene specifically to organize a match for Kasparov. Whereas the champion’s challenger had since 1948 been the winner of a series of tournaments and matches, this time Kasparov’s opponent was simply picked by GM Keene. Keene writes:

I personally selected Kramnik as the most worthy and dangerous opponent to play Kasparov in 2000. We wanted the best opponent possible for Kasparov. We chose the highest rated opponent, Anand, but he refused, so we went to the next man down on the ratings, Kramnik, who, by the way, overtook Anand in the ratings while the latter was considering whether to play or not. [1]

Vladimir Kramnik, born in Tuapse, Russia exhibited great potential very early in his chess career. At only 16, he won the under-18 World Championship. He then won first prize in many top International tournaments and was unbeaten in 86 classical games over 18 months up to July 2000. The match was held in London England from October 8th to November 4th. Only 16 games were to be played, with Kasparov retaining his title in case of a tie. The purse was $2,000,000 dollars with 2/3rds going to the winner. Kramnik took an early lead by winning game 2, this was followed by 7 draws until Kramnik scored again in game 10. In the remaining games, Kasparov could not break through Kramnik’s super-solid defences, notably the Berlin Defense of the Ruy Lopez. After 15 games, with a final score of 8½ to 6½ Kasparov’s long tenure as World Champion had finally come to an end. Vladimir Kramnik’s had become the 14th World Chess Champion.


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