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Western Cape
Mar 22 2012 10:29AM
 
Chess legend to play local stars
YOUR MOVE: One of the the greatest chess players of all time, Garry Kasparov, meets up with Western Cape president of Chess SA, Eldo Smart.
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Nadine Ford-Kritzinger

Cape Town yesterday welcomed former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who will be playing simultaneous chess matches on his visit to the city which includes a game on Table Mountain.

The chess grandmaster, writer and political activist are scheduled to play simultaneous chess matches against 25 opponents, aged 12 to 39.

The city’s mayoral committee member for community services, Councillor Tandeka Gqada, yesterday said: “It is indeed a pleasure to have one of the great chess legends visiting our shores and this event will surely promote the game of chess in our communities and raise playing standards.

“Kasparov’s visit once again proves that Cape Town is highly regarded by international icons and as a caring city. We wish him well in his game at OR Tambo Indoor Sports Centre as well as an enjoyable stay in our city,” she said.

Kasparov is widely regarded as one of the greatest chess player of all time. He became the youngest ever undisputed world chess champion in 1985 at the age of 22 and held the official World Chess Federation world title until 1993.

He is also widely known for controversially losing a chess match to the Deep Blue computer in 1997, under standard time controls.

The Elo rating system – a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players – rated the Russian player as the World’s No1 player almost continuously from 1986 – until his retirement in 2005.

He ruled the chess world for 255 months in a row, nearly three times as long as his closest rival, Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov also holds records for consecutive tournament victories and for his number of chess awards.

The Western Cape president of Chess South Africa, Eldo Smart, yesterday said: “I met with the grandmaster in Gauteng in November last year and it was a great experience and honour because I had the opportunity to play against him, even though I lost. “We are excited about having him here; it’s an honour for everyone to meet him.”

Smart and 10 other executives from Chess South Africa will be present at the event tomorrow, where more than 200 school chess teams and spectators are expected. Chess South Africa also invites the public to attend the game between Kasparov and Moves for Life ambassador, the U16 South African champion, Marcel Roberts, on Table Mountain today at 6pm.

nadinef@thenewage.co.za

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