Friday, February 24, 2006

Chess booms on Web, but who's the king?

By Brad Spurgeon International Herald Tribune

PARIS When the world No. 1, Garry Kasparov, announced last spring that he was retiring from professional chess at age 41, it marked a turning point from which the game has yet to recover.
The chess world is grappling with a paradox. Never has chess been so popular a pastime, and yet its supreme champions are almost unknown. There is sharp disagreement about who, exactly, is world champion, and the World Chess Federation, known by its French acronym, FIDE, cannot decide how best to run the sport or raise money for it.
Anatoly Karpov, a former world champion and Kasparov's long-time nemesis, was blunt last month, telling the Russian chess magazine 64: "Everybody connected with chess understands that if we allow chess to continue for another four years in its present terrible state, it will simply disappear from the face of the earth."years in its present terrible state, it will simply disappear from the face of the earth."
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