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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CHESS: Khalifman, Kasparov End in Draw




LINARES, Spain -- World No. 1 Garry Kasparov fought out a tough draw against official world champion Alexander Khalifman as the two Russians clashed in the second round of the elite Grandmaster tournament in Linares on Tuesday.


Kasparov, playing the black pieces, took the initiative early in the game with a profound sacrifice of rook for bishop but Khalifman found a counter-sacrifice to hang on to the draw after 29 moves and almost four hours' play.


The game, the first between rival world champions in four years, ended in a draw by repetition and a clearly disappointed Kasparov left the board without a word to his opponent or the press.


Khalifman was clearly relieved to have escaped defeat. "At some moment [in the game] it was hard to even dream about this result," Khalifman admitted. "Nobody can say I wasn't playing for a win, but [Kasparov] is so damn good in these dynamic positions."


Kasparov, 36, broke away from the World Chess Federation, or FIDE, in 1993 and still claims to be the true world champion while Khalifman, 34 and ranked outside the world's top 30, caused a major upset by capturing the official FIDE world title in Las Vegas in 1999.


Kasparov has been the world's highest-ranked player for the past decade but has not defended the world title he has claimed since 1995.