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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Slips as Kremlin Hosts Rest of the World

Russia's top chess players struggled Sunday in the first day of a FIDE-sponsored tournament pitting them against international players collectively called "The Rest of the World," with Russia trailing 11.5-8.5 after two rounds of play.

In the first round of play at the Kremlin, the Rest of the World won three of the 10 games while Russia won one. The other games were drawn.

The highlight of the round was Garry Kasparov's loss to Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.

Ivanchuk chose one of the more obscure responses to Kasparov's favorite Najdorf Sicilian. Kasparov sacrificed a pawn and had ample compensation until he exchanged queens, after which Ivanchuk took over and drove home the full point.

"I was very short of time and couldn't calculate everything," Ivanchuk said of the end of the game.

Viswanathan Anand of India outplayed Alexander Motylev with the black pieces.

Ilia Smirin of Israel defeated former world champion Anatoly Karpov.

Russia's only victory in the first round came when Judit Polgar of Hungary blundered away a piece after being outmaneuvered by Alexander Grischuk in a long game.

In a preview of their championship match next year, Einstein world champion Vladimir Kramnik drew against his challenger, Peter Leko of Hungary. Leko had the edge with White but the game petered out into a drawn opposite-colored bishop ending.

In the second round, the Rest of the World added a point to its lead, winning three and losing two.

Anand picked up his second victory of the event against Vadim Zvjaginsev while Polgar suffered her second loss, to Sergei Rublevsky.

The youngest player in the tournament, 15-year-old Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, defeated Karpov, 51, the oldest player in the event.

The tournament is a 10-round Scheveningen system event under which each player on the Russian team will play one game against each player on the world team. This means that the tournament will likely have more matchups among the top players than any other event this year. A few months ago, it would have been inconceivable for Kasparov and Kramnik to play in a FIDE-sponsored event.

But under an agreement reached in Prague in May, Kasparov and Kramnik agreed to cooperate with FIDE and reunify the world championship, which has been divided, a la boxing, since 1993 when then-champion Kasparov broke with FIDE.