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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super chess champions on a super speed express

Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Guess what two super chess champions did on a super-speed express? Play chess of course. Reigning World Champion Viswanathan Anand played two games against former World Champion Anatoly Karpov on Tuesday. Then the two took on 11 players each in simultaneous matches. The entire event took place on a high-speed Spanish train en route from Madrid to Valencia.

These trains, which run at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) on dedicated tracks, are called AVE, which stands for Alta Velocidad Española. The name is literally translated from Spanish as "High Speed Spanish", but also a play on the word ave, meaning "bird". Marginally cleverer than the French version, which was christened "Train with the Great Speed" ("Train à Grande Vitesse"). 

The first game was played in the arrival hall of Madrid's Puerta de Atocha station.

The two then boarded the AVE and travelled to Valencia, playing a simultaneous 
exhibition against nine opponents on the train.

At the Joaquin Sorolla station in Valencia each picked a player from the simul for a game they played against each other. The two amateurs, César Estrada and Emilio Cuevas, were allowed to ask their mentors for advice during the game.Then Anand and Karpov played a second game, which also ended in a draw. Anand said that the 95-minute journey from Madrid to Valencia was perfect for a game of chess.

You can find a very nice video interview and the games at this report.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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