Kasparov plays at the Karpov fundraiser!

Last week, on Wednesday the 8th of September, in London there was a unique event. The Staunton Memorial Dinner of 2010 was a fundraising event for the Anatoly Karpov campaign in his quest to be president of FIDE.

The meal took place at Simpson's in the strand, apparently the venue of the 1851 Immortel game.

It's only a month until the FIDE elections and there are two candidates for President: the incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the Challenger, World Champion Anatoly Karpov.

On many sites there has been some discussions about the bad blood between the candidates, and various comments about the political manoeuvring involved. No doubt we will come back to this closer to the time, but for the moment I prefer to concentrate on what went on last Wednesday!

There was a special featured event at the dinner, a (so-called) Grandmaster Consultation game (although this was not really an appropriate name, as half the players weren't GMs and the moves were chosen alternately rather than by consultation which was forbidden!). One hour per team, Nigel Short (2690) and Rajko Vujatovic (2222) playing alternate moves against Garry Kasparov (a retired 2800+!) and Jon Crumiller (no Elo rating).

Such novelty games were more common in the first half of the twentieth century and are a great idea to entertain all and sundry at chess events. It would be ideal if these occured more often, for example between the last round and the prize-giving when there is often nothing to do for an hour or so. Organizers take note!

Of course Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short have met before in London, but perhaps not after having dinner together!

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