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Game 6: Another day, another draw

Published Oct. 18, 2005

Game 6 of the world chess championship ended Thursday when challenger Anatoly Karpov accepted titlist Gary Kasparov's offer of a draw. The players decided not to finish the game, which was adjourned Wednesday after Kasparov wrote down and sealed his 42nd move, attacking Karpov's queen.

Karpov could easily move his queen out of the firing line. And while white's pieces had infiltrated the enemy camp by game's end, Karpov was a pawn ahead. Kasparov's assistants presumably could not find a way to win, so the champion offered a draw Thursday morning and Karpov accepted a few hours later.

The way these offers are made and accepted or rejected, incidentally, is not the most convivial of procedures.

Kasparov's intentions were transmitted by a member of his delegation to the chief arbiter, Geurt Gijssen of the Netherlands. Gijssen then telephoned Karpov's team members to inform them of the offer. Lajos Portisch, a member of the challenger's entourage, called the arbiter to accept, and that was followed by a letter formalizing the matter.

The routine is not unusual in title matches, but for the two Soviets in this match _ known to loathe one another _ it must be a particular blessing.

Game 6

White: Kasparov

Black: Karpov

Opening: Ruy Lopez

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nd7 10. d4 Bf6 11. a4 Bb7 12. axb5 axb5 13. Rxa8 Qxa8 14. d5 Na5 15. Bc2 Nc4 16. b3 Ncb6 17. Na3 Ba6 18. Nh2 c6 19. dxc6 Qxc6 20. Bd2 Be7 21. Ng4 Ra8 22. Ne3 Nf6 23. Nf5 Bf8 24. Bg5 Nbd7 25. c4 bxc4 26. bxc4 Bxc4 27. Nxc4 Qxc4 28. Bb3 Qc3 29. Kh2 h6 30. Bxf6 Nxf6 31. Re3 Qc7 32. Rf3 Kh7 33. Ne3 Qe7 34. Nd5 Nxd5 35. Bxd5 Ra7 36. Qb3 f6 37. Qb8 g6 38. Rc3 h5 39. g4 Kh6 40. gxh5 Kxh5 41. Rc8 Bg7 42. Re8 Draw agreed.

Chess master Bruce Pandolfini said Kasparov's sealed move allows Karpov either to trade queens or activate his own queen.

Kasparov leads the best-of-24 match 3{ to 2{. He won Game 2 and the other five games have been drawn. A draw counts a half-point for each player; a win is worth one point. Game 7 is scheduled for today.