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LEGENDS OF CHESS MEET TODAY FOR REMATCH

Associated Press

MADRID - Chess eminences Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov are dusting off their knights and pawns for an exhibition rematch marking the 25th anniversary of their first title bout - a grueling one that lasted five months and was eventually halted.

The two former champions will play 12 games of two kinds of speed chess starting today in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia. The four-day match is the highlight of a chess conference organized by the regional government, town hall and corporate sponsors.

Kasparov, 46, is considered by some the best player in chess history. He retired from top-level professional play in 2005, saying that after a career in which he had become chess' youngest-ever champion at age 22 and dominated the game for two decades, he had little left to achieve.

Karpov, now 58, was the reigning champion when Kasparov first challenged him in a match that started in September 1984 and spilled over into February 1985.

Over the course of 48 games, Karpov initially ran up a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 lead - victory was to go to the first player to win six games - only to see Kasparov come roaring back to 5-3. Karpov shed 22 pounds during the match, which was ultimately halted on health grounds with no winner declared, even though both players said they wanted to continue. Kasparov won a rematch in 1985, capturing his first world title.

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