The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rest master mighty Russians

Moscow: Powered by a brilliant performance by Spaniard Alexei Shirov, the Rest of the World team recorded an emphatic 52-48 victory over Russia in the Match of the New Century that concluded late on Tuesday.

After another 5-5 draw — the fourth in the match — the world team tallied a commendable 52 points out of a possible hundred against Russia’s 48 to win by four points.

The world team’s achievement is excellent given the fact that they started as underdogs against the mighty Russians who had boasted of having three former world champions in their ranks — Garri Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov and Alexander Khalifman — besides BrainGames match-winner Vladimir Kramnik.

This is the first time that the Russians lost in such a match in three events so far. In the inaugural year, the erstwhile Soviet Union won by 20.5-19.5 in Belgrade in 1970 and the next time they did even better winning 21-19 in London in 1984.

Starting the day on a nice cushion, former world champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw against Kramnik with the black pieces.

Kasparov, who clearly struggled with his form here right through the match, failed to improve his points tally substantially and had to be content with draws in the last two games against youngest world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine and Anand. Kasparov scored just one victory, besides three losses. (PTI)

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