Jan. 11, 2007
LONDON – Russia and Britain clashed Thursday in a cold war with a difference — a chess game played on ice, simultaneously, in Moscow and London.
Former world champion Anatoly Karpov and British grandmaster Nigel Short battled it out using giant chess pieces carved from ice, some of them sculpted to represent famous landmarks in the two cities.
The game took place on chessboards measuring 64 square yards in Moscow’s Pushkin Square and London’s Trafalgar Square.
Live satellite links and big screens enabled each team to see and hear what the other was doing.
Karpov’s team included eight-year-old chess prodigy Kostya Savenkov while Short was assisted by a British eight-year-old, Darius Parvizi-Wayne.
Organized to mark the launch of the annual Russian Winter Festival in London, the event was billed as the world’s first international ice chess game.
Nigel Short, bounding enthusiastically around the board in Trafalgar Square, described it as a new experience.
“I’ve played chess with all kinds of pieces, including human pieces, but this is the first time on ice,” he said.
The game lasted about an hour and ended in a draw. Anatoly Karpov in Moscow said it was a good result – and a very exciting and interesting contest.