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Karpov Challenges World Chess Rule

October 2, 1998

MOSCOW (AP) _ World chess champion Anatoly Karpov threatened today to legally challenge a rule change that would oblige him to defend his title for the second time this year.

The World Chess Federation recently decided to hold its championships annually instead of every other year, as it had previously done. It intends to hold the next World Chess Championship in Las Vegas in November.

Karpov, a Russian, won the World Chess Federation title for the sixth time in a January match with India’s Viswanathan Anand.

Karpov also objected to new rules of the federation, known by its French acronym as FIDE, which would require the defending champion to defend his title in competition with numerous players, instead of against a single challenger who had won previous tournaments.

``There’s no way that I would participate under such conditions,″ Karpov said, adding that the changes would make the world championship a random and chaotic event. ``We can just as well play roulette in Las Vegas to determine a champion.″

Karpov said he would go to Russia’s southern region of Kalmykia on Saturday to try to persuade the federation’s leaders to change their mind. FIDE’s president is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a chess buff who is president of Kalmykia.

Karpov added, however, that he had little hope of succeeding and was preparing a lawsuit against FIDE in Lausanne, Switzerland, the organization’s headquarters.

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