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Karpov Defeats Timman in 36 Moves in Opening World Chess Match

March 8, 1990

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Anatoli Karpov defeated Jan Timman in 36 moves Thursday to win the opening game of their World Chess Candidates Final Match.

The 12-game series, with the winner being the first player to score 6 1/2 points, is to run until April 8.

The winner of this match will meet Garri Kasparov in Lyon, France, to decide the world championship.

The match caries a total prize of $150,000, with the winner receiving $93,750, and the loser the balance.

Karpov, of the Soviet Union, handled the Black side of the Ruy Lopez Igor Zaisetv variation with such ease that Timman, of The Netherlands, stopped the clock after 36 moves to avoid being checkmated with a Queen- Bishop combination.

The game opened slowly with both players following a popular line in the Spanish system. Karpov went into the above variation with Bb7 and later introduced a novelty seven moves later.

According to a grandmaster present at the Malaysia match, Timman missed a chance to equalize when he moved his Queen to the g4 square. He could have taken the Pawn on d5 but instead went for a Bishop pair retention that proved to be insufficient compensation.

If the score is tied after 12 games, two further games will be played. If these fail to resolve the tie, two more games will be played. If this again fails to resolve the tie, a series of sudden-death games at faster time limits will decide the match.

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