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Russian GM Anatoly Karpov opened a gigantic 4,000 chess board simultaneous match in Havana
After being presented with a silver "Hombre del Futuro" Order granted by UCI, the Russian chess star played simultaneously in 10 out of 4,069 boards set in the Oscar Niemeyer square in UCI.

For nearly 3 hours a large audience watched the 12th world chess champion consider his moves in the simultaneous exhibition match as if playing in a world class tournament.

FIDE Master Ivette Catala was one of his opponents and she confessed to having the time of her life. "The fact that I lost made no difference.
Being encouraged and praised by one of my idols was a real bonus", said Ivette.

Two hundred chess experts took part in the simultaneous exhibition match, among them Grand Masters Leinier Dominguez, Holden Hernandez, Walter Aencibia and Neuris Delgado. Well known Cuban sports stars such as boxer Felix Savon, judoka Estela Rodriguez, and former world boxing champ Teofilo Stevenson also took boards.

Karpov, 56, arrived in the Cuban capital on April 14, invited by Cuban sports officials to attend the 4th Cuban Sports Olympiads.

Activities on his agenda have included laying a wreath on the grave of Cuban former world champion in 1921-1927 Jose Raul Capablanca (1888-1942) at Colon Cemetary in Havana. Karpov also toured the International Physical Education and Sports School at San Jose de Las Lajas municipality, 30 kilometers southeast of Havana.

On Thursday Karpov will conclude his activities, including meetings with Sports Cuban Institute (INDER) officials and a visit to the Rehabilitation center for children affected by Chernobyl's nuclear accident in the former Soviet Union.

This is Karpov's second visit to Cuba. In April 2004, the chess master headed a giant 13,000 board simultaneous match at the Ernesto Che Guevara Square of Santa Clara to close the 2nd Cuban Sports Olympiads.


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