Friday, April 29, 2005

Chess will bring Gorbachev to Kansas

Associated Press story in Friday's Wichita Eagle:

The former Soviet leader plans to visit Lindsborg this fall to pit himself against Anatoly Karpov, one-time world champion.
Associated Press

Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev has agreed to visit Lindsborg later this year to play chess against former world champion Anatoly Karpov, who has helped turn the small community into something of a chess mecca.

Lindsborg Mayor Ron Rolander extended a written invitation to Gorbachev through Karpov, who was in the town earlier this month to promote "Chess for Peace," a worldwide exchange program that will culminate there in 2006.

Karpov, who is a friend of Gorbachev, passed the invitation on to the former Soviet leader by telephone, which he accepted under two conditions: that Karpov is in Lindsborg when he visits, and that the two play a game of chess while he's there.

"I never thought it could happen," said Mikhail Korenman, director of the Karpov Chess School in Lindsborg. "It's very exciting."

Korenman was given the news Sunday after calling Karpov in Russia. No dates have been announced, other than it will be during Gorbachev's next scheduled trip to the U.S. in October or November.

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