The reigning champion struggled against the challenger in Game 6 of the match when the resilient Petroff Defence proved to be a shrewd choice of opening. The champion eventually held a draw in a difficult endgame after a period of uncomfortable pressure.
Fast forward 32 years...I had already been to the only other two title matches to be held in London (Kasparov - Short 1993 and Kasparov - Kramnik 2000) and this time I was all set to return to witness chess at the highest level, with the latest World Championship match between champion Magnus Carlsen and his challenger, Fabiano Caruana. For the first time, I was able to bring a group of CSC Teesside juniors along for the chess trip of a lifetime.
CSC became involved in this match comparatively late in the day but when tickets were offered I didn't need to think twice. There was a lot to organise in a very short period of time (selections, permissions, paperwork, trains, maps...) and a lot of time and effort was put in by Mr Bethell and the excellent staff at Ings Farm Primary School, ensuring the expedition moved from being a possibility to a reality.
|Here we go!|
|Al fresco lunch at King's Cross|
|Two stops on the Piccadilly Line|
|The famous Lola!|
|Anyone for a game of sardines?|
|It was only a matter of time!|
|Wristbands on - we are ready for action!|
We were given a guided tour of the building by Tereza and even got to stand by the very board Carlsen and Caruana would soon be using.
The children enjoyed a great chess lesson presented by my excellent friend, Nevil.
Tereza, who was instrumental in making our dream day come true, presented the children with the Junior Programme for the event.
Then it was time to enter the playing hall, to see the world's top two players in action.
|Kay Burley of Sky News makes the ceremonial opening move|
|A handshake starts the game|
|The Petroff Defence by Caruana!|
|Caruana: Cool and composed|
|Carlsen: Can he find a way to pressure the Petroff?|
|Judit Polgar - highest chess-rated woman in history - commentating on the game|
|CSC Teesside analysing the game in progress|
After a fabulous day at the match it was time to start the long journey home. Well, after a bite to eat, that is. My Pret a Manger plan was heavily outvoted by the trip to McDonalds. More fries, anyone...?
|CSC Teesside, analysing the contents of a McDonalds meal bag|
|21.54 - Darlington to Redcar East - the last leg of the journey|
To come full circle and to sum up the game, consider this paragraph...
The reigning champion, struggled against the challenger in Game 6 of the match when the resilient Petroff Defence proved to be a shrewd choice of opening. The champion eventually held a draw in a difficult endgame after a period of uncomfortable pressure.
...which is exactly how this blog started, when I summed up the game from 1986. A strange coincidence.
Thank you very much to:
Tereza, Nevil and everyone else at CSC who helped to create this marvellous opportunity.
Mrs Hollifield and the rest of the Ings Farm staff who pulled out all the stops at very short notice.
Hannah, Jacob, Naomi and Lola. I simply could not be more proud of you and they way in which you represented the whole of Teesside.