Chess legend Anatoly Karpov is set to return in Baguio City in November this year where the Soviet loyalist World Champion defeated fellow Russian grandmaster and Soviet defector Viktor Korchnoi 43 years ago for the chess world's highest title in one of the most controversial and tension-packed championship matches of all time.
Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov was the 12th World Champion (1975-1985) and is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time. He was the highest-rated player in the world for over 100 months (a feat only bested by Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen) and reclaimed his FIDE world champion title from 1993-1999.
The Russian Embassy in the Philippines and the Baguio City government led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong are eyeing to have the 69-year-old chess legend Karpov in the country in November for a nostalgic tour of the historic Baguio Convention Center.
Mayor Magalong said he has already sent a formal invitation to Karpov, who is now a member of Russia's Civic Chamber.
"Minister Karpov plans to play chess there (convention center) and had asked to visit on Nov. 4," Magalong told reporters.
Baguio's Eugene Torre, Asia's first Grandmaster, also said that having former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov as Baguio City's special guest will revive the popularity of chess in the country.
Torre believes Karpov's visit would remind the younger generation and encourage aspiring chess players that one of the most epic battles in World Chess Championship history has been fought in the country.
The 1978 World Chess Championship was played between Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi which lasted more than four months from July 18 to October 18, 1978, and ended after 32 games in Baguio City, Philippines. The match had many bizarre incidents and garnered global attention and controversy. Karpov won 16.5-15.5, retaining his crown.