The world chess championship match in Moscow reached its midpoint with a game that almost amounted to a day of rest for both players. In game 12 of the series, which is limited to 24 games, champion Anatoly Karpov and challenger Gary Kasparov played an 18-move draw that put no significant strain on either of them. The match score at midpoint is tied 6-6, with two victories for each player and eight draws. In spite of the even score, Karpov enjoys a slight advantage; he retains his title if the score remains even after 24 games.
The shortest game of the match, this one featured the Taimanov Variation of the Sicilian Defense. Its only notable feature was an innovative pawn sacrifice by Kasparov, beginning with his eighth move, that secured him equality early in the game and made Karpov use a lot of his time working out a response. But it did not significantly enliven a balanced, static game with few creative developments. White Black Karpov Kasparov 1. e4c5 2. Nf3e6 3. d4cxd4 4. Nxd4Nc6 5. Nb5d6 6. c4Nf6 7. N1c3a6 8. Na3d5 9. exd5exd5 10. cxd5Nb4 11. Bc4Bg4 12. Be2Bxe2 13. Qxe2chQe7 14. Be3Nbxd5 15. Nc2Nxe3 16. Nxe3Qe6 17. 0-0Bc5 18. Rfe10-0 Draw agreed