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Karpov and the Cuban cause

HAVANA (CUBA): Former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov plans to participate in a Cuban attempt to break the Guinness world record for most people playing chess simultaneously.

Organisers expect some 13,000 people to show up in the city of Santa Clara in central Cuba on Thursday to play chess in homage to the revolutionary leader Ernesto `Che' Guevara. ``This will be an event not only for Cuban chess but for global chess,'' Karpov told reporters.

The current Guinness record is also held by Cubans, when 11,320 people — including Cuban President Fidel Castro — played 5,660 simultaneous games of chess at Jose Marti Revolution Square in Havana on December 7, 2002.

Karpov said Cuba has a great tradition of chess, propelled largely by the Argentine-born Guevara while he was on the island helping Castro topple the former government in the late 1950s. Karpov expressed interest in creating a chess school in Cuba like the ones he has in the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

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