Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov will meet for a rare rematch on Tuesday some 25 years after they first shook hands for a world championship and stopped speaking to each other.
Playing five hard-fought, controversial and at times acrimonious matches for the world title strained their relationship so much that two of the biggest rivals of modern chess won't exchange a word till they sit down to play in Valencia.
And just to make sure that they don't even meet by chance, Kasparov and Karpov have been put up in separate hotels for their week-long stay in the Spanish city.
Though they have met in tournaments subsequently for a game or two till Kasparov retired in 2005, this is the first exclusive one-on-one clash between the legends and is part of 'Valencia, cuna del Ajedrez Moderno' (Valencia, cradle of the modern chess) festival.
The match commemorates the silver jubilee of their first clash in 1984 which was abandoned after 46 games with Karpov leading 5-3. Kasparov won the rescheduled match in 1985 and then defeated Karpov in 1986, 1987 and 1990. In that period, they played 144 games of which Kasparov won 21, Karpov 19 with 104 ending in draws.
From Tuesday, they will play a set of 12 games, four rapid and eight blitz in a clash promoted as "The Revenge Match". Though the format is rapid (30 minutes for each player) and blitz (five minutes each), which is not their forte, and the clash is only an exhibition match, chess world expects sparks to fly. The match will be broadcast live on radio, television and the Internet and the organisers expect an audience of nearly 10 million people.