When Garry Kasparov sat down to play his old rival Anatoly Karpov in Valencia last night, more than 100 journalists turned up to witness two chess giants stepping back into the ring.

Twenty five years after Kasparov and Karpov had fought the first of an epic series of five world championship contests, the first lasting five months, the great rivals were at it again. Yet no one seemed to wonder why the Valencia matches between the two Russians would last just three days.