The match marked the first battle between two Soviet players for the world championship title since the 1969 Spassky-Petrosian title match. The games were played in the Hall of Columns, Trade Union House, Moscow.
At the time of the match, Karpov was 33 years old and rated 2705. Kasparov was 21 years old and rated 2715.
The first player to win six games would win the match, with no limit to the number of games. The first time control was 40 moves in 2 1/2 hours followed by 16 moves in 1 hour.
Karpov's seconds were I. Zaitsev and Y. Balashov. Kasparov's trainer was Alexander Nikitin, who also served as chief second, assisted by G. Timoshenko.
Chief Arbiter was S. Gligoric, assisted by Y. Averbakh and V. Mikenas. Gligoric had also served as arbiter for the 1983 Kasparov-Korchnoi candidates semifinal match. R. Toran served as president of the appeals committee
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