Karpov To Tour Mideast

JERUSALEM (AP) Former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov will tour the Middle East to raise money for the YMCA in the Palestinian areas, which face financial difficulties after five months of Palestinian-Israeli violence. 
Karpov will visit the West Bank and the Gaza Strip next week to study the organization's needs, his agent, Shiloh Quinn, said Tuesday.

In May, Karpov will embark on a 60-day tour of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth, with a goal of raising $5 million. Karpov plans to play 20 games, selling sponsorship of each match for $250,000, Quinn said. The YMCA provides accommodations for pilgrims and tourists to the Holy Land. It also offers cultural, social and sports facilities and vocational training for Palestinians.
Since fighting began on Sept. 28, tourists have stopped visiting Palestinian areas. The YMCA had to close its hotel in east Jerusalem, a major source of income, said the organization's director, Judeh Majaj.

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