Defending champion Garry Kasparov conceded the seventh game of the world chess championship Saturday to challenger Anatoly Karpov, leaving the pair deadlocked in their $3 million showdown.

Kasparov - acknowledged by chess experts to be at a disadvantage in the game at the point it broke off for the night Friday - opted to resign rather than resume play, said Phyllis Arnold, spokeswoman for the championship.The championship is now tied at 3 1/2-3 1/2. A player gets one point for a victory, and each player gets a half point for a tie. Each player has now won once, with the other five games ending in draws.

The first player to reach 12 1/2 points wins the championship. Kas-parov, who dethroned Karpov in 1985, would retain his title if the match ended in a 12-12 tie.

The first 12 games are being played in New York, and the remainder will be played in Lyons, France. The winner will get $1.7 million, and the loser will get $1.3 million.

The seventh game was adjourned Friday night when Karpov wrote down his 44th move and sealed it in an envelope. If Kasparov had not conceded defeat, play would have resumed Saturday evening.