Anatoly Karpov

Anatoly Karpov is an epoch in chess. He is a Russian chess grandmaster and former World Champion. I shall divide my presentation in five parts.

Part I: Early years 1951-1975

Part II: The world champion 1975-1985

Part III: Battles with Kasparov 1986-1993

Part IV: The king of FIDE 1993-1999

Part V: The later career 1999-2012

Early years 1951-1975

Anatolij Evgen'evic Karpov was born May 23, 1951 at Zlatoust in the Urals region of the former Soviet Union. He learned to play chess at the age of four. He became a Candidate Master by age eleven. At twelve, he was accepted into Mikhail Botvinnik's prestigious chess school. He became the youngest Soviet National Master in history at fifteen in 1966. In 1967, he won the annual European Junior Championship at Groningen. In 1969, Karpov won the World Junior Chess Championship, scoring an undefeated 10/11 in the finals at Stockholm. In 1970, he tied for fourth place at an international tournament in Caracas, Venezuela, and was awarded the grandmaster title. He won the 1971 Alekhine Memorial in Moscow (equal with Leonid Stein), ahead of a star-studded field, for his first significant adult victory. His Elo rating shot from 2540 in 1971 to 2660 in 1973, when he shared second in the USSR Chess Championship, and finished equal first with Viktor Korchnoi in the Leningrad Interzonal Tournament, with the latter success qualifying him for the 1974 Candidates Matches, which would determine the challenger of the reigning world champion, Bobby Fischer. Candidate Karpov defeated Lev Polugaevsky by the score of +3 =5 in the first Candidates' match, earning the right to face former champion Boris Spassky in the semifinal round. Spassky won the first game as Black in good style, but tenacious, aggressive play from Karpov secured him overall victory by (+4 -1 =6). The Candidates' final was played in Moscow with Viktor Korchnoi. Karpov won with the score (+3 -2 =19). Karpov become world champion after Fischer refused to play.

Part II: The world champion 1975-1985

Determined to prove himself a legitimate champion, Karpov participated in nearly every major tournament for the next ten years. He convincingly won the very strong Milan tournament in 1975, and captured his first of three Soviet titles in 1976. In 1978, Karpov's first title defence was against Viktor Korchnoi, the opponent he had defeated in the 1973-75 Candidates' cycle; the match was played at Baguio in the Philippines, with the winner needing six victories. In the end Karpov won by the score +6 -5 =21. Three years later Korchnoi re-emerged as the Candidates' winner to challenge Karpov in Meran, Italy. This match was won handily by Karpov, the score being (11-7, +6 -2 =10). Karpov had cemented his position as the world's best player and world champion by the time Garry Kasparov arrived on the scene.

Part III: Battles with Kasparov 1986-1993

He was the official world champion from 1975 to 1985 when he was defeated by Garry Kasparov. He played three matches against Kasparov for the title from 1986 to 1990. In their first match, the World Chess Championship 1984, held in Moscow, with the victor again being the first to win six games outright. Match was terminated after the game 48 with a score +5 -3 =40 for Karpov. A rematch was set for later in 1985, also in Moscow. The events of the so-called Marathon match forced FIDE to return to the previous format, a match limited to 24 games (with Karpov remaining champion if the match should finish 12-12). In a hard-fought match, Karpov had to win the final game to draw the match and retain his title, but wound up losing, thus surrendering the title to his opponent. The final score was 11-13 (+3 -5 =16), in favor of Kasparov. Karpov remained a formidable opponent (and the world #2) until the early 1990s. He fought Kasparov in three more world championship matches in 1986 (held in London and Leningrad), 1987 (held in Seville), and 1990 (held in New York City and Lyon). All three matches were extremely close: the scores were 11 to 12 (+4 -5 =15), 12 to 12 (+4 -4 =16), and 11 to 12 (+3 -4 =17). In all three matches, Karpov had winning chances up to the very last games. In their five world championship matches, Karpov scored 19 wins, 21 losses, and 104 draws in 144 games.

Part IV: King of FIDE 1993-1999

Karpov became FIDE World Champion once again after Kasparov broke away from FIDE in 1993. The high point of KarpovĀ“s tournament career was 1994 Linares chess tournament. The field, in eventual finishing order, was Karpov, Kasparov, Shirov, Bareev, Kramnik, Lautier, Anand, Kamsky, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Illescas, Judit Polgar, and Beliavsky. Karpov played the best tournament of his life. He was undefeated and earned 11 points out of 13 possible finishing 2 points ahead of second-place Kasparov and Shirov. Karpov defended his FIDE title against Gata Kamsky (+6 -3 =9) in 1996. Karpov again successfully defended his FIDE title against Anand in 1998. He held the title until 1999, when he resigned his title in protest against FIDE's new world championship rules.

Part V: The later career 1999-2012

For his decades-long standing among the world's elite, Karpov is considered one of the greatest players of all time. His tournament successes include over 160 first-place finishes. He had a peak Elo rating of 2780, and his 90 total months at world number one is second all-time behind only Garry Kasparov. Since 2005, he has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia.

In the September 2009 FIDE rating list, he dropped out of the world's Top 100 for the first time. Karpov usually limits his play to exhibition events, and has revamped his style to specialize in rapid chess. In 2002 he won a match against Kasparov, defeating him in a rapid time control match 2-1. In 2006, he tied for first with Kasparov in a blitz tournament, ahead of Korchnoi and Judit Polgr. Karpov and Kasparov played a mixed 12-game match from September 21-24, 2009, in Valencia, Spain. Kasparov won the match 9-3. In March 2010 Karpov announced that he would be a candidate for the presidency of FIDE. The election took place in September 2010 at the 39th Chess Olympiad. However, on September 29, 2010, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was reelected as President of FIDE, winning the election by 95 votes to 55.

  • Anatoli Karpov
  • Anatoli Karpov ja Garry Kasparov
  • Anatoli Karpov ja Garry Kasparov
  • Anatoli Karpov
  • Anatoli Karpov ja Viktor Korshnoj Baguion ottelussa
  • Garri Kasparov ja Anatoli Karpov
  • Anatoli Karpov
  • Anatoli Karpov

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