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Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984-85
The Aborted Match

From the age of 12, the chess genius from Azerbaijan Garry Kasparov was setting new standards. After becoming the youngest player to win the USSR Junior Championship he went on to win the World Junior Championship at age 16. His style was aggressive and dynamic. On his seventeenth birthday he achieved the grandmaster title.

After defeating Beliavsky, Korchnoi, and Smyslov in the candidates matches, Kasparov earned the right to challenge Anatoly Karpov for the title. The match was held in Moscow. Once again, the format was the first to 6 wins, draws not counting.

 Karpov vs Kasparov
 Karpov and Kasparov, 1984
Karpov secured quick lead in the match, winning games 3, 6, 7, and 9 to establish a dominating score of 4-0. However, due an incredible series of draws, it wasn't until game 27 when Karpov claimed his 5th point. With the score 5-0, Karpov's victory appeared imminent, but this marathon struggle was outlasting everybody's expectations. Finally, on the 32nd game, Kasparov beat Karpov for the first time. After another long series of draws, Kasparov won game 47 and game 48, making the score 5 to 3.

At this stage, FIDE President Florencio Campomanes made a most unexpected and controversial decision: he called the match off.

At the press conference at which he announced his decision, Campomanes cited the health of the two players, which had been put under strain by the length of the match, despite that both Karpov and Kasparov stated that they would prefer the match to continue. Karpov had lost 10kg (22lb) over the course of the match. Kasparov, however, was in excellent health and extremely resentful of Campomanes' decision, asking him why he was abandoning the match if both players wanted to continue. It would appear that Kasparov, who had won the last two games before the suspension, felt the same way as some commentators: that he was now the favorite to win the match despite his 5-3 deficit. He appeared to be physically stronger than his opponent, and in the later games seemed to have been playing the better chess.[1]

The match lasted from September 10, 1984 to February 8, 1985. It was aborted after 48 games, making Karpov the de facto winner. A new match was scheduled to take place later in 1985.

click on a game number to replay game 1234567891011121314151617181920
Kasparov½½0½½00½0½½½½½½½½½½½
Karpov½½1½½11½1½½½½½½½½½½½

click on a game number to replay game 2122232425262728293031323334353637383940
Kasparov½½½½½½0½½½½1½½½½½½½½
Karpov½½½½½½1½½½½0½½½½½½½½

click on a game number to replay game 4142434445464748
Kasparov½½½½½½11
Karpov½½½½½½00

FINAL SCORE:  Karpov 5;  Kasparov 3 (40 draws)
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Karpov-Kasparov 1984/5]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #9     Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984     1-0
    · Game #6     Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984     0-1
    · Game #27     Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984     1-0

FOOTNOTES

  1. Garry Kasparov from Wikipedia.com

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 48  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½361984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
2. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½471984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE17 Queen's Indian
3. Karpov vs Kasparov 1-0311984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchB44 Sicilian
4. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½441984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE15 Queen's Indian
5. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½211984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchB83 Sicilian
6. Kasparov vs Karpov 0-1701984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE15 Queen's Indian
7. Karpov vs Kasparov 1-0441984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½201984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
9. Karpov vs Kasparov 1-0701984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½151984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE12 Queen's Indian
11. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½411984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchA15 English
12. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½211984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
13. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½331984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchA15 English
14. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½161984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE15 Queen's Indian
15. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½931984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE15 Queen's Indian
16. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½371984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE15 Queen's Indian
17. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½231984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
18. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½251984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE15 Queen's Indian
19. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½511984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½191984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchA15 English
21. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½341984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½251984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
23. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½221984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½171984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchA33 English, Symmetrical
25. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½221984Karpov - Kasparov World Championship MatchD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 48  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 31 OF 31 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: <Why did they not just give a break and restart this match after a month or so?>

That would clearly have favoured Karpov, since he was exhausted and had just lost two games. Having an entirely new match is preferable because it's not clear who that favours.

Sep-18-17  Howard: Not only that, 48 games was just too damn long, as it was. Terminating the match was almost undoubtedly the right thing to do. Suspending the match for a month or so, probably wouldn't have served much purpose.

Look at this way--let's say Karpov won the 52nd game (after three draws), and thus "won" the match 6-3.....with 43 draws, too. Would a three-point margin over 52 games really prove that Karpov was the "better" player ? Hardly !

Sep-18-17  nok: Suspension was considered among other solutions, already in January, but didn't solve the venue problem. Kasparov and Keene offered to start again at 0-0 in London.
Sep-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: <Howard>

The irony wants that K and K played 120 games for the world title.

16-16 and 88 draws.

Nice figures, I have to admit :)

Sep-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Nice figures, I have to admit :)>

But not accurate. They actually played 144 games for the title, and the score was +21-19=104 in Kasparov's favor.

Sep-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: <Petrosianic>

You are right; I missed the second '85 match.

Sep-18-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It was a purely financial decision. FIDÉ was paying a fortune in hotel and venue costs. The venue had already been changed to somewhere cheaper.

Neither player was particularly tired. 48 games in 5 months is not unusual for an active GM, and most of those were very short draws.

I'd like to know where the statement that Karpov had lost 10kg comes from. Is that another Chess Life & Review-necdote?

Sep-18-17  Arconax: This I did not know, <offpamp>.
Sep-19-17  Strelets: <offramp> makes a good point. There were a lot of short draws in this first, unlimited K-K match. 22 of the 48 games were draws of 25 moves or less and I don't think it's disputable that both players produced better chess in the second (Moscow 1985) and third (London/Leningrad 1986) matches, conducted after FIDE had abolished the first to win six with draws not counting rule.
Sep-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <offramp: It was a purely financial decision. FIDÉ was paying a fortune in hotel and venue costs. The venue had already been changed to somewhere cheaper.>

Baloney.

Sep-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: It was Campomanes who came up with the health issues. According to wiki
Sep-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <offramp: It was a purely financial decision. FIDÉ was paying a fortune in hotel and venue costs. The venue had already been changed to somewhere cheaper.>

That may be true, but it's not what Campomanes said. He cited only the health issues, and the fact that neither player was able to continue (even though neither player was making that claim, and Campomanes was not a doctor.)

If he'd cancelled it after Game 46 on the grounds that it was going nowhere and had become an organizational nightmare, only Karpov would have complained. But cancelling it because it's going nowhere right at the moment that it's going somewhere would have sounded phony (and been phony).

Sep-19-17  Howard: Yes, I never understand why Campo cancelled the match at the time he did---that is, after Kasparov had just won two straight games. Did he underestimate the flak that would almost inevitably occur?

He probably should have waited another, say, another 4-5 games before deciding to cancel. If those next several games had been draws, then Kasparov's two wins probably would have looked like a fluke, and thus calling off the match probably wouldn't have looked so suspicious.

Not only that, if Karpov had managed to win a sixth game during that, say, Game 49-52 stretch, then Campos would obviously have not had to make any decision !

Just seemed that Campos picked a very "sensitive" moment to terminate the contest.

Sep-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Hmm.. I guess they didn't cancel it in one day.

Maybe Karpov suspected something and it affected his play.

Pure peculation but I heard Soviet officials complaining about the use of the (national) building for too long.

So I guess, also considering the state the Soviet Union was in, there must have been rumours about the upcoming cancellation.

Sep-19-17  Everett: As I said above, it's only the nature of the match length that stopped Karpov here. The fact that it is Fischer's idiocy that suggested this format in the first place adds extra irony to it all.
Sep-19-17  nok: <He probably should have waited another, say, another 4-5 games before deciding to cancel.>

He did propose to play eight more games. Kasparov refused, preferring that the match be stopped immediately. This was before the last game. Anyway, the players knew game 48 might be the last.

Sep-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Probably posted before:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

Sep-19-17  Howard: Yes, now I remember. It was suggested that the match continue for a limited number of additional games, but Kasparov objected.
Sep-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: He'd have been foolish to accept. If there were, say 8 games left, Karpov could go all out for a win, knowing that it could blow up in his face twice without repercussion.
Sep-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Lim Kok Ann wrote, in early 1986,

<"Campomanes states that at first (in December) only the suspension of [this match] was considered, as a solution to the impasse – the players objected to <change of playing hall> 'against regulations'; the organizing committee’s lease on the Hall of Columns had long lapsed, and the hall was required for funerals, inter alia ...
Apparently Kasparov remarked that instead of a suspension he would prefer the match be terminated. This rash remark first put the idea to Campo that termination could be a solution...">

Sep-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Petrosianic: <offramp: It was a purely financial decision. FIDÉ was paying a fortune in hotel and venue costs. The venue had already been changed to somewhere cheaper.> That may be true, but it's not what Campomanes said. He cited only the health issues, and the fact that neither player was able to continue (even though neither player was making that claim, and Campomanes was not a doctor.)...>

He would, wouldn't he? When a company is about to go bankrupt the CEO comes on telly and says that the responsibility lies with interest rates, market corrections, crop failure in Tashkent, Hurricane Irma - anything except "Our business system has proved a total failure."

Sep-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Whoa I guess my memory is not that bad. But I can find nothing about Karpov's weight loss. Although I remember that as well.

I mean... didn't he eat enough?

Sep-20-17  nok: Iirc that's some crapola that appeared in the British press. (When Keene is around, beware.) At the end the players may have been more tired by the negotiations than anything else.
Sep-20-17  Howard: As far as Karpov's "weight loss" he was reported to have lost weight during his near-marathon 1978 match with Korchnoi. Inside Chess, in fact, mentioned it in a 1991 issue.
Sep-20-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: That's because they were serving him yoghurt during the game. If Yoghurtgate had been Pork Rind Gate, Karpov would have gained.
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