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  WCC Overview
 
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Karpov vs Kasparov Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990
New York and Lyons

The 1990 WCC match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov was held from October 8 to December 30. The match locale was split, with the first 12 games played in New York, USA, and the final 12 in Lyons, France. The prize fund was three million dollars, with 5/8 going to the winner. In case of a tie, the prize fund would be shared equally with Kasparov retaining the title.

Unlike the 1987 WCC cycle in which Karpov was seeded directly into the final candidate match, this time he was only reserved a spot in the quarter finals, and thus had to win three mini-matches in order to face Kasparov. This he accomplished by defeating Johan Hjartason 3½ to 1½, Artur Yusupov 4½ to 3½ and Jan Timman 6½ to 2½.

Perhaps as a psychological ploy, Karpov suggested a last minute change to the rules in the pre-match press conference. Karpov argued that since the results of their last two matches had been so close, that they should continue play, should they become locked in a 12-12 tie. Kasparov received this suggestion with a look of incredulity. "Mr. Karpov is the challenger," he said, "and he must win the match."[1]

Leaving New York, the score was tied 6-6 (with one win apiece), but Kasparov turned up the heat in France. The New York Times reported:

Chess experts said Mr. Kasparov had lost confidence and grown nervous in New York after he had squandered the early lead in some games when he moved too fast to put his opponent away. Mr. Kasparov picked up steam, however, in Lyons. The match was tied at 8½ points each after 17 games, but Mr. Kasparov left his opponent almost hopelessly behind by winning the 18th and 20th games.[2]
With a final score of 12½ to 11½, Garry Kasparov retained the title of World Chess Champion.

click on a game number to replay game 123456789101112131415161718192021222324
Kasparov½1½½½½0½½½½½½½½101½1½½0½
Karpov½0½½½½1½½½½½½½½010½0½½1½

FINAL SCORE:  Kasparov 12½;  Karpov 11½
Reference: game collection Kasparov-Karpov 1990 WCC

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #20     Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990     1-0
    · Game #2     Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990     1-0
    · Game #16     Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990     1-0

FOOTNOTES

  1. Kasparov and Karpov Anticipate a Chess War, New York Times, Oct. 3, 1990.
    2 With a Draw, Kasparov Keeps Title, New York Times, Dec 27, 1990.

 page 1 of 1; 24 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½30 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE81 King's Indian, Samisch
2. Kasparov vs Karpov 1-044 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
3. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½53 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE92 King's Indian
4. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½41 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
5. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½36 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE92 King's Indian
6. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½42 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. Karpov vs Kasparov 1-044 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE92 King's Indian
8. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½84 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
9. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½34 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchD85 Grunfeld
10. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½18 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
11. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½24 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE92 King's Indian
12. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½37 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
13. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½42 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchD85 Grunfeld
14. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½41 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC45 Scotch Game
15. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½33 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchD85 Grunfeld
16. Kasparov vs Karpov 1-0102 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC45 Scotch Game
17. Karpov vs Kasparov 1-040 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchD85 Grunfeld
18. Kasparov vs Karpov 1-057 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½39 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE92 King's Indian
20. Kasparov vs Karpov 1-041 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. Karpov vs Kasparov ½-½86 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
22. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½43 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
23. Karpov vs Kasparov 1-029 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchE87 King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox
24. Kasparov vs Karpov ½-½36 1990 Kasparov - Karpov World Championship MatchA17 English
 page 1 of 1; 24 games  PGN Download 
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-23-08  Inf: Were computers being use by these 2 during this time? Or not?
Dec-23-08  AnalyzeThis: Not for analysis, as computers at that time were IM strength, at very best weak GM strength. But they may have used computers for database reasons.... (games and openings).
Dec-23-08  littlefermat: <Inf: Were computers being use by these 2 during this time? Or not?>

Maybe. There was a minor controversy over the outcome of this game:

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990

and relevant kibitzes:

<SetNoEscapeOn: It's really interesting that during this game, there was a great controversy over whether or not Kasparov analyzed the adjourned position with a computer. For myself, I don't see the difference between looking at an adjourned position with a computer or with seconds (other strong grandmasters).

Some people have lamented the end of adjournments but I prefer chess as a competition between two players.>

Followed by:

< Eyal:...This was pretty much the view expressed by Karpov following the match, when he said that he had the impression Kasparov was determined to adjourn the game a second time (on move 89) because he couldn't find the winning plan by himself over the board, and needed the help of his seconds (http://video.google.com/videoplay?d... at 45:40). Recently, however, Karpov has been lamenting in an interview the loss of adjournments as hurting the quality of the game...>

Dec-24-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Of course computers could be used for basic blunder-checking if nothing else.
Aug-17-09  ozmikey: <pacorrum> I just noticed that too. The first WC match without a black win in 80 years, if the database is correct!

The mid-eighties Kasparov might have tried for a win in games 15 and 19, though.

Aug-29-09  Hesam7: A 2 hour and 45 minute long video on this match with commentaries from Kasparov and Karpov: http://video.google.com/videoplay?d...
Nov-27-10  Pravitel: In the latest book Kasparov vs Karpov 1988-2009 Kasparov claims that he himself won against Karpov almost always after a great big battle where he showed his playing superiority whereas Karpov's victories came after Kasparov's blunders and were basically gifts that didn't reflect the real playing strengths.. Quite funny.

It is true that Kasparov's points came usually after a bigger fight, but this happened, because after committing some mistake(s) that led to a bad position, Karpov started to fight like a madman and seeked every change. The image of Karpov being a extremely tenacious defender is no myth, after reading this series of Karpov's and Kasparov's encounters it has become clearer than ever.

In contrast, when Kasparov commits some mistake that leads him to a equally bad position he is often unable to find the most stubborn moves. And just maybe Karpov plays more accurately with the advantage...

Dec-17-10  VladimirOo: I completely agree with Pravitel. The way Kasparov systematicaly lessens Karpov in his "Modern Chess" Series amazed me a lot. I could not find a single mark of admiration or of fair-play whenever he lost a game: always "I played wrong, it was not that he played great but because i played like a fool". On the contrary, his wins are always great clashes, titanic and epic battles where he "outplays" his opponent.

Not to mention this story about Vladimirov's spying that should excuse all his defeats (as if opening preparation should determine the game's outcome).

Jul-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: in the WCC on chessgames... why is 1990 listed as karpov-kasparov?
Dec-26-11  Everett: <Pravitel: In the latest book Kasparov vs Karpov 1988-2009 Kasparov claims that he himself won against Karpov almost always after a great big battle where he showed his playing superiority whereas Karpov's victories came after Kasparov's blunders and were basically gifts that didn't reflect the real playing strengths.. Quite funny.>

This line of thinking by Kasparov may be a necessary fiction that helped his success. He took perhaps extreme responsibility for his wins and losses, stemming from his huge ego, yet resulting in the greatest career of any chess player ever.

Dec-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: please disregard my Jul 17 post...in regard to MGP...it seems GK does not do justice to Tal and Fischer. 2 people who often have the word genius applied to them. explaining Fischer's 6-0 score against Larsen was due to a "heat wave" in Denver was the last straw for me.
Dec-26-11  Everett: <Talisman> I've read over those parts in the book, I thought he discussed more issues involved, especially Larsen's optimism backfiring, and his chess-match character flaw of not being able to play for a draw when it was the only thing available. He also credits Fischer with being completely locked-in and focused. Are you sure those sentiments are not in the book? I may need to have my memory tested.
Dec-26-11  King Death: Larsen also said that the heat in Denver didn't agree with him. I think that we can chalk this one up to the long list of players who couldn't take a loss, learn and move on. Wasn't it Tartakower who wrote that he'd never beaten a healthy opponent? I also remember Tarrasch making some lameass excuse for getting his teeth kicked in by Lasker.
Dec-26-11  Everett: It could be that we all have to tell stories to ourselves to get through some uncomfortable times. Truth hurts!
Dec-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: <Everett> i agree they are. i was eagerly awaiting each installment and my overall reaction was dissapointment. it seemed to me he had only left handed compliments for tal and made fischer's 20-0(counting Panno) run sound like a fluke. i think that GK was too great a player to even semi have to try to put somebody else's light out to have his shine brighter.
Dec-26-11  King Death: <talisman> Kasparov was a great player, but one of the demons that drove him may have been feelings of insecurity. I'll bet if you look at the lives of great chess players or other sportsmen that many came from broken homes and/or grew up poor. The feelings of insecurity can make somebody try a hell of a lot harder than the kid down the street who has everything their way (if that person doesn't get swallowed whole first). At the same time, some can only feel better about themselves by putting others down.
May-23-13  Everett: Regarding adjournments, it is likely that players like Alekhine, Botvinnik, Fischer and Kasparov really made the most of them. These guys had fanatical work ethic. Combined with amazing practical ability OTB, they each were likely quite happy to enter an adjournment to save a draw or win the game through analysis away from the board. No wonder they were so formidable.

On the other end, other players likely benefitted less so, such as Capablanca, Bronstein, Spassky and Karpov. These players seem not so much into homework compared to simply duking it out OTB.

Sep-08-13  RedShield: Waitzkin's <Mortal Games> recounts a bizarre story from the first leg of the match.

<One afternoon, during Kasparov's last week in New York, Andrew Page received a phone call from grandmaster Ron Henley, who was one of Karpov's trainers. According to Page, Henley said that he was calling from the office of the man who produced the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and that they had come up with an idea for a promotion that would involve Garry and Anatoly going down to Atlantic City, or possibly to Las Vegas, for a month. The two grandmasters would set up shop at one of the casinos and play all comers at speed chess for a thousand dollars a game. Presumably, they would win most if not all of the games, and the money would go into a big glass cage. At the end of the month, they would play a match for the money. "This idea was totally out of context. Completely frivolous," recalls Page. After all, Garry was depressed and playing terribly, in danger of returning the world championship to Karpov. While Henley talked, Page was thinking, "This is a trap. Someone is taping this conversation. They are trying to sucker Garry into something preposterous while he is down." It seemed to Page like a trick, an elaborate distraction. Karpov would know that Garry would never agree to this stunt.

"I asked Henley, 'Does Anatoly know about this?' and he put Karpov on the line. He may actually have been on another extension the whole time. Karpov said this was a great way to see America and make a lot of money, that he and Garry could go on tour together from casino to casino. It was mind-boggling that while Kasparov and Karpov were engaged in this grim struggle, with so much at stake, Karpov was proposing this....fluff. I said to him that I would give the idea consideration and hung up. I didn't know what to think." Maybe the former world champion truly believed that there was money to be made with this Ninja Turtle producer, Page calculated. For if it were some kind of trick, Karpov wouldn't have gotten on the phone, he wouldn't have wanted to get his fingers dirty.

[...] But after one more phone call from Henley, the idea was never alluded to again.>

Sep-08-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <RedShield> Thanks for that interesting post!
Sep-08-13  RedShield: All my posts are interesting!
Sep-08-13  nok: <Karpov said this was a great way to see America and make a lot of money, that he and Garry could go on tour together from casino to casino.> Quite the businessman.
Sep-08-13  Everett: Karpov is hilarious! In the middle of a WC match! While Kasparov was busy studying chess to win the match, Karpov was busy cutting deals.
Sep-09-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <RedShield: All my posts are interesting!>

Well, this one is so so...

Apr-06-14  RedShield: Some may recall that, in addition to the $3 million prize fund, the winner would receive a Korloff-made, diamond-encrusted trophy 'in the form of two interwoven letters 'K', the value of which was estimated at one million dollars'. After the match, Kasparov announced it would be auctioned for the benefit of Armenian refugees:

<We actually met in 1990, when Kirsan was not known at all. He showed up in our room of the Azeri consulate in Moscow where we lived with my mother after we had to leave Baku, and he came up with a chess book. He wrote some sort of chess book for kids, because he is a first category player, and he wanted me to write the foreword, so that's how we met. After my match with Karpov in 1990, he actually organized this consortium of buyers to get this crown I sold and eventually distributed, about 300,000 dollars, by exchange rate at that time, 10 million rubles, I distributed it to Armenian refugees from Baku. So that's how we met.>

http://www.chessvibes.com/garry-kas...

Apr-26-14  Rookiepawn: I do not like adjourned games, that way a game between two players becomes a game between two teams, plus engines, plus... anything you can throw upon the board to solve the position and all its variants.

Just play from beginning to end.

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