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Karpov vs. the World Champions Decisive Games
Compiled by visayanbraindoctor
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The Romance of the Chess World Championship Match and the World Champions that won them:

There can only be Two.

The Champion to hold the Title he beat all the masters for.

The Challenger on quest for same Title of yore.

Anatoly Karpov

Anatoli Karpov, one of the greatest of World Champions in chess history, has played all the post WW2 World Champions at least a dozen times each in serious classical games except for Fischer and Botvinnik. Karpov holds the unique distinction of having played the most games against the most World Champions. He has negative scores against Kasparov and Anand; tied scores with Petrosian and Kramnik; positive scores against Smyslov, Tal, and was massively dominating against Spassky, who once complained that he could not fathom Karpov's style.

During his heyday from 1974 to 1984, Karpov so totally dominated the chessworld that tournaments that he joined essentially became fights for second place, as it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would win first even before the start.

No one in the horizon played chess close to Karpov's level then (after Fischer's retirement and before Kasparov's ascension). His puzzlingly peaceful but profoundly unbeatable brand of chess made it look like he was going to reign forever. Karpov was unlucky in the sense that the latter part of his era coincided with Kasparov's career. If Kasparov were never born, it's possible that Karpov may have been world champion until 2000, a 25 year reign. He would have been right at Lasker's ballpark.

Karpov claims that the first player that he seriously studied was Capablanca, yet many fans see in his prophylactic style a kind of more active and aggressive Petrosian. Karpov's stylistic attitude in a game seems to be to control every square of the board that he he could, while calculating every possible variations in an approximately 5 move range. This gives the impression of a prophylactic boa constricting the opponents' pieces onto their last breathe, while allowing no serious counter play.

Karpov won the Title by default from a Fischer who would not play him in 1975, and lost it to Kasparov in their second match in 1985. In their fourth match in 1987, Karpov nearly won the Title back, but lost in the very last game. Had Karpov drew or won that last game, Kasparov's superiority over him would not have been that clearly demonstrated. In the tradition of Lasker, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Smyslov, and the Almost World Champion Korchnoi, Karpov played world class chess until he was 50, and until 1999, he arguably might still have had reasonable chances of beating anybody in a World Championship Match except Kasparov.

Karpov beat Smyslov 3 to 1, with 10 draws

Karpov beat Tal 1 to 0, with 19 draws

Karpov tied Petrosian 1 to 1, with 12 draws

Karpov beat Spassky 13 to 1, with 23 draws

Kasparov beat Karpov 28 to 21, with 129 draws

Karpov tied Kramnik 2 to 2, with 9 draws

Anand beat Karpov 8 to 5, with 18 draws

Bonus: Karpov's breathtakingly beautiful positional Immortal game against Gulko

Anatoli Karpov beat Vasily Smyslov 3 to 1, with 10 draws
Smyslov vs Karpov, 1971 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 29 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Smyslov, 1972 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 42 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Smyslov, 1979 
(B15) Caro-Kann, 40 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Smyslov, 1981 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 32 moves, 1-0

Anatoli Karpov beat Mikhail Tal 1 to 0, with 19 draws
Karpov vs Tal, 1980 
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 34 moves, 1-0

Karpov tied Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian 1 to 1, with 12 draws
Petrosian vs Karpov, 1973 
(E14) Queen's Indian, 65 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Petrosian, 1982 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 42 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Spassky, 1973 
(C94) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Breyer Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Spassky, 1974 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 35 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Spassky, 1974 
(B83) Sicilian, 35 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Spassky, 1974 
(E91) King's Indian, 55 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Spassky, 1974 
(B83) Sicilian, 63 moves, 0-1

Spassky vs Karpov, 1974 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 56 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Spassky, 1975 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 44 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Spassky, 1979 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 1-0

Spassky vs Karpov, 1979 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 42 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Spassky, 1980 
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 35 moves, 1-0

Spassky vs Karpov, 1982 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 38 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Spassky, 1985 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 90 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Spassky, 1986 
(C76) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, Fianchetto Variation, 34 moves, 1-0

Spassky vs Karpov, 1988 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 22 moves, 0-1

Garry Kasparov beat Anatoli Karpov 28 to 21, with 129 draws
Karpov vs Kasparov, 1975 
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 45 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984 
(B44) Sicilian, 31 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 70 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 44 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984 
(D34) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 70 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 59 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 41 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 0-1

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 67 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 42 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 63 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 41 moves, 0-1

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 25 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 
(B44) Sicilian, 40 moves, 0-1

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 42 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 42 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 42 moves, 0-1

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 41 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1986 
(D82) Grunfeld, 4.Bf4, 32 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 48 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 41 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1986 
(D98) Grunfeld, Russian, 31 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 58 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1986 
(D97) Grunfeld, Russian, 41 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 46 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 32 moves

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 41 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1987 
(D87) Grunfeld, Exchange, 38 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987 
(A21) English, 50 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1987 
(D87) Grunfeld, Exchange, 50 moves, 0-1

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 41 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1987 
(A34) English, Symmetrical, 57 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987  
(A13) English, 64 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1988 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 63 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1988 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 39 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1988 
(D87) Grunfeld, Exchange, 38 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 44 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1990 
(E92) King's Indian, 44 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 
(C45) Scotch Game, 102 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1990 
(D85) Grunfeld, 40 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 57 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 41 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1990 
(E87) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 29 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1991 
(C45) Scotch Game, 44 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1992 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 41 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1993 
(E86) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6, 27 moves, 0-1

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1996 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 44 moves, 1-0

Kasparov vs Karpov, 2001 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 31 moves, 1-0

Anatoli Karpov tied Vladimir Kramnik 2 to 2, with 9 draws
Karpov vs Kramnik, 1994 
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 40 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Kramnik, 1996 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 59 moves, 1-0

Kramnik vs Karpov, 1997 
(A17) English, 35 moves, 1-0

Kramnik vs Karpov, 1997 
(A14) English, 39 moves, 1-0

Viswanathan Anand beat Anatoli Karpov 8 to 5, with 18 draws
Karpov vs Anand, 1991 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 53 moves, 1-0

Anand vs Karpov, 1991 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 57 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Anand, 1991 
(A04) Reti Opening, 46 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Anand, 1991 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 32 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Anand, 1991 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 70 moves, 0-1

Karpov vs Anand, 1991 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 43 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Anand, 1992 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 50 moves, 0-1

Anand vs Karpov, 1996 
(D21) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 36 moves, 1-0

Karpov vs Anand, 1998 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 108 moves, 1-0

Anand vs Karpov, 1998 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 42 moves, 1-0

Anand vs Karpov, 1998 
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 49 moves, 0-1

Anand vs Karpov, 1998 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 42 moves, 1-0

Anand vs Karpov, 2003 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 44 moves, 1-0

Karpov's Positional Immortal
Karpov vs Gulko, 1996 
(D27) Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical, 42 moves, 1-0

88 games

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