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Anatoly Karpov vs Viswanathan Anand
"The World According to Karp" (game of the day Mar-14-2015)
Karpov - Anand World Championship Match (1998), Lausanne SUI, rd 1, Jan-02
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Wade Variation (D47)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-14-15  WDenayer: Re. my previous post. Perhaps Anand played 25. ... Qd6? and 26. ... Kf7? because he saw the position after 30. ... Ne5. Black has an immediate draw in this position, if only there was no 31.Qxg7!, which he missed. There is no doubt that 25. ... Rf8 is better than 25. ... Qd6.
Mar-18-15  carpovius: Karpov was just much greater than Anand as a chess player. Was, is, and will. Who're talking about "bad conditions"?)
Mar-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Read up on the conditions. Then you will understand.
Mar-18-15  carpovius: Oh, thnx! I already did.
Mar-18-15  Nerwal: Back then nobody considered Karpov's victory to be convincing.

Karpov's run at the very top really ended in summer/fall 1996 with the match against Kamsky and his wins at Vienna and Biel.

Mar-18-15  Petrosianic: <Back then nobody considered Karpov's victory to be convincing.>

Nobody considered it convincing because nobody considered his title itself convincing. I don't remember anyone taking this one particularly less seriously than they took Karpov-Timman and Karpov-Kamsky.

Mar-18-15  Nerwal: It still got the interest of the chess world but still the match was much shorter and was decided on rapid tie-breaks which caused much criticism. And Anand had played an absurd amount of games the month prior as he had two very tough matches against Khalifman and Adams in the final stage, while Karpov had all the time to prepare seriously without revealing anything. In game 1 and game 2 Karpov showed +25 moves opening preparation cooked at home by his seconds.
Mar-18-15  Petrosianic: Had Anand won it, nobody would have considered him world champion any more than they had Karpov. Probably even less, since Anand had been beaten so decisively by Kasparov so recently.
Mar-18-15  Nerwal: <Probably even less, since Anand had been beaten so decisively by Kasparov so recently.>

The 1995 match was already a thing of the past; the chess world of 1998 was very different than what it was in 1995 : PCA had died, Karpov's results declined and Anand-Kramnik clearly took the 2-3 spots, Ilyumzhinov came in, the classical WC cycle got destroyed on both sides, PCA and FIDE. Anand's tournament results consistenly improved meanwhile to the point his rating reached 2795 this year which was huge back then. It was clear Anand was on the rise and had not peaked yet. Of course, Kasparov was still universally considered the strongest player but eventually those years spent without defending the title did him no favor (in 1998 he failed to win Linares and hardly played at all).

Mar-18-15  Petrosianic: It may seem clear in hindsight, but I don't remember anyone thinking so at the time. Few followed the FIDE title at all, and even fewer took it seriously. Had Anand beaten Karpov, I doubt if anyone would have thought him any more than a worthy challenger for another crack at Kasparov (which most did already).
Mar-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: I agree. Nobody considered it a WC match any more than those won by Khalifman and Ponomariov.
Mar-18-15  Nerwal: Yes, it was doomed from the start : it was an weak unification attempt with Karpov and Kasparov being seeded directly into the semi-finals; players complained about unfair, unjustified advantages (Karpov had finished last at Las Palmas...) Kasparov declined to play, probably still hoping to organize a cycle of his own, then Kramnik refused to play because Karpov was directly seeded into the final. But since there was no WC cycle going on at the time chess magazines still covered the event at length.
Mar-18-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <Kasparov was still universally considered the strongest player but eventually those years spent without defending the title did him no favor (in 1998 he failed to win Linares and hardly played at all).>

To pick out one tournament during the late 90s early 00s that Kasparov didn't win seems a bit disingenuous - he was totally dominant in tournaments particularly in 1999 and 2000.

Mar-18-15  Nerwal: <To pick out one tournament during the late 90s early 00s that Kasparov didn't win seems a bit disingenuous - he was totally dominant in tournaments particularly in 1999 and 2000>

Still Kasparov had ups and downs during the secession years. Kasparov himself said he had problems in his play after his split from FIDE, and Horgen 1995 may well be his worst tournament as world champion. In 1996-97 he had a streak of dominant results : Yerevan olympiads, Las Palmas 96, Linares 97, Novgorod 97 but by his own admission the loss against Deeper Blue was a big blow.

This is a fact Kasparov wasn't happy too in late 97-98; PCA had effectively died with Intel's withdrawal, next WC cycle with Rentero had issues and the match with Shirov eventually got cancelled, and overall he played very little classical chess : he only played Tilburg 97, Linares 98, and a quite meaningless match with Timman (meanwhile, Anand was first or shared first at Biel 97, Belgrade 97, WaZ 98, Linares 98, Madrid 98, and Tilburg 98, and won the Groningen part of the FIDE WC). When Kasparov came back to chess at Wijk-aan-Zee 1999 he declared his split from FIDE had been a big mistake, something that would have just been unthinkable two years earlier (and possibly a sign he considered his position in the chess world to be a bit precarious with no WC match in sight).

Kasparov's total chess dominance in 99-2001 was the direct reaction to this rather void period. He had to prove he was still the best.

Jan-07-18  Whitehat1963: A fantastic example of Karpovís tremendous ability!
Jan-07-18  todicav23: <Everett: <I'm quite sure that Karpov would not have made it to the final if he had also started in the second round> -Anand>

And I'm quite sure that Karpov was a greater player than Anand. The only reason Anand became world champion was because Kasparov retired too soon. He got destroyed by Kasparov when he was 26 (optimal age for playing chess). He also lost to an old Karpov.

Jan-07-18  dumbgai: <todicav23> You can't be serious. Anand defeated Kramnik and Topalov, the other two top players of his generation, in world championship matches (and Gelfand). Then after losing to Carlsen he earned another shot at winning the candidates, and put up a respectable challenge.
Jan-08-18  Petrosianic: Although all the world champions are great, I think most would say that Karpov's star was brighter than Anand's.

You're right what you say about Anand beating his top two rivals in championship matches. That was a great achievement and absolutely cemented him as the world's best player. But Karpov absolutely dominated the whole world for 10 years. He seemed to win every tournament he entered, and nobody could hold a candle to him until Kasparov stepped up to the plate. Maybe people remember the end of his career better than the beginning now, but from 1975-1985 he was unstoppable.

Jan-08-18  todicav23: <Petrosianic: Although all the world champions are great, I think most would say that Karpov's star was brighter than Anand's.

You're right what you say about Anand beating his top two rivals in championship matches. That was a great achievement and absolutely cemented him as the world's best player. But Karpov absolutely dominated the whole world for 10 years. He seemed to win every tournament he entered, and nobody could hold a candle to him until Kasparov stepped up to the plate. Maybe people remember the end of his career better than the beginning now, but from 1975-1985 he was unstoppable.>

Karpov was world champion for a total of 16 years (he was FIDE champion between 1993-1999). He also holds the record for the most tournament wins.

The matches Kasparov-Karpov were really close. Kasparov had won 21 games, Karpov 19 (with countless draws). In the 80's Karpov and Kasparov were more or less equal.

On the other hand, Anand lost against Kasparov, 4-1 with 13 draws. He also lost two matches against Carlsen, 6-1 with 14 draws overall. Anand was soundly defeated by two of the all time greats, Kasparov and Carlsen.

Karpov is usually considered one of the greatest players ever, along with players like Capablanca, Fischer, Kasparov, Carlsen. Anand doesn't belong to this group!

Jan-08-18  Petrosianic: <Karpov was world champion for a total of 16 years (he was FIDE champion between 1993-1999). He also holds the record for the most tournament wins.>

I don't think anyone else is even close. Something like 150 International Tournament wins for Karpov.

<On the other hand, Anand lost against Kasparov, 4-1 with 13 draws. He also lost two matches against Carlsen, 6-1 with 14 draws overall. Anand was soundly defeated by two of the all time greats, Kasparov and Carlsen.>

In addition, Anand lost TWO matches to Karpov in the 90's. As I recall, their 1991 match was very back-and-forth, with a lot of missed opportunities on both sides. Karpov certainly didn't crush Anand in either match, and in both matches Karpov was past his prime and Anand before his. So take them with a grain of salt.

And Anand was rarely, if ever out of the Top Three for something like 15-20 years, so you really can't sell him short. But Karpov and Kasparov are the only really dominant champions of the postwar-era (Fischer might have been also if he hadn't retired). But all 15 of the Undisputed Champions have been great players who only suffer in comparison with each other. IMO, each one of them was the best player in the world at some point in time.

Jan-08-18  Whitehat1963: Except maybe Max Euwe. I donít think he was ever the best player in the world.
Jan-08-18  Petrosianic: If there were one exception, it would probably be Euwe. But Chessmetrics lists him as #1 for 14 months. And Euwe finished ahead of Alekhine in all three tournaments they both played in while Euwe was champion, and beat him head to head +2-1=0.

The real wild card is Capablanca. He was largely inactive for a couple of years in the early 30's, and didn't start getting back into it until 1935. So how good was he during that time?

Jan-08-18  Whitehat1963: I suspect that Capablanca and Botvinnik were both better than Euwe between 1935 and 1937. In fact, I wouldnít be surprised if Keres, Reshevsky, and Fine could have beaten him, too.
Jan-08-18  Olavi: I think the years ca. 1935-1939 stand out from all chess history. At no other point in time has there been a group of 7-8 players each of whom had something like a 48-52 % chance of beating any other in a match. Perhaps Capa not, in a long match, but only because of his age, and Flohr didn't do too well against his peers.
Jan-09-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <plang....To pick out one tournament during the late 90s early 00s that Kasparov didn't win seems a bit disingenuous - he was totally dominant in tournaments particularly in 1999 and 2000.>

Kasparov himself commented that he felt on top form entering his title match with Kramnik.

Kasparov was still clearly the strongest player in the world--title or none--during that 1997-98 phase.

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