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Anatoly Karpov
Number of games in database: 3,544
Years covered: 1961 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2628 (2630 rapid, 2644 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2780
Overall record: +969 -228 =1287 (64.9%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1060 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (250) 
    B92 B81 B24 B44 B84
 King's Indian (184) 
    E60 E62 E81 E71 E63
 Queen's Indian (146) 
    E15 E17 E12 E16 E19
 Ruy Lopez (135) 
    C95 C82 C84 C92 C80
 Queen's Gambit Declined (114) 
    D37 D30 D35 D38 D31
 Grunfeld (98) 
    D85 D73 D97 D78 D87
With the Black pieces:
 Caro-Kann (270) 
    B17 B12 B10 B14 B18
 Queen's Indian (240) 
    E15 E12 E17 E19 E14
 Ruy Lopez (175) 
    C92 C95 C69 C77 C98
 Nimzo Indian (160) 
    E32 E54 E21 E53 E42
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (137) 
    C92 C95 C98 C93 C86
 Sicilian (94) 
    B46 B40 B44 B47 B42
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984 1-0
   Karpov vs Topalov, 1994 1-0
   Karpov vs Unzicker, 1974 1-0
   Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1974 1-0
   Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984 0-1
   Karpov vs Topalov, 1994 1-0
   Timman vs Karpov, 1979 0-1
   Karpov vs Gulko, 1996 1-0
   Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 1-0
   Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978)
   Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Rematch (1981)
   Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984)
   Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1985)
   Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Rematch (1986)
   Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1987)
   Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1990)
   Karpov - Timman FIDE World Championship (1993)
   Karpov - Kamsky FIDE World Championship (1996)
   Karpov - Anand World Championship Match (1998)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Madrid (1973)
   Bad Lauterberg (1977)
   Bugojno (1978)
   USSR Championship (1976)
   Montreal (1979)
   Phillips & Drew GLC Kings (1984)
   Brussels World Cup (1988)
   Linares (1994)
   Cap D'Agde (2013)
   Trophee Anatoly Karpov (2012)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   Cap d'Agde (2008)
   San Antonio (1972)
   USSR Championship (1971)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Karpov Tournament Champion - I by amadeus
   Anatoly Karpov - My Best 300 Games by jakaiden
   Karpov Tournament Champion - II by amadeus
   Match Karpov! by amadeus
   Anatoly Karpov's Best Games by Psihadal
   Anatoly Karpov's Best Games by KingG
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1980-1989 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   a Karpov collection by obrit
   "Chess Genius Karpov" - Victor Baturinsky by Karpova
   Basic Instinct by Imohthep
   How Karpov Wins 2nd Edition by BntLarsen
   Instructive Karpov Games by Billy Ray Valentine
   Karpov vs. the World Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   Anatoly Karpov - My 300 Best Games by YuanTi

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Anatoly Karpov
Search Google for Anatoly Karpov
FIDE player card for Anatoly Karpov

(born May-23-1951, 64 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov was born in the town of Zlatoust, located in the Southern Ural Mountains in the USSR. He learned to play chess at four years old and became a candidate master by age eleven. At twelve, Karpov was accepted into the chess academy presided over by Mikhail Botvinnik. Karpov won the World Junior Championship in 1969, thereby automatically gaining the title of International Master. In 1970, he became an International Grandmaster after finishing equal fourth at Caracas. A World Championship Candidate in 1973, he defeated Viktor Korchnoi in the Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974) to earn the right to Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975) with World Champion Robert James Fischer. When FIDE declared Fischer forfeited, Karpov became the 12th World Chess Champion, the youngest since Mikhail Tal in 1960.

Karpov defended the championship twice against Korchnoi in Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978) and Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Rematch (1981). After Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984) which was aborted with Karpov leading by 2 points over Garry Kasparov, he lost his title to Kasparov in Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1985). He played three more closely contested matches with Kasparov, narrowly losing Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Rematch (1986), drawing Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1987) and narrowly losing Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1990).

Karpov was thrice Soviet Champion: in 1976*, 1983** and 1988***, on the latter occasion sharing the title with Kasparov. In 1993 Karpov regained the FIDE title against Jan Timman in Karpov - Timman FIDE World Championship (1993), after Kasparov had broken away from the organization. He successfully defended his title against Gata Kamsky in Karpov - Kamsky FIDE World Championship (1996) and Viswanathan Anand in Karpov - Anand World Championship Match (1998). In 1999 FIDE changed the rules, deciding that the World Champion would be determined by an annual knockout tournament, and Karpov retired from championship competition.

At Linares (1994), Karpov achieved one of the greatest tournament successes ever, distancing Kasparov by 2.5 points.

Outside of chess, Karpov has been linked to the company Petromir, which claimed in 2007 to have found a large natural gas field.****

* [rusbase-1]; ** [rusbase-2]; *** [rusbase-3]

**** Miriam Elder, The St. Petersburg Times, Issue # 1242, 2007.02.02, Link: and The St. Petersburg Times, Issue # 1246, 2007.02.16, Link:

Wikipedia article: Anatoly Karpov

 page 1 of 142; games 1-25 of 3,544  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A Shneider vs Karpov 0-151 1961 CheliabinskC34 King's Gambit Accepted
2. Karpov vs Shefler 1-043 1961 ZlatoustC01 French, Exchange
3. Karpov vs S Belousov 1-040 1961 BorowitschiC07 French, Tarrasch
4. Karpov vs A Alekseev ½-½58 1961 ZlatoustB40 Sicilian
5. E Lazarev vs Karpov 0-149 1961 CheliabinskD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Karpov vs Mukhudulin ½-½61 1961 ZlatoustB56 Sicilian
7. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½30 1961 SimulC47 Four Knights
8. V Kalashnikov vs Karpov ½-½62 1961 ZlatoustE15 Queen's Indian
9. Zadneprovsky vs Karpov 0-165 1961 ZlatoustE27 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation
10. B Kalinkin vs Karpov ½-½32 1961 CheliabinskC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
11. Karpov vs V Kalashnikov 1-060 1961 ZlatoustC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
12. Karpov vs Maksimov 1-060 1961 MagnitogorskE81 King's Indian, Samisch
13. Tarinin vs Karpov 1-035 1961 ZlatoustC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
14. G Timoshchenko vs Karpov 0-153 1961 BorovichiC10 French
15. Karpov vs Gaimaletdinov 1-060 1961 ZlatoustC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
16. Shusharin vs Karpov 0-135 1961 CheliabinskC77 Ruy Lopez
17. Karpov vs Ziuliarkin 1-035 1961 ZlatoustB24 Sicilian, Closed
18. Karpov vs Nedelin 1-036 1961 BorovichiC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
19. Karpov vs Budakov ½-½26 1961 ZlatoustC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
20. Manakov vs Karpov 0-126 1962 KoyenskC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. Aranov vs Karpov 0-171 1962 CheliabinskC10 French
22. Kolishkin vs Karpov 0-154 1962 ZlatoustC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
23. V G Kirillov vs Karpov 0-163 1962 ZlatoustA20 English
24. Kolishkin vs Karpov ½-½39 1962 CheliabinskC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
25. Karpov vs Piskunov 1-035 1962 ZlatoustB03 Alekhine's Defense
 page 1 of 142; games 1-25 of 3,544  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Karpov wins | Karpov loses  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 235 OF 235 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-28-15  Howard: The fifth game of that match was "not" lost for Karpov, according to Kasparov ?!

Lemme get out that Volume 5 of MGP. Don't recall Kasparov saying that. The position, I seem to recall, was definitely lost for Karpov, but it required accurate play from Polugaevsky to wrap up the win---which he wasn't able to do.

May-28-15  Everett: <Howard> When you read it, I believe Kasparov claims that the position on the board during Karpov's calm walk-about came before Karpov played a losing move. He was in dire straits, but not lost until later.

Let us know what you find.

May-28-15  Everett: <offramp> I don't think your paraphrase is right.

Karpov believed he was lost but looked so calm that Polu tried to understand it. In fact, Polu likely kept on finding <wins> all over the place, but could not find the variation that supposedly had Karpov acting so calmly. This is what rattled him. He could not find the <save> that was not there.

Karpov thought he was lost. That is why your paraphrase < he was looking for a win that I knew wasn't there.>

Karpov bluffed, pretending everything was under control even though he himself felt he was in a lost position. Polu fell for it and became rattled.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Everett>, my friend, I have read and re-read your last post and I actually and sincerely think that you are RIGHT.

I am not absolutely certain... [on a second reading that doesn't make sense: I'm certain but then not absolutely certain] But your case is so persuasive that I think that I have got it wrong.

It's not a big deal... But I think you are fantastic and I am going to add you to my favourites! [And that is a very short list!]

Well done, Everett! It was a short, funny interchange.

May-28-15  Everett: Thanks <offramp>. You are one of the posters I try to learn from, in that you are bright, funny, and don't take things too seriously. I may be a new favorite of yours, but you have been one of mine for some time.

Okay, hugs and all that. Back to sniping at <Rogoff>

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <Karpov’s strongest point, and maybe his weakest, is that he doesn’t look for the best move> - Garry Kasparov.
Jun-02-15  Howard: Just looked at Kasparov's MGP....Karpov had a lost position at one point--no question about it.
Jun-06-15  Everett: Thanks <Howard>
Jun-08-15  A.T PhoneHome: Anatoly Karpov is a remarkable chess player and man.

So often people discuss how Karpov emerged shortly after Fischer's World Championship win. But what Karpov did see wasn't a shadow of Fischer, but a possibility to become a great of our game.

And he became a chess great. Says a lot about Karpov's qualities. Uncompromising, mentally strong, goal-centered when so required.

Those qualities are what make a success. That's Anatoly Karpov as we should know him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: It's hard to believe that any experienced player, GM or otherwise would actually try to read the strength of the position, (their own or Karpovs) or assess move choices, based on Karpov's mannerisms, appearance or body language!

That's a minefield of smoke and mirrors and potential major missteps, that represent a debilitating distraction from game focus. Cold, hard deep, accurate, calculation is needed, and or application of principles, or exceptions to them, to win.

Watching your opponent's physicality to "find the right move", which coincidentally, is the name of a Karpov-based book, is beyond risky. It's ridiculous and stupid into the bargain.

If Polugaevsky admits to doing this I would be surprised, because if he really did, he would be showing that he was probably suffering from some sort of low self-esteem issues during or even before the match, which now or then would be best kept secret to protect himself professionally or otherwise.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SteinitzLives: It's hard to believe that any experienced player, GM or otherwise would actually try to read the strength of the position, (their own or Karpovs) or assess move choices, based on Karpov's mannerisms, appearance or body language!>

Maybe such reads on an opponent are not the balderdash you make them out to be.

White offered the following insight into the tells even a world champion has been known to offer in C H Alexander vs Alekhine, 1938, to wit:

<I remember a curious incident in one of my games with Alekhine. Someone told me that when Alekhine was worried about his position he always twisted his hair with his fingers. In 1938 I played Alekhine in the Margate tournament and he made what looked to me like a weak move in the opening; I made my reply with a nervous feeling that I had probably overlooked something. What was my delight to see Alekhine, after a minute or two’s reflection, start to twist his hair.

This was about 10.0 a.m., and from then till 2.30 (it was the last day of the tournament and no adjournment for lunch allowed) Alekhine sat without leaving the board, and through all the turns of a complex game continued (to my great moral support) to twist his hair.

At 2.30 I made a slight tactical error and let my advantage slip; Alekhine moved, took a comb out of his pocket, ran it through his hair, got up, and walked up and down the tournament room. My own judgment (that my advantage was gone) was thus confirmed as clearly as if he had told me so, and I took an immediate opportunity to force a draw before worse befell me.>

<That's a minefield of smoke and mirrors and potential major missteps, that represent a debilitating distraction from game focus....>

It can very well be a false trail, when not based on acute observation and knowledge of one's opponent.

<Cold, hard deep, accurate, calculation is needed, and or application of principles, or exceptions to them, to win.>

All well and good when software faces software to wave the banner of brute-force calculation conquers all, but at human levels, people remain people. Even elite players will ignore psychology at their peril.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: <perfidious>
Ok, a tell is a tell, and you make a good point mentioning the possibility or reality of such in chess.

It would seem that if in a chess game one spends too much time (how much is too much depends on a lot of factors) trying to find a tell, or looks for a known existing chess player's tell, without finding it, it could be a terrible case of wasted energy and time that cannot be gotten back during the game.

Karpov had a fake tell, or perhaps just a bluff of nonchalance that many observed during his match with Polugaevsky, and it might well not have flummoxed Polu had he not been focusing too much on it.

I am curious if in poker you observe these fake tells. Do players in either chess or poker find it worthy to develop fake tells?

On the other side: real tells, many players I observe (as a spectator which is not too often, since I am usually playing) seem so engrossed in their games that thy might not even be aware if they are revealing a real tell or not.

Jun-24-15  Mr 1100: By the way, where is Mr. Karpov these days?

Looks like the most recent games we have for the great man are from last year... no games from this year, apparently... has he stopped playing professionally?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Karpov is playing against Sveshnikov!

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Eugene Svyeshnikov is very original and inventive and I think these games will be fascinating. It's possible that ES might win the match.
Jul-23-15  SpiritedReposte: Fake tells are definitely part of poker. I've seen Phil Helmouth see right through them and insta-call.

Real tells are subconscious, body language you aren't even aware you are putting out there. You can always see what someone's intent/state of mind is from their body language. Unless they are deliberately covering/changing it, then hopefully you can see through that and wonder what they are hiding.

That's why playing against a basic poker player, "If a fish acts strong he's bluffing, if he acts meek he has a hand" from Rounders.

Jul-23-15  SpiritedReposte: Should add that novice poker players really do think their pair of 3s are good with a board of all paint and will push all in with great confidence. They make "stupid" calls or bets that a pro wouldn't and can wreak havoc on a pros sophisticated thought process. So "reading" a novice is harder when they don't even know what they have themselves.

I think Amirillo Slim said something like "You don't put a sophisticated play on a fish, you simply show him a hand" Meaning it's tougher to bluff them out, or set a trap for them, just play ABC poker and show them the best hand when they call you.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: More often than I can remember, I have seen a strong player indulge himself in what we call 'fancy play syndrome' and get caught out by someone, when good, solid stuff was the shortest way home. Slim referred to the latter as 'showing someone Mr More'.
Jul-24-15  SpiritedReposte: I think it comes down to the trite but true adage <"know thy enemy">. In chess, poker or anything really when you know what the opposition is capable of, what he will or won't do etc. that intel is priceless!
Jul-31-15  Everett: A remarkably understated bio! Difficult to get more spartan than this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Everett,

I was actually thinking that a few days ago when looking for details of his USSR Championship wins. 'Spartan' is indeed the correct word.

No mention at all of his nine consecutive tournament victories, nor the gold medals and board prizes he won representing USSR at the Olympiad.

Take out the 'by the way' mention of him winning the 1976 USSR championship and between 1975 and 1978, a golden period for Karpov, it reads like he actually played less chess than Fischer.

It's a pity Karpov never took part in the Mighty Norges Rafisklag Blitz tournament of 2013 then they could then have added this to his bio as they have with Anish Giri whose bio is endless compared to Karpov's.

Anish Giri

Never mind, most of us know how good Karpov was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Karpov had incredible results on the White side of the Sicilian Opocensky, undefeated in 21 games including a memorable win over a young Kasparov. Karpov vs Kasparov, 1975

Aug-15-15  thegoodanarchist: The bio states that <Outside of chess, Karpov has been linked to the company Petromir, which claimed in 2007 to have found a large natural gas field.****>

It strikes me as rather odd that this would be in Karpov's bio, unless it was Anatoly himself who found the gas field :)

Also, the bio is odd in that it is rather short for a World Champion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: That's what you call 'a short back and sides':
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: I see Karpov's Belgian stamps (apparently the biggest part of his collection) brought a small mint at auction:

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