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Anatoly Karpov
Number of games in database: 3,559
Years covered: 1961 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2623 (2630 rapid, 2644 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2780
Overall record: +977 -235 =1303 (64.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1044 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (250) 
    B92 B81 B24 B44 B84
 King's Indian (185) 
    E60 E62 E81 E71 E63
 Queen's Indian (147) 
    E15 E17 E12 E16 E19
 Ruy Lopez (135) 
    C95 C82 C84 C92 C80
 Queen's Gambit Declined (115) 
    D37 D30 D38 D35 D31
 Grunfeld (97) 
    D85 D73 D97 D78 D87
With the Black pieces:
 Caro-Kann (273) 
    B17 B12 B10 B14 B18
 Queen's Indian (241) 
    E15 E12 E17 E19 E14
 Ruy Lopez (177) 
    C92 C95 C69 C77 C98
 Nimzo Indian (161) 
    E32 E54 E21 E42 E41
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (139) 
    C92 C95 C98 C93 C86
 Sicilian (92) 
    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
   Karpov vs Topalov, 1994 1-0
   Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984 0-1
   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)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   Madrid (1973)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   Bad Lauterberg (1977)
   USSR Championship (1976)
   Brussels World Cup (1988)
   Phillips & Drew GLC Kings (1984)
   Linares (1994)
   Cap D'Agde (2013)
   Trophee Anatoly Karpov (2012)
   Bugojno (1978)
   Montreal (1979)
   San Antonio (1972)
   USSR Championship (1971)
   Superstars Hotel Bali (2002)

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 KingG
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1980-1989 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   "Chess Genius Karpov" - Victor Baturinsky by Karpova
   a Karpov collection by obrit
   Anatoly Karpov's best games by Psihadal
   Basic Instinct by Imohthep
   How Karpov Wins 2nd Edition by BntLarsen
   Karpov vs. the World Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
   Instructive Karpov Games by Billy Ray Valentine
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 2) by Anatoly21

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

(born May-23-1951, 63 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Anatoly Evgenyevich 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 Match (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 143; games 1-25 of 3,559  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Karpov vs S Belousov 1-040 1961 BorowitschiC07 French, Tarrasch
2. V Kalashnikov vs Karpov ½-½62 1961 ZlatoustE15 Queen's Indian
3. Zadneprovsky vs Karpov 0-165 1961 ZlatoustE27 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation
4. B Kalinkin vs Karpov ½-½32 1961 CheliabinskC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
5. Karpov vs V Kalashnikov 1-060 1961 ZlatoustC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
6. Karpov vs Maksimov 1-060 1961 MagnitogorskE81 King's Indian, Samisch
7. Tarinin vs Karpov 1-035 1961 ZlatoustC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
8. G Timoshchenko vs Karpov 0-153 1961 BorovichiC10 French
9. Karpov vs Gaimaletdinov 1-060 1961 ZlatoustC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
10. Shusharin vs Karpov 0-135 1961 CheliabinskC77 Ruy Lopez
11. Karpov vs Ziuliarkin 1-035 1961 ZlatoustB24 Sicilian, Closed
12. Karpov vs Nedelin 1-036 1961 BorovichiC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
13. Karpov vs Budakov ½-½26 1961 ZlatoustC99 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,
14. A Shneider vs Karpov 0-151 1961 CheliabinskC34 King's Gambit Accepted
15. Karpov vs Shefler 1-043 1961 ZlatoustC01 French, Exchange
16. Karpov vs A Alekseev ½-½58 1961 ZlatoustB40 Sicilian
17. E Lazarev vs Karpov 0-149 1961 CheliabinskD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Karpov vs Mukhudulin ½-½61 1961 ZlatoustB56 Sicilian
19. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½30 1961 SimulC47 Four Knights
20. V G Kirillov vs Karpov 0-163 1962 ZlatoustA20 English
21. Ziuliarkin vs Karpov 0-135 1962 ZlatoustC50 Giuoco Piano
22. Kolishkin vs Karpov ½-½39 1962 CheliabinskC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
23. Karpov vs Piskunov 1-035 1962 ZlatoustB03 Alekhine's Defense
24. Karpov vs Tarinin 1-053 1962 CheliabinskC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
25. V Kalashnikov vs Karpov ½-½36 1962 ZlatoustC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
 page 1 of 143; games 1-25 of 3,559  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 202 OF 228 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-20-11  swissfed: ¡¥I myself have been travelling around the world for 20 years, and I have never met a chessplayer who would agree to join me for a visit to an art gallery.¡¦Karpov (page 58)(Karpov on Karpov)
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Anatoly Karpov will forever be remembered as the player between Fischer and Kasparov. It's unfortunate that a lot of people don't recognize the greatness of Karpov.

His accomplishments are just too many to list here so I'll just say: Anatoly Evgenyevich Karpov, one of the greatest of all time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I don't think Karpov suffers as "the player in between" Fischer and Kaspy. Chessplayers know who he is.

The players who might be a bit lost in history are the gallery of one-two year champions that FIDE somehow manufactured in the years that followed Kasparov's leaving FIDE. It has only gotten straightened out in the last few years, where Anand is recognized as undisputed world champion.

Aug-31-11  Mr. Bojangles: <technical draw: Anatoly Karpov will forever be remembered as the player between Fischer and Kasparov.>

Very few non-Americans would argue that Fischer achieved more than Karpov.

Karpov's greatness is as solid as gold.

Aug-31-11  Petrosianic: Karpov achieved more, he's won more tournaments than Fischer and Kasparov combined. (Few realize that Fischer won a mere 10 international tournaments in his whole life).

But Karpov didn't peak as high. And he hasn't got any "No-Hitters" to show on highlight reels. Those three shutouts really make Fischer's career stand out. Fischer also has the early setbacks; defeats in his first two candidates, and psychological hang-ups that spoiled the next two. When he finally made it to the top, you really felt he climbed a mountain.

Karpov and Kasparov, by contrast, were like Tal. They appeared out of nowhere and vaulted to the top on their very first try. It's great, but it's not as good a story.

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <It's great, but it's not as good a story.>

I agree. It's the "story" that interests non-chessplayers. People that didn't know a Sicilian from King's Indian were talking about Fischer this and Fischer that. I don't think that even Magnus Carlsen has captivated the non-playing public more than Fischer.

I also agree with <Mr.Bojangles>, <Karpov's greatness is as solid as gold>...

We are reaching the point, however, that the majority of players today were not living when Fischer played and soon Bobby will take his place alongside Capablanca and Lasker as an historical figure.

Aug-31-11  Ziggurat: <Kramnik said Karpov made him feel like "an idiot">


<When having an edge, Karpov often marked time and still gained the advantage! I don't know anyone else who could do that, it's incredible. I was always impressed and delighted by this skill. When it looked like it was high time to start a decisive attack, Karpov played a3, h3, and his opponent's position collapsed.>

Aug-31-11  Mr. Bojangles: Imagine if Karpov or Kasparov were American or British? The Pope woulda been pushed to beatify them - ALIVE!

St Karpov, St Kasparov.

Aug-31-11  Psihadal: <Ziggurat>

Spassky as well once said that Karpov often gave him the feeling like he has no idea what's going on on the board.

Like Kramnik said, Karpov had the great talent of making the smallest, most subtle moves, that somehow won him the game.

Sep-01-11  Capabal: There is a funny 3 minute video at the chessbase page dedicated to Karpov's 60th birthday:

<You may have some problems understanding the inimitable Alexander Roshal, who knew just a couple of hundred words of English, but used these better than anyone with a similarly limited vocabulary. Alexander was a trainer at the time of their meeting, a 2430 rated master, who played some blitz games against the 11-year-old chess prodigy Anatoly Karpov – with his students crowded around. Roshal tells us that while normal prodigies will sacrifice pieces and tear you to pieces, the young Karpov was different – "he would not give you a single pawn, not even a single square." After he had lost the first game against Karpov, Roshal asked the students around him to tell him what he had done wrong – turning the game into a didactic lesson for them. After losing three more he again asked his students to identify the mistakes he had made. "Why did I lose?" he asked. From Karpov came the timid suggestion: "Perhaps because I am a better player than you?">

Sep-01-11  Mr. Bojangles: Nice story Capabal ... Karpov was master in every sense of the word.
Sep-01-11  Capabal: <Mr. Bojangles: Imagine if Karpov or Kasparov were American or British? The Pope woulda been pushed to beatify them - ALIVE!

St Karpov, St Kasparov.>

I can see it. Great material for Hollywood for many decades. AK as Anthony Carp from an honest family of farmers in the heart of Kansas, married young to his high school sweetheart, Dory Gale. I can also see Gary Caspar emerging through sheer willpower and determination from the depths of hardship, abandoned by his father (a cattle-wrangling brawler and drunk in the Casper, WY area, who abused him as a child). Now we throw Capablanca in the mix by moving his birthplace to Manhattan. Here he is, Mr. Joseph-Raoul Whitecape, a very trim, suave early century New Yorker from a family of means. You have covered the main pillars of the American landscape, and you have all the perfect ingredients for a Chess Holy Trinity lasting longer than Christianity itself. Now we turn Fischer into an unstable misfit from a Budapest ghetto, with a funny Hungarian name, and let’s make movies.

Sep-01-11  Mr. Bojangles: Capabal that was hilarious great imagination there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Mr. Bojangles: Capabal that was hilarious great imagination there.>

What he said.

Sep-11-11  swissfed: Karpov: ¡§Botvinnik thought an uneducated player couldn¡¦t become World Champion¡¨

Yesterday former World Champion Anatoly Karpov was in the small Siberian city of Tobolsk (¡§the cultural capital of Siberia¡¨), where he talked to the local press.

An interview with included:

I was lucky in life. I got into Botvinnik¡¦s school. I can¡¦t say I derived a lot of chess ideas from him, but there was his attitude to chess ¡V that was one thing. And his attitude to life ¡V that was another. Botvinnik thought an uneducated chess player couldn¡¦t become World Champion. Education brings stability, including mental stability. I always took education seriously. I graduated from a school specialising in Physics and Maths with the highest grade. Then from university with honours. And as World Champion I engaged in academic research. It¡¦s no accident that I¡¦m an honorary professor of Moscow University and an honorary doctor of Leningrad University¡K

Oct-16-11  swissfed: The only living player whom Karpov deems his equal is Bobby Fischer, whom he never played and who doesn't play anymore. He describes Fischer as ``unique in his solitude.'' That makes two. (Jan. 1st, 1992, A Memoir of a Chess World Champion )
Oct-29-11  bronkenstein: Karpov (and Kasparov) commenting in detail the games of their 1991 Lyon (part) match
Dec-07-11  IoftheHungarianTiger: Fischer may have won the match in 1975, maybe not ... but I would've bet on Karpov for 78. Unlike Spassky, Karpov did not collapse after a defeat (of a game or match) ... just look at how he returned to form after Kaspy took his title. After 48 games, and having his 5-3 lead unfairly erased to 0-0, he probably expected to lose the rematch. Nonetheless, Kasparov could still only barely win the second match. And after he lost the title, again and again he kept fighting hard, and nearly took back the title. If Fischer had won in 1975 and expected Karpov to collapse, I think he would've been in for a disturbing surprise ... Fischer was amazing, but he is also overrated, and die-hard Fischer fans can only speculate as to what Fischer might have accomplished, as opposed to Karpov and Kasparov who actually DID accomplish amazing feats as WC.
Dec-09-11  AnalyzeThis: < After 48 games, and having his 5-3 lead unfairly erased to 0-0, he probably expected to lose the rematch. >

Yes, you're right. What should have happenned was that they should have kept playing, then it would have been patently obvious that Kasparov could still play chess at that point, but Karpov could not. Then Kasparov would have won the match in 1984.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: We don't know this. Karpov only had to get it up for one more great game. Just one game. GK himself said "My chances at the time of the Campomanes adjournament were only about 40%". Kaspy himself realized that one more Karpov win was still a real possibility.
Dec-09-11  M.D. Wilson: AnalyseThis knows more about what Kasparov and Karpov were thinking than the players themslves.

If anyone doesn't include Karpov in their top 5 list for the 20th Century, then they're kidding themslves.

He's the only player with the rightful claim of being No. 2. Only Kasparov edges him out.

Dec-09-11  IoftheHungarianTiger: Possibly ... Kaspy was gaining ground. But one bad slip and the match was over. Kasparov himself wrote that his chances of winning the match were only around 30% had the original match continued. I believe Karpov could still play excellent chess at that point in the match, and Kasparov also suggested that his late victories in the match were not a result of Karpov's fatigue, but simply that he himself had played in excellent style. I think Kasparov would have won a rematch in 1987, but I think had the match not been cancelled, Karpov would have kept his title in 1984. Of course, any opinion on the matter is just speculation, but those are some of my thoughts.
Dec-17-11  indoknight: in my opinion ,the best ENDGAME TECHNIQUE player are: 1.Anatoli Karpov 2.Jose Raul Capablanca 3.Robert James Fischer 4.Garry Kasparov 5.Vladimir Kramnik
Dec-17-11  JoergWalter: : <indoknight> where is Rubinstein? Smyslov? Korchnoi?
Dec-17-11  King Death: < swissfed: Karpov: Botvinnik thought an uneducated player couldn't become World Champion...>¨

I'd say that there was one great player who proved him wrong.

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