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Anatoly Karpov
Number of games in database: 3,559
Years covered: 1961 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2619
Highest rating achieved in database: 2780
Overall record: +976 -235 =1306 (64.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1042 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 (242) 
    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)
   USSR Championship (1971)
   San Antonio (1972)
   Madrid (1973)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   USSR Championship (1976)
   Bad Lauterberg (1977)
   Montreal (1979)
   Brussels World Cup (1988)
   Linares (1994)
   Trophee Anatoly Karpov (2012)
   Cap D'Agde (2013)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Karpov Tournament Champion - I by amadeus
   Karpov Tournament Champion - II by amadeus
   Match Karpov! by amadeus
   Anatoly Karpov - My Best 300 Games by jakaiden
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1980-1989 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   Anatoly Karpov's Best Games by KingG
   a Karpov collection by obrit
   "Chess Genius Karpov" - Victor Baturinsky by Karpova
   Anatoly Karpov's best games by Psihadal
   Basic Instinct by Imohthep
   How Karpov Wins 2nd Edition by BntLarsen
   Instructive Karpov Games by Billy Ray Valentine
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   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) 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. 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 A Alekseev ½-½58 1961 ZlatoustB40 Sicilian
4. E Lazarev vs Karpov 0-149 1961 CheliabinskD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Karpov vs Mukhudulin ½-½61 1961 ZlatoustB56 Sicilian
6. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½30 1961 SimulC47 Four Knights
7. V Kalashnikov vs Karpov ½-½62 1961 ZlatoustE15 Queen's Indian
8. Zadneprovsky vs Karpov 0-165 1961 ZlatoustE27 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation
9. B Kalinkin vs Karpov ½-½32 1961 CheliabinskC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
10. Karpov vs V Kalashnikov 1-060 1961 ZlatoustC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
11. Karpov vs Maksimov 1-060 1961 MagnitogorskE81 King's Indian, Samisch
12. Tarinin vs Karpov 1-035 1961 ZlatoustC97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
13. Karpov vs S Belousov 1-040 1961 BorowitschiC07 French, Tarrasch
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. Karpov vs Karin 1-039 1962 CheliabinskB06 Robatsch
21. Ziuliarkin vs Karpov 0-135 1962 ZlatoustC50 Giuoco Piano
22. Manakov vs Karpov 0-126 1962 KoyenskC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
23. Aranov vs Karpov 0-171 1962 CheliabinskC10 French
24. Kolishkin vs Karpov 0-154 1962 ZlatoustC98 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
25. V G Kirillov vs Karpov 0-163 1962 ZlatoustA20 English
 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 223 OF 223 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-14-14  tzar: That common belief that Tal was an "unsound" player was indeed very expanded. Started by Botvinnik and followed by many other GMs that could not accept that this kind of game had the right to exist. Tal was a player in front of which people felt their mediocrity. IMO his relative loss of strength was mainly due to poor health rather than real playing weaknesses. Certainly, later on he evolved into a more balanced player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Well, in terms of objective evaluation, they <were> unsound - after all, Kasparov <did> find refutations, even when it took him <and> a computer to do it. But this just shows that in human chess, it is not the objectively best move that wins - it is the most difficult to meet one.
Feb-14-14  RookFile: Using the same logic, though, you could say that any player's games are unsound.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <RookFile> Not complete games, but single moves in the games. After all, most moves in top GM games don't leave the draw range.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi,

But that is the bit that is never added to the 'Study Tal' piece of advice.

IE. "Look at his solid 'normal' games." (and even in those you can often see a spark of genius.)

I'm talking about the lad who is just starting out. These guys need the buidling blocks put in place first.

"Off you go and study Tal" and they won't have a clue what is going on and there is every chance they will be lost to the game forever.

You won't find a typical Tal masterpiece in a primer like 'Logical Chess.' How can you explain the art of creating active counter-play with a spec sacrifices seeking complications to a lad just one step up from a beginner.

Infact how can you explain that black art even to a very good player.

Feb-17-14  tzar: Tal was a genius, but as all players had his weak points. I.e, although he did quite well against the giants (Karpov, Fischer and Kasparov), even in his best years there were players that he could not handle, specially Korchnoi and Spassky (he has a disastrous record against these two)
Feb-17-14  tzar: Against Spassky during the 50' and 60' the score was 9-2 in Spassky's favour. Later on, Tal made it more decent, but when Spassky was not so strong (basically in the late 70' and in the 80' to leave it 9-7).

Against Korchnoi it was even worst (+4 -13 with 27 draws).Although IMO you can find more talent in a Misha's single game than in the whole of Korchnoi's career:)

Feb-17-14  Poisonpawns: <Tzar> Great commentary by the way. I wanted to ask you about a previous comment you made: <" I think we are forgeting Tal's influece in chess development. Certainly not having the works ethics of the Soviet School but educated there as a classical player. According to Kasparov his influence was huge because he changed the scientific approach represented and culminated by Botvinnik and showed that a new way of playing was possible based on the unlimited possibilities hidden in every position, defying many times classical rules and principles. Kasparov thinks that the next generation of players (specially attacking players) learned to combine these two approaches to chess, being the two main examples himself and Fischer."> I ask; how could one not learn this from Alekhine.I always regarded him as the first "Kasparov."
Feb-17-14  tzar: <Poisonpawns> Interesting question. I also thought about it when Kasparov said that. I think that Kasparov (great admirer of Alekhine) wanted to say that Botvinnik represented the culmination and patriarch of the Soviet School. They thought that after studying all predecessors and chess evolution they had systemized chess through a scientific method followed by Soviet players, with its principles, general rules and methodology and that was the end of the story. Then Tal came as a revolution and the next generation of players took both approaches as a reference.
Feb-17-14  tzar: Kasparov also said that Tal's appearance was almost threatening because it brought back romantic elements of chess but in a much higher level than in the pre-Steinitz time.
Feb-17-14  Olavi: <tzar> A small correction, the final score between Tal and Spassky was 6-9. Another difficult opponent was Polugaevsky, 8-2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: <Poisonpawns: I ask; how could one not learn this from Alekhine.I always regarded him as the first "Kasparov.">

I don't recall Kasparov dodging any opponent the way Alekhine did. If Kasparov had picked easy opponents for his world championship defenses the way Alekhine attempted to do he would soon be celebrating 30 years as champion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi devere:

"I don't recall Kasparov dodging any opponent the way Alekhine did."

Of course then FIDE did not have their hands on the title so the title holder could do what he wanted.

Twice Bogolyubov up with the cash (and should have won it the 2nd time, he frittered loads of good positions). Euwe raised the required cash in 1935 and took over where Bogolyubov failed.

Maths was never my strong point but I make it three defences of the title in 8 years, which is below the old FIDE 3 year gap and overall 5 World Championship matches in 10 years.

More were in the pipeline but WWII happened.

But the statement was not about Alekhine dodging Capablanca it was learning from his games.

Alekhines Best Games 1908-1923.
That is the book where things start to fall into place. If you fail to learn anything about Chess and how it should be played from that book then take it back to the shop because there must be pages missing.

Either that or you are misreading it like you did Poisonpawns post.

Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: <Sally Simpson:>

Good book, bad man! As a youth I did like Botvinnik's 100 selected games better.

It seems you haven't heard Alekhine's joke about Bogoljubov. As Alekhine told it he dies, goes to heaven, and is stopped by St Peter at the pearly gates with "No chess players are allowed in heaven!" Alekhine sees Bogoljubov inside, and says "But there is Bogoljubov!". To which St. Peter replies "He only thinks he's a chess player!".

Feb-21-14  tranquilsimplicity: Yes Kurtrichards. And thanks for the correction.#
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A measure of Karpov's greatness is contained in this excellent summation by <visayanbraindoctor>:

Russian Superfinals (2013)

<In (1974), feather thin Karpov participates in the Nice Olympiad, beating GMs Hort, Unzicker, Schmidt, and a bunch of other lesser masters, winning the gold, and then mows down Polugaevsky, Spassky, and Korchnoi in grueling tension filled Candidates matches.>

Feb-21-14  tranquilsimplicity: No doubt Karpov is one of the greatest ever. Karpov's play with it's Capablanca-like features, patient, logical, scientific and clinically ruthless method was difficult to breach or withstand; even Kasparov found it immensely hard-going.

Though I have never been a fan of this particular style, preferring energetic play with a predilection for attacks on the King, I cannot but wholeheartedly accept Karpov's greatness in Chess. After all, I learned my Closed Sicilian chameleon variation from Karpov's 1960s games. This was after my discovery that I was scoring more wins with the Closed Sicilian than with the Open Sicilian.#

Feb-25-14  tranquilsimplicity: That's Closed Sicilian fianchetto variation.#
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ:

A web page on the USSR Champ. (1976)

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Like dogs who sniff each other when meeting, chess players have a ritual at first acquaintance: they sit down to play speed chess>

Karpov's QOTD for today shows he has a great sense of humor

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < thegoodanarchist: <Like dogs who sniff each other when meeting, chess players have a ritual at first acquaintance: they sit down to play speed chess>

Karpov's QOTD for today shows he has a great sense of humor>

We've had a discussion about this quote before on this page. It makes me puke every time I read it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Magnus Carlsen: <In this sense, I have that in common with Karpov in his heyday: he believed deeply in his abilities, he was very combative and won a lot of games in tournaments because even when he was not in a good position, he felt he could still win, and played all the way. I'm somewhat similar in spirit: during a competition, I always believe in myself.>

Source: ('Le Monde', 2014.04.05, translated by Albert Silver)

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: < thegoodanarchist: ... Karpov's QOTD for today shows he has a great sense of humor>

We've had a discussion about this quote before on this page. It makes me puke every time I read it>

Then I advise you to stop reading it :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I am drawn to it. Does not a dog return to its own vomit? - Psalms 13.07
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <chancho: ...So... who is the greatest chess player of all time, without a doubt?!>

James Mason!!

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