Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985
After 48 games had been played in the Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984), FIDE president Florencio Campomanes canceled the event while it was still in progress. He stated that the match had "exhausted the physical, if not the psychological resources, of not only the participants but all those connected with the match..." No winner was declared, so Anatoly Karpov retained the title. A new world championship match would now begin on September 3, 1985 with the initial score set at 0-0.
Karpov prepared for the match by winning the tough Category 14 "OHRA Crown Group" in Amsterdam, July 15-26, 1985. He also underwent a rigorous exercise program: "Tennis... and swimming, in my opinion, are the perfect combination of physical activity, allowing one to be in excellent condition." Garry Kasparov prepared by playing a match against Robert Huebner in Hamburg, May 27-June 4, 1985 (+3 -0 =3), and another match against Ulf Andersson in Belgrade May 12-June 20, 1985 (+2 -0 =4). Kasparov then began further preparation with his team in Zağulba Bağlari, Azerbaijan. He remarked that "by September... I felt far more confident than a year earlier. I had become stronger and had more stamina. My store of opening ideas had been thoroughly replenished." Mikhail Botvinnik predicted that "If Kasparov has an equal score...after 10-12 games, he will have a good chance to win the match."
| ||Karpov and Kasparov, 1985|
FIDE introduced a 24 game limit, with the title holder Karpov enjoying draw odds. If Karpov lost, he also had the
automatic right to a rematch. The prize for the match was 1.6 million Swiss Francs, with 62.5% going to the
champion. For each draw, FIDE would deduct 1% of the purse, and fine each player a further 1%.
The arbiters were Andrey Petrov Malchev and Vladas Ivanovich Mikenas. Kasparov had vociferously, and
successfully, objected to FIDE's first choice of Svetozar Gligoric and Anton Kinzel, the arbiters from the Karpov -
Kasparov World Championship Match (1984), because he thought they had been too ready to follow
Campomanes. Karpov's seconds were Igor Arkadievich Zaitsev, Yuri Balashov, Efim
Geller, Sergey Makarichev and Evgeni
Vasiukov. Kasparov's seconds were Aleksander S Nikitin,
assisted by Josif D Dorfman, Gennadi
Timoshchenko, Evgeny Vladimirov and Alexander Shakarov. The match was played in the Tchaikovsky Hall,
Moscow. Evgeny Vladimirov describes the scene: "...amongst the 1,500
spectators and the tens of millions of Soviet chess fans outside, there are no neutrals... Thousands stand in rows six
feet deep all around the cordoned off Mayakovsky Square before the start of each game. A ticket for a good seat costs
2½ roubles but on the black market they are changing hands at 15 roubles..."
Kasparov won the 1st game. Karpov evened the score in Game 4 by manoeuvering to build an overwhelming kingside attack, and then went
ahead 2-1 when Kasparov pressed too hard for a win in Game 5. Karpov now
experienced a period of weak play that lasted throughout the month of October. It started in Game 11, when Karpov made the crude blunder 22...Rcd8. Kasparov won the game with
a queen sacrifice, tying the match. Karpov explains that he became distracted when the German news magazine Der
Spiegel published a controversial story on September 30. It was about a large sum of money Karpov had allegedly
received from a computer sponsorship deal, without notifying the Soviet authorities. This would have constituted a major
violation of the exchange control regulations. Karpov was later cleared of the accusations. In an 1988 interview, Karpov
agreed with the observation that he never played worse in a match against Kasparov than from October 1 to October 24,
1985. Furthermore, he said that Kasparov would not have become world champion in 1985 without help from Der
In Game 16 Kasparov took the lead with what he regarded to be the "most beautiful" of the match and also "an important turning point. After this game I felt I could win the title, that I must win it. At the same time it became clear that Karpov felt the exact opposite." Karpov reported that in home analysis before the game, his second Efim Geller had found the improvement 12.Be3, but forgot to tell him! After a drawn 17th game Kasparov took a time out, assuming that Karpov would go all out against him with the white pieces in Game 18. Kasparov secured a two point lead when Karpov lashed out unsuccessfully on the kingside in Game 19. The drawn Game 21 ended unexpectedly after Kasparov suddenly noticed a flaw in his adjournment analysis. This seems to have encouraged Karpov, and Kasparov took another time out. Karpov cut the lead to a point by playing aggressively with the white pieces in Game 22. Kasparov explained that he "underestimated the opponent's pawn offensive on the kingside." In Game 24 Karpov needed to win in order to tie the match and retain his title. In a "superb fighting game, worthy of a world championship decider," Karpov built up a promising attacking position, but miscalculated after Kasparov sacrificed two pawns. Garry Kasparov won the game, and so became the 13th world chess champion.
Kasparov summed up the match as follows: "Karpov made the best even in unfavourable positions, exploiting every chance when positions were in his favour. He achieved outstanding performances. Towards the end of the match my confidence was slightly shaken by excitement and nervous stress; however, I managed to pull myself together for the final game. I realised that Karpov would have to do his utmost to win... In experience, I was behind Karpov but youth has an advantage; more surplus energy." Mikhail Tal called this "one of the most interesting matches in the history of chess." He praised Kasparov's "sharp, aggressive style," and remarked that "I only wish that his stay on the throne will not be as short as mine!" On December 5, 1985 Karpov exercised his contractual right to a rematch, which was scheduled to start in the summer of 1986.
FINAL SCORE: Kasparov 13; Karpov 11
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Karpov-Kasparov 1985]
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
- Garry Kasparov, Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 (Everyman Chess 2009), p.254
- In Chess Library Encyclopedia "Anatoly Karpov Chapter 2: Matches, Tournaments, Rivals Part 3"
- Garry Kasparov, Garry Kasparov on Garry Kasparov, Part 1: 1973-1985 (Everyman Chess 2011), p.7
- Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 p.277
- In Chess Library Encyclopedia "Garry Kasparov Chapter 2: Matches, Tournaments, Rivals Part 3"
- In Official Site of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match "Anatoly Karpov - Kasparov September 3 - November 9, 1985 Moscow (USSR)."
- "Chess" vol 50, nos. 963-4 (Dec 1985), p.226
- Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 p.272
- Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 p.273
- Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 pp.54, 277
- Jan Timman and Cornelius van Wijgerden, (Hilversum: Teleac/NOT 1997), TV episode. "Schaken met Jan Timman" Stonehenge transl.
- Dominic Lawson, Financial Times (19 Oct 1985). In "Chess" vol 50, nos. 961-2 (Nov 1985), p.198
- The background is that Karpov had advertised chess computers and should have received $446,177.50 by 1981 via middleman Helmut Jungwirth. Jungwirth claimed that he had transferred the money to Karpov. Karpov maintained that he had not received the money and had been deceived by Jungwirth. In the 1988 interview, Karpov explained that he had possessed evidence against Jungwirth and informed the Soviet authorities already in 1984. The article still unsettled Karpov, since it tried to discredit him and insinuated that he may have actually received the money. He was sealed off from the public during the match, but learned about the content of the article very soon after it was published. What Karpov termed the "other side" was anxious to draw his attention to the reports. Karpov filed a lawsuit at the Hamburg court of justice in mid-1985 before a statute of limitation would prevent him doing so, and Jungwirth lost the lawsuit in 1988. Jungwirth had to pay Karpov 800,000 Deutsch Marks, which Karpov pledged to donate to the Soviet Union to support sports, especially chess. Sources: Victor Baturinsky, Das Schachgenie Karpow, Benita Spielhaus transl. (Berlin, Sportverlag 1991), p.157; Toljas Million, Der Spiegel, issue 40, (30 Sept 1985); interview with Karpov by W Harenberg, Diese Affäre kostete mich den Titel, Der Spiegel, issue 52 (26 Dec 1988)
- "Chess" vol 50, nos 965-6 (Dec 1985), p.278
- Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 p.392
- Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 p.395
- "Chess" vol 50, nos. 963-4 (Dec 1985), p.242
- "Chess" vol 50, nos. 963-4 (Dec 1985), p.225
- Kasparov v Karpov 1975-85 p.8