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Karpov Diem: Happy Birthday, Tolya!

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 24/05/2016

When Anatoly Karpov was 11 years old, he was invited to Botvinnik’s chess school. But the “Patriarch” passed a harsh verdict: “The boy has no clue about chess and therefore absolutely no future as a chess player.” Rarely was a judgement about a chess talent more wrong — Karpov went on to become the 12th World Chess Champion. And more than that he proved his dominance by winning an array of tournaments — more than 170 of them, actually — for around four decades. Today, he celebrates his 65th birthday.

Karpov Diem: Happy Birthday, Tolya!

Alexander Roshal, a master rated around 2430, played some blitz games against an 11-year-old boy while his students stood crowded around kibitzing. After he had lost the first game, Roshal asked the students 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 one and all. Anatoly Karpov, his opponent, humbly quipped: "Perhaps because I play better than you?"

 

Anatoly Karpov, fondly called as 'Tolya', was born in Zlatoust in the erstwhile USSR on May 23, 1951, and learnt the rules of chess at the age of four. He was already a Candidate Master at eleven, an International Master at eighteen and a year later, achieved the Grandmaster title.

Anatoly Karpov before defending the black pieces against Ulf Andersson in 1974. Here is how they stood in the January 1974 FIDE rating list.

He beat Spassky in the Candidates Semi Final Match and then later beat Korchnoi in the Candidates Final Match, both in 1974, earning the right to challenge Bobby Fischer for the world title in 1975. The match, sadly, never took place as Fischer defaulted, leaving Karpov as the twelfth World Champion.

Spassky won the first game but lost the match 7.0-4.0, allowing Karpov to set up a penultimate clash with Korchnoi.

Karpov-Spassky: White to play.

What would you do here? Especially with your knight on c3. Karpov, because he is Karpov, decides to shoo away the knight on b4 with Nb1 followed by c3. Wait, why did he 'undevelop' his knight that was on c3?!

Karpov-Spassky, Candidates SF 1974 (Notes by GM Mihail Marin)

[Event "Candidates sf1"]
[Site "Leningrad"]
[Date "1974.??.??"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Spassky, Boris V"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B83"]
[WhiteElo "2700"]
[BlackElo "2650"]
[Annotator "Marin,Mihail"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "1974.??.??"]
[EventType "match"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "URS"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. f4
Nc6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. Nb3 a5 11. a4 Nb4 12. Bf3 Bc6 13. Nd4 g6 14. Rf2 e5 15. Nxc6
bxc6 16. fxe5 dxe5 17. Qf1 Qc8 18. h3 Nd7 19. Bg4 h5 20. Bxd7 Qxd7 21. Qc4 Bh4
22. Rd2 Qe7 23. Rf1 Rfd8 24. Nb1 $1 (24. Rfd1 Rxd2 25. Rxd2 Rd8 (25... Bg5)) (
24. Re2 Bg3) 24... Qb7 25. Kh2 (25. c3 $5 Rxd2 (25... Na6 26. Rf3) 26. Nxd2 (
26. Bxd2 Nc2) 26... Nc2 27. Bh6 $1 Qb6+ 28. Kh1 Kh7 29. Nf3 $1 Kxh6 30. Nxh4
Qd8 31. Qxc6 Rc8 32. Nf5+ Kh7 33. Qa6 $1 gxf5 34. Rxf5 $18) 25... Kg7 26. c3 (
26. Re2 {/\Nd2}) 26... Na6 (26... Rxd2 27. Nxd2 Nc2 28. Bc5 Ne1 29. Nb3 Nd3 30.
Qxd3 Qxb3 31. Qd6 Qe6 (31... Re8 32. Qxc6) 32. Qxe6 fxe6 33. Rd1 $16) 27. Re2
Rf8 (27... Rd7 28. g3 Bd8 29. Ref2 f6 30. Nd2 $16 Qxb2 $140 31. Nb3 Qa3 32. Nc5
$18) 28. Nd2 Bd8 (28... Nb8 29. Nf3 Bf6 30. Ref2) (28... Be7 29. Nb3 Nc7 30.
Nc5 Qc8 (30... Bxc5 31. Bxc5 $18) 31. Rd2 $18) (28... Rae8 29. Nf3 Bd8 30. Rd2
{Botvinnik} Nb8 31. b4 $16) 29. Nf3 f6 (29... Bc7 30. Ng5 $18) (29... Be7 30.
Ref2) (29... Bf6 30. Ref2 $18 {/\Ng5}) 30. Rd2 Be7 (30... Nb8 31. Ng5 $18) (
30... Rc8 31. Rfd1 $18) 31. Qe6 $18 Rad8 (31... Nb8 32. Nh4 (32. Nxe5 fxe5 (
32... Qc7 33. Bf4 $18) 33. Rxf8 Bxf8 34. Rf2 Qe7 35. Qc8 Kg8 36. Bg5 $18) 32...
Ra6 33. Nxg6 Kxg6 34. Rf5 Kg7 35. Rxh5 $18) 32. Rxd8 Bxd8 (32... Rxd8 33. Nxe5
Qc7 34. Qf7+ Kh8 35. Qxe7 Qxe5+ 36. Qxe5 fxe5 37. Rf6 $18 {Karpov}) 33. Rd1 (
33. Nxe5 $5 Qc7 34. Bf4 Nc5 35. Qc4 fxe5 36. Bh6+ Kxh6 37. Rxf8 Nd7 (37... Be7
38. Qf7 Qd6 39. Rh8+ Kg5 40. Re8 (40. Qf2 Qd3 $8 41. h4+ Kg4 42. Rg8 g5 (42...
Qxe4 43. Qg3+ Kf5 44. Qxg6+ Kf4 45. Qh6+ Kf5 46. g4+ hxg4 47. Qg6+ Kf4 48.
Qxg4+ Ke3 49. Qg1+ Kd3 50. Qd1+ Kc4 51. Rg4 $18 {Timman}) 43. Re8 $1 (43. hxg5
Nxe4) 43... Nxe4 44. Qf3+ $18) 40... Bd8 41. h4+ Kxh4 42. b4 $1 (42. Rxd8 Qxd8
43. Qf3 (43. Qxg6 $2 Qg5 $19) 43... Kg5 44. Qe3+ $11) 42... Nxe4 43. Qc4) 38.
Rh8+ Kg5 39. Qe6 Nf6 40. g3 $18 {Timman}) 33... Nb8 34. Bc5 Rh8 35. Rxd8 {( ...
} Rxd8 36. Be7 $18 {)} 1-0

 

Candidates Final 1974: Karpov raced to a supposedly insurmountable three-game lead in the first seventeen games but later faltered in the end, only to win by a single point's margin.

Karpov — Korchnoi: White to play.

The idea of placing the d4 knight on e2 and overprotecting c3 knight with Rd3 in the Sicilian Dragon was considered novel at the time. How would you proceed to dismantle Black from this position?

Karpov-Korchnoi, Candidates Final 1974 (Notes by IM Oliver Reeh)

[Event "Candidates final"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1974.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Kortschnoj, Viktor"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B78"]
[WhiteElo "2700"]
[BlackElo "2670"]
[Annotator "Reeh,Oliver"]
[PlyCount "53"]
[EventDate "1974.09.16"]
[EventType "match"]
[EventRounds "24"]
[EventCountry "URS"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2
O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. h4 Rc8 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. O-O-O Nc4 13. Bxc4 Rxc4 14. h5 Nxh5
15. g4 Nf6 16. Nde2 Qa5 $6 17. Bh6 Bxh6 18. Qxh6 Rfc8 {Q} 19. Rd3 {Typical
Karpov - no counterplay! Typischer Karpov - kein Gegenspiel!} (19. g5 Nh5 20.
Rxh5 gxh5 21. Nd5 Rxc2+ 22. Kb1 Qd8 (22... Qxd5 23. Rxd5 Rxe2 $19) 23. Nef4 Qf8
24. Nxe7+ Qxe7 25. Nd5 Rxb2+ 26. Kxb2 $16 {Dobsa,S-Reinhardt,E/corr/1982/}) (
19. Rd5 R8c5 (19... Qd8 20. e5 dxe5 21. Rd2 Qc7 22. Nd5 Rxc2+ 23. Kb1 Rxd2 24.
Nxc7 Rxe2 25. Nd5 Re8 26. Nc3 $13 {Omelchenko,L-Mikhailov,A/corr-9 Wch/1977/})
(19... Qc7 20. Kb1 Kh8 {1-0/Skjoldager-Dalhoff/corr/1975/}) 20. Rxc5 Rxc5 21.
Nd5 Rxd5 22. exd5 Qxd5 23. Rh3 Qxa2 24. b3 Qa1+ 25. Kd2 Qf1 26. Rg3 $13 {
Ipek,Y-Eskelinen/Groningen EU-chJ/1982/}) 19... R4c5 (19... Qd8 {(Botwinnik)}
20. Nf4 Qf8 21. Qh4 Qg7 {Fianchettoed queen! Fianchettodame!}) {Q} 20. g5 $1 (
20. Nd5 Rxd5 (20... Rxc2+ 21. Kb1) 21. exd5 Qxa2) 20... Rxg5 {Q} 21. Rd5 $1
Rxd5 22. Nxd5 Re8 23. Nef4 Bc6 {Q} 24. e5 $1 (24. Nxf6+ $5 exf6 25. Nh5 Qg5+ $1
26. Qxg5 fxg5 27. Nf6+ Kg7 28. Nxe8+ Bxe8 $13) 24... Bxd5 (24... dxe5 25. Nxf6+
exf6 {Q} 26. Nh5 $1 gxh5 27. Rg1+) 25. exf6 exf6 26. Qxh7+ Kf8 {Q} 27. Qh8+ $1
(27. Qh8+ $1 Ke7 28. Nxd5+ Qxd5 29. Re1+) (27. Nxd5 $4 Re1+) 1-0

 

Karpov was slowly creating the mythos of his vicious 'boa constrictor grip' — that is, once you enter Karpov land, you are as good as dead. White to play.

Karpov-Unizicker, Nice Olympiad 1974

[Event "Nice ol (Men) fin-A"]
[Site "Nice"]
[Date "1974.06.17"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Unzicker, Wolfgang"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C98"]
[WhiteElo "2700"]
[BlackElo "2535"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "1974.06.06"]
[EventType "team-tourn"]
[EventRounds "15"]
[EventCountry "FRA"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.11.16"]
[WhiteTeam "Soviet Union"]
[BlackTeam "Germany"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "URS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "GER"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3
O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 Nc6 13. d5 Nd8 14. a4 Rb8 15. axb5
axb5 16. b4 Nb7 17. Nf1 Bd7 18. Be3 Ra8 19. Qd2 Rfc8 20. Bd3 g6 21. Ng3 Bf8 22.
Ra2 c4 23. Bb1 Qd8 24. Ba7 $3 {IM Sagar Shah: What a concept by Karpov!This
move looks nothing special but on deeper inspection the idea becomes clear.
Anatoly would like to build up his position on the queenside and later on the
kingside while the bishop on a7 prevents Black from not only doing anything
active but also exchanging pieces. With the queenside completely jammed, the
twelfth World Champion shifts his attention to the kingside and mates his
opponent!} Ne8 25. Bc2 Nc7 26. Rea1 Qe7 27. Bb1 Be8 28. Ne2 Nd8 29. Nh2 Bg7 30.
f4 f6 31. f5 g5 32. Bc2 Bf7 33. Ng3 Nb7 34. Bd1 h6 35. Bh5 Qe8 36. Qd1 Nd8 37.
Ra3 Kf8 38. R1a2 Kg8 39. Ng4 Kf8 40. Ne3 Kg8 41. Bxf7+ Nxf7 42. Qh5 Nd8 43. Qg6
Kf8 44. Nh5 1-0

 

When FIDE declared Fischer forfeited, Karpov became the 12th World Chess Champion, the youngest since Mikhail Tal in 1960. But the fact remained that Karpov had won the crown without defeating the reigning champion in a match. Although most in the elite circles were convinced that Anatoly was just very strong for his time, there was no dearth of doubting Thomases.

 

Anatoly was determined to prove his superiority and legitimacy as the World Champion, and hence, in the period between 1975 and 1985, he virtually participated in every tournament there was on offer, crushing, if not just winning, most of the tournaments in his way. He registered a first of a kind world record until it was broken by Garry, with his phenomenal streak of nine tournament victories, decimating the strongest players of the time.

Some choice tactics for you:

Karpov-Csom, 4th Bad Lauterberg, 1977. White to play.

Tatai-Karpov, Las Palmas 1977. Black to play.

In this period of clear dominance, in 1978, Karpov defended his title for the first time against Korchnoi at Baguio in the Philippines. He won with six wins, five losses and twenty-one draws. Three years later Korchnoi re-emerged as the challenger, and this time, Karpov won the match in Merano, Italy, handily with a six wins, two losses, and ten draws.

Would you like to capture the bishop on d6 if you were black? Black to play. 0.5-0.5

Korchnoi-Karpov, WCC 1978 (Notes by GM Karsten Mueller)

[Event "World Championship 29th"]
[Site "Baguio City"]
[Date "1978.07.27"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Kortschnoj, Viktor"]
[Black "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E42"]
[WhiteElo "2665"]
[BlackElo "2725"]
[Annotator "Mueller,Karsten"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/p7/1p1B2pp/5n1P/1P1P4/P2k1K2/8/8 w - - 0 62"]
[PlyCount "125"]
[EventDate "1978.07.18"]
[EventType "match"]
[EventRounds "32"]
[EventCountry "PHI"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2015.03.15"]
62. Kf4 Nh4 (62... Nxd6 $2 63. hxg6 Ne8 64. d5 h5 65. d6 Nxd6 66. g7 $18) (
62... Nxd4 $2 63. hxg6 Ne6+ 64. Ke5 Ng7 65. Bf8 Ne8 66. Bxh6 $18) (62... Kxd4
$2 63. hxg6 Nxd6 64. g7 $18) (62... gxh5 63. Kxf5 Kxd4 64. Ke6 Kc4 65. Kd7 Kb5
(65... Kb3 $2 66. Kc6 Kxa3 67. b5+ Ka4 68. Bb8 $18) 66. Kc7 a5 67. Kb7 h4 68.
Kc7 h3 69. Kb7 axb4 70. axb4 h2 71. Bxh2 Kxb4 $11) 63. Kg4 gxh5+ 64. Kxh4 Kxd4
65. Bb8 a5 $1 66. Bd6 Kc4 67. Kxh5 a4 68. Kxh6 Kb3 (68... b5 $2 69. Kg5 Kb3 70.
Kf5 Kxa3 71. Ke4 Kb3 72. Kd4 a3 73. Kc5 a2 74. Be5 $18) 69. b5 Kc4 70. Kg5 Kxb5
71. Kf5 Ka6 72. Ke6 Ka7 73. Kd7 Kb7 74. Be7 Ka7 75. Kc7 Ka8 76. Bd6 Ka7 77. Kc8
Ka6 $1 (77... Ka8 $2 78. Bb8 b5 79. Kc7 b4 80. axb4 a3 81. Kc8 a2 82. Be5) 78.
Kb8 b5 79. Bb4 (79. Kc7 b4 80. Bxb4 (80. axb4 Kb5 $11) 80... Ka7 $11) 79... Kb6
80. Kc8 Kc6 $1 (80... Ka7 $2 81. Kc7 Ka6 82. Kc6 Ka7 83. Bc5+ Kb8 84. Bb6 Ka8 (
84... Kc8 85. Bc7 b4 86. axb4 a3 87. b5 a2 88. b6 a1=Q 89. b7#) 85. Kc7 b4 86.
axb4 a3 87. b5 a2 88. Bd4 a1=Q 89. Bxa1 $18) 81. Kd8 Kd5 $1 82. Ke7 Ke5 83. Kf7
Kd5 84. Kf6 Kd4 85. Ke6 Ke4 86. Bf8 Kd4 87. Kd6 Ke4 88. Bg7 Kf4 89. Ke6 Kf3 90.
Ke5 Kg4 91. Bf6 Kh5 92. Kf5 Kh6 93. Bd4 Kh7 94. Kf6 Kh6 (94... Kg8 $2 95. Bc5
Kh7 96. Bf8 Kg8 97. Bg7 Kh7 98. Kf7 b4 99. axb4 a3 100. b5 a2 101. Ba1 $18) 95.
Be3+ Kh5 96. Kf5 Kh4 97. Bd2 Kg3 98. Bg5 Kf3 99. Bf4 Kg2 100. Bd6 Kf3 101. Bh2
Kg2 102. Bc7 Kf3 103. Bd6 Ke3 104. Ke5 Kf3 105. Kd5 Kg4 106. Kc5 Kf5 107. Kxb5
Ke6 108. Kc6 Kf6 109. Kd7 Kg7 110. Be7 Kg8 111. Ke6 Kg7 112. Bc5 Kg8 113. Kf6
Kh7 114. Kf7 Kh8 115. Bd4+ Kh7 116. Bb2 Kh6 117. Kg8 Kg6 118. Bg7 Kf5 119. Kf7
Kg5 120. Bb2 Kh6 121. Bc1+ Kh7 122. Bd2 Kh8 123. Bc3+ Kh7 124. Bg7 1/2-1/2

 

Karpov finally meets his match

Karpov remained the undisputed King of the chess world for a decade, when another Soviet phenom Garry Kasparov rose to the challenge, becoming the title contender for the infamous 1984 World Championship match.

 Karpov was so original and uninhibited in his strategic play, that it is no wonder his contemporaries were unable to figure out how to play him. Take a look at this position where Karpov's 20...Qa5 against Kasparov in the sixth game of the 1984 match brought on the board an aesthetically pleasing position with five black chessmen on the a-file. He won of course.

Karpov amassed a commanding lead of five points over his younger rival, needing to hit one last nail in the coffin — just one point — to become champion again.

But Kasparov just wouldn't give up, eventually scaling back with two consecutive victories in games 47 and 48. The match was abandoned after forty-eight games, amidst a lot of ruckus and mudslinging. Karpov was still leading 5-3, with forty draws, but the match had dragged on for five months.

The return match was held in London and Leningrad in 1985,and instead of a first to score six victories policy, FIDE adopted a more 'humane' 24-game match system. [Photo: Associated Press]

Kasparov has been vocal in crediting Karpov as the reason behind the increase in his own standard of play. The match was very close with Kasparov dethroning his illustrious rival 12.5-11.5.

 

But not before this beautiful victory by Karpov that was hailed by experts across the world as 'a light square symphony'.

[Event "World Championship 32th-KK2"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1985.09.12"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Kasparov, Garry"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D55"]
[WhiteElo "2720"]
[BlackElo "2700"]
[PlyCount "125"]
[EventDate "1985.09.03"]
[EventType "match"]
[EventRounds "24"]
[EventCountry "URS"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]
[WhiteTeam "Soviet Union"]
[BlackTeam "Germany"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "URS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "GER"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Qc2
Na6 9. Rd1 c5 10. dxc5 Qa5 11. cxd5 Nxc5 12. Qd2 Rd8 13. Nd4 exd5 14. Be2 Qb6
15. O-O Ne4 16. Qc2 Nxc3 17. Qxc3 Be6 18. Qc2 Rac8 19. Qb1 Rc7 20. Rd2 Rdc8 {
Diagram [#]} 21. Nxe6 $3 {IM Sagar Shah: Maybe two exclamation marks is a bit
too much but just look at Karpov's flexible thought process. He is not
attached to the fact that his knight is superior to the e6 bishop. Instead he
boldly goes ahead and exchanges the knight for the bishop and leaves Black
with another headache - weakened light squares. And the opposite coloured
bishop scenario accentuates the problem.} fxe6 (21... Qxe6 {was possible but
after} 22. Bf3 {Black has the weakness on d5 to take care of forever.}) 22. Bg4
Rc4 23. h3 Qc6 24. Qd3 Kh8 25. Rfd1 a5 26. b3 Rc3 27. Qe2 Rf8 28. Bh5 b5 29.
Bg6 Bd8 30. Bd3 b4 31. Qg4 Qe8 32. e4 Bg5 33. Rc2 Rxc2 34. Bxc2 Qc6 35. Qe2 Qc5
36. Rf1 Qc3 37. exd5 exd5 38. Bb1 Qd2 39. Qe5 Rd8 40. Qf5 Kg8 41. Qe6+ Kh8 42.
Qg6 Kg8 43. Qe6+ Kh8 44. Bf5 Qc3 45. Qg6 Kg8 46. Be6+ Kh8 47. Bf5 Kg8 48. g3
Kf8 49. Kg2 Qf6 50. Qh7 Qf7 51. h4 Bd2 52. Rd1 Bc3 53. Rd3 Rd6 54. Rf3 Ke7 55.
Qh8 d4 56. Qc8 Rf6 57. Qc5+ Ke8 58. Rf4 Qb7+ 59. Re4+ Kf7 60. Qc4+ Kf8 61. Bh7
Rf7 62. Qe6 Qd7 63. Qe5 1-0

 

Karpov and Kasparov's rivalry continued to capture the imagination of the chess world until 1990 when they had already played a total of five epic World Championship matches — Moscow 1984, Moscow 1985, London and Leningrad 1986, Seville 1987, and New York and Lyon 1990. In their five world championship matches, Karpov scored 19 wins, 21 losses, and 104 draws in 144 games.

After the split between Kasparov and FIDE, which resulted in the creation of the Professional Chess Association (PCA), Karpov took his chance to win the "FIDE World Championship" in 1992 by beating Jan Timman, who had lost the Candidates match against Nigel Short, the challenger of the reigning champion Garry Kasparov.

Although Karpov had already passed his peak, but his powers were never in doubt.

The strength of the twelfth edition of the Linares super tournament was awe-inspiring for the time, so much so that it propelled Garry Kasparov to comment that the winner could consider himself the world champion of tournament chess.

Karpov-Topalov. White to play.

Karpov won with 11.0/13 and scored a rating performance of 2985, that stood for almost two decades until Carlsen took it down with his 3002 performance at Nanjing 2009. He finished a clear 2.5 points ahead of Kasparov. Watch this game where he delivers a 'Karpov Masterclass' to the young Topalov.

Karpov-Topalov, Linares (Notes by IM Oliver Reeh)

[Event "Linares 12th"]
[Site "Linares"]
[Date "1994.??.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A33"]
[WhiteElo "2740"]
[BlackElo "2640"]
[Annotator "Reeh,Oliver"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "1994.02.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "ESP"]
[EventCategory "18"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1994.06.01"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Bc5 7. Nb3 Be7 8.
Nc3 O-O 9. O-O d6 10. Bf4 Nh5 11. e3 Nxf4 12. exf4 Bd7 13. Qd2 Qb8 14. Rfe1 g6
15. h4 a6 16. h5 b5 17. hxg6 hxg6 {Q} 18. Nc5 $1 dxc5 19. Qxd7 Rc8 {Q} 20. Rxe6
(20. Bxc6 Ra7 21. Qd3 Rxc6 22. cxb5 axb5 23. Nxb5 c4 24. Nxa7 cxd3 25. Nxc6 Qd6
26. Nxe7+ Qxe7 27. Rad1 $16) 20... Ra7 (20... fxe6 21. Qxe6+ Kg7 22. Bxc6 Ra7
23. cxb5) {Q} 21. Rxg6+ $1 (21. Qxc8+ Qxc8 22. Rxc6 Qb8) 21... fxg6 22. Qe6+
Kg7 23. Bxc6 $16 Rd8 24. cxb5 Bf6 25. Ne4 Bd4 26. bxa6 Qb6 27. Rd1 Qxa6 28.
Rxd4 Rxd4 29. Qf6+ Kg8 30. Qxg6+ Kf8 31. Qe8+ Kg7 32. Qe5+ Kg8 33. Nf6+ Kf7 34.
Be8+ Kf8 35. Qxc5+ Qd6 36. Qxa7 Qxf6 37. Bh5 Rd2 38. b3 Rb2 39. Kg2 1-0

 

Karpov defended his FIDE title against Gata Kamsky in 1996. After that FIDE scrapped the old system of Candidates' matches, instead having a large knock-out competition for the title. In the first of these events, in 1998, Karpov was seeded straight into the final and defeated our own Viswanathan Anand. In the subsequent cycle, the format was changed, with the champion having to qualify. Karpov refused to defend his title and ceased to be FIDE World Champion after the FIDE World Chess Championship of 1999.

Some more choice tactics:

Topalov received a bolt from the blue at Dos Hermanes 1994. White to play.


 

Karpov-Gulko, Oropresa 1996. The complexity of this tactic is amongst those few that are counted unparalleled in the chess world. White to play.
[Event "ESP-chT"]
[Site "Oropesa del Mar"]
[Date "1996.??.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Gulko, Boris F"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D27"]
[WhiteElo "2775"]
[BlackElo "2615"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "1996.??.??"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ESP"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1997.11.17"]
[WhiteTeam "Soviet Union"]
[BlackTeam "Germany"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "URS"]
[BlackTeamCountry "GER"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 a6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O Nf6 7. Bb3 Nc6 8. Nc3
Be7 9. dxc5 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Bxc5 11. Bd2 Bd7 12. Rac1 Ba7 13. Be1 Ke7 14. Na4 b6
15. Rxd7+ Kxd7 16. Nxb6+ Bxb6 17. Ba4 Kc8 18. Ne5 Kb8 19. Nxc6+ Kb7 20. Ne5
Rac8 21. Bc6+ Ka7 22. Nxf7 Rhf8 23. Ne5 Nd5 24. Rd1 Rfd8 25. Ba4 Ne7 26. Nd7
Nd5 27. Kf1 Bxe3 28. Rxd5 exd5 29. fxe3 Rc4 30. b4 Re4 31. Bc3 a5 32. a3 axb4
33. axb4 Re7 34. Ne5 Rf8+ 35. Ke2 Kb7 36. Bc6+ Kc7 37. b5 Rf5 38. Nf3 Re4 39.
h3 Ra4 40. g4 Ra2+ 41. Nd2 d4 42. Bxd4 1-0

 

Karpov is no longer active in competitive chess and usually limits his play to exhibition events at rapid time controls. In 2002, he won a rapid chess match against Kasparov 2½-1½, and in 2006, he tied for first with Kasparov in a blitz tournament, ahead of Korchnoi and Judit Polgár. Karpov and Kasparov played a mixed 12-game match in 2009, in Valencia, Spain, which Kasparov won 9-3. Karpov played a match against Yasser Seirawan in 2012 in St Louis, Missouri, an important center of the North American chess scene, with Anatoly Karpov winning the match 8–6.  In November 2012, he won the Cap d'Agde rapid tournament which bears his name (Anatoly Karpov Trophy) by beating Vassily Ivanchuk (ranked 9th in the October 2012 FIDE world rankings) in the final.

 

Solutions:

Karpov-Csom, 1977: 50. Nf5!! exf5 51. Qh2+ Kg8 52. Qg3+ Kh8 53. Qg7# 1-0

Tatai-Karpov, 1977: 23...Qd3!! 0-1

Karpov-Topalov, 1994: 30. Nf6!! Kxf6 (30... Qxf3 31. Nxe8+) 31. Be5+ Kxe5 $8 32. Qxe4+ Kxe4 33. Re1+ Kf5 34. Rxe8 $18 Be6 35. Rxf8 Bxa2 36. Rc8 {/\Rc7} 1-0

 

Photos and video from the Chessbase archives.

Anatoly Karpov Masterclass!

We are sure you enjoyed the games of Anatoly Karpov presented here. On this DVD, a team of experts looks closely at the secrets of Karpov’s games. In more than 7 hours of video, the authors examine four essential aspects of Karpov’s superb play. Niclas Huschenbeth takes a look at Karpov’s openings. Our tactics expert Oliver Reeh tests your skills with interactive exercises, challenging you to find Karpov’s brilliant moves. Mihail Marin sees in Karpov’s play great similarities to Magnus Carlsen: by the time the opponent understands what is happening, it is already too late. For endgame expert Dr. Karsten Müller, Anatoly Karpov is “a living legend”. For him, Karpov has “an incredible feeling for the coordination and harmony of his pieces”, something which also shows in his endgames.

• Video running time: 7 hours (English)
• Interactive tactics test with video feedback
• Collection of all Karpov’s games, crosstables and a short biography
• “Karpov’s Powerbook”: The 12th World Champion’s repertoire as an opening tree
• Tactics training based on 189 of Karpov’s games: 472 training questions with a maximum of 875 points

 

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