Anatoly Karpov: The World Chess Champion Who Marked an Era


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Anatoly Karpov is known in the chess world as one of the best players of all time, he was born in Zlatoust, Russia in 1951 and showed a great ability for chess from a very young age.

Childhood and early life

Karpov passion for chess began at the age of four when his father taught him to play, at the age of six he joined a chess club and became known for his unique skills in the game.

At the age of ten, Karpov began receiving training from Mikhail Botvinnik, a Soviet chess player and world champion. Botvinnik considered Anatoly Karpov a natural talent and provided him with a great deal of knowledge and training.

anatoly karpov young

At the age of fifteen, Karpov won in the tournament held in Leningrad between a team of masters and a team of master candidates.

Professional life

By winning the Candidates Tournament, Karpov earned the right to challenge Bobby Fischer for the world title. However, Fischer declined to defend his title, making Karpov the 12th world champion in 1975 without playing a game.

To demonstrate his true strength, Anatoly Karpov successfully defended his title in Baguio in 1978 and in Merano in 1981 against Viktor Korchnoi.

Although he won numerous tournaments and led world chess, his dominance was challenged by Garry Kasparov in a historic rivalry. Karpov was unable to fully develop his potential due to lack of competition and the death of his mentor, Furman, in 1978.

This may have been the reason for his narrow victory against Korchnói in 1978.

What characterizes it as one of the best

Anatoly Karpov is known for being a highly technical and precise chess player, his style of play is characterized by being quite solid and defensive, often emphasizing the position of his pieces.

Karpov is also known for his skill in opening the game and in the endgame, his knowledge of chess openings allowed him to prepare games in detail and gain advantages from the very beginning of the game.

In the endgame, Karpov showed great technical skill and managed to win many games considered as "theoretical draws".

His ability to focus long-term on a game and his tenacity were also outstanding characteristics that set him apart from other players.

Match Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov

In this confrontation was born one of the most legendary rivalries of all times, being more specific in the 1984 world chess championship in Moscow.

anatoly karpov vs kasparov

To win this tournament it was necessary that one of the two managed to win six games.

After one of the longest fights in the history of chess, even having to postpone the match, Garry Kasparov finally emerged as champion.

Match Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov 1984/85

Anatoly Karpov style of play

Kárpov was initially influenced by José Raúl Capablanca, whose book about him was his first chess reading, although he shares with Tigran Petrosián a talent for prophylaxis, Kárpov plays actively rather than waiting for his opponent's mistakes.

His positional approach leads him to prefer the d4 or c4 openings as White, and he is a specialist in the Caro Kann defense as Black.

Opponents have had difficulty trying to respond with the Grünfeld defense against him, as Karpov is adept at neutralizing it.

anatoly karpov end

Vladimir kramnik described his style after losing to Karpov in the 1994 Linares tournament: "Despite having a slightly inferior position in the endgame, I was in a lost position after normal moves. Even as an elite player, I felt like a beginner, unable to understand what happened, these games are difficult to describe, there is something in them that escapes comprehension, a Karpovian spirit".

Contributions to the world of chess

Anatoly Karpov has made important contributions to the chess world not only as a notable player, but also through his work as a scholar and tournament organizer.

After retiring from active play, Karpov has published several books on chess and has been recognized for his work as a coach and mentor to young chess players.

Karpov has contributed enormously to the world of chess and, in turn, has been recognized for his achievements and his impact on the game.

Here you can find a compilation of their games

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