Anatoly Karpov is one of the all time greatest chess players in the world. Anatoly Karpov held world championship title between 1975 and 1985. He held FIDE world championship title between 1993 and 1996. Karpov’s best Elo rating was 2780. This veteran player has won over 160 tournaments during his illustrious career.
Last Updated: July 12, 2022
Revamped the entire article to better represent Karpov and greatly expanded the achievements section. Also added a higher quality image of Karpov at the top of the page.
Full Name: Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov
Born: May 23, 1951
Place of birth: Zlatoust (formerly in Soviet Union)
Date of birth: May, 23 1951
World ranking: 194
Anatoly, born on May 23, 1951, is a former world chess master, statesman, and grandmaster of chess from Russia and the Soviet Union. He has a FIDE rating of 2617 and a Peak rating of 2780. Between 1975 and 1985, he held the title of 12th World Chess Master. He was also the USSR team’s player in two World Chess Championships-1985 &1989, three FIDE world Tournaments in -1993, 1996, & 1998, and six Chess Olympiad victories-1972, 1974, 1980, 1982, 1986, & 1988.
He was given nine Academy awards by the International Association of Chess Press- 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, & 1984. Karpov has been a prominent supporter of in-school chess programs across his career and has founded chess schools in numerous nations. He has also participated in initiatives allowing prisoners to study and practice the game of chess.
Karpov has held leadership positions with the International Association of Peace Foundations and as a UNICEF envoy. Karpov triumphed in the 1969 World Junior Tournament. He achieved grandmaster status aged 19 years.
On May 23, 1951, Anatoly Karpov was born in Zlatoust, Soviet Union, Russia. When he attained four years old, he started learning how to play chess. After demonstrating a talent for the board, he was accepted into the Soviet chess system and received in-depth instruction from top-notch Soviet chess masters. His progression in chess gained momentum, and at the age of 11 years, he was accorded the title of Candidate Master. He proceeded to join Botvinnik Mikhail’s reputable chess school, where he ended up being observed by Mikhail as having no idea about chess and hence does not see his potential.
To Anatoly, he appreciated that he did not know chess. Still, he thanked Botvinnik for his support in understanding chess through being given homework on chess to research via chess books. Mikhail’s effort helped Karpov, and he gradually bettered his chess games, becoming the youngest Soviet chess master on record at the age of 15 in 1966.
Anatoly Karpov’s chess career began pretty well as he topped during his prime international championship held at Trinec, defeating Kupreichik Victor, who came second. He clinched the yearly Niemeyer championship in 1967. After Spassky clinched the title in 1955, Karpov was the 1st Soviet sportsman to clinch the 1969 World Junior Tournament after recording an unbeaten 10 out of 11 in the tournament final in Stockholm. He was crowned an international master thanks to this triumph. In 1970 at a global competition in Caracas, Venezuela, he shared 4th and 5th positions with Pal Benko and was accorded the title of international grandmaster. He received the title from FIDE at its 41st convention, which took during the chess Olympiads in Siegen in 1970.
Anatoly Karpov acquired the opportunity to face Bobby Fischer, the current World Chess victor, in the middle of the 1970s. The final obstacle on this path was a matchup versus fellow Soviet grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi, in which Karpov triumphed.
But Fischer insisted on a long list of conditions before agreeing to play against the opponent. Consequently, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) stripped Fischer of his title and awarded it to Karpov. Karpov won the title without actually competing against the current world champion.
His maiden notable professional success came at the Alekhine Memorial tournament held in Moscow in 1971, which he shared with Stein Leonid. His Elo rating increased dramatically between 1971 and 1973, when he split the 2nd spot in the Soviet Chess Tournament, between 2540 to 2660.
Karpov’s victory in the world junior tournament earned him a spot in one of the different zones, a round of the 1975 world Grand Prix where Bobby Fischer’s opponent and the current reigning championship winner were chosen. He qualified for the 1974 Candidates Tournaments after placing first on an equitable level in the Leningrad Interzonal.
In 1978 and 1981, Korchnoi, who had since left the Soviet Union, competed against Karpov for the title of World Chess Master but was unsuccessful. Gary Kasparov, a fellow Soviet player, played against Karpov in 1984. The battle involving Karpov and Kasparov lasted for several tournaments spaced out across a period of five months. Finally, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) decided to halt the competition due to worries about the two players’ well-being. Karpov retained his title because there was no proclaimed winner.
Kasparov trounced Karpov in the 1985 World Chess Tournament. In their subsequent matches in 1986, 1987, & 1990, Kasparov won all three times. In 1993, Karpov regained the title of a world chess master, but it was because Kasparov had quit the World Chess Federation to create a rival international chess federation. Up until 1999, Karpov held the title of FIDE World Chess Champion.
Karpov remained devoted to FIDE and sought president in 2010. Despite backing numerous national chess federations that supported Karpov’s anti-corruption agenda, he ultimately lost to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the current FIDE president. It’s important to note that Kasparov supported Karpov’s bid for the FIDE presidency.
In recent years, Karpov has concentrated chiefly on chess promotion, chess programs, and chess schools worldwide, although he has still kept up his competitive play. He won the Anatoly Karpov Trophy in 2012, given his name.
Karpov has quite several achievements in his chess career and beyond chess. To begin with, he is a six times victor of the Chess Olympiads, and FIDE world chess champion on three occasions. In addition, he clinched the academy awards for being the most outstanding chess player on nine occasions by the International Association of chess press and has authored several chess books. In addition, he has been awarded several honors and awards, such as the Order of the Merit for the Fatherland, an honor for his exemplary assistance in establishing community programs and improving peace and togetherness among people.
Karpov got training from the chess school of Mikhail Botvinnik. In 1962, Karpov became a Candidate Master. In 1966, 15 years old Karpov levelled the record of being the youngest Soviet National Master. In 1966, Karpov went on to win Trinec International chess tournament, to mark his first title success. In 1967, Karpov went on to win European Junior championship. In 1969, he became world junior chess champion at Stockholm.
In 1970, Karpov became the youngest ever player to be a Grandmaster. Karpov triumphed at the Alekhine Memorial tournament, in 1971.He finished second at the USSR chess championship, in 1973.He won the Leningrad International tournament to qualify for the 1974 World championship candidates’ cycle. In hard fought candidates’ matches, Karpov amazingly defeated Lev Plugaesvsky, Boris Spassky, and Viktor Korchnoi to qualify for world championship match against Bobby Fischer.
In 1975, Karpov became world champion for the first time without playing the championship match. Bobby Fischer relinquished his title after FIDE refused to accept his demands. Karpov set a record of winning most tournaments consecutively with nine straight triumphs. Karpov successfully defended his world championship title, by beating Viktor Korchnoi at Philippines in 1978. It took 32 games to settle the match. Karpov narrowly won the last game to edge Korchnoi with 6-5 wins, as they drew 21 games. In 1981, Karpov again defeated Korchnoi to retain his World Championship title again with convincing 11-7 wins, at Italy.
Karpov has won Soviet championship thrice. In 1977, Karpov won the Las Palmas tournament emphatically. Karpov won the Tilburg tournament on five occasions. In 1978, he shared first place at Bugojno tournament, while he won it in 1980. In 1979, Karpov finished joint first at Montreal Super Grand Masters tournament alongside Mikhail Tal. In 1981, Karpov shared first place at Linares tournament, while he won it in 1994.
Karpov helped USSR to win six team gold medals in the six chess Olympiads in which he featured for them. In an amazing turn of events, FIDE terminated the 1984 World chess championship match between Karpov and Garry Kasparov after 48 matches. The matches lasted over five months, with 40 games drawn. Karpov was leading with 5-3 wins. In 1985, under the best of 24 games format, Kasparov defeated Karpov 13-11, to take his world championship title away. Karpov lost to Kasparov in title matches in 1986, 1987 as well as 1990.
In 1993, Karpov won the FIDE world championship defeating Timman, as candidate Nigel Short and world champion Kasparov split away from FIDE. Karpov won Linares tournament with world record Elo rating of 2985 in 1994.He retained his world championship title in 1996, by defeating Gata Kamsky. After change in format for the FIDE world championship, Karpov stayed away from defending his world title. Hence, he lost his title at 1999 FIDE World Championship by default. After 1995, Karpov remained less active in competitive chess. Now days, he plays in exhibition tournaments and rapid chess tournaments. Karpov worked as Arbiter and senior trainer with FIDE in 2009.Karpov will contest in the FIDE’s presidential election in 2010 during the 39th Chess Olympiad.
If you liked learning about Anatoly Karpov, you might also be interested in other players like Maurice Ashley and Emory Tate.
van Reem, Eric (August 11, 2005). “Karpov, Kortchnoi win Unzicker Gala”. ChessBase. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
However, in his 1994 book “My Best Games” Karpov says he played some 200 tournaments and matches and won more than 100.
“Anatoly Karpov elected as Deputy Secretary General of the Assembly”. Official site of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly. February 8, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
How Karpov Wins, p. xiii
Deep Blue: An Artificial Intelligence Milestonebats, p. 44
Keene, Raymond (October 1978). “Anatoly Karpov”. Chess Life & Review. Vol. XXIII, no. 10. p. 539.
Arrabal, Fernando (March 1, 1992). “Getting It Off His Chess”. The New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
Karpov, A. (1992). Karpov on Karpov: A Memoirs of a Chess World Champion. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-12060-5.
“Junior Meet”. Chess Review. Vol. 36, no. 4. April 1968. p. 99. The Niemeyer International Junior Tournament in Groningen, Holland, went to Karpov of the Soviet Union with 5½–1½, half a point ahead of Jocha of Hungary.
“EU-ch U18 f-A 6768 1967”. 365Chess.com. Retrieved October 20, 2013.