Anatoly Karpov

45

Anatoly Karpov : biography

May 23, 1951 –

Karpov defended his FIDE title against Gata Kamsky (+6 −3 =9) in 1996. However, in 1998, FIDE largely scrapped the old system of Candidates’ Matches, instead having a large knockout event in which a large number of players contested short matches against each other over just a few weeks. In the first of these events, the FIDE World Chess Championship 1998, champion Karpov was seeded straight into the final, defeating Viswanathan Anand (+2 −2 =2, rapid tiebreak 2:0). 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 1999.

Towards retirement

Karpov’s outstanding classical tournament play has been seriously limited since 1995, since he prefers to be more involved in politics of his home country of Russia. He had been a member of the Supreme Soviet Commission for Foreign Affairs and the President of the Soviet Peace Fund before the Soviet Union dissolved. In addition, he had been involved in several disputes with FIDE and became increasingly disillusioned with chess. In the September 2009 FIDE rating list, he dropped out of the world’s Top 100 for the first time.

Karpov usually limits his play to exhibition events, and has revamped his style to specialize in rapid chess. In 2002 he won a match against Kasparov, defeating him in a rapid time control match 2½–1½. 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 from September 21–24, 2009, in Valencia, Spain. It consisted of four rapid (or semi rapid) and eight blitz games and took place exactly 25 years after the two players’ legendary encounter at World Chess Championship 1984. Kasparov won the match 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 encounter.

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.

Honours and awards

  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd class (2001) – for outstanding contribution to the implementation of charitable programmes, the strengthening of peace and friendship between the peoples
  • Order of Friendship (2011) – for his great contribution to strengthening peace and friendship between peoples and productive social activities
  • Order of Lenin (1981)
  • Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1978)
  • Order of Merit, 2nd class (Ukraine) (13 November 2006) – for his contribution to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster
  • Order of Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, 2nd class (1996)
  • Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, 2nd class (2001)
  • Medal "For outstanding contribution to the Collector business in Russia"
  • Honorary member of the Soviet Philately Society (1979)
  • Diploma of the State Duma of the Russian Federation № 1
  • Order "For outstanding achievements in sport" (Republic of Cuba)
  • Medal of Tsiolkovsky Cosmonautics Federation of Russia
  • Medal "For Strengthening the penal system", 1st and 2nd class
  • Breastplate of the 1st degree of the Interior Ministry
  • International Association of Chess Press, 9 times voted the best chess player of the year and awarded the "Chess Oscar"
  • Order of Saint Nestor the Chronicler, 1st class

Hobbies

Karpov’s extensive stamp collection of Belgium philately and Belgian Congo stamps and postal history covering mail from 1742 through 1980 is being disposed of by David Feldman’s auction company in December 2011. He is also known to have a large chess stamp and chess book collections. His private chess library consists of over 9000 books.

Tabulation number of wins in major recurring chess tournaments