Karpov, Anatoly

  • Last updated on 10/9/08, 2:18 PM.

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Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov, born May 23, 1951, in Zlatoust, Russia, was the 12th World Chess Champion (1975-1985).

Karpov was the first world champion to win the title without playing a chess match.  He was awarded the title in 1975 when Bobby Fischer refused to defend his title. Anatoly became a Candidate Master at the age of 11, a Master at 15, an International Grandmaster at 19, and world champion at 23.

His peak Elo rating was 2780 in July 1994.

He successfully defended his world championship title twice against Viktor Korchnoi, but eventually lost his title in 1985 to Garry Kasparov.  He played matches against Kasparov in 1986, 1987, and 1990 but despite all contests being closely fought, he was unable to regain the title.

Anatoly Karpov was also the official FIDE champion from 1993 to 1999 (Garry Kasparov split away from the official FIDE championship in 1993).  In 1999, FIDE changed the world championship rules, deciding that the World Champion would be determined by an annual knockout tournament, prompting Karpov to retire from world championship competition.

Karpov was renowned for his frequent tournament successes during his reign as champion.  He has won more major tournaments (over 160), than anyone else in the history of the game. He never scored worse than 4th place in any tournament while world champion.

He became the first millionaire playing chess (now a billionaire in real estate and oil investments).


  • In 1978 he was named Soviet Union Sportsman of the Year and was personally decorated by President Brezhnev.
  • He has the most complete collection of postage stamps on the topic of chess. 
  • He has opened over 50 Karpov schools of chess around the world.  



  • 8 years ago · Quote · #1


    good example and nice to imitate and follow not only in chess but in investment also as he become an economic figure in the business world, kodus 'tolya'... hope you could invest 'Karpov' chess school in the Philippines!

    that would be a great novelty and brilliant move...and see how Pinoys will conquer this side of the world or planet with chess grandmaster...

    Godblest! - Aurel  

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #2


    Great suggestion!

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #3


    Thanks for the article, Chessopedia. Great job !

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #4


    Great! As of this juncture. he is the best! He has done better than all the other World Champions maybe even put together... include Kasparov, Fischer, Spassky, Morphy, Alekhine, Capablanka, Lasker, Anand, Kamsky.., etc.

    A billionaire! He is an inspiration to all of us,  chessplayers!

    Is he the richest  world champion sportsman, ever?

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #5



  • 8 years ago · Quote · #6


    Man he must be the most genius chess player everywhere. And he is a billionaire! It kinda makes you want to go invest in oil and real estate.

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #7


    Another great inspiration for me! I do wish he could have played Fischer for the title in '75, it would have been fantastic! (if not phenomenol!) I may not play like him ,but I enjoy his game tactics.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #8


    No not best ever Fisher was over 3000 rating

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #9


    for just a month, i have improved a lot..thanks chess.com!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #10


    next to fischer and capablanca, karpov is my favorite player.i, love the way he plays positional chess, and he also attacks very well when the position calls for it to bad that he and fischer would have had to battle each other it would have been very hard for me to have had to choose sides between the two but being an american citizen my loyalty would have been with bobby. but i consider anatoly to be the third best player ever behind fischer and kasparov.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #11


     A.E. Karpov is the one of the best chessplayers of the WORLD,he stands = to Kasparov, Fisher and Capblanca. He is an example,but you canNOT follow him,you, usually, don't have talant to play his level !!! 

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #12


    my third favorite player after bobby and capa and i believe the third strongest player ever after bobby and kasparov in that order(my opinion only) lol but seriously he can really teach you a lot about positional chess just from studying his games. truly one of the greatest ever.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #13


    no one in the chess world worked harder then karpov winning more tournaments then anyone else and doing more for the game. for me he is the greatist. and a true gentleman.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #14


    Karpov I belive was the second best player to ever have played chess, he is behind Kasparov whom I consider the best ever. The match between Fischer vs Karpov, hmhmh I belive Karpov might have won due to Fischers health issues, if you followed Fischer after he declined to defend his title you will find him in poor health and in fact you can find information concerning health issues in Reykjavik, Iceland , also his dislike of FIDE caused him to have a short Championship as World Chess Champion. His Elo rateing 2785 is in fact a little stronger than Karpov's 2780, but no one has come close to Kasparov's 2851. Karpov was a Formidable Champion, yet age creeps up on us all, that was his down fall, Garry was younger and youthful.

    ref ELO RATEING: http://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/top-20-highest-elo-ever

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #15


    All Karpov fans are invited to join a group dedicated to one of his favorite openings.  

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