Anatoly Karpov Likes Boring Positions

Garry Kasparov is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. Born in 1963 in Baku, Azerbaijan (then part of the U.S.S.R.), Kasparov became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at the age of 22, defeating Anatoly Karpov. He was the world number-one ranked player for 255 months, by far the most of all-time and nearly three times as long as his closest rival, Karpov.

Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess on 10 March 2005, to devote his time to politics and writing. He formed the United Civil Front movement, and joined as a member of The Other Russia, a coalition opposing the administration of Vladimir Putin. He was a candidate for the 2008 Russian presidential race, but later withdrew.

Kasparov has written many books on chess as well as business, including "How Life Imitates Chess."

  • Transcript


Question: How would you critique your opponent Anatoly Karpov’s chess style?

Garry Kasparov: At one point actually I promised to write the best book about Anatoly Karpov, and the book five of my series "My Great Predecessors" was about Karpov and Korchnoi. And I believe that was very complimentary; I know Karpov liked it very much.

I also found a lot of weaknesses in his game. When I said a lot of weaknesses I meant our world championship matches. Because something that what I call weaknesses for Anatoly Karpov that means very little... for chess amateurs, even for some reasonable chess players, because we’re talking about chess at the highest level. But Karpov... contrary to my style Karpov is very good at boring positions. He was very good in using the sort of the minimal advantage in his position, very good in defending in difficult situations, and not very good in positions with a broken material balance, so... And I was more aggressive in inventing new openings, so I always tried to come up with new ideas. So the combination of my strengths, the factors of my strengths, was superior to the combination of factors of his strengths. 

Recorded December 20, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Directed by Jonathan Fowler
Produced by Elizabeth Rodd