Anatoly Karpov Likes Boring Positions

Kasparov's archrival excels when he is on the defensive rather than attacking. But ultimately, “the combination of my strengths was superior to the combination of his strengths,” says Kasparov, who seized Karpov’s world title in 1985.
  • 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