by Karpov

 

Chess is everything: art, science, and sport.

 

Had I undergone the severe nursery and kindergarten schools, with their obliteration of personal responsibility, their indifference, their enforced adherence to the principle of " do as everyone else does", their adherence to a culture of kitsch and cliche, and the struggle for everything - for a toy or a place in the clique, for praise from the teacher or attention from the group - had I experienced this, I'm convinced I would have turned out differently, more conforming and less independent, and I never would have achieved what I have.

 

Pawns not only create the sketch for the whole painting, they are also the soil, the foundation, of any position. 

 

The truth is that my chess development was nothing out of the ordinary, and it proceeded probably at a pace no faster than others.

 

I still remember Botvinnik's reaction to each of my games, right from the opening moves. At first he would express amazement, then annoyance, and, finally irritation.

 

I didn't picture myself as even a grandmaster, to say nothing of aspiring to the chess crown. This was not because I was timid - I wasn't - but because I simply lived in one world, and the grandmasters existed in a completely different one. People like that were not really even people, but like gods or mythical heroes.

 

By all means examine the games of the great chess players, but don't swallow them whole. Their games are valuable not for their separate moves, but for their vision of chess, their way of thinking.

 

Furman astounded me with his chess depth, a depth which he revealed easily and naturally, as if all he were doing was establishing well-known truths. 

 

As far as Kortchnoi the chess player is concerned, he fulfilled himself as much as his strength and talent allowed.

 

My association with Kortchnoi is linked with many difficult moments, dark thoughts, disappointments, and despair, but I have nothing against Kortchnoi.

 

I have heard so many times that Kortchnoi had the great misfortune of meeting me when his best playing was already behind him. Nothing of the sort! Kortchnoi's best years arrived exactly at the time he battled me ….

 

Like dogs who sniff each other when meeting, chess players have a ritual at first acquaintance: they sit down to play speed chess.

 

The first great chess players, including the world champion, got by perfectly well without constant coaches.

 

When I began consciously working on myself and devising a universalism of the game, I did so mostly because Spassky's game was distinguished by universalism.

 

I consider myself to be an idler, too, but the dimensions of Spassky's laziness were astounding.

 

With all his outward aplomb, ostentatious strength, and demonstrative assurance, Kortchnoi was always a rather unstable and doubting person.

 

I was struck by his gaze. He was not at all the way he looked in photographs. I didn't see any severity in him, but rather a sort of gentleness and patience. Incidentally, I never saw that in him again. (on his 1st meeting with Fischer)

 

I believe that Fischer surpassed all the former and currently living grandmasters in the ability to produce and process chess ideas.

 

It seems to me that the reason for his tragic break with the chess world was the excessive demands he placed on himself as world champion. The solution to this stress was obvious - he stopped playing altogether. (on Fischer)

 

Fischer's integrity was evident in any one of his actions. Even his shortcomings were inseparable from him; they were aspects of his integrity.

 

Fischer's strength can be evaluated only in comparison with the best chess players who surrounded him.

 

It is even more absurd to compare Fischer's chess strength with that of Kasparov, in whatever way, than it is to compare Fischer and me.

 

The rule by which a victor does not drop in his rating is logical, but unfair if we want the ELO coefficient to be an indicator of the true strength of a chess player relative to his contemporaries.

 

For six years now I've tried to kindle anger in myself toward Kasparov and fuse my anger into a sword with which I can truly smite him at least once, but I can't. He's just not interesting to me, and that's all there is to it.

 

I know of no other grandmaster in our country, or the world, who has received such all-encompasing, massive support from the authorities.  -  on Kasparov

 

If only I had had my duel with Fischer, my fighting level would be of a higher order. Once I had attained and mastered such a level - a level which for Kasparov is completely unattainable - I would have recalled it whenever necessary.

 

Kasparov and I have nothing in common. For me chess was the end, for him it has merely been the means.

 

He's unprincipled.  -  (on Kasparov)

 

The days when it was possible to win a serious game only by merit of sporting character or depth of chess understanding have vanished forever. Chess knowledge has become dominant, bypassing all the other factors that contribute to success.

 

Playing black, I put great stake in the Ruy Lopez: I liked it, feel it, and understand it; in matches with Hjartarson and Timman it served me well.  -  (on preparing World Championship match against Garry Kasparov)

 

I lost the match. I blame only myself for this. There were many opportunities to win. But I missed them, no one else.  -  (on Lyons/New York Match with Kasparov)

 

I have found after 1.d4 there are more opportunities for richer play.

 

I like 1.e4 very much, but my results are better with 1.d4.

 

The ideal in chess can only be a collective image, but in my opinion it is Capablanca who most closely approaches this …

 

He won a number of well-known games, by right from the opening holding his opponent in a vice prepared at home. And his grip was strong: after seizing his victim, he would no longer release him.  -  (on Alekhine)

 

My studies with Botvinnik brought me immense benefit, particularly the homework assignments which forced me to refer to chess books and to work independently.

 

Chess is everything: art, science, and sport.

 

Kortchnoi has a stable opening repertoire, with which he aims to lure his opponents into schemes where he is well versed.

 

When playing against Kortchnoi you have to think not only about the current moves, but also about what the opponent may take the liberty of doing, and this is not the best atmosphere for creativity.

 

Without false modesty I can say that in the whole of chess history, tournaments where on the one hand, all the stars of the chess world are gathered together, and on the other, the winner has demonstrated such notable superiority over the remaining contstants, can be counted on your fingers. - (following his 11/13 victory in Linares 1993)

 

Kortchnoi rarely declines any opportunity to gain material.

 

An amusing fact: as far as I can recall, when playing the Ruy Lopez I have not yet once in my life had to face the Marshall Attack!

 

But how difficult it can be to gain the desired full point against an opponent of inferior strength, when this is demanded by the tournament position!



 

on Karpov

 

 

If they had played 150 games at full strength, they would be in a lunatic asylum by now.  - (on Kasparov & Karpov, 1987)  -  Boris Spassky

 

I agree with the opinion expressed by many commentators that in the art of delicate strategic manoeuvring Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov have no equals.  -  David Bronstein

 

I can't play with you because I don't understand the way you play or your train of thought.  -   Boris Spassky

 

The boy doesn't have a clue about chess, and there's no future at all for him in this profession.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik

 

The aim was simple: to deprive Karpov of his favourite occupation - standing at the board, staring straight at his opponent. While I was wearing these glasses, all he could admire was his own reflection.  -  Viktor Kortchnoi