Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess, Part 2: Kasparov vs Karpov 1975 - 1985

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The history of sport has seen many great gladiatorial clashes: Ali v Frazier in boxing, McEnroe v Borg in tennis, Prost v Senna in motor racing. None however can quite compare to the intensity of the rivalry between those two great world chess champions: Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. Between 1984 and 1990 they contested an astonishing five World Championship matches consisting of 144 individual encounters. This volume concentrates on the first two of those matches.

  • The epic 1984/85 contest which was lasted six months before being controversially halted "without result" by the then President of FIDE Florencio Campomanes.
  • The 1985 match when Kasparov brilliantly won the final game to take the title and become - at the age of 22 - the youngest ever world champion.

Great chess contests have often had resonances extending beyond the 64 squares. The Fischer v Spassky match was played during the Cold War with both champions being perceived as the finest products of their respective ideologies. The Karpov v Korchnoi battles (three matches between 1974 and 1981) were lent an edge with Karpov being a Russian hero of the pre-Glasnost era whilst Korchnoi was the disaffected dissident. The Kasparov v Karpov encounters mirrored a battle between the new Russia and old Russia with Kasparov seen as a symbol of the new ideology emerging under Gorbachev whereas Karpov was seen to represent the old regime of die-hard Communists such as Brezhnev.

In this volume Garry Kasparov (world champion between 1985 and 2000 and generally regarded as the greatest player ever) analyses in depth the clashes from 1984 and 1985, giving his opinions both on the political machinations surrounding the matches as well as the games themselves.


Kasparov's passion, perseverance and paranoia in the 1984-5 matches are all vividly brought alive in this classic book. Over the course of the two matches he takes a journey through the full spectrum of emotions and this comes across very strongly.


For me Garry Kasparov is undoubtedly the best chessplayer of all time, but now perhaps he can also be considered the best chess writer. His books on chess history are no less than remarkable.

—Simen Agdestein

The 12-game title match in Bonn will pale in comparison with the 1984-85 Karpov-Kasparov 48-game epic battle that lasted five months and ended with no decision. That match, played to six wins, and the political maneuvering preceding it are the highlights of the second volume of Kasparov's series On Modern Chess, titled "Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-1985,"recently published by Everyman Chess. It is an important historical account.

—Lubomir Kavalek
Washington Post

A beautiful publication again, as usual in this series. It was a clash between styles, characters and political opinions. Kasparov describes it remarkably impartially, most of the time.... Especial the story about the first match reads like a thriller and every reader will be looking forward to the next book.

—Bab en Truus Wilders

the inescapable fact is, Kasparov vs. Karpov 1975-1985 is one of the best accounts of any world championship clash ever written.


An intoxicating reading; it gives a detailed and authentic description of all the backgrounds and emotions.

—KARL (German Magazine)

A great read for every chess player, whether a beginner or expert.


This marvellous book should be a part of every chess player's bookshelf. Long forgotten events come back to life, great games unfold themselves and one of the two participants sits right beside you and tells his own story. Fantastic!


Definitely a recommendation. This book is a must-have for those who are striving to perfect their chess. And for those who don't - it belongs to every serious chess book collection.


"Is Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess, Part Two: KASPAROV vs KARPOV 1975-1985 any good?" The answer to that question is obvious: how could it be anything but superb? Quite simply, we have Kasparov discussing every detail of his first two matches with Karpov and deeply analyzing each and every game. If that isn't chess gold, then what is? This is an important book and every real chess enthusiast will be delighted to own it and pour over Kasparov's wonderful notes and fascinating prose. A must buy!

—Jeremy Silman

It is a pleasure to sit over the board and play through the games and analysis of the book. (...) These were matches #1 and #2, three matches are still to come. Go ahead !

—Rochade Europa

Excellent though the other books on the shortlist were, the judges had no difficulty in selecting the winner this year ...The book can be read on several levels - as a dramatic story, or as providing insights into opening theory, or as great games enhanced by deep analytical annotations. Kasparov succeeds triumphantly in illuminating every aspect of this historic struggle. He is establishing as formidable a reputation as an author, as he did as a player.

—English Chess Federation book of the year review panel

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