Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess, Part 3: Kasparov vs Karpov 1986-

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Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov are unquestionably the protagonists who featured in the greatest ever chess rivalry. Between 1984 and 1990 they contested five long matches for the World Championship. This 3rd volume of the,'Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess' series concentrates on the third and fourth matches in this sequence: London/Leningrad 1986 and Seville 1987. Both matches were tremendously exciting and hard fought and both produced chess of an extremely high level.

The 1986 clash was groundbreaking in that it was the first World Championship match between two Soviets to take place outside Moscow. It was split between London and Leningrad with twelve games being played at both venues. The defending champion was now Kasparov (having won the 1985 match) and he leapt into an apparently decisive three point lead. However, this sensationally dissolved when a crisis broke out in the Kasparov camp. Karpov exploited this and pulled off the remarkable feat of winning three games in a row. Kasparov finally regained his composure and eventually clinched the match with a late victory.

The 1987 match was notable for it’s sensational finale. Kasparov approached the final game with a one point deficit, knowing that only a win would enable him to retain the title. When the game was adjourned overnight in a position where Kasparov had to win to stay champion, Spanish TV cleared its entire schedule so that the nail-biting conclusion could be watched live. A pre-internet global audience of millions was glued to their TV screens as Kasparov ground out his historic victory.

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 1986 and 1987, giving his opinion on the background to the matches as well as the games themselves.


Kasparov vs. Karpov 1986-1987 is arguably the most outstanding book in an outstanding series that is without precedent.

—John Donaldson

Kasparov writes with a lot of passion and, like every other person in the world, tends to see things through the prism of his own experience/reality. Thus, when he wins, the game was often a brilliant effort on his part. When he loses, it's usually some sort of gift. And when he suffers from various emotional meltdowns, his ability to get beyond it and still triumph merely shows his greatness. Nonexistent is the thought that Karpov must have gone through his own emotional collapses. And there's absolutely no doubt that Karpov would view the games in a very different manner, with his own wins coming via superior play and his losses being gifts to the opponent. I'm not criticizing Kasparov here; in fact, I find his side of the story to be incredibly compelling - without a doubt the most personal, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination match memoir ever written. KASPAROV VS. KARPOV 1986-1987 is a great book, and should be in the library of all serious chess fans.

—Jeremy Silman

A book full of highlights; personal comments and analyses in this impressive work attracted me like rarely before.


A wonderful game collection with notes and analysis at the highest level. Absolutely recommended !

—Schach Zeitung

This is easily one of the best chess books of the year and one which should top the shopping lists of all chess fans. With all of the stories, the analysis and the history, there really is something for everyone here. It's one of the best of the whole Kasparov series of books.

—Sean Marsh

An absolute highlight in chess literature.


These are big, difficult, rewarding books, which describe a genuinely interesting story. Reading them is not easy, nor especially fun, but they're first class material ***** (out of 5)

—Sam Collins
Chess Today

A delightful, evocative book which can scarcely fail to entertain and educate.

—John Saunders

After Kasparov's series on My Great Predecessors, the world has patiently waited for a definitive analysis of his games with Karpov.This work shows, it has been worthwhile. It's a superb collection of games with outstanding analysis. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

—Prof.Nagesh Havanur

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