This not a question about chess exactly but I'm reading Deep Thought by Kasparov and I didn't understand what he meant by "I was behind in three and even in one after six games" when he was describing his matches with Karpov.

In my five world championship matches against Karpov, I was ahead after six games in only one, our last match in 1990. In the other four I was behind in three and even in one after six games, but didn’t lose any of them in the end, winning two and drawing one. (Our first match was terminated after I came back from 0–5 to 3–5.)

Does this mean that he was three games behind in the first six in one match and one game behind in the other?

  • 4
    This is just a problem with the ambiguity of the english language, right? He means even in the sense of "having equal points".
    – Kakturus
    Jul 26, 2019 at 9:29
  • @Kakturus This is why I hate English
    – David
    Jul 29, 2019 at 10:39

3 Answers 3


He is talking about the score after the sixth game of each of his matches with Karpov. To be precise, these were the scores after game six (shown as Kasparov-Karpov, not counting draws, to follow the same convention as the quote from the book):

1984: 0-2
1985: 1-2
1986: 1-1
1987: 1-2
1990: 1-0

As you can see, Kasparov was behind after the sixth game in three matches: 1984, 1985, and 1987. The score was even in one: 1986. Put both facts together and you have "behind in three and even in one". And indeed in only one match, 1990, Kasparov was ahead after the sixth game.

  • 1
    And in other World Championship matches Kasparov played, after 6 rounds the scores were: vs Kramnik :0-1, vs Anand: 0-0, vs. Short:3-0
    – Akavall
    Jul 26, 2019 at 2:50
  • This is an unusual way of writing the score. More normal would be to include the draws as 0.5-0.5, so 2-4, 2.5 - 3.5 and so on. Jul 26, 2019 at 11:26
  • 2
    I agree, but tried to follow the same convention as in the quote from the book, where Kasparov described the 1984 match as "3-5" (where the total score was actually 23-25).
    – itub
    Jul 26, 2019 at 12:07

I believe he means that in one of his matches, he was ahead after the first six games had been played. In one of them, after six games were played the score was tied. In the remaining three, he was behind after the first six games.


He just means he was behind in four of the matches, and after just 6 games for one of them. He is not trying to compare the result after 6 games for all matches.

  • 5
    Well, no, he doesn't mean that. And comprehension of non-native English speakers is a whole 'nother ball game. Jul 26, 2019 at 12:01

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