It had to have happened in the 90s, but I can't remember either the tournament or Karpov's opponent (probably some Spanish tournament, like Linares or Dos Hermanas). Karpov was upset with the organization for some reason, and he complained by playing 1. e4 and offered a draw that was accepted by his rival. As Karpov would say: "What would he do? Play for a win?"

I've tried some simple Googling via "shortest karpov game" and similar stuff, but I've gotte nothing at all. I have no idea how to use databases for a search like this, but I suspect that-for obvious reasons-this game probably isn't in any of them.

1 Answer 1


Not sure if this is it but this is the shortest Karpov game I found in the database.
Anatoly Karpov vs Peter Leko, Groningen 1995 where Karpov played 1.d4 and that's it.

The first comment there says

karpov and leko did this quick draw to protest the abnormally early start of the round (9am if my memory is correct)

  • 6
    I would do the same. 9am is way too early! Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 22:23
  • 10
    So what's the usual start time? (Asking as someone who doesn't know chess tournaments at all.)
    – davidbak
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 17:09
  • 1
    @davidbak tbh most of the tournaments i played had 9am rounds and 3pm rounds per day but im just a casual player. i guess GM tournaments mostly have 1 evening round where they use mornings for preparation
    – cmgchess
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 2:47
  • That's hilarious... competitive TCG tournaments start quite a bit earlier and last all day (7:30am start time often, and 9 hour-plus long rounds taking you through 8pm or later with only one break...)
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 18:20

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