Did Kasparov and Karpov reconcile? In “On My Great Predecessors” Vol. V, Kasparov refers to Karpov very familiarly, as "Anatoly" or even "Tolya." He refers to Korchnoi (a much older player) formally, as Viktor Lvovich. I don't speak Russian, and I don't know if using a given name and nickname are signs of friendliness or just indicate the speaker knows somebody well. I do know that Kasparov and Karpov disliked each other intensely for a long time. I wonder if their relationship changed?

2 Answers 2


There have been several phases in their relationship.

Until the late 1990s, their rivalry is well documented.

When Karpov gradually retired from high-level competition, there was a time of mostly ignoring each other. In his opus "Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess" (4 volumes) written between 2007 and 2010, Kasparov praises Karpov the chessplayer :

‘His deep, infiltrating style, subtle positional feeling, and extraordinary persistence, practicality and flexibility rapidly raised him to the very summit of chess.’

‘Anatoly Karpov is one of the greatest epoch-creating players of the late 20th century, and his contribution to our knowledge of the subtleties of the ancient game is truly invaluable.’

But he also repeats his accusations of spying and unfair backdoor manoeuvring during their matches.

Because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", Kasparov nonetheless supported Karpov's bid for Fide presidency in 2010, emphasing on the importance of beating Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Yet Ilyumzhinov was reelected in muddy conditions.

With the involvement of both champions in Russian politics in the 2010s, their relationship has worsened to such a point that a reconciliation seems totally impossible nowadays.


Back in the day, Karpov and Kasparov were the greatest chess rivalry. After their chess careers ended, there was nothing that really brought them together. Karpov is a Putin apologist and Kasparov is very anti Putin, they do not have much in common in their social lives. They are no longer enemies but they never really became friends either.

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    I dont know if that is entirely true. For example. When Kasparov was arrested , Karpov marched down the the police station and spent all the time remaining in lockup with Kasparov playing chess and talking. I have friends I would struggle to do that for lol
    – Dheebs
    Jun 29, 2023 at 3:52
  • I tried looking up the Karpov visiting in jail story but it said he was turned away reuters.com/article/newsMaps/idUSL2756298320071127
    – qwr
    Jun 30, 2023 at 22:42

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