Karpov and the stolen manuscript
By mishanp on July 7, 2010

Former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov is engaged in a fierce battle for the FIDE Presidency, but in a recent interview he told Alexander Kochetkov of “Novye Izvestia” of a tribulation that befell him in the somewhat less cut-throat world of stamp collecting.

The interview consists mainly of standard questions and responses on chess politics that would be familiar to anyone who’s followed the campaign for FIDE President. To give an idea, the section I’ve translated includes Karpov’s post-election plans. When he mentions ”legal claims” he’s referring to his earlier comments in the interview that FIDE is wasting 10% of its budget on legal matters.

Then he goes on to mention the greatest players in chess history, which may again be familiar – he talks in much greater details about the champions in this interview, and mentioned the same top 5 on Russian TV. It’s noticeable that he remains sceptical about the players who followed himself and Kasparov, though in part it can perhaps be explained by the split in the chess world, and championship system, that came with the Kasparov-Short match in 1993.

Finally, it’s worth adding that when it comes to stamps the newspaper notes that by some estimations Karpov’s coin and stamp collection is worth $15 million…

Who do you consider the world’s greatest chess player? As far as I know you called the Cuban Capablanca your teacher…

I’d mention five surnames: Capablanca, Tal, Fischer, Kasparov and Karpov. Well, and you could add Alekhine, Lasker and Botvinnik to that list. And in general there were 13 fully valid World Champions, beginning with Steinitz and ending with Kasparov. Perhaps the Dutchman Euwe was weaker than the rest. So you almost end up with the 12 Apostles (laughs).

Here is the full article.

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