Anatoly Karpov wins "Legends" tournament

by Klaus Besenthal
7/2/2018 – The combined rapid and blitz tournament of the four "chess legends" Anatoly Karpov, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Eugenio Torre and Anatoly Vaisser in the Catalan seaside resort of Platja d'Aro ended yesterday with Karpov's overall victory. While the ex-world champion had fallen behind Vaisser by half a point after the six Rapid games at the start of the event, he succeeded in reversing the story during the blitz tournament. In the end, Karpov won with a score of 12½ / 18 ahead of Vaisser's 12 / 18. Third, was Ljubojevic with 7½ / 18 and last, Torre with 4 / 18. | Photo: David Llada

Master Class Vol.6: Anatoly Karpov Master Class Vol.6: Anatoly Karpov

On this DVD a team of experts looks closely at the secrets of Karpov's games. In more than 7 hours of video, the authors examine four essential aspects of Karpov's superb play.


VI International Festival "Vila de Platja d'Aro"

On the site of the Russian Chess Federation it is said that the victory in Platja d'Aro was Anatoly Karpov's 184th tournament win. The oldest tournament for 67-year-old ex-champion, according to the ChessBase online database, dates from the year 1961 — Karpov has now participated in major international tournaments for well over 50 years!

Alone, these numbers would be enough to make this man a legend, but he had numerous highlights over the course of his career. After Bobby Fischer had won the 1972 World Cup title against Boris Spassky, Karpov prevailed in the subsequent cycle of candidates against Polugaevsky, Spassky and Korchnoi. As we all know, Fischer did not join the 1975 World Championship match so his title went to Karpov without a fight. This was followed by the legendary competitions for the title against Viktor Korchnoi, titanic battles that lasted much longer than today's world championship bouts.

In 1985, Karpov lost his title to Garry Kasparov — and never again regained it in rematch bouts. From 1993 to 1999, Karpov did earn his place as "FIDE World Champion", before transitioning to a political career with only occasional playing. For instance, in the German Bundesliga, the former world champion still occasionally joins a match for his SV Hockenheim team. Simply legendary!

Anatoly Vaisser participated for the first time in the Soviet Championship in 1971. These too are legendary tournaments, of course, and those who were allowed to participate, long before the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, are generally all living-legends. In the recent past, Vaisser has several times been senior world champion. This man is still a force to be reckoned with at the age of 69 — in Platja d'Aro he was beaten by a mere half a point by Karpov!

Now to Ljubomir Ljubojevic: The Serb living in Spain is now, like Karpov, 67 years old. In the seventies and eighties, he was one of the strongest players in the world. Although he could never come close to a World Championship match, he shone during this phase with victories in many strong tournaments. At that time, one could hardly buy a chess book without finding one of his games discussed. But compared to Karpov and Vaisser, he seems to have fallen behind due to prolonged inactivity — at least the results of Platja d'Aro suggest this conclusion.

And to the final legend: Eugenio Torre of the Philippines became the first Asian Grandmaster (who was not a Soviet citizen) in 1974 (an astounding fact from today's perspective!). He's now 66 (like Karpov born in 1951) and going strong! By the way, Torre is also a record participant in chess Olympiads — he has now participated 23 times in his home country. His performance in Platja d'Aro, however, was a bit sad — solidly in last place.

Eugenio Torre vs Anatoly Karpov | Photo: David Llada

Final standings rapid

Rk. Name  TB1 
1 Vaisser Anatoly 4,5
2 Karpov Anatoly 4,0
3 Ljubojevic Ljubomir 2,5
4 Torre Eugenio 1,0

Final standings blitz

Rk. Name  TB1 
1 Karpov Anatoly 8,5
2 Vaisser Anatoly 7,5
3 Ljubojevic Ljubomir 5,0
4 Torre Eugenio 3,0

Blitz games


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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