Breaking News: Anatoly Karpov in hospital with fractured skull

by ChessBase
10/31/2022 – After an accident, former World Champion Anatoly Karpov was rushed to the hospital with multiple head injuries in which he was placed in an induced coma. Karpov was put on a ventilator now, and has been diagnosed with cerebral edema, fractures of the right parietal and right temporal bones, multiple head hematomas, and traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. We will update this report as the news trickles in.

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On a few things none of the reports still in circulation disagree: the 12th World Champion and current member of Duma, Anatoly Karpov, 71, was found on the ground outside of the Duma, and unresponsive. His blood alcohol levels were very elevated, and he was rushed to the hospital into intensive care.

Some early reports claimed he was the victim of an assault and in induced coma:

This was later reiterated by other outlets such as Marca from Spain.

The source of this, according to Tass, Andrei Kovalev, chairman of the All-Russian Movement of Entrepreneurs, announced in his Telegram channel that Karpov was in intensive care after an attack by unknown people and put into an artificial coma. However Karpov's assistant denied this and said he was fine, had no injuries and was in stable condition. Which begs the question, how fine can he be if there is a need to reassure others he is in 'stable condition'. Since Russian media is under very tight control by the Russian State, it is impossible to know where the truth really lies. states: Anatoly Karpov is in the intensive care unit of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Sklifosovsky Research Institute

Whatever the truth of the details, that Karpov was hospitalized and for serious reasons seems not in doubt. We will update this report as the news trickles in.

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The versions just keep rolling in and you really have to wonder whether they can get their stories straight. Now the wife is reported to have stated:

Karpov's daughter, Sofia, has confirmed he was in a state of induced coma after a head injury though caused by a fall, and not an attack. According to her, he is in recovery at Department of Neurosurgery at the Sklifosovsky Research Institute.

Oct 31 - 16:31 EST

According to Izvestia, Karpov was put on a ventilator. He was diagnosed with cerebral edema, fractures of the right parietal and right temporal bones, multiple head hematomas, and traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. As well as a concomitant injury, a closed craniocerebral injury and a closed fracture of the neck of the left femur.


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BAM1958 BAM1958 11/5/2022 02:49
Wish him the best for a full recovery. He was one of my favorite players and an all-time great.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/4/2022 10:36
On social media there are always people trying to disparage other people. That's why we need proper journalism. Chessbase may not be a real news site, and they may have done their best within their possibilities, but maybe they should have sidestepped this. Too much white noise.
agzand agzand 11/4/2022 05:32
There was reports that he was recently critical of war in Ukraine. The notion of him being drunk adds to evidence that someone (obvious who) is disparaging him and trying to make an example of him.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/2/2022 10:28
I guess for the moment we'll better rely on the reports by his wife. Attacks, alcohol and mortal danger all seem to be speculation, fed by people badly copypasting badly sourced reports. I guess other major chess sites and twitterers found out the story isn't that newsworthy.
Daniel Quigley Daniel Quigley 11/2/2022 08:11
I hope the three games of his against Morozevich and the two draws with Karjakin this past summer won't be his last.
A Alekhine A Alekhine 11/2/2022 03:47
Russian media is execrable. Everyone in that country seems to have an instinct to twist the truth. We are seeing more and more of that behavior from a certain growing faction here in the U.S.--it is like a race to the bottom.
Zagliveri_chess Zagliveri_chess 11/2/2022 03:11
2nd Thessaloniki Olympiad. As an event worker I had free entrance to the opening ceremony held in Palais de Sports (Αλεξάνδρειο Μέλαθρον in Greek). The main stage was packed with people, the stands not so much. I was sitting about 20 rows up, by a column of stairs. While Kasparov was lauded by the organizing committee as the then World Champion, two chaps came and sat on the seats just below me. One of them was Anatoly. As most spectators were clueless about chess, his arrival was not noticed. I could not resist, leaned over and told him in English "Grandmaster Karpov, your games have been an inspiration to me." He smiled broadly and replied (verbatim). "It is a privilege to inspire, thank you for your kind words". Then extended his palm for a warm handshake. I did not wash my hand for a month.

A few days later I was moving the pieces on two of the four, main playing hall, huge magnetic display boards showing top matches. One of the games displayed was his. He remembered me as he was pacing around, came under the elevated boards and mentioned in passing something like "to avoid public embarrassment, feel free to correct any blunder of mine you notice. Reset the board quickly if I resign!"

A humble gentleman.

I wish him quick and full recovery.
mark ayers mark ayers 11/1/2022 11:16
In a further report, Russian officials claim Karpov was attacked by a drunken Bobby Fischer with a vodka bottle, and that he is also alive and well, and living in Moscow. The 2 were seen playing chess in the hospital.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/1/2022 12:44
Still some more details on the USA website
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/1/2022 12:34
I found this: (translation from an article in the Russian newspaper Izvestia), with some more about his wife's comment: 'We left the entrance with him. He slipped, limped. Thought it was a leg. And we went to the emergency room – they say: “Listen, something is wrong with your head, you hit your head,” she shared. The grandmaster’s wife also revealed new details about his condition. “There is a small hematoma. But now the doctor called me and said that it was already resolving. He is conscious, there is nothing wrong with him,” she said. According to her assumptions, the chess player will be discharged in three days.'
tauno tauno 11/1/2022 12:18
The attack was a cowardly act. Let's hope he will soon recover from the special operation.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/1/2022 12:17
A bit strange that no other non-russian chess channel (, chess24,, giri/nakamura/short on twitter) has picked up this story yet.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/1/2022 12:02
The Daily Mail suggests ( that a change of position on the Ukraine war may have something to do with what happened: "While Karpov is seen as an ultra-loyalist and supporter of Putin's invasion of Ukraine, he has also publicly called for an end to the war. He told a TV channel in Kazakhstan: 'I wish [the war] would end sooner, so that peaceful people would stop dying.' He added: 'In the end ordinary people are the victims. Ordinary people fight, politicians and generals decide, and ordinary people fight, civilians die. 'I am not even talking about soldiers and officers. No, I could not imagine at all that Russians and Ukrainians would go to war. I have many friends in Ukraine.'
Does anyone know when this interview (or whatever) happened?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/1/2022 10:53
I wish him a speedy recovery.
Frederic Frederic 11/1/2022 09:39
Anatoly is one of my oldest friends in chess. I have known him for around 40 years. The relationship was always somewhat defensive, since I was clearly close friends with his main rivals (Kasparov, Anand). I will be doing a recoding on Karpov this week on "Frederic's Mates" and tell it all. I found a way to get him to lower his defences and fraternize amicably with me: start telling him about some new technical development. Then he was all ears, and could sit with me for hours in a cafeteria, in deep discussion. -- Wow, I'm saying all this in eulogy style. I hope the reports are exaggerated and Anatoly, who is 71, will recover fully. I really like the guy.
ChrisHolmes ChrisHolmes 11/1/2022 08:32
Multiple head injuries to me indicate a bad fall, not an attack. If you fall & hit your head on the edge of the pavement it can kill you.

I don't really imagine that anyone who would attack him would also inject large amounts of alcohol into his bloodstream. Occam's Razor tells us that the most probable scenario is that he drank too much vodka, couldn't walk, lost his balance & fell over. Nobody has yet said his body was dumped from a vehicle, & if it was an attack, why wasn't he killed ?

There must be surveillance cameras next to the Russian equivalent of Parliament or House of Representatives. Footage from those should easily show what really happened. The fact that none has been released indicates it might bring discredit on Karpov & the Duma - "drunk in charge of the country" !!!

This story has far too many loose ends.
arzi arzi 11/1/2022 06:05
Me too, I hope he will recover. I have played twice in simultaneous games. Yes, I lost them both. I have also talked with him, and he was a very pleasant man, as an ex-World Champion. You shouldn't talk rubbish if you've never even met him. It is not a very good way of behaving, when someone has injured.
mehmet17 mehmet17 11/1/2022 12:46
I can only wish the best for him. Hope he will recover soon..
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/1/2022 12:30
It seems that at the moment, journalists in Russia have a tough time to find out the truth - even when there is no political background. Even his wife and daughter are supposed to have given different facts, which seems unlikely to me.
calvinamari calvinamari 10/31/2022 11:54
Latest reports indicate multiple head injuries, which suggest an attack.
eastyz eastyz 10/31/2022 10:16
Wish him well, however much of a supporter he is of a certain person.
Graham Banks Graham Banks 10/31/2022 10:11
Only a coward would do this to a 71 year old man.
northwolf northwolf 10/31/2022 10:01
come on be time for joke.!!!!
tauno tauno 10/31/2022 08:15
In any case, at least he didn't fall out of a window.
adbennet adbennet 10/31/2022 07:36
Maybe there is more than one of him. So he is both at home and in the hospital.
A Alekhine A Alekhine 10/31/2022 07:02
Follow-up comment:

The Russians are masters of disinformation. I wouldn't be surprised if the story developed like this:

1. Karpov gets drunk, falls and hits his head.

2. Someone decides that story doesn't look good, Karpov being an icon of Soviet sport. It gets rewritten to suggest he was assaulted.

3. Someone else decides that doesn't look good either, because it suggests Moscow is unsafe, and fabricates the quote from the wife, who says Karpov is at home and is perfectly fine, there's nothing to see here. Or perhaps this version was created to completely muddy the water so people will throw up their hands and say, "Who knows what's true, the truth is impossible to know." This tactic has also been popularized by Steve Bannon, the notorious American right wing henchman, who calls it "flooding the zone with sh-t."
A Alekhine A Alekhine 10/31/2022 06:51
My guess: Karpov got drunk, fell and hit his head. Very simple interpretation, using Occam's Razor. Not the first Russian ever to do this.