Reports | February 27, 2012 16:35

Karpov in the Bundesliga

Karpov in the Bundesliga

For the first time this season Anatoly Karpov played a game for his club SV Hockenheim, on Sunday in the Schachbundesliga. The former World Champion drew against IM Martin Krämer in 78 moves. OSC Baden Baden maintained the lead in the competition and will face their closest rival, Werder Bremen, in the next Bundesliga weekend.

Anatoly Karpov in the Bundesliga | Photo Schachbundesliga

With his draw against Krämer, Karpov contributed to a 4-4 score in the match Hockenheim-SF Berlin. The 12th World Champion was better throughout the game, but the German IM made no mistakes:

PGN string

Karpov played is previous official (classical) game exactly one year ago, also for Hockenheim, which then still played in the second Bundesliga. In the match against SC HP Böblingen, Karpov drew that game too, against GM Anthony Wirig. His last tournament was in July 2009 in San Sebastian, where he finished in last place. In recent years he only played rapid and blitz games.

These days Karpov is occupied with other things, like business and politics - not long ago he became a member of the State Duma. Over the weekend Karpov, who gave his name to the Rhein-Neckar regional chess school, was involved in a small ceremony as well: he was included in the Golden Book of the city of Rauenberg as special citizen by mayor Frank Broghammer, who is a keen chess fan. The German Chessbase has photos.

Baden Baden still leads the German league. On Saturday the reigning champs defeated SK König Tegel, despite a loss for Etienne Bacrot against IM Rene Stern. On Sunday they were too strong for USV TU Dresden. The crucial match against runner up Werder Bremen will take place on March 18th in Bremen. You can still replay the games at the Bundesliga's LivePortal.

Bundesliga 2011-2012 | Round 11 standings

# Club R + = - MP BP
1 OSG Baden-Baden 11 10 0 1 20 59.5
2 Werder Bremen 11 9 1 1 19 56.5
3 SC Eppingen 11 8 1 2 17 50
4 SG Solingen 11 7 1 3 15 50.5
5 SF Katernberg 11 7 1 3 15 44.5
6 SG Trier 11 6 1 4 13 50
7 SV Wattenscheid 1930 11 6 1 4 13 47
8 SV 1930 Hockenheim 11 4 3 4 11 45.5
9 SF Berlin 1903 11 4 3 4 11 43.5
10 SV Mülheim Nord 11 4 2 5 10 43.5
11 SK Turm Emsdetten 11 3 2 6 8 40
12 SK König Tegel 11 3 1 7 7 34
13 Hamburger SK 11 2 2 7 6 36.5
14 SC Hansa Dortmund 11 1 3 7 5 32.5
15 USV TU Dresden 11 2 0 9 4 34.5
16 SC 1950 Remagen 11 0 2 9 2 36


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Anthony Migchels's picture

oh, how dull the scene is without a nice supertournament with all the big guns taking each other on............

redivivo's picture

Korchnoi was 70 years old when he won Biel ahead of Svidler and Gelfand, while Karpov is ten years younger and has been playing horrible chess for many years. San Sebastian 2009 = 6 losses and 3 draws in 9 games, and after that a couple of draws against very weak opposition in Bundesliga games. Karpov certainly is no Smyslov or Lasker.

seppe's picture

Well I kinda suggest that you can study some Karpov games of his best days ... what greater gift can he give us :o) He was certainly better than Smyslov, Lasker o Korchnoi haha

Matt's picture

Karpov was far better than Smyslov or Lasker ;he just stopped taking the game seriously in order to do other things, unfortunately. He remains a great anyway.

redivivo's picture

Karpov certainly far better than Lasker? At their best maybe they were as great, but Lasker had 20 more years at the same level. He took eight years off in his 60s and still played incredible chess after that. Karpov played well in his 40s but since then it has been sad to watch him play considering how great he once was. He did enough of course, but to me Lasker was not less great than Karpov. If Kasparov didn't see a chess piece for 20 years he would still play several levels better than Karpov did in that +0 -6 =3 San Sebastian. But I guess not all players can have the longevity of Lasker, Smyslov, Korchnoi etc.

Alfonso's picture

Yes, Karpov was far better than Lasker. Just count the number of game victories against top players, the number of tournaments won, and the number of matches won. The only advantage of Lasker over Karpov is his chess longevity. In all other aspects, Karpov is much better. Lasker had long periods of inactivity (for instance between Moscow 1925 and Zurich 1934) or of low activity (between 1909 and 1923 only one top Tournament, Sant Petersburg 1914, and some matches), and therefore if you count the number of years playing among the top players, there is also no advantage for Lasker.

redivivo's picture

If number of game victories is what counts Lasker and Fischer would already end up far behind Leko. Karpov certainly won more tournaments than Lasker, as Leko has, but all these "certain" statements about Karpov being "far better" than Lasker leaves me very unimpressed. Lasker won his fair share of matches. Already after defending his title in 1896 Lasker had played 15 matches, and won every one of them. As for the rest of his career, he showed his strength many times in spite of playing little. One example being New York 1924, when he was 55 years old and playing on a different and higher level than both World Champion Capablanca and soon-to-be World Champion Alekhine.

Alfonso's picture

It is not victories what counts, but victories against top players. Lasker match victories over Miniati and Golmayo , or over-aged Bird and Blackburne, are unimpressing, and Leko has zero victories against Kasparov. Leko has won less top tournaments than Lasker also, and therefore nobody thinks he is better than Lasker (although probably he plays better moves on average). But my contention is that stating that Lasker was better than Karpov because he spread his victories over a larger number of years is pure no-sense. If Agassi returns tomorrow and wins Wimbledon he is not historically better than Federer because of that.

Karpov showed his strength many more times than Lasker, against opponents that were much better prepared. Probably he has the best tournament result ever, that of Linares 1994, over Kasparov and the young stars Anand, Ivanchuk, Kramnik, etc...For each Lasker magnific tournament victory it is possible to mention two Karpov magnific victories: if you think that Lasker victories are "better" because he was 55 years old, I have to gently disagree. In what I can concur is that 55-years-old Lasker was "better" than 55-years-old Karpov....

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