In 1984 Karpov faced a new, younger opponent who had exploded onto the chess scene, Gary Kasparov. The World Championship Match of 1984 would become a controversial war of attrition. After dozens of draws, Karpov would take a commanding lead of 5 to 0. As the match grinded on, Karpov seemed to tire and the younger Kasparov fought back to even the score 5 to 3. With both men showing signs of exhaustion from the grueling match, FIDE president, Florencio Campomanes, abruptly ended the match. He cited that the players' health were at risk due to the extreme length of the match. The two greats would once again play for the title in 1985, with Kasparov eventually winning a close match by a score of 13 to 11. After essentially replacing Bobby Fischer as the world's most dominant chess player and holding the world title for a entire decade, Karpov's reign as world champ was over.
Karpov would challenge Kasparov several times for the title, but would never again regain the unified crown. Each time Karpov and Kasparov played it would prove to be an epic battle, but Kasparov somehow would always manage to edge out Karpov. Kasparov proved to be Karpov's nemesis. Karpov's first rematch was in 1986, Kasparov would narrowly defend his title 12 ½ to 11 ½ . Once again the two played in 1987 with Kasparov again barely holding on to the title in a 12 to 12 tie. Kasparov vs. Karpov would become possibly the greatest rivalry in chess history. Both players had contrasting styles and personalities, yet were very evenly matched. Each defined the others career. The two would play once more in 1990, once again the result would be 12 ½ to 11 ½ in favor of Kasparov.
Much like his idol Capablanca, Karpov's style can best be described as positional. He was a master of exploiting the tiniest weakness in his opponent's position. He was sometimes referred to as the "boa constrictor", because he would gradually grind-out and "squeeze" his opponents. One of Karpov's finest moments was in the Linares Tournament of 1994, possibly the strongest chess tournament ever assembled featuring the likes of: Gary Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand, Boris Gelfand and Judit Polgar. Karpov finished undefeated with 11 of 13 points, 2 ½ points ahead of Kasparov.
The 1990's brought financially and politically motivated changes to the chess world championship . In 1993 Gary Kasparov and FIDE could not agree to terms and Kasparov split from FIDE. Kasparov would play British GM Nigel Short in the PCA World Championship. Meanwhile, Karpov would defeat Jan Timman for the FIDE World Chess Championship , but most still considered Kasprarov to be the real champion. Karpov would remain FIDE champion until 1999, when he himself would split from FIDE in protest to FIDE changing the world championship format. Since the year 2000 Karpov has played much less frequently, but is still regarded as one of the game's best. Amazingly, he has been relevant in the chess world for 40 years.
Some famous Anatoly Karpov quotes:
"Chess is everything: art, science, and sport."
"Pawns not only create a sketch for the whole painting, they are also the soil, the foundation of any position."
"I agree with the opinion expressed by many commentators that in the art of delicate strategic maneuvering Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov have no equals" – David Bronstein