01 December 2010

Kasparov's Character

From Authors@Google: Garry Kasparov (YouTube.com), 'in conversation with Jonathan Rosenberg & Udi Manber' (2010-11-03). The 13th World Champion, when asked about the 1984 match, his first against Karpov, said,
It was a long time ago. As you remember, I was trailing badly, losing 5-0, so Karpov had to win one more game to retain the title. He couldn't win this game and eventually I won three more games. I was catching up and then the match was stopped and started again eight months later. There was a clear case of interference by Soviet officials. They believed that it would be too much pressure on Karpov to continue the [match]. I didn't like it, so the official decision made by the International Chess Federation [FIDE] stated clearly that Karpov agreed, Kasparov obeyed.

At the end of the day I won the title. The match was a great lesson for me because it probably made the ultimate mark on my character. Trailing badly, losing beyond any hope to survive, eventually surviving and beating Karpov eight months later, it was proof to me that there's no situation in your life where you have to give up. It was a very, very good lesson. So I'm grateful to Karpov who helped me to build up my character. [laughter & applause]

See also: The Sunday treat: Garry at Google (Chessbase.com).

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