Karpov vs Fischer: Who Is More Popular?

karpov vs fischer

In 1975, the world heard of one of chess history’s fiercest and most talked about matches. Many expected the game between the then-world champion Bobby Fischer and Soviet champion Anatoly Karpov to be a moment of pure chess brilliance.

However, what everyone seems to have forgotten in the midst of several speculations is that the match didn’t take place in real!

Yet, the two became the most talked about personalities in chess history. If you are fascinated already about Karpov vs. Fischer: who is more popular but needs help determining where to begin, this blog is for you!

In this blog, we will talk about the chess players and the match and how it made them household names of the century.

Karpov Vs. Fischer: Who are They?

Anatoly Karpov (1951-Present)

Did you know Karpov’s 102 total months at world number one is the third-longest of all time behind Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov?

Born in 1951, Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov is a child prodigy. He learned to play chess at the early age of 4.

Karpov entered Mikhail Botvinnik’s prestigious chess school when he was only 12. Even though Botvinnik had no good words to say about the boy, he worked hard and, in 1966, became the youngest Soviet master in history. He was fifteen then. At present, Karpov is a Chess Grandmaster, former World Champion, and politician.

Anatoly Karpov became the 12th World Champion in 1975. He became a three-time FIDE World Champion in 1993, 1996, and 1998.

The International Association of Chess Press conferred him with nine Chess Oscars for his talent and contribution to chess history. Since 1997, he has limited his classical tournament plays to exhibition plays only.

Bobby Fischer (1943-2008)

Chess960 or Fischer random chess invented by Bobby Fischer, is a chess variant in which the initial position of the pieces can be randomised to one of 960 possible positions.

Bobby Fischer, AKA Robert James Fischer, was an American chess grandmaster and 11th World Chess Champion. The chess world is heavily indebted to him for his talent and contributions.

He was a chess prodigy who won his first U.S. Championship when he was only 14. In 1972 he claimed the title of World Chess Championship by winning against Boris Spassky. The match attracted more interest than any other match as it was publicised as a Cold War confrontation between the U.S. and USSR.

Again in 1975, Fischer started to make headlines for the next match of the World Chess Championship with Anatoly Karpov.

Before his death in 2008, he had many credits to his name. A few of his remarkable gifts to the chess world are the book My 60 Memorable Games and the Fischer clock.

World Chess Championship: Karpov vs. Fischer

Image credit: ChessBase

The 1974 Candidates Tournament was the prelude to the 1975 World Chess Championship. In the tournament, Karpov beat Korchnoi scoring 3-2 with 19 draws, and earned the right to challenge Fischer for the title of World Chess Champion.

But the match did not take place as Fischer refused to defend his title due to a dispute over the format of the match. On June 1, 1975, Fischer refused to play, and after many requests that he turned down, unable to compromise, FIDE forfeited the title. As a result, on April 3, 1975, Anatoly Karpov became the 12th World Champion by default.

This match is known as the “Match of the Century” and was one of history’s most anticipated chess matches. The match is considered a massive loss for Karpov, as he believed he was promised a match that was taken away from him.

Many experts speculated on what could have happened had Fischer attended the match.

Spassky said that Karpov was the most formidable opponent he had ever faced. Further, he also stated that he believed Fischer would have won in 1975 had he played. However, Karpov would have qualified again and defeated him in 1978.

Garry Kasparov said Karpov would have had good chances because he had beaten Spassky.

In 2020, Karpov himself said, “I think I had chances. I can’t say I had better chances [than Fischer] — I considered it would be a tough match.

Verdict: Karpov or Fischer: Who is More Popular

The answer to the most speculative question of who is more popular among the legends is that both are great in their own ways.

Fischer is known for his all-rounder contributions and eccentricity. Not only he left his mark in the game arena but also the chess literature.

On the other hand, the child prodigy competed in umpteen matches to prove and carry forward his legacy of the World Championship. Besides, he has marked the parliament with his credits.

Therefore, regardless of the match, it is evident that they were titans among the other chess players. It is said that millions of people feel inspired by them to pick chess as a hobby. Indeed, both were champions in their field and lived up to the hype surrounding them.


Is Bobby Fischer the greatest chess player of all time?

Bobby Fischer is the third greatest chess player, and Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen were first and second, respectively.

Who is the strongest chess player of all time?

The strongest chess player of all all-time is Magnus Carlsen. He is ranked number 1 with a rating of 2859.

Who is the Goddess of Chess?

Caissa is the Goddess of Chess.

What is the average I.Q. of a chess player?

The I.Q. of an average chess player with a rating range of 60-180 is expected to be 60 to 140.

What are the best chess apps for iPad and iPhone?

There are a few well-versed chess apps. Some of them are Chess Play and Learn and Real Chess 3D.


Chess has an amicably interesting history and origin. But the sport would have attained no accomplishment if not for such great players. Hence, whether it is Karpov or Fischer, both have their marks left behind that enriches the game even more!

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