Karpov's Strategic Wins 2: 1986-2010

The Prime Years

by Tibor Karolyi

Karpov's Strategic Wins 2: 1986-2010
Karpov's Strategic Wins 2: 1986-2010
Quality Chess (2011)
576 pages (paperback)
Reviewed by Jeremy Silman
This volume continues where Volume 1 left off, and since there are so many massive battles versus the world’s best, the book is even thicker than the first one! We get the same excellent layout, the same wonderful bios and indexes, and the same wonderfully presented notes.

Of course, if you love Book 1 (and how could you not love the first one?) then you will absolutely want Book 2 also!

One personal blip on my "all praise and nothing negative” radar: The second book’s subtitle seems a bit off since it’s clear to everyone that 2010 (and many years before that!) did NOT see Karpov in his prime. In fact, Karpov’s strength began sliding in the late 90s, and just a few years after that he was a shadow of his former self. Of course he was a monster in the 80s and most of the 90s, but in my view he was the best player on Earth in 1974 (not counting Fischer!) – his incredible match wins over Polugaevsky, Spassky, and Korchnoi clearly demonstrate this. Thus, in my opinion Karpov’s prime began in 1974 and continued to the mid 90s (which is a remarkable span). Naturally, this observation has absolutely no bearing on the magnificence of this two-book collection, but it strikes me as a bit odd anyway.

Once again: Karpov’s Strategic Wins (books 1 & 2) are a triumph for Tibor Karolyi, who cements his reputation as one of the world’s finest chess writers, and for Quality Chess – they just keep cracking out great stuff.

Click HERE to see the review of Karpov's Strategic Wins 1.