Thirty years ago, the most scandalous match began in Moscow. stories world chess
Thirty years ago, 9 September 1984, the most scandalous match in the history of chess began. World champion Anatoly Karpov had to defend his title against a young challenger Garry Kasparov.
The confrontation of two great grandmasters has long been interpreted much more widely than just a sports competition. Both the course of the duel and its result are often regarded as a symbol of the decline of the Soviet system and the arrival of new perestroika realities in its place.
A whole series of “orange revolutions” that occurred to our eyes several years ago was perceived by the “analytical community” as an extraordinary, hitherto unseen phenomenon. Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union, in two legendary matches, Karpov-Kasparov and Kasparov-Karpov successfully implemented a typical “orange” scenario. And although the events of those times were closely watched by the whole country, still few people understand what really happened then.
Before proceeding to the topic stated in the title of the article, it is necessary to make a number of preliminary remarks, without which it is impossible to understand the true meaning of the events that were of crucial importance in the fate of our country.
It is customary to associate radical transformations of the Soviet system with the name of M.S. Gorbachev. The following interpretation of the historical events of the middle of the 80-s was firmly established in wide use. The leader of the country has become a relatively young, energetic leader who understands the need for change. Having the opportunity to realize his intentions, he began a radical systemic transformation against the will of the "party democrats" who constituted the political elite of the Soviet Union and were seeking to preserve the "Brezhnev order."
These narrow-mindedly naive and superficial arguments do not stand up to scrutiny. The incredible speed with which the reforms were carried out, the fundamental nature, the depth of the changes that took place in the USSR at that time in all spheres of life, and many, many other facts indicate that the preparation for restructuring began long before 1985.
Recall what strategic tasks were set and successfully solved by the “Gorbachev team”.
First, it was necessary to develop, adopt, and most importantly, implement a package of new laws that completely changed the face of a country that, let's not forget, ranked first in the world in terms of area and third in terms of population.
Secondly, in order to suppress resistance to the reforms, which originated in the depths of the popular masses, including in power structures, it was necessary to think through and put into practice a set of measures, including a grandiose campaign of manipulating the consciousness of the population.
In order to carry out such a large-scale transformation, and even in a truly record time, the entire enormous bureaucratic Soviet machine had to work like a clock, preventing serious disruptions. In short, reform was a complex task requiring the mobilization of significant management and other resources. And this means that by the middle of 80's, the party vertical already consisted largely of people who not only did not seek to hinder restructuring, but also supported it in every way. It could not be otherwise. Without a very broad base within the party apparatus, Gorbachev would not have been able to realize a hundredth part of what he did. Otherwise, the initiatives of the Secretary General were simply sabotaged and would have hung in the air.
If you look at the biographies of the key figures of the “Gorbachev team”, it turns out that these people occupied high posts even under Brezhnev, and some under Khrushchev and even Stalin (Yakovlev, Aliyev).
Thus, the implementation of reforms was not the willful decision of Gorbachev, a loner who risked going against Sistema and the country's political elite, but on the contrary, a very influential part of the Soviet elite put Gorbachev into the historical arena in order to act in its interests.
In ideological terms, restructuring was a radical denial of the entire Soviet era, which is perfectly evident from the campaign of discrediting literally all the achievements of the USSR, as well as those people with whose name these achievements were associated.
Mixing it with dirt, throwing it off the pedestal, smearing their light, even if a mythologized image - this was what manipulators of public opinion needed. After all, having blackened and thus, destroying the symbols of the successes of the Soviet system, they pushed the people to the idea of abandoning the system itself. Will a person maintain the system if he considers it criminal and incompetent? Of course not, which was later confirmed in practice.
The political, economic, and cultural planes of the Soviet system, the personification of which were personalities known throughout the country, were under the blow. And it is abundantly clear that manipulators could not leave without such attention such an important field for the masses as sports.
To begin with, chess is a unique sport, which, on the one hand, has a reputation as an elitist, and on the other hand, it does not require expensive equipment to engage in it. All you need is a small board, knowledge of simple rules, and you can play.
In the Soviet Union, they correctly assessed the incredible cultural, intellectual, ideological, and hence the political potential that chess possesses. The Soviet cult of chess was not and still has no analogues in the world. Chess clubs, sections and schools opened across the country. A lot of adult and children's tournaments were held, which were attended by experienced masters seeking talents. Consistent and clear government policies quickly bore fruit.
The first post-war world champion - Botvinnik, followed by Smyslov, then Tal, Petrosyan, Spassky - five world champions in a row and all Soviet! Not only world champions, but also our other grandmasters occupied a dominant position in the chess world. Victory followed one after another, the superiority of the Soviet athletes was just total. All the people who appreciated chess and who understood them quite well watched with joy for their success.
No other sport in the USSR had such an obvious advantage over other countries. Moreover, superiority was achieved in intellectual competitions. The ideological meaning of chess victories is obvious: the USSR is the intellectual leader of the world, which testifies to the progressiveness of the Soviet system.
However, in the West there was a man who turned out to be stronger than the entire Soviet chess machine. His name is Robert Fisher. He was literally a textbook embodiment of the American dream. The son of immigrants, a lone genius himself makes his way up. In the qualifying competitions, Fisher easily beats the best Soviet grandmasters, then smashes Spassky and becomes the world champion. The ideological meaning of the victory of Fisher is also very obvious. Here it is the triumph of the American way of life. For great victories, talent does not need a nanny as a state; in a free country of equal opportunities, gifted people automatically become in demand.
After such a heavy blow to the prestige of the Soviet chess school, the statesmen, who still maintained their positions in the elite of the USSR, did everything possible so that the chess crown would return to the Soviet Union.
Anatoly Karpov had to solve this difficult task. If Fisher was a living embodiment of the American dream, then Karpov personified the great Soviet dream. He was born in Zlatoust, a worker in the Urals city. As a child, he knew poverty and even need, and he began his way to a great sport in the factory Palace of Sports. Unlike many other leading Soviet chess players to some extent infected with the anti-Soviet virus, Karpov emphasized his loyalty to the system. He was considered "his" by millions of people, because he behaved like a typical Soviet man and shared the values attributed to the majority. But at the same time he possessed an outstanding talent, will and purposefulness, which allowed him to achieve everything that most of the population of the USSR dreamed about: traveling abroad, fame, money, patronage from the authorities, etc.
Karpov had the qualities necessary to become a national idol, and at some point he became one. After all, what is the idol of the masses? As a rule, this is what the masses see themselves in their dreams, the idealized “I”, as psychologists say. The leadership of the USSR was well aware that Karpov was suitable for this role, supported him and was not mistaken. Very soon, a young, promising athlete turned into a chess player of incredible strength, and when he entered the world champion Fisher, the American refused to defend his title. In accordance with the international rules, Karpov was declared the champion.
Thus, in 1975, on the “chess” front of the ideological struggle, the Soviet Union restored the status quo. But soon troubles began again, Spassky and Korchnoi left the USSR, and if Spassky’s emigration could still be explained not by political, but by everyday reasons (his wife is of Russian origin), Korchnoi did not return from the international tournament and began to make sharp anti-Soviet statements.
Suddenly, it turned out that the Soviet system was left with only one truly outstanding chess player, able to defend the prestige of the country at the highest level - Karpov. And when Korchnoi emigrated, won the qualifying competition, everyone understood that the 1978 championship match of the year would be extremely ideological and scandalous.
The defeat of Karpov at the chessboard would have turned into the hardest defeat of the entire Soviet Union. Western propaganda, not sparing the strength and resources, created Korchnoi’s image of a “fighter against totalitarianism”, while Soviet propaganda denounced it in every way possible with shame.
As a result, Karpov was trapped in a psychological trap. If he wins, they will say that one cannot be proud of such a victory. They say that the whole Soviet system stood behind him, and Korchnoi fought alone, especially since Korchnoi’s son remained in the USSR, and in which case, the “totalitarian monster” could be accused of blackmail. If Korchnoi wins, they will surely say that justice has triumphed, and the “protégé of totalitarian forces” has lost, despite all the tricks of the “dictatorial regime.” And the size of anti-Soviet hysteria would be difficult even to imagine.
Karpov won with a minimal advantage of 6: 5, and three years later, in the next match, he again defeated Korchnoi (6: 2). In addition to champion matches, Karpov won many strongest tournaments, and rightfully became a symbol of the inviolability of the USSR's positions in sports. And as mentioned above, the moment was near when Soviet symbols would be transformed from objects of worship into an object of blackening. Therefore, a living legend, the idol of millions, Karpov, apparently, was the victim of a sophisticated and carefully planned operation.
In 1984, Karpov comes time for a third time to defend his title. In the minds of the people, he continues to be perceived as a typical "man of the System", a symbol of the Brezhnev era, which is patronized by party power. Oddly enough, this gross delusion still persists, although logic, common sense, and many facts prove the opposite. At the head of the country is a weak, seriously ill Chernenko and purely outwardly the system looks the same as it has been for the last ten years. Of course, everyone understands that he is only a nominal figure, but few people realize that the line to abandon socialism has already triumphed in the depths of the political elite and preparations for restructuring are in full swing.
The anti-Soviet elite needed their own symbols; they needed a new anti-Soviet chess king, a king to match himself. And here we come to the personality of Kasparov.
He was born in Baku in the 1963 year and already in his youth enjoyed the patronage of Heydar Aliyev. Before proceeding to the consideration of the first 1984 match of the year, it is necessary to make a brief excursion into Aliyev’s biography. The fact is that without taking into account the facts of his biography, it is impossible to understand what role he played in the scandalous and highly politicized confrontation of Karpov-Kasparov.
In 60, Aliyev held a number of important posts in the “power bloc” of the leadership of the Azerbaijan SSR — in 1964 — the vice-chairman, and in 1967 — the chairman of the State Security Committee at the Council of Ministers of Azerbaijan SSR. Since July 1969, Aliyev has been the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party. When Andropov, who previously held the post of KGB chairman, becomes the general secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Aliyev abruptly goes to the mountain, since 1982 he has been a member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee and first deputy chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. If we consider that the formal chief of Aliyev, Tikhonov, was already at a very respectable age, it becomes clear that in those years, it was Aliyev who was the de facto Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
So, he created all the conditions for chess growth for Kasparov and very quickly the young talent became stronger and became one of the strongest grandmasters of the USSR. Unlike Karpov, pointedly loyal to the system, a raid of "dissidence" was felt in Kasparov's behavior already at the beginning of 80's. Of course, at that time he did not make really harsh anti-Soviet statements, the time had not come yet, however, he didn’t hide his skepticism about the stagnant Soviet order too much. And in 1983, an event occurred that created Kasparov’s image as a victim of the “marasmic Soviet system.”
Kasparov-Korchnoi and Ribli-Smyslov entered the semi-finals of the qualifying competitions, the winner of which qualified for the match with Karpov, and both matches were broken through the fault of Soviet officials. The philistine conversations began that vile party officials, fearing for their pet Karpov, decided to eliminate his main rival, Kasparov. However, after Kasparov and Smyslov were considered defeated, Moscow apologizes to the international chess organization (FIDE), pays a fine, and asks all the same to hold semi-final matches. FIDE goes to the meeting of the USSR, Korchnoi, despite all his hatred of the Soviet Union, also agrees to play with Kasparov.
The story of the cancellation, and then the "reanimation" of those matches is extremely confusing and dark. There is evidence that the matches were saved by none other than Aliyev, but what really happened was not easy to figure out. The only obvious thing is that chess players became victims of hardware and political intrigues.
Be that as it may, Kasparov acquires a reputation as a “victim of the Soviet regime” and as such is ideally suited to the role of an anti-Soviet chess king. And Karpov is simply doomed to be in the same psychological trap, in which he had repeatedly been when he fought against Korchnoi. "Pet power" against the "victim of the regime."
And here comes the 1984 year. The match Karpov-Kasparov is held up to six wins, no draws are counted. After nine games, the 4: 0 score is in favor of Karpov. Then a long series of draws followed, but in the 27 game, Karpov, 5: 0! Shaped defeat. Kasparov manages to soak the score only in the 32 game, 5: 1. Again, a draw follows a draw. The match has been going on for several months already, the score does not change, until Karpov’s total victory lacks one step, but the victory is not given. Kasparov, despite all his efforts, also can not close the gap. And now Kasparov wins two games in a row, 47 and 48. 5 account: 3.
Then began a chain of strange events that still have not received a logically consistent explanation.
The President of FIDE Campomanes and 15 February 1985 of the year arrives in Moscow at a press conference in the Moscow Sport Hotel announces the end of the match “without announcing the winner”, citing his decision with the tiredness of athletes.
The most common version of these events is as follows: a rotten communist regime rushed to rescue its protege, Karpov, at the moment when it turned out that his physical condition no longer allowed him to play at a high level, which means he was doomed to defeat. Kasparov was illegally deprived of a real opportunity to become a world champion.
Let's analyze this interpretation. As already mentioned, at that time anti-Soviet forces dominated the USSR leadership. Then who and why could stop the match in order to "save Karpov from imminent defeat"? In his book Two Matches, Kasparov writes that 14 February 1985 of the year Campomanes showed him a letter signed by Chairman of the USSR Chess Federation Sevastyanov, which said that the chess federation is concerned about the extreme fatigue of both participants and asks for a three-month break.
So, officials from the USSR State Sports Committee decided to help Karpov? Stupidity. Aliyev himself was the patron saint of Kasparov - a figure far more influential than any representative of sports structures. Who then could go against his will and deprive Kasparov of a chance to become a world champion? Whose power was to force the Filipino Campomanes to come to Moscow to “help Karpov”? There are no intelligible answers to these questions in the framework of the stated version.
Turn to the facts.
1. 14 February Kasparov meets with Campomanes and learns from him about the written request of the USSR Chess Federation to make a three-month break in the match.
2. 15 February at a press conference Campomanes announced that the match will be canceled and the new match will begin with the 0: 0 account. Karpov disagrees with the decision of the FIDE President. Kasparov also confirms his readiness to continue the match.
3. A half-hour break is announced, after which Karpov signs off on Campomanes’s decision. Kasparov refuses.
4. February 19 Karpov writes an open letter to Campomanes, in which he demands to continue the match.
Agree to us utter confusion. If Karpov is really interested in canceling the match, then why does he require him to resume? Perhaps the whole thing is in a thin calculation and the letter is written to avert the eye? That is, Karpov knows that the match will not be resumed in any case, and in order to save his face he writes a letter that Campomanes will not take seriously? Look what happened next.
Karpov sent his letter to the central information agency of the USSR, TASS and the foreign agency Reuters, so that not only in the Soviet Union, but throughout the world they would know his position. And Karpov, speaking in the information program "Time", mentioned the letter. Soon the whole world was reading Karpov’s letter, but the inhabitants of the USSR were not! The foreign agency issued a letter from the Soviet champion, but the Soviet TASS agency did not!
Only the supreme power could order the central information agency of the Soviet Union. Only the intervention of the supreme rulers of the USSR could have forced the leadership of TASS not to disclose Karpov’s letter. After this, can it be said that the rulers of the USSR supported Karpov and stopped the match in his interests? Obviously not. The story of the letter shows the opposite.
But the power of the party apparatus did not extend to a foreign agency and the world knew that Karpov demanded to resume the match. The whole world knew that Kasparov did not agree with the decision to cancel the match, now the whole world (except for ordinary citizens of the USSR) found out that it does not suit Karpov either. Campomanes found himself in a very difficult situation, because if both chess players are ready to play, if both believe that the cancellation of a match violates their rights, then in the eyes of the public, he and only he will be guilty of disrupting the World Cup.
And what about Kasparov? Up to this point, his actions looked consistent. At the press conference of Campomanes, he stated that he did not agree with the cancellation of the match, a little later he refused to sign the corresponding agreement, which Karpov signed. And now Karpov gave up his signature, and, therefore, there was a real opportunity to achieve the continuation of the competition. It would seem that now Kasparov will begin to show activity, but instead Campomanes even had to resort to an ultimatum to find Kasparov.
Campomanes said that if Kasparov did not express his attitude to the current situation, Campomanes would regard his silence as acceptance of any decision that Campomanes would take in view of Karpov's letter. Immediately, the head of the delegation, Kasparov, sent a telegram to Campomanes that Kasparov was satisfied with the decision made in Moscow (about the cancellation of the match) and was already preparing for a replay.
So, Kasparov, who claimed at a press conference in Moscow that he did not agree with Campomanes, not only did not take advantage of the changed situation in order to defend his rights, but after Karpov’s letter, in fact, he supported the decision with which agreed! If at the first 15 conference in February 1985 of the year, Karpov agreed with the cancellation of the match, but Kasparov did not, after a short while, Karpov protested, and Kasparov supported Campomanes.
Another press conference followed by the FIDE President in the Philippines. The final decision: the result of the match is canceled, the new match will start with the 0: 0 account.
So, we considered the version that the match was stopped under pressure from the leadership of the USSR, and this was done in the interests of the party party’s favorite (Karpov), since Karpov, after several months of exhausting struggle, was exhausted and could no longer offer serious resistance to Kasparov. Thus, Kasparov was deprived of the opportunity to become a world champion.
Analysis of this version shows that it is inconsistent and does not explain a number of facts that are directly related to the events under consideration. Thus, it is necessary to recognize this version as untenable.
What really happened? I propose another version that consistently explains inconsistencies.
So, the very first games showed a significant superiority of Karpov. The living legend of the Soviet sport does not just win, but literally smashes the one who, according to the partelites, should become a symbol of change, “a fresh wind in the musty atmosphere of stagnation”.
Kasparov’s patrons face a difficult challenge. Kasparov must be saved from defeat, but at the same time, it must be done so that no one would guess that the system is on his side. Otherwise, the carefully crafted myth of a loner who "defied a rotten communist regime" collapses. What kind of challenge is there if the "rotten regime" fully contributes to Kasparov?
It is impossible to stop a match with an 4: 0 score, and even more so with 5: 0 in favor of Karpov, it will immediately become clear to everyone on which side the system is actually located. Kasparov’s patrons have no choice but to wait and hope that their protege will be able to win at least a few games. Then it will be possible to create the appearance of a fracture during the match and present the case as if the frightened Karpov is trying to escape from defeat, acting by unsportsmanlike methods.
Although Kasparov was able to avoid defeat (5: 3 score), from which he was literally on the move, the main goal of becoming a world champion is still difficult to achieve. Kasparov's patrons understand that he can no longer delay. On the one hand, Kasparov won two games in a row, which means that the appearance of a breakthrough during the match was assured, and on the other, Karpov only needed to win one game, and he is the champion. Apparently, at the direction of the leaders of the USSR, the Soviet Chess Federation appeals to the FIDE President Campomanes with a written request to take a break in the match.
We have to assume that Kasparov is aware of the plan he had planned, and his role is to demonstrate in public his disagreement with the suspension, and later with the cancellation of the match.
15 February Campomanes at a press conference in Moscow announces his decision to stop the match, and hold a new one, which will start with the 0: 0 account. At a press conference, Kasparov acts according to plan and expresses protest. But Karpov also disagrees with the decision of Campomanes. A break is announced, consultations are underway, after which Karpov signs off on the decision of Campomanes. Kasparov refuses.
February 19 Karpov writes an open letter to Campomanes, in which he demands to resume the match, thereby canceling his previous decision. The whole world will know that not only Kasparov, but also Karpov is ready to play. The plan of the anti-Soviet elite is in jeopardy. However, the main purpose of the manipulative operation was to discredit Karpov in the eyes of the citizens of the USSR, and here the country's leadership had every opportunity to prevent the spread of inconvenient information for them.
By order of the TASS authorities refuses to disclose the letter Karpov. Inside the Soviet Union, everyone knows that Karpov signed some papers, according to which the match was canceled, Kasparov did not sign, and therefore he is a victim. Public opinion is beginning to lean in favor of Kasparov. But at the same time, an ordinary USSR resident does not know that Karpov, a few days after the Moscow conference, refused to sign, thus giving Kasparov a real opportunity to insist on resuming the match.
They do not know that Kasparov started to avoid negotiations with Campomanes at this very moment, and, finally, the head of the Kasparov delegation sent a telegram to the FIDE President stating that Kasparov agreed with the decision of Campomanes to cancel the match and began preparations for replay
Without taking into account these most important facts, one can really get the impression that the system saved Karpov and grossly violated Kasparov’s rights. So the plan of the anti-Soviet elite was crowned with success.
The next match began with the 0: 0 score, when the restructuring was already in full swing, and Karpov began to slack off in the open. Kasparov looked like a moral winner, and Karpov’s reputation was undermined. In the eyes of many people, he appeared as a backstage intriguer who took advantage of his nomenclature connections, because he realized that he could not defeat Kasparov in a fair fight. Moreover, Karpov was deprived of that significant advantage of two points, despite the fact that he needed only one game to win the match.
In addition to the important psychological advantage, Kasparov received several months to understand the unique experience he had gained in the match with world champion Karpov. Karpov, easily winning four games from the first nine, revealed a number of weaknesses in Kasparov’s game, and how air needed time-out to eliminate the glaring shortcomings of his style.
However, even being in such a disadvantageous position, Karpov also led a long run in the second match, and the outcome came only in the last game. Karpov lost it, and with it the match. The anti-Soviet elite received an anti-Soviet champion.
This is only a version, an assumption, and it is hardly possible to say with absolute certainty how exactly things really were. But agree, there is something to think about.
With that said, the 1984-1985 events of the year are perceived differently. If the assumption is correct, it is easy to see that then the success of Kasparov and the victory of the "orange" are based on a fundamentally identical scheme, according to which Yushchenko was brought to power after many years.
As it was in the match Karpov-Kasparov. With the score 5: 3 in favor of Karpov. The result of the match is canceled. A replay is assigned, in which Kasparov wins. His victory is hailed as a victory for democratic forces, personifying freedom, over a representative of "rotten nomenklatura power."
As it was in Ukraine in 2004 year. Yanukovych won the election, with a score (if I may say so) 49,46%: 46,61%. The election results were, in fact, annulled, a so-called “third round” was appointed, who was won by Yushchenko. His victory was likewise presented to society as a victory for the democratic forces, personifying freedom, over a representative of "rotten nomenklatura power."
Isn't it the same circuit?
Indeed, chess is a unique game, a fusion of sports, science, art and big politics, including those painted in “orange” tones.