Let us say that a game may be continued in two ways: one of them is a beautiful tactical blow that gives rise to variations that don't yield to precise calculations; the other is clear positional pressure that leads to an endgame with microscopic chances of victory. I would choose the latter without thinking twice. If the opponent offers keen play I don't object; but in such cases I get less satisfaction, even if I win, than from a game conducted according to all the rules of strategy with its ruthless logic.
Style? I have no style.
I like 1.e4 very much but my results with 1.d4 are better.
To be champion requires more than simply being a strong player; one has to be a strong human being as well.
Chess is my life, but my life is not chess.
Those so-called K-K matches for the title were the biggest misery I had in my life - especially the disappointment of losing in Seville. But, you know, despite our history, there’s still a lot of fight in our battles - it’s still a big fight in the eyes of the media.
For them I will always be ready. (on getting revenge against players who've beaten him)
"Karpov clearly belongs to another chess era, from before computer science arrived on the scene." – Felix Izeta
"He had arranged for top soviet grandmasters to help with his preparation. We must all provide him with information about our openings and variations, all our professional secrets. It was made clear that this was our patriotic duty to the Motherland, for the traitor must be destroyed. Many grandmasters duly obliged and submitted to this official harassment." – Garry Kasparov (on having to assist Karpov in his World Championship match against Korchnoi)
"Karpov, the dyed-in-the-wool opportunist, has never been thwarted by matters of principle." – Lev Khariton
"The boy doesn't have a clue about chess, and there's no future at all for him in this profession." – Mikhail Botvinnik (referring to a 12-year-old Karpov)
"In short, we can see Karpov as an exploiter of other people’s ideas. His ability to use these ideas is not at issue, but he himself is about as fertile as a woman who has been sterilized is." – Mikhail Botvinnik
"It extremely rarely occurs to him to create something new on the chessboard." – Viktor Korchnoi
"With his time finished 10 years ago, the former hero of all Soviet working people, from the mines of Astana to the wineries of Cisinau, from the beaches of Yurmala to the mountains of Bishkek, still soldiers on. He tries to keep a straight face, he pretends to be busy, he plays teenage girls in exhibition matches. Just a dead man walking." – Alex Yermolinsky
"At first I found some of his moves not altogether understandable, and only after careful analysis did I discover their hidden strength." – Ljubomir Ljubojevic
"When observing Karpov's play or playing against him, one cannot help thinking that all his pieces are linked by invisible threads. This net moves forward unhurriedly, gradually covering the enemy squares, but, amazingly, not relinquishing its own." – Alexander Roshal
"Many of Karpov's intentions become understandable to his opponents only when salvation is no longer possible." – Mikhail Tal
"Known as a negative player, Karpov sets up deep traps and creates moves that seem to allow his opponent possibilities - but that really don't. He takes no chances, and he gives his opponents nothing. He's a trench-warfare fighter who keeps the game moving just an inch at a time." – Bruce Pandolfini