After defeating Beliavsky, Korchnoi, and Smyslov in the candidates matches, Kasparov earned the right to challenge Anatoly Karpov for the title. The match was held in Moscow. Once again, the format was the first to 6 wins, draws not counting.
|Karpov and Kasparov, 1984|
Karpov secured quick lead in the match, winning games 3, 6, 7, and 9 to establish a dominating score of 4-0. However, due an incredible series of draws, it wasn’t until game 27 when Karpov claimed his 5th point. With the score 5-0, Karpov’s victory appeared imminent, but this marathon struggle was outlasting everybody’s expectations. Finally, on the32nd game, Kasparov beat Karpov for the first time. After another long series of draws, Kasparov won game 47 and game 48, making the score 5 to 3.
At this stage, FIDE President Florencio Campomanes made a most unexpected and controversial decision: he called the match off.
At the press conference at which he announced his decision, Campomanes cited the health of the two players, which had been put under strain by the length of the match, despite that both Karpov and Kasparov stated that they would prefer the match to continue. Karpov had lost 10kg (22lb) over the course of the match. Kasparov, however, was in excellent health and extremely resentful of Campomanes’ decision, asking him why he was abandoning the match if both players wanted to continue. It would appear that Kasparov, who had won the last two games before the suspension, felt the same way as some commentators: that he was now the favorite to win the match despite his 5-3 deficit. He appeared to be physically stronger than his opponent, and in the later games seemed to have been playing the better chess.
The match lasted from September 10, 1984 to February 8, 1985. It was aborted after 48 games, making Karpov the de facto winner. A new match was scheduled to take place later in 1985.