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Anatoly Karpov, the 30-year-old chess champion of the world, is a short (5 feet 7 inches), thin (120 pounds), polite man, always the complete diplomat in his dealings, a member of Communist Party and the Central Committee of the Komsomol, rather secretive and highly intelligent - the very model of the Soviet New Man.
He goes around the world saying the right things and generally everyone is charmed in the process.
Alekhine lost it to Max Euwe in Holland in 1935, but regained it from him two years later.
In 1972, Bobby Fischer became the champion, but immediately retired from chess and surrendered h is title by default to Karpov in 1975. He made so many impossible demands on the International Chess Federation that the august group ended by throwing up i ts hands.
Away from the chessboard, he gives people the idea he is a mild man.
The 1974 eliminations got down to Korchnoi and Karpov, and there the animosity of the two men became widely known for the first time.He has - pace Karpov - demanded repeatedly that the Russians release his family.That would involve release from jail of Korchnoi's son, who was put away in 1979 as a ''draft dod ger.'' The sentence still has six months to run.Karpov, the top of the line, has a Mercedes and a chauffeur, a fine Moscow apartment and a dacha.Brilliant as he was, Korchnoi never became part of the establishment as Karpov did. In 1974, he was one of the candidates for the world championship - one of six survivors of a stern three-year international elimination process.