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Garry Kasparov - Biography
Garry Kasparov:Biography | Milestones | Photo Gallery | Kasparov Today

Name:Garry Kimovich Kasparov
Birth Date:April 13, 1963
Birth Place:Baku, Azerbaijan
Residence:Moscow, Russia
Mother:Klara Shagenovna Kasparova
Father:Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein
Interests:History, Politics, Literature, Computers

Chess Highlights

HighlightYearAgeDuration
Started Playing19685 
Soviet Junior Champion:1976-7712-13 
World Junior Champion:198017 
International Grandmaster:198017 
Joint 1st USSR Champion:198118 
World Champion Finalist:198421 
World Champion:1985 - 2000 22-3515
World's #1 Rated Player:1984 - 200621-4221-22
1st Player ever to top 2800 rating:199026 
Only player ever to reach 2851 rating199937 
Won Linares & announced retirement From competitive chess200541 

Kasparov's World Title Matches
YearPlaceOpponentResult
1984Moscowvs. Karpovmatch abandoned
1985Moscowvs. KarpovKasparov wins title
1986London/Leningradvs. KarpovKasparov retains title
1987Sevilla vs. KarpovKasparov retains title
1990New York/Lyonvs. KarpovKasparov retains title
1993Londonvs. ShortKasparov retains title
1995New Yorkvs. AnandKasparov retains title
2000Londonvs. KramnikKasparov loses title

Championship Defenses

Kasparov vs. Karpov, Moscow, 1985.

Kasparov and Karpov battled each other five times in seven years for the world championship title. (Compare this to Kramnik who beat Kasparov in 2000 and then took four years before he played Leko, a hand-picked opponent for the title - ironically at the time Kramnik was ranked #3 in the world and Leko #6.)

The 1984 the world championship match which was in progress was called off by the FIDE President Florencio Campomanes.

In 1985 Kasparov beat Karpov to become the youngest player ever to win the World Chess Championship.

Kasparov (the champion) and Karpov (the challenger) played again in 1986, 1987 and in 1990.

These were the golden years of the World Championship matches and the match in Sevilla in 1987 was the most widely televised chess match in the world.

Then followed title defenses against Nigel Short in London in 1993, against Vishy Anand in New York City in 1995 where they played on the 106th Floor of the World Trade Center and Mayor Rudolf Giuliani made the first move on of all days, "September eleventh".

In 2000 after 15 years, Kasparov's reign as World Champion came to end with a loss to Kramnik in London.

Number One

Age 21.

Garry Kasparov achieved the #1 ELO rating for the first time in the summer of 1984 at age 21.

Then followed the legendary 1984 World Chess Championship resulting in a notorious decision by Florencio Campomanes (FIDE President) to call off the match because of players fatigue. Although widely favored to win the world title if they had continued, Garry Kasparov lost 10 points and Anatoly Karpov gained 10 points, thus winning back the #1 spot he had just surrendered to Kasparov. Karpov's #1 position was short-lived. On Nov. 9th, 1985 Garry Kasparov defeated Anatoly Karpov for the world title and coincidentally by January of 1986 he had regained the #1 spot.

He has made the #1 rating his own for most of the past 20 years, although for a brief period in January of 1996, Vladimir Kramnik joined him as co #1, each of them had a 2775 ELO points rating. Kasparov soon however opened the gap between himself and Kramnik who eventually fell to the #3 behind Vishy Anand. As of January 1st, 2005, Garry Kasparov retains his #1 rating, Vishy Anand is second and Vladmir Kramnik has since fallen behind Topalov to #4.

Kasparov first was rated #1 in 1984 and except for the short period mentioned above, he has been the top rated player in the world for over 20 years (1984 - 2005).

The Computer Wars

Deep Blue

In February 1996 in Philadelphia, he played IBM's Deep Blue computer. His opponent was able to analyze 50 billion moves in three minutes. In NYC in May 1997, Kasparov again played the monster computer. The series stands at one match each and the World Champion, backed by the world's estimated 200 million Chess players, challenged IBM to a tie-breaking third match. IBM cashed in its silicon chips and sailed off into the sunset, satisfied with a tied series. These two matches created two incredible statistics. Chess received the greatest exposure the game has ever known and IBM's PR unit was quoted as saying that the company received over one billion dollars in quantifiable publicity and 72 million hits on their Internet site.

Deep Junior

In Jan of 2003 FIDE's President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov decided to hold a world championship challenge match between the world's #1 ranked player vs. the reigning world computer chess champion, an Israeli program called Deep Junior. The highly publicized and tightly contested event played in New York City saw Garry Kasparov battle the computer to a 3 - 3 draw.

X3D Challenge, 2003.

X3D Fritz

Later on in 2003, Kasparov made world headlines when he played X3D's Fritz computer program to a draw in four games. What was unusual about this contest was Kasparov's use of darkly tinted 3-D glasses with the added handicap of speaking his moves without ever touching the board.

Team Challenges

The restless Russian is always looking for new challenges and for the past decade has astounded the Chess world by beating some of the world's strongest Olympic chess teams, playing four to six Grandmasters simultaneously.

Kasparov vs the World

Apart from his match against Deep Blue, Kasparov has always been at the cutting edge of innovations in chess. For four months in 1999, he battled THE WORLD on the internet in a Microsoft sponsored event which opened new frontiers for chess.

Intercontinental Promotion

On a lighter note, he played Boris Becker "live" on CNN for one hour. Garry was in Manhattan and Boris was in Munich.

Other Milestones

All Time Great

In 1988, a computer program was devised to analyze a vast collection of chess statistics in order to create a ranking of the all-time chess greats. Top of the list was the twenty-five year old Russian Garry Kasparov, above Capablanca, Karpov, Fischer and the rest.

Ten in a Row

In March 2005, Garry Kasparov won the Linares Super Tournament for the ninth time in sixteen years (90, 92, 93, 97, 99, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2005).

Winning Linares, the "Wimbledon of Chess" for four straight years was one thing, but even more spectacular was that his win in Linares in 2002 made it ten super-tournament victories in a row for the world's number one. The scoreboard: Linares 4, Wijk aan Zee 3, Sarajevo 2 and Astana 1.

Man & Machine vs. Man & Machine (Advanced Chess)

Kasparov has been at the forefront of the use of computers in chess and in 1998, he played against Bulgarian Grandmaster Veselin Topalov in the first highly publicized game of Advanced Chess in Leon, Spain. Advanced Chess is Man & Computer vs Man & Computer and the fascination for everyday chess fans is that they feel that they are "peeking" inside the minds of the great players as they make their moves.

The Person

Garry with Sting.

Those close to Garry know his unrestrained contagious laugh, his kindness and caring and know him as a multi-faceted human being. All of his adult life the courage of his convictions has been put to the test. His matches against Anatoly Karpov (the previous champion closely connected with the Communist establishment) were widely regarded as a show of individual opposition to the authoritarian state. He had difficulties with the USSR Sports Committee, the Communist Party and even the KGB. He was in the forefront of the anti-Communist movement, resulting in real threats to his person.

1990 The Brain of the Year

The BRAIN CLUB & SYNAPSIA in London elected Garry as its first "Brain of the Year" and described him as "The World Chess Champion, athlete and humanitarian both, and a cultivated and curious man who closely follows literature, films and politics".

With Arnold Schwarzenegger.

TV Commercials

He is a regular on TV talk shows. He has made half a dozen TV commercials in three countries and his Pepsi-Cola ad, shown during the Superbowl in 2001, was nominated for a Cleo Award, the highest achievement in TV advertising.

W.S.J. Contributor

He has been a regular contributor to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal since 1991.

Author

After the spectacular success of the multiple-volume "My Great Predecessors" which follows the history of the twelve world champions who preceded Garry Kasparov, he has embarked on another even more ambitious project. "How Life Imitates Chess" will be released in a dozen languages. It will be Kasparov's first venture into the larger general book publishing world.

Worldwide Speaking Engagements

Garry Kasparov is a new "star" on the worldwide speakers circuit. He has thrown himself into this new profession with the zeal and gusto that exemplifies the Kasparov manner of enthusiastically attacking anything worthwhile whether old or new.

In 2006 he has delivered more than twenty speeches to top companis around the world, on a wide array of topics.

Charity Work

Kasparov has a passion for expanding chess into the educational system in the world at large. He is passionate about the Kasparov Chess Foundation which is headquartered in the US and is promoting chess in the classroom nationwide.

Retirement from Chess

On Friday, 11th March, 2005, Kasparov announced his retirement from competitive chess after twenty-two years as the Number One Ranked Player in the World.

Politics

Kasparov is busy campaigning throughout the length and breadth of Russia and, as he explains, "We are not fighting to win elections - we are fighting for having elections. The goal is to bring all opposition groups into a broad coalition to return Russia to the path of democracy."

In 2004, Garry Kasparov was elected Co-Chairman of the ALL RUSSIA CIVIL CONGRESS and in 2006, he became Chairman of the UNITED CIVIL FRONT OF RUSSIA. These and other political and human rights leaders have now come together under the coalition banner of THE OTHER RUSSIA, which organizes pro-democracy rallies nationwide. Garry Kasparov is now the leader of The Other Russia coalition.

Websites

Three websites are available for more information, www.kasparovagent.com, www.theotherrussia.org and www.kasparov.com.

Garry Kasparov:Biography | Milestones | Photo Gallery | Kasparov Today

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov has been the highest-rated chess player in the world for over twenty years and is widely considered the greatest chess player that ever lived.

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