Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov

Greatest Chess Player in the World, Innovation, Strategic Thinking, Leadership
Top Speaker

Speaker biography

Garry Kasparov: Taking Risks Pays Off.

Garry Kasparov was the official world champion of the World Chess Federation FIDE 1985-1993. After his detachment and deposition in the dispute, he remained the holder of this title recognized by most of the chess world until 2000. In 2005 he surprisingly retired from chess. For a large part of the chess public Garry Kasparov is considered the strongest player in the history of chess.

A selection of lecture topics by Garry Kasparov

- Deep Thinking
- Taking Risks Pays Off
- How Life imitates Chess
- Achieving your potential
- Don't fear intelligent machines. Work with them.
- Chess & Business: Strategic Thinking and Wise Foresight

Since then Garry Kasparov has been active as a Russian opposition activist. Among other things, he founded the opposition alliance "The Other Russia", which, however, was not admitted to the Russian parliamentary and presidential elections in 2007/08. In October 2007, his alliance was denied entry into the Duma elections because it was not a party. On December 13, 2008, he and Boris Nemtsov founded a new opposition movement.

His mother, Klara Shagenovna Kasparyan, was Armenian and from Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated enclave in Azerbaijan, and was a music teacher. His father, Kim Moisseyevich Weinstein, was a German-born Jew. Both parents were college educated and allowed their son to enjoy an atmosphere of intellect and education at an early age. Kim Weinstein came from a music-loving family, played the violin himself, and was the brother of the Azerbaijani composer Leonid Weinstein.

As a five-year-old, Garik, whose native language is Russian, learned the rules of chess from his father. In Kasparov's own words, "I had never played chess before, but I watched intently as they struggled and finally gave up in resignation. The next morning I showed them the move leading to the solution." From the age of seven, Garik Weinstein received regular chess lessons at the Palace of Young Pioneers in Baku.

Garry Kasparov - chess, strategic thinking and global politics.

When he was six or seven years old, his father died of leukemia. At the age of 12, his mother changed her son's name from Weinstein to Kasparov. At the age of ten, he joined three-time world chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik in his chess school. Botvinnik became Garry Kasparov's chess foster father and at the same time role model, trainer and critic. At the age of 15 Garry even took over a kind of assistant function in the chess school. Awarded with a certificate of honor by the President of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR. Junior Champion of the USSR in 1976 and 1977. In 1979 he became International Champion, and in 1980 the then 17-year-old Garry Kasparov was awarded the title of Grandmaster (GM). In the same year he superiorly won the World Junior Championship in Dortmund.

Garry Kasparov - The way to the World Championship

Anatoly Karpov was considered by the Soviet Chess Federation as the desired world chess champion. The other Soviet chess grandmasters were supposed to support him in his further world championship matches, but not to compete against him. This was opposed by the young Garry Kasparov. He refused to provide his chess analyses to Anatoly Karpov for his world championship match (1981) against Viktor Korchnoi. In order to prevent Garry Kasparov from challenging world champion Anatoly Karpov, he was not allowed to leave the country in 1983, allegedly because of security concerns, for the match in the Candidates Tournament against Viktor Korchnoi. This eliminated Garry Kasparov from the Candidates Tournament to challenge the World Champion. Kortschnoi, however, did not want to advance without a win and proposed a match against Kasparov to be rescheduled. This match came about and was won convincingly by the young Garry Kasparov. This cleared the way for the World Championship match against Anatoly Karpov. Garry Kasparov qualified as a challenger to the World Champion in convincing fashion in the 1983/84 Candidates Matches. He beat Alexander Belyavsky 6:3 in the quarterfinals in Moscow, Viktor Korchnoi 7:4 in the semifinals in London, and former World Champion Vasily Smyslov 8.5:4.5 in the final in Vilnius. Kasparov's first match against Anatoly Karpov for the World Championship began on September 10, 1984 in Moscow. The match was played in the mode that had been customary since the 1978 World Championship: the first player to win six games would become World Champion; draws did not count. After Karpov had taken a convincing 4-0 lead, Garry Kasparov changed his match tactics. Instead of continuing to attack impetuously - and unsuccessfully - he played for a draw and wanted to hold out as long as possible. Karpov managed a fifth win after a long series of draws, but then the world champion began to show signs of exhaustion. He became more and more exhausted both physically and psychologically, lost 11 kilograms and was hospitalized several times, while Garry Kasparov remained fit.

Garry Kasparov came as close as 5:3 in a few games before the match was abandoned on February 15, 1985 after 48 games and over 300 hours of play. The match was abandoned under still unexplained circumstances at the instigation of the then FIDE President Florencio Campomanes, who officially justified it with consideration for the health of both players. In his 1987 autobiography Garry Kasparov accused Campomanes, his opponent Anatoly Karpov and the USSR chess officials of plotting against him. At the same time, however, he admitted that his chances of winning the title had increased considerably as a result of the abandonment. FIDE scheduled a repeat of the competition for October 1985, again in Moscow, under a different mode. The winner was to be the first to score 12.5 points, but 12:12 was enough for the world champion to defend his title. In the second World Championship match in 1985, which was limited to 24 games and in which the drawn games were counted again, Garry Kasparov won with 13:11 and on November 9, 1985 became the 13th and to date youngest World Champion in the history of chess.

Garry Kasparov successfully defended his world title in three more encounters with Karpov: in 1986 there was a revenge match in London (first 12 games) and Leningrad (last 12 games) after FIDE surprisingly reintroduced the revenge privilege of the world champion (this had been abolished in 1963). Garry Kasparov defended his title with 12.5:11.5. In 1987 the two opponents played their contest in Seville: only by winning the 24th game did Garry Kasparov achieve 12:12 and defend his title. In 1990 Karpov was qualified again by the candidate matches. The contest, held half in New York City and half in Lyon, was won by Garry Kasparov 12.5:11.5.

In 1993 disagreements arose with the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which subsequently withdrew the world championship title from him. Garry Kasparov subsequently founded the PCA (Professional Chess Association) with Nigel Short and won the PCA World Championship matches in 1993 against Nigel Short (6 wins, 1 loss, 13 draws) and in 1995 against Viswanathan Anand (4 wins, 1 loss, 13 draws).

Braingames as "successor" of the PCA

The PCA disbanded again after hosting the 1995 World Championship. For five years neither an organization nor a sponsor could be found to host a World Championship with Garry Kasparov. In 2000, however, Braingames sponsored Kasparov's last World Championship match. Surprisingly, he lost to Vladimir Kramnik (2 losses, 13 draws).

The Prague Agreement of 2002
In the course of efforts to reunite the two competing world titles, Kasparov, Kramnik and representatives of FIDE met in Prague in May 2002 and agreed on a unification plan, which provided that Kasparov should play a match with the winner from the FIDE World Championship in Moscow 2002/03 - this became Ruslan Ponomarev - whose winner should play the winner of Kramnik's world championship match with the winner from the Braingames Candidates Tournament - this became Péter Lékó; This match was supposed to represent the reunion, but in the end it didn't happen.

Man against machine
Great interest was aroused by his competitions against chess programs. In the 1980s, Garry Kasparov had claimed that he would never be beaten by a chess program. In 1989 he played two games against the IBM-built computer Deep Thought, winning both of them. In 1996 Garry Kasparov won against its successor Deep Blue in a match over six games with 4:2, but lost with the 1st competitive game as the first chess world champion ever under tournament conditions against a chess program. The following year, Kasparov lost to Deep Blue in the rematch by 2.5:3.5. Garry Kasparov considered the possibility that unauthorized human intervention might have taken place, based in part on the fact that IBM did not give him a look at the computer logs. However, these were later made public. Another "man-machine" match against the Deep Junior PC program in 2003 ended in a 3-3 draw.

Garry Kasparov against the world
A similarly media-rich event was a "Kasparov vs. the World" match played online via the Internet portal MSN in 1999. A team of four young chess talents (Étienne Bacrot, Florin Felecan, Irina Krush and Elisabeth Pähtz) and Grandmaster Daniel King analyzed and commented on the current position and made move suggestions. Everyone could vote on the Internet for the next move of the world team, and the move with the most votes was then executed. The game ended after four months on move 62 with Kasparov winning.

Garry Kasparov's retirement from chess
In November 2004, Garry Kasparov once again won the Russian National Championship. But neither a match against Ponomarev, whom FIDE disqualified, nor a match with the next FIDE World Champion, Rustam Kasimjanov, materialized. Garry Kasparov held FIDE solely responsible for these circumstances and declared his retirement from professional chess after the Linares tournament on March 10, 2005. He explained that, at almost 42 years of age, he was finding it increasingly difficult to play through a tournament without making mistakes. He felt he no longer belonged.

Playing style
Garry Kasparov's chess style is dynamic and aggressive - here he resembles his chess role model World Champion Alexander Alekhine. Kasparov is also known for his excellent opening preparation - here he resembles his second role model, World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik. One example of this is the Kasparov Gambit, which brought him an important victory in the 1985 World Championship match against Karpov.

In 1990, Garry Kasparov left the CPSU and participated in the founding of the Democratic Party, of which he became deputy chairman. A year later, he resigned from the party after disputes over its program. Also in 1990, his book "I Always Win" was published. From 1999 Garry Kasparov published a series of commentaries in U.S. newspapers, such as The Wall Street Journal, from 2004 as a "contributing editor" of the newspaper, in which he praises American policy and criticizes Russian policy. He remains a member of the neoconservative National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) in Washington.

Activities in Russia
After retiring from professional chess in March 2005, Garry Kasparov announced that he would now devote his time to politics and writing. He founded the United Civic Front and became a member of "The Other Russia," a group of parties critical of the government. In April 2005, he and Russian Duma deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov announced the formation of a new party. He also became involved in Russian politics under Vladimir Putin and distinguished himself as a critic of the Russian president. He co-founded and chaired the "2008 Committee: Free Elections," which aimed to prevent Vladimir Putin from serving another term in office. In April 2005, Garry Kasparov and Russian Duma deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov announced the formation of a new liberal party. At an April 15 event, he was hit on the head with a chessboard by a member of a youth organization close to Putin. On December 16, 2006, Garry Kasparov staged a demonstration in Moscow against the Putin government, which was attended by about 2,000 people. A few days earlier, the rooms of the committee headed by Garry Kasparov had been searched in connection with this. Critical media reports in Germany had previously been caused by Kasparov's disinvitation from Sabine Christiansen's talk show on December 10, 2006, in which he was to participate via video link. Garry Kasparov accused the Christiansen editors of having uninvited him under pressure from the Russian government and of having only faked technical problems.

In April 2007, Garry Kasparov organized an opposition rally in Moscow. On the way to this unauthorized rally, he was arrested by the police along with companions. He was released a few hours later, after paying a fine of 1,000 rubles (about 30 euros). Philosopher André Glucksmann wrote in Le Figaro on April 25, 2007, that "the soul of Europe lies not in a few divisions, but in the Other Russia and in Garry Kasparov." On May 18, 2007, the EU-Russia summit was held in Samara, Russia, with a number of critics, including Garry Kasparov, planning to attend. According to his own statements, Garry Kasparov was detained at Moscow airport, having his passport and airline ticket taken from him. He then called Russia a "police state." German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly criticized the actions of the Russian authorities.

In September 2007, Garry Kasparov won a primary election for the nomination as presidential candidate of the opposition alliance "The Other Russia" in Moscow against Mikhail Mikhailovich Kasyanov and former Central Bank head Viktor Vladimirovich Gerashchenko. He received 379 of 498 votes in the first round of voting. In October, Garry Kasparov made several appearances on well-known television programs in the United States: The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and CNN Late Edition. On November 24, 2007, a week before the parliamentary elections in Russia, Garry Kasparov was arrested in Moscow after a rally at an unauthorized protest march. Garry Kasparov, along with hundreds of supporters, wanted to hand over a "resolution for fair elections" to the Central Election Commission, according to his own statement. However, unlike the rally, the protest march to the election commission had been banned beforehand for security reasons.

Amnesty International called him a "political prisoner" and demanded his immediate release. On the other hand, Kasparov's party is considered unpopular in Russia and has absolutely no chance of winning, because the population sees the liberal economic program as a step backward to the privatization phase of the 1990s, which is reluctantly remembered in Russia. After five days of detention at a secret location, he was released. On December 12, 2007, he announced his withdrawal from candidacy, saying he was being massively obstructed by the authorities.

In 2006, Garry Kasparov was listed as an advisor ("Advisor") on the website of the American Center for Security Policy. However, he denied ever having worked for the organization and only confirmed having received the "Keeper of the Flame Award" in 1991. In 2007, the news magazine Time included Garry Kasparov in its list of the 100 most influential people. Editor Richard Stengel called him a "hero" who led a "lonely fight for more democracy in Russia." On September 19, 2007, Garry Kasparov was awarded the newly endowed Pundik Freedom Prize, worth 100,000 crowns, in Copenhagen. In July 2008, Foreign Policy magazine ranked him 18th on its list of the World's Top 20 Public Intellectuals.



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