Apr 13, 1963 to Present
Azerbaijan, Russia, Croatia, Soviet UnionGarry Kimovich Kasparov (13 April 1963) is a Russian chess grandmaster, former world chess champion, writer, and political activist, whom many consider to be the greatest chess player of all time. From 1986 until his retirement in 2005, Kasparov was ranked world No. 1 for 225 out of 228 months. His peak rating of 2851, achieved in 1999, was the highest recorded until being surpassed by Magnus Carlsen in 2013. Kasparov also holds records for consecutive professional tournament victories (15) and Chess Oscars (11).
In 1978, Kasparov participated in the Sokolsky Memorial tournament in Minsk. He had been invited as an exception but took first place and became a chess master. Kasparov has repeatedly said that this event was a turning point in his life, and that it convinced him to choose chess as his career. "I will remember the Sokolsky Memorial as long as I live", he wrote. He has also said that after the victory, he thought he had a very good shot at the World Championship.
The World Chess Championship 1984 match between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov had many ups and downs, and a very controversial finish. Karpov started in very good form, and after nine games Kasparov was down 4–0 in a "first to six wins" match. Fellow players predicted he would be whitewashed 6–0 within 18 games. In an unexpected turn of events, there followed a series of 17 successive draws, some relatively short, and others drawn in unsettled positions. Kasparov lost game 27 (5–0), then fought back with another series of draws until game 32 (5–1), earning his first-ever win against the World Champion.
In January 1984, Kasparov became the No. 1 ranked player in the world, with a FIDE rating of 2710. He became the youngest ever world No. 1, a record that lasted 12 years until being broken by Vladimir Kramnik in January 1996; the record is currently held by Magnus Carlsen.
In 1991, Kasparov received the Keeper of the Flame award from the Center for Security Policy for "propagation of democracy and the respect for individual rights throughout the world". In his acceptance speech Kasparov lauded the defeat of communism while also urging the United States to give no financial assistance to central Soviet leaders.
The Kasparov-Kramnik match took place in London during the latter half of 2000. Kramnik had been a student of Kasparov's at the famous Botvinnik/Kasparov chess school in Russia, and had served on Kasparov's team for the 1995 match against Viswanathan Anand.
In January 2003, he engaged in a six-game classical time control match with a $1 million prize fund which was billed as the FIDE "Man vs. Machine" World Championship, against "Deep Junior". The engine evaluated three million positions per second. After one win each and three draws, it was all up to the final game. After reaching a decent position Kasparov offered a draw, which was soon accepted by the Deep Junior team. Asked why he offered the draw, Kasparov said he feared making a blunder.
On 10 April 2005, Kasparov was in Moscow at a promotional event when he was struck over the head with a chessboard he had just signed. The assailant was reported to have said "I admired you as a chess player, but you gave that up for politics" immediately before the attack.
On 22 August 2006, in his first public chess games since his retirement, Kasparov played in the Lichthof Chess Champions Tournament, a blitz event played at the time control of 5 minutes per side and 3-second increments per move. Kasparov tied for first with Anatoly Karpov, scoring 4½/6.
In 2017, Kasparov came out of retirement to participate in the inaugural St. Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament from 14–19 August, scoring 3.5/9 in the rapid and 9/18 in the blitz, finishing 8th out of 10 participants, which included Nakamura, Caruana, former world champion Anand, and the eventual winner, Aronian.
In April 2007, it was asserted that Kasparov was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy, a "non-profit, non-partisan national security [think tank in Washington, DC], which specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security".
On 14 April 2007, Kasparov led a pro-democracy demonstration in Moscow. Soon after the demonstration's start, however, over 9,000 police descended on the group and seized almost everyone. Kasparov, who was briefly arrested by the Moscow police, was warned by the prosecution office on the eve of the march that anyone participating risked being detained. He was held for some 10 hours and then fined and released.
In October 2007, Kasparov announced his intention of standing for the Russian presidency as the candidate of the "Other Russia" coalition and vowed to fight for a "democratic and just Russia".
On 24 November 2007, Kasparov and other protesters were detained by police at an Other Russia rally in Moscow. 3,000 demonstrators arrived to allege the rigging of upcoming elections. Following an attempt by about 100 protesters to march through police lines to the electoral commission, which had barred Other Russia candidates from parliamentary elections, arrests were made. The Russian authorities stated a rally had been approved but not any marches, resulting in several detained demonstrators.
He was subsequently charged with resisting arrest and organizing an unauthorized protest and given a jail sentence of five days. Kasparov appealed the charges, citing that he had been following orders given by the police, although it was denied. He was released from jail on 29 November.
Under Kasparov's tutelage, Carlsen in October 2009 became the youngest ever to achieve a FIDE rating higher than 2,800, and rose from world number four to world number one. While the pair initially planned to work together throughout 2010.
In January 2011, Kasparov began training the U.S. grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. The first of several training sessions was held in New York just prior to Nakamura's participation in the Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
On 24 August, he was cleared of charges that he took part in an unauthorized protest against the conviction of three members of Pussy Riot. Judge Yekaterina Veklich said there were "no grounds to believe the testimony of the police". He could still face criminal charges over a police officer's claims that the opposition leader bit his finger while he was being detained.
In April 2013, joined in an HRF condemnation of Kanye West for having performed for the leader of Kazakhstan in exchange for a $3 million paycheck, saying that West "has entertained a brutal killer and his entourage" and that his fee "came from the loot stolen from the Kazakhstan treasury".
On 25 and 26 April 2015, Kasparov played a mini-match against Nigel Short. The match consisted of two rapid games and eight blitz games. Kasparov won the match decisively with a score of 8½–1½, winning all five games on the second day.
On Thursday 28 April and Friday 29 April 2016 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Kasparov played a 6-round exhibition blitz round-robin tournament with Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, and Hikaru Nakamura in an event called the Ultimate Blitz Challenge.