Garry Kasparov

Gary Kimovich Kasparov was the thirteenth World Chess Champion and is considered by many to be greatest players of all time. He was born on April 13, 1963 in Baku, Azerbaijan in what was at that time the Soviet Union. The son of a Russian Jewish father who died when he was just seven, Gary was predominantly raised by his Armenian mother. Chess was and remains incredibly popular in the former Soviet Union and Gary would solve chess puzzles at a young age. Displaying a natural gift for the game, Kasparov was taken to Mikhail Botvinnik's chess school where, at the age of ten, he began studying under the tutelage of Russian chess trainers.

In 1976 at the age of 13 Kasparov won the Soviet Junior Championship scoring 7 out of 9 points. He would win the Junior Championship the following year with a score of 8 ½ out of 9. 1978 was a big year for the 15 year old Kasparov who would surprise everyone by winning the strong Sokolosky Memorial tournament in Minsk. It was at tournament that Kasparov was awarded the title of chess master. This would be a defining moment in the young Kasparov's career that would encourage him to pursue a chess world championship. Later that year, he competed in the Soviet Chess Championship he had qualified for. He would win the event, becoming the youngest player ever to do so.

Kasparov would explode onto the international chess scene when he played in the Banja Luka Grandmaster Tournament in 1979. Serving as a replacement for the legendary Viktor Korchnoi, he would go on to win the tournament that featured some of the world's strongest Grandmasters. The following year Kasparov would represent the Soviet Union at the Chess Olympiad. He would help win the gold medal for his team and country. He would also attain the title of International Grandmaster. Over the next few years Kasparov would continue to compete with impressive results in strong tournaments. At age 19 he had qualified for the Candidates Tournament; the youngest player to do so since Bobby Fischer (15). By the start of 1984, Gary Kasparov would be the highest rated player in the world (2710), making him the youngest No. 1 ranked player ever. Later in 1984 he defeated former World Champion, Vasily Smyslov in the Candidates final earning the right to play Anatoly Karpov for the World Championship.


Gary Kimovich Kasparov




April 13, 1963




Peak Rating



The World Championship Match of 1984 would become a controversial war of attrition. After being down 5 to 0 with dozens of draws, Kasparov would fight back to a 5-3 score. The match was then controversially ended by FIDE president, Florencio Campomanes, who cited that the players' health were at risk due to the extreme length of the match. The two greats would once again play for the title in 1985, with Kasparov winning a close match by a score of 13 to11. Gary Kasparov thus became the youngest World Chess Champion in history at the age of 22. Kasparov and Karpov played a rematch the very next year. Again Kasparov would narrowly defend his title 12 ½ to 11 ½ . Once again the two played in 1987 with Kasparov again barely holding on to the title in a 12 to 12 tie. Kasparov vs. Karpov would become possibly the greatest rivalry in chess history. Both players had contrasting styles and personalities, yet were very evenly matched. Each defined the others career. The two would play once more in 1990, once again the result would be 12 ½ to 11 ½ in favor of Kasparov.

Gary Kasparov's reign as champion also saw politically and financially motivated divisions in the chess world. Kasparov would split from FIDE creating a fracture of the World Chess Championship Title. In 1993 he would crush English GM Nigel Short 12 ½ to 7 ½ for the PCA World Chess Championship, while Karpov was declared FIDE champ. In 1995 he would face future world champion, Indian GM Vishwanathan Anand. Kasparov again won convincingly 10 ½ to 7 1/12 at the World Chess Championship at the World Trade Center, the last to be held by PCA. In 2000 Gary Kasparov would face his former student and one of the games strongest promising young players, Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik was well prepared for the match and was able to defeat his former mentor by a score of 8 ½ to 6 ½. Kasparov had lost two games and did not even win a single game in the match. His long reign as World Champion was over. A big part of Kasparov's legacy was his longevity in the sport. He was at or near the top of the chess world for nearly 30 years. Incredibly he was the #1 rated player in the world from 1986 until his retirement in 2006. He would even retire as the world #1 with a rating of 2812.

Perhaps Gary Kasparov will best be known for playing against chess computers. Kasparov repeatedly defeated the world's best computer chess programs. Kasparov made Worldwide Headlines in when he lost 3 ½ to 2 ½ in a controversial match versus IBM's Deep Blue. After the match Deep Blue was dismantled and Kasparov accused IBM of foul play. Kasparaov would eventually play against some other computer programs. Each match ended with a draw. Gary Kasparov was not only the greatest player in the world, but was representing humankind versus "the machines". More recently Kasparov has dabbled in Russian politics, including a stint at running for President of Russia in 2007. Although he has retired from competitive chess, Kasparov's aggressive style and dominance is the stuff of chess legend.

Some famous Gary Kasparov Quotes:
"Chess is mental torture"

"Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind and are refined and improved by experience"

"Throughout my chess career I sought out new challenges, looking for things no one has done before.

"If you wish to succeed you must brave the risk of failure"

On Kasparov:
"The future of chess lies in the hands of this young man" -Mikhail Botvinik (speaking of Kasparov at age 11)

"Kasparov and I have nothing in common. For me chess was the end, for him it has merely been the means" – Anatoly Karpov

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    CLEARANCE - Kasparov V Short: The First Challenge - Keene, Raymond
    Catalog Code: CB0413RB

    The World Championship match in September 1993 is the most eagerly awaited chess event for several years: this book records the only previous match between Kasparov and Short, a speed challenge match. In this battle in which all the games were decisive, Kasparov won by the narrow margin of 4-2.
    Unbeatable Deal

    CLEARANCE - Kasparov V Short: The First Challenge - Keene, Raymond

    Kasparov Short 1993
    Catalog Code: B0041IS

    The epic 1995 match for the World Chess Championship between Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short, with all games deeply annotated by Grandmaster Raymond Keene. In this inside account, Grandmaster Raymond Keene, one of the world's foremost chess writers, describes the action both on and off the board. As the Times (London) correspondent, he played a key role in the breakaway from FIDE and had exclusive access to both Kasparov and Short during the match.

    Kasparov Short 1993

    World Chess Championship - Kasparov vs. Anand
    Published in Association with the Times Newspaper
    Catalog Code: B0042IS

    The Champion: Garry Kasparov, Seemingly invincible, but showing signs of some frailty when bombarded with ideas from the young generation of players. Could he yet again stamp his authority on the chess world, and snuff out the hopes of another young pretender? The Challenger: Vishy Anand, Calm and modest away from the board, but renowned for his sharp, lightning-fast chess. Could the young Indian topple the giant?

    World Chess Championship - Kasparov vs. Anand

    Man versus Machine
    Kasparov versus Deep Blue
    Catalog Code: CB0277RB

    This book tells the full story of this historic encounter, from the personalities, hype and controversies to the debates over computer intelligence and the future of chess. Every game is analyzed in detail and the earlier 1989 and 1996 matches between the two contestants are reviewed.

    Man versus Machine


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