Monday, 26 March 2012
One of the greatest chess players to pick up chess set pieces, certainly in modern times, has been Gary Kasparov.
Like everyone who has lives through the last years of the USSR, Kasparov has seen major changes but in many ways he has been a catalyst for some of them.
Born in 1963 in Azerbaijan, he started playing as early as in 1968 at the age of 5 years old. He went on to be the Soviet Junior Champion in 1976 and 1977 and World Junior Champion in 1980. Kasparov finally made it to be World Champion in 1985 (the youngest player ever to do so) and continued to dominate the world championships until 2000. He remained the world's number one player until 2006.
His matches against Anatoly Karpov made world news and raised the game of chess to widespread popularity.
In 1996, Kasparov played IBM's Deep Blue computer and the challenge was abandoned at one match each. This has to be considered in the light of the computers ability to analyze 50 billion moves of chess set pieces in three minutes: in this way you get some idea of Kasparov's abilities.
Away from the chessboard, Gary Kasparov has always been a leader of the anti-Communist movement, despite many threats to his life. In recent years he has appeared on television, both on advertisements and talk shows, writes for the Wall Street Journal, has authored several books on chess and it's lessons and is now a popular public speaker.
In 2005, Kasparov retired from using chess set pieces competitively and has now thrown himself into charity and political work. He is passionate about embedding true democracy into Russian society.
Find out more about this fascinating man on his website Kasparov.com.
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