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48 Facts about Garry Kasparov - The Russian Chess Grand Master

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Garry Kasparov is a former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, who is considered to be the greatest chess player of all time, as he was ranked world No. 1 for 225 out of 228 months of his career. Here are 48 facts about the Russian chess Grand Master:

Garry Kasparov poses for a photo after a press conference at Hotel Bloom on June 8, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium.
(Photo : Mark Renders/Getty Images) Garry Kasparov poses for a photo after a press conference at Hotel Bloom on June 8, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium.
  1. Garry Kasparov was born Garik Kimovich Weinstein on April 13, 1963 in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, erstwhile Soviet Union. At the age of 12, he adopted his mothers surname and modified it.
  2. He was born to Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein, who was a Russian Jewish and his mother Klara Shagenovna Gasparian, an Armenian. He lost his father at the age of seven.
  3. Kasparov’s chess talent was spotted by his parents when he solved a chess problem for them. At the age of seven he was enrolled in Young Pioneer Palace in Baku, which is a place for creative work, sports training and extracurricular activities.
  4. His first chess coach was Vladimir Makogonov, in Mikhail Botvinnik chess school. He was 10 years old.
  5. In 1976, Kasparov won his first “Soviet Junior Championship” in Tbilisi scoring 7 points out of possible 9 points. When he again won the championship in 1977, he was trained by Alexander Shakarov.
    Garri Kasparow *13.04.1963- Schachspieler, UdSSR - Portrait - 1985
    (Photo : ADN-Bildarchiv/ullstein bild via Getty Images) Garri Kasparow *13.04.1963- Schachspieler, UdSSR - Portrait - 1985
  6. Kasparov believed in himself, when in 1978 he won the “Sokolsky Memorial Tournament” in Minsk as a special invitee. This victory convinced him that chess can be chosen as career.
  7. At the age of 15, in 1978 he was qualified to participate in “Soviet Chess Championship” for the first time. He was the youngest and was qualified by winning the Daugavpils tournament over Igor V. Ivanov.
  8. In 1979, he was invited as a replacement for Victor Korchnoi in a “Grand Master Tournament” in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He won this high class tournament and emerged with world ranking number of 15.
  9. In 1980, as 17 years old he won the “World Junior Chess Championship” held in Dortmund, Germany.
  10. The same year, he was chosen as second reserve for the Soviet Union and participated in the 24th Chess Olympiad at Valletta, Malta. Soviet Union won gold by scoring 39 points and Kasparov won bronze medal on the 2nd reserve board.
    Chess champion Gary Kasparov contemplating board, training for his May rematch w. smarter version of Deep Blue, IBM computer that spooked him last yr.
    (Photo : Ted Thai/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) Chess champion Gary Kasparov contemplating board, training for his May rematch w. smarter version of Deep Blue, IBM computer that spooked him last yr.
  11. Still in his teens, Kasparov was tied for the first place in the “USSR Chess Championship” in 1981-1982 tournament. He scored 12 ½ points same as Lev Psakhis.
  12. In 1982, he won his first Super class tournament in Bugojno and Moscow Interzonal tournament. By virtue of this win he was qualified for the Candidate Tournament.
  13. Kasparov was 19 years old, the second youngest, after Bobby Fischer to qualify for Candidate Tournament.
  14. In the 1982-85, Candidate Tournament, Kasparov forfeited his semi final match against Viktor Korchnoi due to political pressure. The match originally schedule at Pasadena, California was rescheduled to London. He beat Korchnoi 7-4.
  15. He became the world number 1 player in January 1984 with FIDE rating of 2710 points. He was the youngest ever world no.1, until Vladimir Kramnik broke it in January 1996. He held the record for twelve years.
    Garri Kasparow, *13.04.1963-, Schachspieler, Russland, Portrait, - 1992
    (Photo : Horstmüller/ullstein bild via Getty Images) Garri Kasparow, *13.04.1963-, Schachspieler, Russland, Portrait, - 1992
  16. He won the “1984 Candidates final” against Vasily Smyslov by 8 ½ to 4 ½ in the final and qualified to meet Anatoly Karpov for world title.
  17. He lost four out of the first nine games in the 1984-85 series “World Championship” against reigning champion Anatoly Karpov. He adopted carefully planned defensive and long drawn games to bring a stalemate at the end of 48 games.
  18. The rematch was held in Moscow from September 3 to November 9, 1985 in a best of 24 games. Kasparov won narrowly 12 ½ - 11 ½ to claim the “FIDE World Chess Champion” title for the first time. He is the youngest and thirteenth champion.
  19. He retained his “FIDE World Chess Championship” title in 1987 at Seville. He met Karpov in the final. The match ended in 12-12 draw ensuring Kasparov’s title.
  20. In 1984, he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and in 1987 was elected to the Central Committee of Komsomal, a political youth organization. In 1990 he left the party.
  21. Kasparov and Karpov once gain faced each other in the “1990 World Chess Championship” held from October 8 to November 7 in New York and from November 26 to December 30 in Lyon, France. He won by 12 ½ to 11 ½ to retain the title.

  22. In 1986, he created the Grandmaster Association (GMA), an organization to represent profession chess players. The GMA organized series of world cup tournament for top players.
  23. In 1993, Kasparov and the challenger Nigel Short broke away from FIDE and formed Professional Chess Association due to difference in sponsorship bids. The match was held in Savoy Theatre in London which Kasparov won 12 ½ to 7 ½. The match was sponsored by The Times.
  24. He along with Nigel Short were removed from FIDE and striped of FIDE Championship title.
  25. He defended his PCA Championship Title in 1995 against Viswanathan Anand held at World Trade Center, New York City. He won 10 ½ to 7 ½. He was the last PCA Champion.
  26. On February 10, 1996, he won a game against Deep Blue, a chess playing computer developed by IBM.
  27. The Professional Chess Association folded when the main sponsor Intel withdrew in 1996 as retaliation for Kasparov’s match against Deep Blue computer of IBM, their main rival.
    Garri Kasparow, *13.04.1963-, Schachspieler, Russland, Portrait beim Schachturnier in Dortmund, - 1992
    (Photo : Rzepka/ullstein bild via Getty Images) Garri Kasparow, *13.04.1963-, Schachspieler, Russland, Portrait beim Schachturnier in Dortmund, - 1992
  28. He tried to organize “World Chess Association” after the breakup of PCA, with the help of Linares organizer Luis Rentero. The expected sponsorship didn’t materialize and project collapsed.
  29. He supported scholarship program at schools. In 1997, he was approached by Oakham School in U.K., as a full time coach for chess.
  30. He feels his break away from FIDE was the worst mistake of his career. Although it led to commercial sponsorship for chess, it hurt the game in long run.
  31. In the “Braingames World Chess Championship” in 2000, he played Vladimir Kramnik in best of 16 games. Kramnik won the match 8 ½ to 6 ½ to be crowned 14th World Chess Championship.
  32. He lost interest in regaining the World Chess title after the failure of ‘Prague Agreement’ masterminded by Yasser Seirawan. In January 2005, he announced that he was tired of waiting for the FIDE to organize a match.
  33. He won the 57th Russian Chess Championship on November 29, 2004 with a score of 7 ½ points.
    Opposition leader and former world chess champion turned Kremlin critic, Garry Kasparov arrives at Russia's Central Election Commission to submit a petition on March 01, 2008 in Moscow, Russia. In an act of protest called 'I won't participate in this farce', Kasparov and members of his dissenters coalition presented the commission with a list of 5,000 voters who will boycott the voting process.
    (Photo : Dima Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images) Opposition leader and former world chess champion turned Kremlin critic, Garry Kasparov arrives at Russia's Central Election Commission to submit a petition on March 01, 2008 in Moscow, Russia. In an act of protest called 'I won't participate in this farce', Kasparov and members of his dissenters coalition presented the commission with a list of 5,000 voters who will boycott the voting process.
  34. On March 10, 2005, after winning the “Linares Tournament” for the ninth time, he announced his desire to retire from serious competitive chess.
  35. He married thrice. He divorced Masha before marrying Yulia. He married Daria Tarasova after breaking up with Yulia in 2005. He has four children out of his wedlock.
  36. On September 2009, Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov played 12 rapid games match in Valencia, Spain to mark silver jubilee celebration of 1984 World Championship. Kasparov won 9-3.
  37. He coached Magnus Cralsen during 2009 and helped him to World Ranking Number One. Carlsen is the youngest to achieve FIDE rating of over 2800.
  38. On May 11, 2010, Kasparov played simultaneous chess with 30 players at the Tel-Aviv University, Israel. He won all the games in 3 hours and 45 minutes. He signed a book for each contestant.
  39. On October 7, 2013, he announced his intention to contest for the post of “World Chess Federation” presidency during a reception in Tallinn, Estonia.
  40. He received “Keeper of the Flame” award from the “Center for Security Policy.” For his propagation democracy and for respecting individual rights throughout the world.

  41. In 2005, he turned to politics and founded “United Civil Front,” to preserve electoral democracy in Russia.
  42. He along with other mainstream political parties setup a movement on September 25, 2006 called “The Other Russia” to gather opponent of President Vladimir Putin.
  43. On April 10, 2005, an admirer of Kasparov, the chess player, attacked Kasparov with the chess board, he had just signed for entering in to politics. He was in Moscow for a promotional event.
  44. On April 14, 2007, Kasparov was arrested for leading a pro-democracy demonstration in Moscow. He was held for 10 hours and released later with a fine.
  45. He announced his candidature for the post of Russian Presidential Race and on December 12, 2007 announced his withdrawal. He was not able to arrange a meeting hall to accommodate 500 people as per the law.
    Portrait of World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov of Russia on 17 February 1993 in London, United Kingdom.
    (Photo : Howard Boylan/Getty Images) Portrait of World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov of Russia on 17 February 1993 in London, United Kingdom.
  46. He was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors and International Council of the Human Right Foundation. He succeeded former Czech President Vaclav Havel.
  47. Kasparov published a book titled “Winter Is Coming.” In the book, he compares Putin to Hitler and explains the need for west to oppose Putin.
  48. He has a record for being the longest ranked No 1 in the world from 1986 to 2005. In 1990, he surpassed the FIDE rating of 2800 breaking Bobby Fisher record of 2785.

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