Birthday: April 13, 1963
Age: 58 Years, 58 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Aries
Also Known As: Garry Kimovich Kasparov
Born in: Baku
Famous as: Chess Player
Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Daria Kasparova, Masha Kasparova, Yulia Kasparova
father: Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein
mother: Klara Shagenovna
children: Aida Kasparova, Polina Kasparova, Vadim Kasparov
City: Baku, Azerbaijan
Founder/Co-Founder: The Other Russia, Professional Chess Association, United Civil Front
Who is Garry Kasparov?
Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess Grandmaster considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. The former World Chess Champion is also a well-known writer and political activist. He was catapulted to international acclaim in 1985 when at the age of 22, he became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion 22. He achieved his peak ranking of 2851 in 1999 which was the highest ever recorded until surpassed by Magnus Carlsen in 2013. Kasparov was first introduced to chess when he was a young child. He took to the game seriously when he was just six years old and began training under noted coach Vladimir Makogonov when he was ten. Makogonov played a vital role in developing the boy’s positional skills and taught him to play the Caro-Kann Defence. He won the Soviet Junior Championship in Tbilisi at the age of 13 and won his first international tournament at the age of 16. Other successes followed and he defeated the reigning world champion Anatoly Karpov in 1985 to become the youngest official champion in the history of the game. In 1996 Kasparov defeated a powerful IBM custom-built chess computer known as Deep Blue but lost to the machine in a rematch in 1997. He has since retired from professional chess and is now more active in politics and writing.
Childhood & Early Life
Garry Kasparov was born as Garik Kimovich Weinstein, in Russia, on 13 April 1963, to Jewish father, Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein, and Armenian mother, Klara Shagenovna Gasparian.
He was introduced to chess as a little boy and started playing the game in earnest when he was six. He lost his father when he was seven.
At the age of 12, he adopted his mother's Armenian surname, Gasparian, and modified it to a more Russified version, Kasparov.
He received his training at Mikhail Botvinnik's chess school under noted coach Vladimir Makogonov who helped him develop his game. He blossomed into a formidable player under his mentor’s guidance and won the Soviet Junior Championship in Tbilisi in 1976, aged 13.
He then went on to train under Alexander Shakarov and won the Soviet Junior Championship in 1977 as well.
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A significant event happened in 1978. He was invited to the Sokolsky Memorial tournament in Minsk where he reached the first place and became a chess master. This incident convinced the young man to become a professional chess player.
As a 15 year old, he qualified for the Soviet Chess Championship in 1978, the youngest ever player at that level and went on to win the 64-player Swiss system tournament at Daugavpils.
More successes followed and he won the World Junior Chess Championship in Dortmund, West Germany, in 1980. By this time he had gained the reputation of being one of the world’s best chess players and became a Grandmaster by the end of the same year.
He touched new career heights in the 1980s. He scored his first win in a superclass-level international tournament at Bugojno, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1982. By early 1983, he was already the No. 2 player in the world, trailing behind only World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov.
He first challenged Karpov in 1984 for the World Chess Championship title. After five months and 48 games, the match between the two was abandoned in controversial circumstances. The men met again in a rematch in 1985 where Kasparov narrowly defeated Karpov in a 24-game series to become the youngest world champion at the age of 22.
Kasparov faced some issues with the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) or World Chess Federation and broke away from the organization. FIDE retaliated and stripped Kasparov of the FIDE World Championship title.
Kasparov collaborated with fellow chess player Nigel Short to form the Professional Chess Association (PCA), which existed between 1993 and 1996 as a rival organization to FIDE. Kasparov, however, later regretted breaking away from FIDE.
Kasparov went on to defeat Short to become the PCA world champion. He successfully defended his title in a 1995 match against Viswanathan Anand. He continued to hold the "Classical" World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.
He retired from professional chess in 2005. He has been devoting his time to politics and writing since then. He founded the United Civil Front, a social movement in Russia which is part of The Other Russia, an opposition coalition active in Moscow. He has been serving as the chairman for the Human Rights Foundation since 2011 and chairs its International Council.
As an author, he has penned several books including ‘The Sicilian Scheveningen’ (1991), ‘Garry Kasparov's Chess Challenge’ (1996), ‘Garry Kasparov on Garry Kasparov’ (three volumes, 2011-14), and ‘Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped’ (2015).
Awards & Achievements
In 1991, Garry 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".
The first volume of his five-volume work ‘Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors’ won the British Chess Federation's Book of the Year award in 2003.
In 2013, he was honored with the Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award, UN Watch's annual human-rights prize. The organization praised him as "not only one of the world’s smartest men" but "also among its bravest."
Personal Life & Legacy
Garry Kasparov’s first marriage was to Masha with whom he has a daughter. This marriage ended in divorce.
He tied the knot for the second time with Yulia. They had a son before divorcing in 2005.
He is currently married to Daria with whom he has two children.