“The future of Chess
lies in the hands of this young man”
Gary Kimovich Kasparov was born on April 13, 1963 in Baku, the capital of the Russian republic Azerbaidzhan. His parents were Kim Moiseyevich Wainshtein and
Klara Shagenovna Kasparova. He is of Armenian and Jewish heritage. His early success at the chessboard earned him an invitation to study under the tutelage of Mikhail Botvinnik, the
world champion in 1948-1957, 1958-1960, and 1961-1963 and at the
time considered to be the
USSR’s greatest player.
Kasparov has always acknowledged two major influences in his Chess career: Alexander Alekhine and Mikhail Botvinnik, two former great world
champions. “The future of Chess lies in the hands of this young man”, Botvinnik wrote prophetically when Kasparov was only eleven years old. He won the USSR
junior championship at age thirteen. By the time
Gary was 16, his reputation in the Soviet Union and the East had grown to the point that he could no longer expect to enter tournaments unnoticed.
The young “Garik”, as he was known in Russia, was now seen as a formidable competitor by
many older and more experienced players, both inside the USSR and internationally. He was given an opportunity to play in a Yugoslav event that included 14 strong International
grandmasters. Although he had yet to even receive an FIDE rating,
Kasparov won the match by a comfortable margin (111/2 to 91/2 for second place), and firmly established himself as a serious contender for a future
world championship. He
qualified as an International GM in 1980 at
17 years old
and two years later he was the second strongest player in
At the age of 21, Kasparov played for his first
world title against the legendary Soviet player Anatoly
Karpov. Both men played brilliant Chess throughout the event, but after
6 months and 48 games, the match ended
inconclusively. Citing exhaustion on the part of
both players, World Chess Federation President Florencio Campomanes
suddenly cancelled the match without crowning a winner.
The next year the match was
replayed, and Kasparov beat Karpov to win his first world
championship, a title he has held for 15 consecutive years.
From 1984 to 1990, Kasparov played Karpov four times for the world title. After
the cancelled first match that let Karpov to retain his
crown, Kasparov won three in a row. Kasparov successfully
defended his crown in 1993 against Englishman Nigel Short, and again in 1995 by defeating
the rising young Indian star Viswanathan Anand.
Kasparov, the 13th world champion, after
a long term friction with the International Chess Organization,
splits with FIDE to form PCA. He was stripped of FIDE title in 1993.
Gary Kasparov and Nigel Short created in 1993 a
rival Organization: The Professional Chess Association (PCA).
17, 1996, in Philadelphia, Gary Kasparov rose
a Chess table full of triumph and glory.
He has just
defeated IBM’s Deep Blue super-computer in the six and final
game of a head to head battle that was depicted as the ultimate test of
machine. The humans had won by a score of 4-2, but it
wasn’t even that close. Gary Kasparov, perhaps
Chess champion of all time, had demonstrated a
command of strategy far beyond the
machine’s crunching brute-force tactics.
Deep Blue could assess 100 million
positions per second, but it lacked the sensitivity
needed to grasp the subtlety of position play, the hallmark of true
mastery. On May 11, 1997, in a very different scene, new and
improved Deep Blue outlasted and finally conquered Kasparov in the rematch
of the century by a score of 3.5 - 2.5. On October 22,
1999 Kasparov defeated the world through the Internet in
62 moves after four exciting months of
Sunday October 8, 2000 the PCA world Chess championship between Gary Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik
began with a 16-game match which took place in London, England and ended on Nov. 2, 2000 with a great performance from 25 year old Vladimir Kramnik of Tuapse, Russia.
Kramnik won the
match by 8 - 6, ending the 15 year long reign of Gary Kasparov.
Prize money was $2,000,000 US. Game 16th was cancelled.
Chess legend Gary Kasparov, matched
wits with the Israeli-programmed computer Deep Junior,
a three-time world champion, which won the last official world
Chess championship for computers in July 2002, in Maastricht,
Netherlands against 18 other machines. Kasparov is regarded as
the greatest player in history and Deep Junior -- which hasn’t
lost to a human in two years -- is billed as the world
The six games match were played
over a two-week period beginning Jan. 26 and ending
Feb. 7, 2003 at the New York
Athletic Club. Final score was 3-3.
Kasparov has written four books and has
gained international recognition as a prominent spokesman for political,
educational and social reforms in Eastern Europe.
He is also active in
charity and has created the Kasparov Foundation in Moscow (the
first private foundation since the revolution) to handle this side
of his activities. Kasparov is active in promoting the use of
Chess in schools as an educational subject and
has set up the Kasparov International Chess Academy.