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J. Wilson, 2062
M. Schangareev, 1971


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In english the name is written Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kimovich Kasparov (Russian: Га́рри Ки́мович Каспа́ров) (born April 13, 1963) is a chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion. His 2851 Elo rating in the July 1999 FIDE rating list is the highest rating ever achieved. On the January 2006 FIDE listing, Kasparov's 2812 ELO rating ranked him first in the world (although he was removed in April of that year due to inactivity). Ranked first in the world a record 23 times between 1985 and 2006, Kasparov was the last undisputed World Chess Champion from 1985 until 1993; and continued to be "classical" World Chess Champion (of the PCA and WCA) until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess on March 10, 2005, instead devoting time to politics.

Early career

Garry Kasparov was born as Garry Vajnshtejn (the given name analogous to English "Harry" and surname analogous to German "Weinstein" or "Feinstein") in Baku, Azerbaijan (a former Soviet Socialist Republic) to an Armenian mother and a Jewish father. He first began the serious study of chess after he came across a chess problem set up by his parents and proposed a solution.[1] His father died when he was 7 years old, and as soon as was legally possible, at the age of 12, he adopted his mother's surname, Kasparian. He, however, modified the name to a Russified version - Kasparov.

After leaving Tiffin School at the age of 8, Kasparov trained at Mikhail Botvinnik's chess school. He won the Soviet Junior Championship in Tbilisi in 1976, scoring 7 points out of 9, at the age of 13. He repeated the feat the following year, winning with a score of 8.5/9.

In 1978 Kasparov participated in the Sokolsky Memorial tournament in Minsk. He had been invited as an exception but took the first place and became a master. Kasparov has repeatedly said that this event was a turning point in his life, and that it convinced him to choose chess as his career. "I will remember the Sokolsky Memorial as long as I live", he wrote. He has also said that after the victory, he thought he had a very good shot at the World Championship.

Kasparov rose quickly through the FIDE rankings. Starting with an oversight by the Russian Chess Federation, Garry Kasparov participated in a Grandmaster tournament in Banja Luka while still unrated (the federation thought it was a junior tournament). He emerged from this top-class encounter with a provisional rating of 2595, enough to catapult him into the top group of chess players.

The next year, 1980, he won the World Junior Chess Championship in Dortmund, West Germany.

Kasparov sought to challenge world champion Anatoly Karpov — a firm favourite of the Russian Chess Federation. But first Kasparov had to pass the test of the Candidates Tournament to qualify.

His first Candidates match was against Alexander Beliavsky, from which Kasparov emerged surprisingly victorious (Beliavsky was an exceptionally tough opponent). Politics threatened Kasparov's next match against Viktor Korchnoi, which was scheduled to be played in Pasadena, California. Korchnoi defected from Russia in the late 1970s, and was at that time the strongest active non-Soviet player. Various political manoeuvres prevented Kasparov from playing Korchnoi, and Kasparov forfeited the match.

This was resolved by Korchnoi's allowing the match to be replayed in London. Kasparov won.

Kasparov's final Candidates match was against the resurgent Vassily Smyslov (who was randomly selected to advance after a 7-7 tie against Huebner by the spin of a roulette wheel at the quarterfinals, but soundly defeated Hungarian GM Zoltan Ribli at the semifinals). Smyslov was the seventh world champion in 1957, but later years saw his willingness to fight for wins greatly diminished. Kasparov won with 4 wins and 9 draws.

1984 World Championship

The 1984 World Championship match between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov had its fair share of ups and downs, as well as the most controversial finish to a competitive match ever. Karpov started off in very good form, and after nine games Kasparov found himself 4-0 down in a "first to six wins" match. Fellow players predicted a 6-0 whitewash of Kasparov within 18 games.

Kasparov dug in, with inspiration from a Russian poet before each game, and battled with Karpov into seventeen successive draws. Karpov duly won the next decisive game before Kasparov fought back with another series of draws until game 32, Kasparov's first win against the World Champion.

At this point Karpov, twelve years older than Kasparov, was close to exhaustion, and not looking like the player who started the match. Kasparov won games 47 and 48 to bring the scores to 5-3 in Karpov's favour. Then the match was ended without result by Florencio Campomanes, the President of FIDE, and a new match was announced to start a few months later.

The termination of the match was a matter of some controversy. At the press conference at which he announced his decision, Campomanes cited the health of the two players, which had been put under strain by the length of the match, despite the fact that both Karpov and Kasparov stated that they would prefer the match to continue. Karpov had lost 10 kg (22 lb) over the course of the match and had been hospitalized several times. Kasparov, however, was in excellent health and extremely resentful of Campomanes' decision, asking him why he was abandoning the match if both players wanted to continue. It would appear that Kasparov, who had won the last two games before the suspension, felt the same way as some commentators — that he was now the favourite to win the match despite his 5-3 deficit. He appeared to be physically stronger than his opponent, and in the later games seemed to have been playing the better chess.

The match became the first, and so far only, world championship match to be abandoned without result. Kasparov's relations with Campomanes and FIDE were greatly strained, and the feud between the two would eventually come to a head in 1993 with Kasparov's complete break-away from FIDE.

World Champion

The second Karpov-Kasparov match in 1985 was organized as the best of 24 games, where first player to 12.5 points would claim the title. However, in the event of a 12-12 draw, the title would go to Karpov as the reigning champion. Kasparov showed he had learned some valuable lessons in the previous match, and although the score was quite even down to the final wire, a few important games involving the Sicilian defence secured the World Championship for Kasparov at the age of 22 by a score of 13-11. This broke the existing record of youngest winner held for over twenty years by Mikhail Tal, who was 23 when he defeated Mikhail Botvinnik in 1960.

Karpov-Kasparov, Linares 1993. All seven of Karpov's pieces are on the first rank. Kasparov now sacrificed his rook with 22...c3!! and won quickly.
At the time, the FIDE rules granted a defeated champion an automatic right of rematch. Another match between Kasparov and Karpov duly took place in 1986, hosted jointly in the cities of London and Leningrad. At one point, Kasparov opened a three-point lead in the match, and looked to be well on his way to a decisive win. However, Karpov battled back by winning three consecutive games to level the score late in the match. At this point, Kasparov dismissed one of his seconds, Evgeny Vladimirov, accusing him of selling his opening preparation to the Karpov team. In any event, Kasparov scored one further win in the match and kept his title by a final score of 12.5-11.5.

A fourth match for the world title took place between Kasparov and Karpov 1987 in Seville, as Karpov qualified through the Candidates' Matches to once again become the official challenger. This match was very close, with neither player holding more than a one-point lead at any point in the match. The finish was dramatic, as Kasparov was down one point in the final game, needing a win to hold his title. After a blunder by Karpov, he won, and retained his title as the match was drawn by a score of 12-12.

A fifth match between Kasparov and Karpov was held in Lyon and New York in 1990. Once again, the result was a close one with Kasparov winning by a margin of 12.5-11.5.

With the World Champion title in his grasp, Kasparov switched to battling against FIDE — as Bobby Fischer had done twenty years earlier — but this time from within FIDE. He created an organisation to represent chess players, the GrandMaster's Association (GMA) to give players more of a say in FIDE's activities.

Ejection from FIDE

This stand-off lasted until 1993, by which time a new challenger had qualified through the Candidates cycle for Kasparov's next World Championship defense. The new challenger was Nigel Short, a British Grandmaster who had defeated Karpov in a qualifying match. The world champion and his challenger decided to play their match outside of FIDE's jurisdiction, under another organisation created by Garry Kasparov called the Professional Chess Association (PCA). This is where the great fracture in the lineage of World Champions began.

Kasparov and Short were ejected from FIDE, and they played their well-sponsored match in London, which Kasparov won convincingly by a score of 12.5-7.5. FIDE organized a World Championship match between the loser of the Candidates final, Jan Timman, and previous World Champion Karpov, which Karpov won. (Nigel Short beat both of these players in the Candidates matches before facing Kasparov.) So Kasparov held the PCA World Chess Championship, and Karpov held the FIDE World Chess Championship.

Kasparov defended his title in 1995 against the Indian superstar Viswanathan Anand, which was held at the World Trade Center in New York City, before the PCA collapsed when Intel, one of the major backers, withdrew its sponsorship. Kasparov won the match by 4 wins to 1 with 13 draws. The match had 3 clear phases: a cautious beginning with 8 draws, mostly short; a violent middle phase with a win by Anand being responded to by a crushing sequence of 4 wins in 5 games by Kasparov; and a quiet finish with 4 quick draws after the match was beyond doubt.

Kasparov tried to organise another World Championship match, under yet another organisation, the World Chess Association (WCA) with Linares organiser Rentero. Alexei Shirov and Vladimir Kramnik played a candidates match to decide the challenger, which Shirov won in a surprising upset. The WCA collapsed, however, when Rentero admitted that the funds required and promised had never materialised.

This left Kasparov stranded, and yet another organisation stepped in —, headed by Raymond Keene (who was also involved in bringing Kasparov to London for his replayed Candidates match against Korchnoi, half of the first Kasparov-Karpov match, and the Kasparov-Short PCA match). No match against Shirov was arranged, and talks with Anand collapsed, so a match was instead arranged against Kramnik...

Losing the title

This match, Kasparov-Kramnik, took place in London during the latter half of 2000. A well-prepared Kramnik surprised Kasparov and won a crucial game 2 against Kasparov's Grünfeld Defence after the champion missed several drawing chances in an opposite-colour bishop ending. Kasparov made a critical error in game 10 with the Nimzo-Indian Defence, which Kramnik exploited to win in 25 moves. As white, Kasparov could not crack the passive but solid Berlin Defence in the Ruy Lopez, and Kramnik successfully drew all his games as black. Kramnik won the match 8.5-6.5, and for the first time in fifteen years Kasparov had no world championship title. He became the first player to lose a world championship match without winning a game since Lasker lost to Capablanca in 1921.

As part of the so-called "Prague Agreement", masterminded by Yasser Seirawan and intended to reunite the two World Championships, Kasparov was to play a match against the FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov in September 2003. However, this match was called off after Ponomariov refused to sign his contract for it without reservation. In its place, there were plans for a match against Rustam Kasimdzhanov, winner of the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004, to be held in January 2005 in the United Arab Emirates. These also fell through due to lack of funding. Plans to hold the match in Turkey instead came too late. Kasparov announced in January 2005 that he was tired of waiting for FIDE to organise a match and that therefore he had decided to stop all efforts to regain the World Championship title.


After winning the prestigious Linares tournament for the ninth time, Kasparov announced on March 10, 2005, that he would be retiring from serious competitive chess. He cited as the reason a lack of personal goals in the chess world (he commented when winning the Russian championship in 2004 that it had been the last major title he had never won outright) and expressed frustration at the failure to reunify the world championship.

After his retirement, Kasparov turned to politics and created United Civil Front, a social movement whose main goal is to prevent Russia from returning to totalitarianism.

Kasparov said he may play in some rapid events for fun, but intends to spend more time on his books (both the My Great Predecessors series (see below) and a book on the links between decision-making in chess and other areas of life), and will continue to involve himself in Russian politics, which he says is "headed down the wrong path." He is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin.

On April 10, 2005, Kasparov was in Moscow at a promotional event when he was struck over the head with a chessboard he had just signed. The assailant was reported to have said "I admired you as a chess player, but you gave that up for politics," immediately before the attack.

On August 22, 2006, in his first public chess games since his retirement, Kasparov played in the Lichthof Chess Champions Tournament, a blitz event played at the time control of 5 minutes per side and 3 second increments per move. Kasparov finished tied for first with Karpov, scoring 4.5/6.

In September 2006, he signed a partnership with games editor Jackpot Creations to develop his own line of non-electronic chess games. He contributed in designing the pieces and writing the instructions.

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File last modified on 2016-5-11
Contributor : devassal thibault

See also this article on Wikipedia : Garry Kasparov

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Garry Kasparov

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