Gary Kasparov

by Bill Wall


Garry Kasparov just turned 52..† He was born on April 13, 1963.† His lucky number is 13.† He was the 13th official world chess champion.† 1963 is divisible by 13.† There are 13 letters in Garry Kasparov.


Kasparov started playing chess in 1968 at the age of 5.

From 1973 to 1978, Kasparov studied chess under former world chess champion Mikhail Botvinnik.

Kasparovís first chess tournament was the Baku Young Pioneers in Kiev in 1973.† He took 1st place and won all 5 games.

In January 1976, 12-year-old Kasparov won the Soviet Junior (under 18) Championship.† He won it again in 1977 as a 13-year-old.

In 1976, at the age of 12, Kasparov achieved a masterís rating. (source: New York Times, May 23, 1976)

In 1978, Kasparov qualified for the Soviet Chess Championship at the age of 15, the youngest ever at that level in the USSR.

In 1979, at the age of 16, Kasparov took 9th place in the 46th Soviet championship in Tbilisi.† He was considered the strongest 16-year-old in the world.

In July 1979, Kasparov won an international tournament in Banja Luka, Yugoslavia, scoring 11.5-3.5, two points ahead of his closest rivals, all grandmasters.

Kasparovís first FIDE rating was 2595, making him the 15th highest rated player in the world from his first rated tournament.

In September 1979, Kasparov was supposed to play in the World Junior Championship in Skien, Norway, but the Soviet Chess Federation pulled him out a week before the tournament was to begin.† His replacement, Alexander Chernin, took 2nd place in the event.† Kasparov would have been the favorite to win the event.

In February 1980, Kasparov was part of the Soviet Union team that played in the 7th European Team Championship in Skara, Sweden.† Kasparov had the best record of any Soviet player, with 5 wins and 1 draw.† He scored better than Karpov, Tal, Petrosian, Polugaevaky, Geller, and Yusupov.

In October 1980, Kasparov, age 17, won the World Junior Chess Championship at Dortmund, West Germany, and was awarded the title of International Grandmaster.† He scored 10.5-2.5.

In 1981, Kasparov won the Soviet championship in Frunze, scoring 12.4-4.5.

In July 1982, Kasparov, after winning the Bugojno International Tournament, was ranked No. 2 in the world.

In September 1982, Kasparov win the third Interzonal Tournament is Moscow, scoring 10-3, and qualified as a Candidate.

In 1982, at the age of 19, he became the youngest Candidate for the World Championship since Bobby Fischer, who was 15, when he qualified in 1958.

In August 1983, Kasparov was supposed to play Viktor Korchnoi in Pasadena, California in the world championship semifinal match.† But Kasparov did not want to play in Pasadenaís hot summer weather, and the Soviet authorities said that Kasparovís security and access to Pasadena by his entourage were inadequate.† However, other Soviet players suggested that Kasparov might be tempted to defect as his political loyalties were uncertain.† There was also concern about Kasparovís Jewish background, and, at the time, there were tens of thousands of Soviet Jews actively seeking to emigrate.† Kasparov was then forfeited in his match with Korchnoi, but this decision was later reversed, and the match was held in London.† Kasparov defeated Korchnoi by the score of 7-4 and received $20,000.† Kasparov went on to beat Vasily Smyslov to beceme official challenger for the world championship match against Karpov.

In 1984, Kasparov became the No. 1 ranked player in the world, surpassing world champion Anatoly Karpov.† His rating was 2710.

In 1984, Kasparov became the youngest ever world No. 1, a record that lasted 12 years.

Kasparov played in 8 world championship matches.† The first, in 1984, was abandoned.† He won in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, and 1995.† He lost to Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

From 1986 until his retirement from competitive chess in March, 2005, Kasparov was ranked No. 1 in the world for 225 out of 228 months.†

Kasparovís peak rating was 2851, which he attained twice Ė in July 1999 and January 2000.

Kasparov won 11 Chess Oscars, the most of any chess player.

Kasparov won 15 consecutive professional tournament victories from 1981 to 1990, the most of any chess player.† The 15 tournaments he won were: 1981 USSR championship, 1982 Bugojno, 1982 Interzonal in Moscow, 1982 Niksic, 1986 OHRA in Brussels, 1997 Brussels, 1988 Amsterdam, 1988 World Cup in Belfort, 1988 USSR championship, 1988 World Cup in Reykjavik, 1989 World Cup in Barcelona, 1989 World Cup in Skelleftea, 1989 Tilburg, 1989 Belgrade, and 1990 Linares.

At the time on November 9, 1985, Kasparov was the youngest world chess champion at the age of 22 years, 210 days.† He was undisputed world champion from 1985 to 1993 and world champion in classical chess (Professional Chess Association) from 1993 to 2000.

In 1996, Kasparov defeated Deep Blue, the strongest chess computer to date.

In 1997, Kasparov was the first world chess champion to lose to a computer under standard time controls.

Kasparov played in 8 Chess Olympiads, winning 8 team gold medals, 5 board gold medals, 2 performance gold medals, 2 performance silver medals, and 2 bronze medals.

Kasparovís last Elo rating was 2812 in March, 2005.

In 2005, Kasparov started a political organization, the United Civil Front, to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On April 25-26,2015, †Garry Kasparov will play a series of blitz and rapid games with GM Nigel Short in St. Louis.† In 1993, the two played for the classical world chess championship.

There have been over 50 books written about Kasparov.

Kasparovís other interests besides chess is history, politics. Literature, and computers.

Kasparov has made at least 6 TV commercials.† His Pepsi-Cola ad, shown during the 2001 Superbowl, was nominated for a Cleo Award, the highest achievement in TV advertising.

Kasparovís worth is about $7 million US dollars.

Kasparov recently appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher