13th World Champion, 1985 - 1993
PCA Champion, 1993 - 2000
Garry Kimovich Kasparov was born Gary Weinstein in Baku, Azerbaijan, USSR in 1963. Kasparov learned to play chess from his father who later died in a road accident when he was 7 years old. He subsequently changed his name to Kasparov, a Russified version of his mother's maiden name, Kasparyan. Kasparov's chess talent was apparent at an early age. In 1973 he attended the Botvinnik Chess School and Kasparov continued to make rapid progress. In 1975 at the age of 12 he became the youngest ever player to win the USSR Junior Championship. At 16 he won the World Junior Championship. He achieved the title of Grandmaster on his 17th birthday
In 1984 he challenged the current reigning World Champion, Anatoly Karpov for the title. This match was a hard fought battle and lasted 6 months, the longest in the history of chess. It was finally stopped by Florencio Campomanes, president of FIDE and a rematch ordered. In November 1985 Kasparov won the rematch against Karpov and became the youngest World Champion at the age of 22 years.
Kasparov held the official FIDE world title until 1993, when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association. He continued to hold the "Classical" World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.
In 1996 Kasparov competed in a six game match against an IBM computer called Deep Blue. Kasparov won with a score of 4 games to 2 games. The following year, he competed against an improved version called Deeper Blue and was defeated 3.5 games to 2.5 games. It was the first time a Grandmaster had lost a series of games to a computer. He is currently the highest rated player there has ever been in the history of chess.
Kasparov's ratings achievements include being rated world #1 according to Elo rating almost continuously from 1986 until his retirement in 2005 and holding the all-time highest rating of 2851. He was the world number-one ranked player for 255 months, by far the most of all-time and nearly three times as long as his closest rival, Anatoly Karpov. He also holds records for consecutive tournament victories and Chess Oscars.
Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess on 10 March 2005, to devote his time to politics and writing. He formed the United Civil Front movement, and joined as a member of The Other Russia, a coalition opposing the administration of Vladimir Putin. He was a candidate for the 2008 Russian presidential race, but later withdrew. Widely regarded in the West as a symbol of opposition to Putin, Kasparov's support in Russia is low.
He is the current coach of the world's number-one ranked player, Magnus Carlsen.
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