Garry Kasparov, Chessmaster

Garry Kasparov, Chessmaster

“If you're already in a fight, you want the first blow to be the last and you had better be the one to throw it.”

Who he is

Garry Kasparov was the world champion in chess for 15 straight years and achieved the highest-ever rating by a chess player during his reign. Although his rating has been surpassed, his extensive tenure at the top of the chess world lead many to consider him the greatest chess player of all time. 

Kasparov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and taught himself to play chess through observation. Clearly talented, he was entered in tournaments where his genius became apparent. He became world champion when he defeated Anatoly Karpov at the age of 22. 

While world champion, Kasparov played a series of games against computers. The most high-profile were against IBM’s Deep Blue machine. Kasparov won his first match against the computer but lost a rematch a year later. It was the first time a computer beat a human world champion in a match. The event was a watershed in artificial intelligence, suggesting that computers could be programmed to learn and respond to complex human decisions. 

Upon retiring from chess, he established a foundation to promote chess education. He has also trained several of the world’s top chess players, including reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen from Norway. 

Interesting fact

Kasparov, with English chessmaster Nigel Short, left FIDE, the international chess federation, to create a new one. Later, Kasparov called it the worst mistake of his career. 

Learn more about him

Garry Kasparov Biography

Kasparov Chess Foundation