Garry Kasparov - Biography, Achievements and Chess Career

14/04/2023 - Actualizado: 25/05/2023

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Born on April 13, 1963 in Azerbaijan, Garry Kimovich Kasparov, known in the chess world as Garry Kasparov, is considered and recognized as one of the best chess players in history. Today, this chess grandmaster is retired from the championships, but he is remembered as one of the most outstanding players of the sport.

He currently works as a writer and politician, a career he began in 2005 after retiring from the chess championships.

Garry Kasparov's Beginnings

His first mentor was his father, who loved this board game. However, with time and thanks to his interest in the sport, Garry Kasparov enrolled in Mikhail Botvinnik's school to learn more about the game. At this institute he was taught by Vladimir Makogonov, one of the best chess players of the time.

When he was only 13 years old, he won the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Junior Championship in 1976 and 1977. A year later, in 1978, he was invited to participate in the Sokolsky Memorial, where he was awarded the title of Master after his triumph.

Garry Kasparov

What Made Garry Kasparov So Successful?

Thanks to a mistake by the Chess Federation of the Soviet Union, Garry Kasparov, without receiving the title of Grandmaster, participated in the tournament called "Grandmasters" held in Yugoslavia in 1979. He won the tournament and reached an ELO rating of 2,595, thus becoming one of the elite of the sport.

1984 World Championship

This championship was peculiar, not only because it was the longest ever held, but also because it was controversial. Held in Moscow, it pitted Anatoli Karpov against Garry Kasparov, who had played 48 consecutive games.

Although Karpov started well and led 5-0, Kasparov improved his game and won 5-3. However, it was the FIDE President who made the decision to suspend the match due to Karpov's health and the general exhaustion of both participants. Nevertheless, both players expressed their intention to continue the game, but they were not listened to.

The following year, 1985, the second encounter between Garry Kasparov and Anatoli Karpov took place. The results of the first encounter would be forgotten and now, under new rules, they would fight for the title of World Champion. The winner would be the one who won 12.5 out of 24 games. If they tied at 12, the result would go to Karpov, while if it was Kasparov who emerged victorious, then there could be a rematch.

The eventual winner and World Champion was Kasparov, leaving a score of 13 to 11. It is said to have been the longest chess match ever played, as it began in September 1984 and ended in February of the following year.

Garry Kasparov and FIDE

After the events of the 1984 World Championship, Garry Kasparov was not very happy with what had happened. So in 1986 he began his fight against FIDE and founded the "Association of Grandmasters", which brought greater benefits to the players. 

With this organization he was able to organize tournaments for the World Championship, bringing together elite participants. Later he was expelled from FIDE.

Garry Kasparov: the World Champion

After his victory over Karpov in 1985, he held the title of World Champion for 15 consecutive years. This pair would face each other on several occasions from 1984 to 1990 and it would be Kasparov who would win most of the matches.

garry kasparov

He also faced Nigel Short and was again a successful defender of his title. In 1995, he would once again put his title on the line against Viswanathan Anand and come out victorious.

Garry Kasparov vs. Computer

In February 1996, while in Philadelphia, IBM developed a supercomputer so that it could play chess. Garry Kasparov was invited to play against this computer in a tournament format, and the score was 4 to 2, a battle in favor of the human.

This game proved that man's ability as a strategist surpassed that of computers, which have their tactics but cannot surpass the capacity of the human mind.

A year later the story would be different, an improved version of the computer would be the winner.

Loss of His World Title

In the year 2000, Garry Kasparov would play a match against Vladimir Kramnik. There would be 16 games, starting in London and ending in Russia. Kramnik, his opponent and former student, would emerge victorious.

The saying "the student beats the master" was never truer than this time. They had been working as a team since 1995, so they knew each other's strategies and playing tactics very well, which favored Kramnik.

Retirement from Chess

In 2005 Garry Kasparov decided to devote himself to something other than chess. He began to impart his knowledge to those who showed talent for chess, he was also heavily involved in politics, writing books, giving lectures.

While in politics he founded a party to oppose the current ruler of Russia. However, they did not manage to participate in the elections and received threats, even one of the representatives of this party was murdered, another suffered an attempted poisoning and Kasparov left Moscow.

At present he lives in New York and although he claims that he does not like it very much, he is constantly moving from one place to another around the world thanks to his Croatian passport.

Here you can find a compilation of their games

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