Former FIDE Chess Champion. After playing current FIDE Champ Karpov and winning, created the PCA or Professional Chess Association. This was sponsored by Intel chip makers until Kasparov was beaten in Chess by the computer Deep Blue. Refuses to play Karpov for the FIDE World Champ Title due to a lack of Prize Money, concidently, Karpov refuses as well. Garry Kasparov is still recognised as the worlds best player though, after all, to be the worlds best player, you have to beat the worlds best player, and thats Garry Kasparov, and no one has beaten him yet.

Update

Well since the author is busy or something here's a little useful tidbit.
On Thursday, November 2, 2000 Vladimir Kramnik beat Garry Kasparov in a 16 game match. The score for the game was 8.5 - 6.5 - Kramnik. Out of 16 games Kramnik won 3. The rest were tied, giving Kramnik the title of World Chess Champion.
This Armenian-Russian chess player recently lost his long-held #1 position after establishing himself as one of history's greatest chess legends. At 37 years old, he created a buzz in 1997 when he beat IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer. In a subsequent match, he used chess databases and analysis programs as aids. His opponents? A global team making all its moves after taking votes. Kasparov proved his mettle, though, winning the match before an audience of 3 million surfers.

In spite of his recent defeat, it's a sure bet that Kasparov will be back at least one more time to try and re-claim the crown that was once his.


In response to gitm's "correction": Although Kasparov was indeed born in Baku, Azerbaijan, his mother was Armenian and his father was a Russian Jew. His father died at at early age (Garry was seven years old) so he was left to be raised by his very Armenian mother, Karla. Yes, he was from Baku; but seeing as how he is of the decent of Azerbaijan's arch enemy, Armenia, you won't be hearing any Azeris claiming him as their own any time soon. In fact, he had to escape Azerbaijan by helicopter during the pogroms in Baku against ethnic Armenians.

A couple of additions and a correction. First, he is from Baku (Now called Baki), Azerbaijan. He currently resides in Moscow.

He is widely known for his aggressive play, and his uncanny ability to absorb information. He uses a full team of top players and vast computing resources to prepare for his opponents. It has often been speculated whether Bobby Fischer in his prime could have beaten Kasparov in his. Fischer went insane and is well past his prime, so it's pretty difficult to say. Kasparov is arguably the strongest player who has ever lived.

Kasparov was raised as a chess prodigy, and tutored by Mikhail Botvinnik, a former World Champion. Kasparov himself became World Champion at the age of 22. He has been known to be very emotional and has often been accused of poor sportsmanship. A case in point is when he lost to IBM's Deep Blue. He complained about a number of aspects of the game and even accused the operator of the computer of cheating. Kasparov was subsequently lambasted by the press.

Even though he lost the BrainGames World Championship match in November 2000, he is still considered the strongest player in the world by FIDE ratings. He also recently proved himself to be back in shape by nailing down the Wijk Aan Zee 2001 Super-GM tournament in January with a solid 9 points. Interestingly, he faced the new World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik for the first time since the title match in this event, and threw away a solid game on move 40 to end with a draw.

There are a couple of biographies available. One is Mortal Games by Fred Waitzkin (Author of Searching For Bobby Fischer) and the other is an autobiography titled Unlimited Challenge. He is also the author of numerous chess books and articles, and is currently very devoted to building his web presence, KasparovChess.com.

My mother grew up in a big ol' house on the Street of the First of May in Baku, the capital of the then-Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. The street was at the epicenter of a large and very well established Jewish neighbourhood, and it was practically a local mark of aristocracy to have been born onto it - as well as an immediate identifier of your racial origins.

She has this elderly relative, my mother, an uncle once removed or somesuch, let's call him Uncle Boris, who, in his capacity as a lecturer in maths and engineering at the Baku Politechnic Institute had access to lots and lots of books; this you need to understand was aluxury in the USSR, as all consumer goods were in extremely short supply (most notoriously bread, of course), but under whose jackboot books and information were particularly restricted in their circulation. Among his most prized posessions was a chess primer for young children, which he was careful never to lend to anyone lest it should vanish out of his library for good..

One day Uncle Boris' schoolfriend, Mr Winestein from down the road, whose little boy my mother and her cousins bullied mercilessly, came to him with a very delicate request: to borrow the chess primer for his only son. Uncle Boris showed a not surprising reluctance to part with the volume, but old Mr Winestein pressed him so long and so earnestly that, in some exasperation, he finally gave in.

Thank you so very much, said Mr Winestein, I swear to you I will give it back as soon as my little boy is done with it. Yeah, yeah, said Uncle Boris. No, really, so Mr Winestein, I do solemnly promise to you the safe return of the precious volume. Enough already, said our impatient and cynical Uncle Boris, resigned to having lost the cherished manual to an equal in the stubborn old git stakes. When your son wins the world championships, then give me the book back.

(As an aside, you'll need to imagine the above exchange with the most Mel Brooksian Jewish accent in creation, which Uncle Boris, bless him, has always had even in his native Russian).

And what do you think, but that twenty years later, when Mr Winestein's son won the World Championships for the first of many times, Uncle Boris telephoned the proud father and demanded his book back!


The above is a true story. My mother really did beat up the world's best chess mind when he was a small boy. Apparently he was quite fat and very spoiled. Oh, and Uncle Boris, still alive and cheerfully writing his memoirs, really did make that call. That's the sort of chap he is, and it should teach you not to mess with anyone in my mother's family as their memories are longer than a very long thing indeed.

Garry's mother was Armenian and Kasparov was her maiden name. When he was about to represent the USSR in an international tournament for the first time (as I recall he was still a boy), the establishment refused to let him do so with such a blatantly Jewish name as Winestein, and he was forced to use his mother's. By all accounts it broke Mr Winestein's heart.

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