Garry Kasparov: Biography highlights

Considered by many to be the best chess player to have ever lived, Garry Kasparov has spent his retirement campaigning for democracy and human rights

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Full biography of Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov’s Background

Passionate and dynamic, Garry Kasparov applies his tactical genius to business and educational challenges seamlessly, inspiring teams and individuals.

Kasparov first became internationally famous when he became the youngest ever World Chess champion at the age of 22. He spent 20 years as the worlds top-ranked player and won countless tournaments against both humans and computers. His ability earned him the respect of players and non-players alike and the fearsome nickname the Beast of Baku.

He became known for his fascination with new technologies and beat a succession of chess playing computers, including Deep Blue and Deep Junior, and played online chess against a team of 50,000 people from around the globe in Kasparov versus the World in 1999. He founded the Kasparov Chess Foundation in 2002 to encourage the use of chess within education, something which he believes will improve the strategic and thinking skills of future generations.

Following his retirement from chess, Kasparov became an outspoken advocate for democracy in Russia, founding the United Civil Front (UCF). The UCF aims to promote democracy in Russia and to ensure that this is maintained, allowing the people to vote freely for a government that they believe in; Kasparov is currently the Chairman of the organisation.

He has also acted as co-leader of the Other Russia Coalition, which strived to promote fair elections within the country. His belief that such campaigning in Russia is essential is clear and he has stated “We are not fighting to win elections – we are fighting for having elections. The goal is to bring all opposition groups into a broad coalition to return Russia to the path of democracy.”

In addition to his work promoting human rights and democracy, Kasparov has also dedicated his time to teaching others how to apply successful chess strategies to business thinking. He has achieved this through his writing (some of his books have been translated into more than 20 languages) and through his public speaking.

Kasparov has addressed organisations and educational institutes in countries all over the world, providing lectures and seminars which focus on decision making, strategic thinking and performance optimisation. A world-renowned master of strategy and a chess genius, it is little wonder that Kasparovs talks have been met with such acclaim.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • Former World Chess Champion
  • Strategic Genius
  • Human Rights Activist
  • Author
  • Speaker

Awards, Accolades, Achievements & Honours

  • Founder and Chairman United Civil Front, Russia (2005)
  • Co-Chairman – All Russia Civil Congress (2004)
  • Founder Kasparov Chess Foundation (2002)
  • Board of Directors member – Human Rights Foundation
  • Contributing Editor – The Wall Street Journal
  • Record Holder – longest time as the Number 1 rated chess player in the world (1986 to 2005)
  • Record Holder – eleven times Chess Oscar winner

Speaking Style

  • Academic, Formal and Story-telling


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Don't fear intelligent machines. Work with them | Garry Kasparov
Don't fear intelligent machines. Work with them | Garry Kasparov

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