Garry Kasparov, a legend in the international sports arena for his 20-year reign as the world’s #1 chess player, Kasparov was also a pioneer thanks to his famous matches against the IBM super computer Deep Blue.
In 2005, Kasparov retired from professional chess to lead the pro-democracy opposition against the dictatorial regime of Vladimir Putin, including a run for the presidency of Russia in 2008. Kasparov is a popular speaker to business groups around the world on topics of strategy, innovation and leadership. His 2007 book on decision-making How Life Imitates Chess, has been published in over a dozen languages. He has been a contributing editor to the Wall Street Journal since 1991.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Garry Kasparov became world under-20 chess champion at age 17. In 1985, at just 22, he became the youngest world chess champion in history. Kasparov’s legendary battles with Anatoly Karpov were among his five title defenses. Along the way, he also broke Bobby Fischer’s rating record, establishing a mark that would stand for 23 years.
As the Soviet Union began to crumble, Kasparov became increasingly active in politics, promoting democratic reforms and supporting Boris Yeltsin. Still based in Moscow, Kasparov succeeded Vaclav Havel as chairman of the Human Rights Foundation. Under threat of arrest, Kasparov moved to New York city in 2013. There, he founded the Democracy Renewal Project in 2016, which defends liberal democracy against a global tide of nationalism.
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