Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess player and the 13th world chess champion.

He is often considered to be the greatest chess player of all time. I will divide my presentation in five parts.

Part I: Youth 1963-1979

Part II: Rise to the chess elite 1978-1983

Part III: Matches against Karpov 1984-1990

Part IV: PCA´s master 1993-2000

Part V: Later years 2000-2012

Part I: Youth 1963-1979

Garry Kasparov was born on 13th april in 1963 in Baku in Azerbaidžan. He learned chess when he was six years old. His parents tried to solve a chess problem, but did not succeed. Next morning the boy, who has never played the game, showed his parents the right move. The father teached his son the rules of the game and after six months Garry was better than his father. When he was seven Kasparov began to receive special education in Baku´s young pioneers palace and when he was 10 years old he moved to Mihail Botvinnik’s chess school. In Botvinnik´s chess school his trainer was Vladimir Makogonov. When he was 12-years old Kasparov become the youngest player ever to win the Soviet Union´s under 18-years championship. In 1977 Kasparov defended his titel and won overwhelmingly.

Part II: Rise to the chess elite 1978-1983

In 1978 Kasparov won Sokolski´s memorial tournament before fourteen internationellt rankad players. Some months later he was best in Latvian Väinänlinna of 64 players, who tried to go further to the Soviet Union championship. He told that all trouble was gone and chess filled his life. He had found his own chess style, which was dynamic. In 1979 Kasparov took part in his first tournament abroad in Banja Luka in Yugoslavia. The opponents were ex-world champion Tigran Petrosjan and thirteen other grandmasters. Kasparov didn´t have a FIDE rating. Kasparov won tournament without losses with two points marginal. In 1980 he won the world junior championship. He become grandmaster at the age of 17.

In 1982 Kasparov took part in a supertournament in Bugojno in Bosnien. Tournament was very strong, but Kasparov won tournament with 1,5 points marginal. Kasparov won also Zonal-tournament in Moscow. The two first would go to MM-candidate matches. Kasparov won his first MM-candidate match against Beljavski with result 6–3. Semifinal against Viktor Kortšnoi was played in London. Kortšnoi won the first game of the match. Kasparov won the sixth game of the match. Kortšnoi lost the match with 7–4. The last candidate matchen Kasparov won against Vasili Smyslov. His wins against Kortšnoi and Smyslov gave him chess Oscar, and his ELO-number raised to 2715.

Part III: Matches against Karpov 1984-1990

Marathon in Moscow 1984-1985

After the candidate matches the 21 year old Kasparov played Anatoli Karpov for the chess world champion title. Match would be won by a player with six wins. Draws didn´t count. Karpov won games 3,6, 7 and 9 and lead quickly with score 4-0. Kasparov changed his match strategy to a more defensive style. In 27th game Karpov got his fifth win. Kasparov got his first win in 32th game. Several draws followed. Then Kasparov won 47 and 48 games and the match was 5-3. The FIDE president terminated the match. Both players would have liked to continue. Campomanes said that players health was in danger. Match went from 10th August 1984 to 8th February 1985 and was terminated after 48 games. A new match was planned for the same year and Karpov would have right to a rematch.

MM-match in Moskva in 1985

After Marathon in Moskva 1984-1985 Kasparov thought that Karpov is no longer the chess world champion. However, FIDE decided that if the 24- game match would end in draw, Karpov would hold his title. If Karpov would lose, he would have right to a rematch, but this right would not exist in future. Both players won games and the last game began with Kasparov having one point more than Karpov. Karpov needed a win to hold his title. Karpov had white and he played actively. Kasparov, however, got counterplay and won the game and the match. So in 9th August in 1985 in the age of 22-years Kasparov become the thirteenth world chess champion with a score 13-11.

Rematch in London and in Leningrad 1986

Rematch´s first 12 games were played in London and the rest in Leningrad. When Kasparov had black games began with the Grünfeld defence. When Kasparov had white different openings were played. After the London half Kasparov lead with a score 6½–5½. Kasparov won handsomely the 16th game and lead with a point. After the following games Kasparov lead with three points. The match seem to be over. However, Karpov took three straight wins to level the match. The wins came partly thanks to good opening play and partly thanks to Kasparov mistakes. Kasparov won the 22th game. The rest of games were draws and Kasparov won the match with a score 12½–11½. In 2005, after his chess career Kasparov said that the match was the best of his matches against Karpov.

VM-match in Seville 1987

Anatoly Karpov, who has lost the VM-match, won the so called superfinal against Andrei Sokolov. So Kasparov and Karpov began their fourth VM-match in three years in October 1987. The match was played in Sevilla and was 24 games long. In the beginning of the match both contestants won two games and four games ended in draws. After Karpov´s blunder Kasparov won the 11th game and lead for the first time. Karpov won the 16th game and situation was even. Six draws followed. There remained two games. Kasparov didn´t want to play actively and Karpov did´t seem to have energy to play for the win. Two draws seemed to be the most likely result. However, Kasparov made one of the greatest blunders of his career in the 23th game and Karpov took the lead. Karpov needed only to make draw in the 24th game to capture the world champion title. Kasparov and his team couldn´t find anything radically new over one night and they prepared only a basic strategy. Kasparov began with a english opening. The game was terminated with a better situation for Kasparov. The game was resumed in the following day. Kasparov had a pawn more, but Karpov had chances for a draw. Kasparov won the game and retained his title for the three following years.

VM-match in New York and in Lyon 1990

The fifth VM-match between Kasparov and Karpov was played in New York and in Lyon in 1990. In both cities 12 games were played. The prize money was three million dollars. Karpov began all his white games with the move 1.d4, to which Kasparov replied mostly with the King’ Indian defence. Kasparov won the second game, but Karpov levelled the score in the seventh game. All other games were drawn in New York and the match moved to Lyon. Kasparov won the 16th game, but Karpov levelled the score in the next game. Kasparov won the 18th and 20th games. Kasparov lead with the score 11-9 and needed only one point from the following four games to retain his world champion title. His atteined his aim in the following two games with two draws. Karpov won another game, but Kasparov won the match with 12½–11½. In their five matches Kasparov atteined 21 wins, 19 losses and 104 draws in 144 games.

Part IV: PCA´s master 1993-2000

Match with Short

Kasparov and Short played in London 1993 a match, which was won by Kasparov with a score 12½–7½. Short is an attacking player, who is well equipped with sharp opening ideas. Even that Kasparov’s strong points are the same, he choosed a more safer and restrained playing strategy. It was shown that Short didn´t feel home with safe and quiet situations and Kasparov could overplay him. The match was planned to be 24 games long, but after 20th game Kasparov had attained enough points for the win. The remaining games were played as exhibition games with a shorter time controls and opening lines, which were decided beforehand.

VM-match with Anand in New York in 1995

In 1995 Kasparov won a VM-match against Viswanathan Anand in New York with a score 10½–7½. Match was played in 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Match began with eight draws. Anand won handsomely the ninth game. Kasparov won the 10th game. He used six minutes to his first 21 moves and said that all was planned beforehand. The match was even at halfway in the match. In the 11th game Kasparov played the dragonvariant of the Sicilian defence. Anand resigned after he has missed Kasparov’s combination. Kasparov played the dragonvariant again in the 13th game. Anand played weakly and Kasparov won in 25 moves. In the 14th game Anand used the Scandinavian defence, which has never before been played in a VM-match. Kasparov won the game. He lead with 8½–5½, when six games remained. Match ended with four draws.

VM-match with Kramnik in London 2000

Kasparov was world champion for PCA and PCA´s successor WCC (World Chess Council) to the year 2000, when he lost the chess world champion title match to Vladimir Kramnik. Before the match Kasparov had won seven tournaments. Kasparov lost with black pieces the second and tenth game. Kramnik didn´t lose a game, so Kasparov lost the match with a score 8½–6½. Kramnik´s match strategy was with black pieces to exchange the queens and lead the game to an endgame.

Part V: Later career 2000-2012

After his ninth win at Linares Kasparov informed in 10th in March in 2005 that he gives upp playing tournament chess. He said that vacuum of personlig goals was the reason for his decision. In 2004 he has won the Russian championship, which was the last title, which he has missed. Kasparov said that he will play for fun in tournaments of shorter time control, but that he mostly will concentrate on the writing books and Russian politics, which has gone in wrong direction.

Many people, inclusive the current world champion Viswanathan Anand, regard that Garry Kasparov is the greatest chessplayer of all time. Kasparov´s playing style was dominated of dynamics and thirst for initiative. Kasparov´s opening preparations were at their own level as the case was for Bobby Fischer. This has lead to increased role of opening theory in grandmaster chess. Kasparov had great aid of his phenomenal memory in the opening theory. Kasparov had relatively narrow opening repertory as black. He often played the Sicilian defense against 1. e4. Najdorf´s defense was his speciel area. Against 1. d4 Kasparov played the kingsindian defense and Grünfeld defense. As white Kasparov played several openings.

Kasparov descrived his playing style as a mix of Aljechin´s, Tal´s and Fiscer´s playing style. Kasparov says that he achieved his best level in chess in 1999. As his best presentation he regard the simultan against the Israel national team 1n 1998, when he played in two days time against four top players. Of his world championship matches he regard the best to be against Karpov in 1986. Kasparov was number 1 in the world rankings from 1986 to 2005. In Juni 1999 he reached an Elo-number 2851, which is still a record. When he ended his career, he was still number 1 with an Elo-number 2812.

Political activity

After his chess career Kasparov said that he concentrates on the political activity in Russia. He leads the United People Front-organisasion, which has its aim to hold election democracy in Russia. He has opposed publicly the diminished democratic rights in Russia. Kasparov grounded with other people the Other Russia organization, which has several types of supporters. Kasparov says that he is conservative in economic questions and liberal in social questions. Kasparov was arrested in 24th November and sentenced to five days time in prison for illegal demonstration. Anatoli Karpov, who has a different political view than Kasparov, tried to visit Kasparov in prison, but was denied the visit.

  • Garry Kasparov
  • Garry Kasparov
  • Garry Kasparov and Anatoli Karpov
  • Garry Kasparov

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