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Deep Blue game 6: May 11 @ 3:00PM EDT | 19:00PM GMT        kasparov 2.5 deep blue 3.5
Garry Kasparov

"The future of chess lies in the hands
of this young man."

-- former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik

How could Mikhail Botvinnik have known? After all, when he made the above statement, Garry Kasparov was only 11 years old! But if there's a common theme that has characterized Kasparov's career to this point, it is his ability to live up to even the highest of expectations. The USSR Junior Champion at age 13, an International Grandmaster at 17, and the second strongest player in the world while still a teenager (19), Kasparov has consistently exhibited a genius for chess that belies his age. In November 1985, at age 22, he became the youngest World Champion in history by defeating Anatoly Karpov, a title he still holds today. Now, at age 34, Garry Kasparov is still going strong.

Child prodigy
Garry Kasparov was born in Baku, the capital of the Russian republic Azerbaidzhan. His early success at the chessboard earned him an invitation to study under the tutelage of Botvinnik, the World Champion in 1948-1957, 1958-1960, and 1961-1963 and at the time considered to be the USSR's greatest player (Karpov was another of Botvinnik's pupils).

At age 13 he began entering international competitions, sharing third place in his first match outside the USSR - the 3rd World Cup for Cadets held in Wattignes, France. It marked the first time that someone as young as 13 had represented the Soviet Union in an international sporting competition held in the West.

World championship contender
By the time Garry was 16, his reputation in the Soviet Union and the east had grown to the point that he could no longer expect to enter tournaments unnoticed. Young "Garik," as he was known in Russia, was now seen as a formidable competitor by older and more experienced players, both inside the USSR and internationally.

In 1979, at the age of 16, he was given an opportunity to play in a Yugoslav event that included fourteen strong international grandmasters. Although he had yet to even receive an FIDE rating, Garry won the match by a comfortable margin (111/2 to 91/2 for second place), and firmly establish himself as a serious contender for a future World Championship.

The first world title
At the age of 21, Garry played for his first world title against the legendary Soviet player Anatoly Karpov. Both men played brilliant chess throughout the event, but the five-month, forty-eight-game marathon ended inconclusively. Citing exhaustion on the part of both players, World Chess Federation President Florencio Campomanes suddenly cancelled the remainder of the match without crowning a winner.

The next year the match was replayed, and Kasparov beat Karpov to win his first World Championship, a title he has held for 12 consecutive years.

The greatest in history
From 1984 to 1990, Kasparov played Karpov four times for the world title. After the cancelled first match that allowed Karpov to retain his World Championship crown, Kasparov won three in a row. Garry successfully defended his crown in 1993 against Englishman Nigel Short, and again in 1995 by defeating the rising young Indian star Viswanathan Anand.

At age 34, he is widely considered the greatest player in the history of chess.

Like the legendary Cuban player Jose Raul Capablanca, Kasparov is known for his uncanny intuitive play and lightning-fast vision of the board. He is notorious for switching strategies mid-game, a tactic he used to his advantage in defeating Deep Blue during last year's match.

Other accomplishmentsp
Kasparov has written four books and has gained international recognition as a prominent spokesman for political, educational and social reforms in Eastern Europe. He is also active in charity and has created the Kasparov Foundation in Moscow (the first private Foundation since the Revolution) to handle this side of his activities.

Kasparov is active in promoting the use of chess in schools as an educational subject and has set up the Kasparov International Chess Academy.

Widely recognized as an expert on Russian affairs, he is the youngest-ever contributing editor for the Wall Street Journal. In 1993, Kasparov and Short helped form the Professional Chess Association (PCA) to create "a new era for professional chess and to make our sport a household game."

He is a regular guest speaker at international conferences such as the World Economic Forum at Davos and the Cursos de Verano in Madrid.

Related Information

      Interview:Garry Kasparov's thoughts on the match, on the future of chess-playing computers and the psychology behind the game.

      Classic matches:The stories behind some of Kasparov's most engaging matches

      Kasparov FAQ:What you want to know about the greatest player in history

      How he works:Get inside the head of the World Champion as he plots his next move

      1997 FIDE Rating List:How Kasparov ranks against the rest of the chess-playing world

      The Kasparov Team:The advisors in Kasparov's corner.

      the team behind the technology:"I think Garry is gradually realizing that he is part of the team. He is really part of our scientific experiment. He's no longer just a chess player." - C.J. Tan, Deep Blue development team

      Chess Pieces
no. 30

The high-life:
Anatoly Karpov once listed his hobbies as "stamp collecting" and "Marxism."
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