NAME: Garry Kimovich Kasparov
BIRTHDATE: April 13, 1963
BIRTHPLACE: Baku, Azerbaijan
CREDENTIALS: World Chess Champion from 1985-2000. Drew world-wide attention to chess by defeating the chess computer Deep Blue in 1997. Acheived the all-time highest rating at 2851.
Known as one of the best prepared players, one who enters competition with a deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents. Mentally and physically he is known to have an aggressive, intimidating presence at the board. He fights fearlessly, and there is no question from his attacking style that he plays to win.
Original name was Gari Weinstein, but he began using his mother's last name at age 12 when his father died. Garry first learned chess as a youngster by watching his parents play. Like his great rival Anatoly Karpov, he was a student of Mikhail Botvinnik. Through an administrative error in 1979, he was accidentally registered into a grandmaster's tournament and as a result was discovered to be one of the world's greatest players! He became a grandmaster on his 17th birthday, and was only 22 years old when he became world champion. Besides his incredible success at tournaments, he has also been recognized as the most skillful human at playing chess against computers. In March 2005, although still a dominant player against the world's best, Kasparov announced that he planned to retire from serious chess competition.