Garry Kasparov

Russia, 1963

Garry Kasparov (Russia, 1963) came to international fame as the youngest world chess champion in history and remained the top-ranked player in the world for twenty years. His matches against Anatoli Karpov and the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue brought the game of chess to new heights as a modern professional sport. An active advocate of scholastic chess programs around the world, he launched The Kasparov Chess Foundationin 2002. After retiring from professional chess in 2005, Kasparov quickly became an important voice in the Russian pro-democracy movement against the repressive regime of Vladimir Putin. He formed the United Civil Front, of which he is still the chairman, and co-led The Other Russia coalition that focused on uniting the Russian opposition to Putin under the banner of free and fair elections. His book on decision-making and politics, How Life Imitates Chess (2007), has been published in over 20 languages to wide-spread critical acclaim.