Garri Kasparov – the best chess player of all time, about Russia and world peace

05. December 2017 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Garri Kasparov now 55 years old, recently faced once again a chess duel. It was in St. Louis and he of course won.

After officially retiring from active chess in 2005 with an ELO rating of 2,812 and being number one in the world, he found it “exciting to play officially again”. For more than a decade, he really hadn’t expected it and was honored by the stopover in the chess arena. Although he occasionally participated in show competitions and played simultaneous events, he did not want to play official tournaments anymore.

World chess champion at 22

Garri Kasparov grew up in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, as the son of Russian-Armenian parents in the days of the Soviet Union. Talent scouts recognized his genius long before he even went to school. At 22, he was the youngest chess world champion ever.

Today he prefers to engage in politics. Garri Kasparov became chairman of the “United Civil Front” in 2005 and has been a leading figure in the opposing coalition “The Other Russia”. However, he withdrew as their presidential candidate in 2007: his appearances were heavily sabotaged, hired hitmen abused him and he briefly went to jail for unauthorized demonstrations.

Political career, exile and Putin

As successor to former Czech President Václav Havel, Garri Kasparov assumed the presidency of the Human Rights Foundation in New York in 2012. Afraid to lose his Russian passport, he went into exile and today lives with his wife and two children in the US and Croatia. He strongly and openly criticises Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is considered the most important and sharpest critic of the Kremlin in the West. His in 2015 published book is titled: Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. In an interview with Der Spiegel, he said: “Russia today is a mafia state and Putin its supreme godfather.” Because the regime is economically weak and has nothing left to offer to their citizens, it pursues an aggressive foreign affairs policy and serves up a fairy tale of Russian pride and regained super power. The behavior of the West towards Putin, he said, was a political and moral surrender.

From chess and poker

He warns against treating Putin as a normal political partner who possesses the ability to negotiate. When asked about chess and world politics, he replied: “In poker, unlike chess, you can compensate for a weak hand very well by bluffing. Putin is more like a poker player. There are strict rules in chess and nobody knows how the game will end.”

Without a doubt, Garri Kasparov is one of the most impressive personalities of our time. In his lectures, which he gives in Russian and English, he talks about innovation, life science, change management, globalization as well as motivation and success strategies.Learn more about the ex-world chess champion and passionate speaker.

By phone or email:

Garry Kasparov

Strategic Thinking: How Chess imitates Life!