Head to Head


Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov

  • Born:
    Apr 13, 1963 (Age 55) Baku, Azerbaijan
  • FIDE Title:
  • FIDE ID:
  • Federation:
  • Peak Rating:
    2851 (July 1999)
  • Rating:
    2812 (May 2018)
  • Rank:
    3 (May 2018)

Many people’s choice as the strongest chess player of all time, Garry Kasparov was number one on the rating list for over twenty years and held the World Championship title for fifteen. As well as using a dynamic tactical style and deep preparation to dominate on the board he also dominated the public perception of chess, with his victories against Anatoly Karpov seeming to symbolise the new era of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union. After retiring from chess in 2005 he became one of the leaders of the opposition to the Putin regime in Russia.

Kasparov was born Garik Kimovich Weinstein but adopted a Russified version of his Armenian mother’s surname Gasparyan after his father died when he was seven. From the age of ten he trained at Mikhail Botvinnik’s school and the scale of his talent soon became evident. He won the Soviet Junior Championship in 1976 and 1977 and as a 15-year-old was the youngest ever qualifier for the adult championship a year later. Kasparov’s triumph in the 1979 Banja Luka tournament in Yugoslavia saw him shoot up to number 15 on the January 1980 rating list, and he won the World Junior Championship later that year.

When Kasparov qualified for the Candidates Matches the 19-year-old was already rated no. 2 in the world, and after convincingly winning matches against Alexander Beliavsky (6-3), Viktor Korchnoi (7-4) and Vasily Smyslov (8.5-4.5) he topped the rating list. His 1984 World Championship match against Anatoly Karpov represented an altogether different challenge, however, and nine games in he was facing a humiliating defeat after four losses. Kasparov then dug in with a sequence of 17 draws, but when he lost the next game it seemed inevitable Karpov would score the sixth win he required to win the match. Instead when the match was controversially abandoned 21 games later Kasparov had scored three wins.

Kasparov won the rematch a year later to become the youngest ever World Champion at 22, and held on to the title in another three closely fought matches against Karpov in 1986 (12.5-11.5), 1987 (12-12) and 1990 (12.5-11.5). England’s Nigel Short surprisingly beat Karpov in the next cycle, which was to have fateful consequences for world chess. Short and Kasparov were unhappy with decisions taken by the World Chess Federation and set up a rival Professional Chess Association for their match. Although Kasparov eventually scored an easy 12.5-7.5 victory he later regretted their decision, as it ushered in 13 years of split titles.

Kasparov defended his title once more against Viswanathan Anand in 1995, winning 10.5-7.5 after his opponent collapsed to lose four out of five games despite being the first to score a win after eight draws. Vladimir Kramnik had worked as Kasparov’s second for that match, which Kasparov may have regretted when he ultimately lost the title to his fellow Russian in 2000. Kramnik managed to stifle his opponent’s aggressive intentions to the extent that Kasparov failed to win a game, the first time that had happened to a reigning champion since Emanuel Lasker’s match against Capablanca in 1921.

After that setback Kasparov continued to win tournaments and regained his no. 1 position on the rating list, but he refused to take part in qualifying events for a new World Champion match, insisting he should be granted an automatic rematch. Other potential routes to the title through matches against the FIDE champions also fell through, and Kasparov’s announcement of his retirement in 2005 was partly motivated by frustration.

During his career Kasparov played five high-profile matches against computers, although those are now above all remembered for the World Champion first losing a single game in 1996 and then a whole match in 1997 against IBM’s custom-built Deep Blue. He has also been a prolific author or co-author of books on chess and other topics, and worked as a coach, both at the Botvinnik-Kasparov chess school and individually for the young stars Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura. In recent years Kasparov has been most prominent as a figurehead for the opposition to Vladimir Putin in Russia, a dangerous role that has seen him arrested on more than one occasion. He remains the world’s best-known chess player. 

Photo: Official website

Sort by Date Descending Date Descending Date Ascending Most Liked Receive updates

Comments 23

Guest 4521172832
Join chess24
  • Free, Quick & Easy

  • Aug 30, 2017 | 8:10 PM

    Awesome! Just recently heard an in-depth interview with Garry Kasparov on The Art of Charm Podcast. http://bit.ly/AoCGarryKasparov

  • Aug 14, 2017 | 8:06 PM

    great player

  • Jul 11, 2017 | 6:16 AM

    Great, great player. 

  • Mar 31, 2017 | 2:07 PM


  • Mar 30, 2017 | 4:35 PM

    waht dorfin zu mavirin komat

  • Feb 2, 2017 | 7:03 PM

    Hi dear with due respect and honor please me,My name is giftherbert and i would appreciate if you can write me back on my box .i have an important message to tell will be waiting for your email.Thanks and take care, (giftherbert455@gmail.com) Thanks,

  • Jan 5, 2017 | 4:40 AM

    what are the reason Kasparov never challenged bobby fisher ????

  • May 21, 2016 | 9:27 AM


  • Apr 7, 2016 | 11:03 PM


  • Apr 7, 2016 | 11:02 PM



Create your free account now to get started!

I am aged 16 or older.

By clicking ‘Register’ you agree to our terms and conditions and confirm you have read our privacy policy, including the section on the use of cookies.

Lost your password? We'll send you a link to reset it!

After submitting this form you'll receive an email with the reset password link. If you still can't access your account please contact our customer service.

Data Consent Details

We respect your privacy and data protection guidelines.

Using chess24 requires the storage of some personal data, as set out below. You can find additional information in our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Terms of Website Use. Please note that your data settings can be changed at any time by clicking on the Data Settings link in the footer at the bottom of our website.

data details

Necessary Data

Some data is technically necessary to be able to visit the page at all. A so-called cookie stores identifiers that make it possible to respond to your individual requests. It contains a session ID - a unique, anonymous user ID combined with an authentication identifier (user_data). A security identifier (csrf) is also stored to prevent a particular type of online attack. All of these fields are alpha-numeric, with almost no relation to your real identity. The only exception is that we monitor some requests with the IP address that you are currently using, so that we are able to detect malicious use or system defects. Additionally, a technical field is stored (singletab) to ensure that some interactions are only processed in the browser tab that is currently active. For example, a new chess game will not be opened in all your current tabs. We use your local storage to save the difference between your local clock and our server time (serverUserTimeOffset), so that we are able to display the date and time of events correctly for you. You can also enable more data fields, as described in the other sections. Your personal decision on which data storage to enable is also stored as necessary information (consent).

Settings Data

We offer a range of personal settings for your convenience. Options include which opponents you prefer to be paired against, your preferred chessboard and pieces, the board size, the volume setting of the video player, your preferred language, whether to show chat or chess notation, and more. You can use our web page without storing this data, but if you would like to have your individual settings remembered we recommend enabling this feature. For logged-in registered users this setting is mandatory to store information about your privacy settings, users you have blocked and your friendship settings. As a registered user we also store your data consent in these settings.

Social Media Data

We embed a Twitter feed showing activity for the hashtag #c24live and also make it possible to share content in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. If you enable this option social networks are able to store data in your cookies or local storage for the purpose of these features.

Statistics Data

We would like to measure how our page is used with Google Analytics, so that we can decide which features to implement next and how to optimize our user experience. If you enable this feature Google will store your device identifiers and we will send tracking events (such as page requests) to Google Analytics. These have no direct relationship to your person except for the IP address currently being used.

Marketing Data

To help cover the cost of free services we would like to show you advertisements from our partner networks. Members of these networks store data on the banners shown to you and try to deliver ads that are relevant. If you choose not to allow this kind of data we have to show more anonymous advertisements and will be more limited in the free services we can offer.

Other Data

For registered users we store additional information such as profile data, chess games played, your chess analysis sessions, forum posts, chat and messages, your friends and blocked users, and items and subscriptions you have purchased. You can find this information in your personal profile. A free registration is not required to use this application. If you decide to contact the support team a ticket is created with information that includes your name and email address so that we can respond to your concern. This data is processed in the external service Zendesk. If you subscribe to a newsletter or are registered we would like to send you occasional updates via email. You can unsubscribe from newsletters and as a registered user you can apply several mail settings to control how your email address is used. For newsletters we transfer your email address and username to the external service MailChimp. If you buy content or subscriptions on chess24 we work with the payment service provider Adyen, which collects your payment data and processes information about the payment such as fraud protection data.