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Garry Kasparov

World Chess Champion. Youngest ever to hold the title.

Garry Kasparov was the youngest ever World Chess Champion. In 2005, he announced his retirement from competitive chess after twenty years as the No 1 ranked player in the World. Today he is very much involved in Russian politics.

Garry Kasparov has been the highest-rated chess player in the world for twenty years and is widely considered the greatest player that ever lived. Passionate and inspiring as a speaker, often poetic and humorous, this master of strategy applies the insights and unique perspective from his extraordinary chess career to leadership, strategy and success in business. He has played several high-profile matches against supercomputer chess programs, most notably, IBM’s Deep Blue, X3D – Fritz, and a FIDE World Championship against Deep Junior. He is the author of several books, including the forthcoming How Life Imitates Chess, due fall of 2005. He is an activist for positive change in Russia, using his reputation to promote democracy and development.

Chess is the ultimate competition and Garry Kasparov is its ultimate strategist. The chess pieces—kings, knights bishops—evoke the world of medieval politics; but the principles of chess—seize the initiative, play for the center, watch your opponent’s moves, play with a plan—these apply to the demands of business strategy. Kasparov takes his mastery of these principles beyond the level of metaphor into action, having served as a consultant to new businesses entering the Russian market, and as a strategy advisor to businesses around the world.

In business as in chess, understanding the game, the competition, the board—and yourself—is essential, but strategy can take you only so far. Often, only intuition can deliver the extraordinary breakthrough. Known as an extremely intuitive chess player, Garry emphasizes intuition’s role in achieving your full potential as an individual and achieving superior performance as the leader of an organization.

Kasparov became the world junior champion at the age of seventeen and, in 1985, became the youngest ever World Champion at age 22. He was the undefeated world champion for 15 years, defending his title more than any other world champion in modern times. Like other athletes, chess players usually peak in their late twenties. Kasparov continues to win matches even as he turns his attention to new interests.

Widely recognized as an expert on Russian affairs, he has been a contributing editor for The Wall Street Journal since 1991. A courageous patriot, he is a prominent spokesman for political, educational and social reforms in Russia and Eastern Europe. He is busy campaigning throughout the length and breadth of Russia and, as he explains, "We are not fighting to win elections - we are fighting for having elections. The goal is to bring all opposition groups into a broad coalition to return Russia to the path of democracy." In 2004, he was elected Co-Chairman of the All Russian Civil Congress and in 2006 he became Chairman of the United Civil Front of Russia.

He also brings the benefits of chess to children around the world and makes regular appearances for various charitable causes, giving exhibitions and lectures. He has spoken at international conferences such as the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, and the Cursos de Verano in Madrid, Spain.

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