Garry Kasparov


Garry Kasparov : biography

13 April 1963 –

Kasparov’s loss to Deep Blue inspired the creation of the game Arimaa.

Deep Junior, 2003

In January 2003, he engaged in a six-game classical time control match with a $1 million prize fund which was billed as the FIDE "Man vs. Machine" World Championship, against Deep Junior. The engine evaluated three million positions per second. After one win each and three draws, it was all up to the final game. After reaching a decent position Kasparov offered a draw, which was soon accepted by the Deep Junior team. Asked why he offered the draw, Kasparov said he feared making a blunder. Originally planned as an annual event, the match was not repeated.

X3D Fritz, 2003

In November 2003, he engaged in a four-game match against the computer program X3D Fritz, using a virtual board, 3D glasses and a speech recognition system. After two draws and one win apiece, the X3D Man–Machine match ended in a draw. Kasparov received $175,000 for the result and took home the golden trophy. Kasparov continued to criticize the blunder in the second game that cost him a crucial point. He felt that he had outplayed the machine overall and played well. "I only made one mistake but unfortunately that one mistake lost the game."

World Champion

The second Karpov-Kasparov match in 1985 was organized in Moscow as the best of 24 games where the first player to win 12½ points would claim the World Champion title. The scores from the terminated match would not carry over. But in the event of a 12–12 draw, the title would remain with Karpov. On 9 November 1985, Kasparov secured the title by a score of 13–11, winning the 24th game with Black, using a Sicilian defence. He was 22 years old at the time, making him the youngest ever World Champion, and breaking the record held by Mikhail Tal for over 20 years. Kasparov’s win as Black in the 16th game has been recognized as one of the all-time masterpieces in chess history.

As part of the arrangements following the aborted 1984 match, Karpov had been granted (in the event of his defeat) a right to rematch. Another match took place in 1986, hosted jointly in London and Leningrad, with each city hosting 12 games. At one point in the match, Kasparov opened a three-point lead and looked well on his way to a decisive match victory. But Karpov fought back by winning three consecutive games to level the score late in the match. At this point, Kasparov dismissed one of his seconds, grandmaster Evgeny Vladimirov, accusing him of selling his opening preparation to the Karpov team (as described in Kasparov’s autobiography Unlimited Challenge, chapter Stab in the Back). Kasparov scored one more win and kept his title by a final score of 12½–11½.

A fourth match for the world title took place in 1987 in Seville, as Karpov had qualified through the Candidates’ Matches to again become the official challenger. This match was very close, with neither player holding more than a one-point lead at any time during the contest. Kasparov was down one full point at the time of the final game, and needed a win to draw the match and retain his title. A long tense game ensued in which Karpov blundered away a pawn just before the first time control, and Kasparov eventually won a long ending. Kasparov retained his title as the match was drawn by a score of 12–12. (All this meant that Kasparov had played Karpov four times in the period 1984–87, a statistic unprecedented in chess. Matches organized by FIDE had taken place every three years since 1948, and only Botvinnik had a right to a rematch before Karpov.)

A fifth match between Kasparov and Karpov was held in New York and Lyon in 1990, with each city hosting 12 games. Again, the result was a close one with Kasparov winning by a margin of 12½–11½. In their five world championship matches, Kasparov had 21 wins, 19 losses, and 104 draws in 144 games.

Books and other writings

Early writings

Kasparov has written books on chess. He published a controversial autobiography when still in his early 20s, originally titled Child of Change, later retitled Unlimited Challenge. This book was subsequently updated several times after he became World Champion. Its content is mainly literary, with a small chess component of key unannotated games. He published an annotated games collection in 1985: Fighting Chess: My Games and CareerISBN 0-7855-0863-5 and this book has also been updated several times in further editions. He also wrote a book annotating the games from his World Chess Championship 1985 victory, World Chess Championship Match: Moscow, 1985.