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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Garry Kasparov coming to India

Garry Kasparov, considered the greatest chess players ever, will be visiting India soon. The former world champion, who retired in 2005, after spending nearly 20 years at the helm of the world chess, will be in New Delhi in mid-March. It will be his first ever visit to India.

Kasparov, 45, will be in the capital to deliver a keynote address for a Delhi-based media organisation. The exact nature of the address is not yet known but his recent activities have been more political than sporting. A staunch critic of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Kasparov — after his retirement — had launched a political movement against Putin’s authority and has often used words like mafia when he talked about the Russian Government. He had also unsuccessfully tried to contest in 2008 elections.

The Russian is likely to take part in a simultaneous chess exhibition. As of now, he is expected to spend two days in New Delhi. However, his other programmes in India are being kept under the wraps. “I’m looking forward to the visit,” Kasparov told DNA through his agent.

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in April 1963, Kasparov had scaled to an unthinkable Elo rating of 1851 at the peak of his career. He had become the youngest ever world champion in 1985 at the age of 22. He went on retain the official title till 1993 when he split the world chess and formed his own Professional Chess Association. But in an interview to DNA last year, he admitted that splitting the world chess was his biggest blunder.

The world chess finally got united after Indian Grandmaster Viwanathan Anand won the United world title in Mexico in 2007. Kasparov was, in fact, among the first few to congratulate Anand after the Indian maestro beat Vladimir Kramnik in the Bonn World Championship recently.

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