Who is he?:
A former World Chess Champion -- the youngest ever to capture the title -- who has become an important opposition leader against an increasingly authoritarian Kremlin in post-Soviet Russia. A Russian chess grandmaster who retired from competitive chess in 2005 to focus on political activities and writing. Founder of the democracy-oriented United Civil Front, which was folded into The Other Russia opposition coalition.
April 13, 1963, in Baku, Azerbaijan, when it was part of the Soviet Union. His mother, Klara Shagenovna Kasparova, was Armenian, and his father, Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein, a Russian Jew, passed away when Kasparov was a child. He began to play chess at age 5.
Kasparov has been married three times. In the early 1990s, he married Masha and they had a daughter, Polina, who was born in Helsinki. He later married Yulia, with whom he had a son, Vadim, in 1997. His current wife is Dasha Tarasova Kasparov, 20 years his junior, with whom he had daughter Aida in 2006. She keeps an apartment in New York while Kasparov engages in opposition political activities back in Moscow.
The Other Russia, a coalition that organizes pro-democracy rallies across the nation and pulls together opponents of the Kremlin under the Putin-Medvedev regime: far left, far right and everything in between. "We are not fighting to win elections - we are fighting for having elections," Kasparov has said. "The goal is to bring all opposition groups into a broad coalition to return Russia to the path of democracy." A former member of the Communist Party, Kasparov left to help create the Democratic Party of Russia in 1990.
Kasparov spend 22 years as the No. 1 ranked chess player in the world until his 2005 retirement. He was the Soviet Junior Chess Champion by age 12 and the World Junior Champion at age 17, by which time he was also ranked as an International Grandmaster. He was World Chess Champion at age 22, a title he would hold for 15 years. In 1996, he famously played IBM's Deep Blue computer and was defeated in one game, though Kasparov got three wins and two draws to win the match; the computer came back to defeat the champion in a 1997 match. In 2004, Garry Kasparov was elected Co-Chairman of the All Russia Civil Congress and in 2006, he became Chairman of the United Civil Front of Russia. He founded the Kasparov Chess Foundation in the U.S. to promote chess in the classroom across the nation. Kasparov ran for president in 2007, but had to withdraw from the race because he was unable to meet procedural election rules. He has been detained multiple times by police for protesting the regime of Vladimir Putin.
Many opposition figures, critics, and journalists in Putin's Russia, ranging from tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky to tax attorney Sergei Magnitsky, have wound up in jail or dead after challenging the Kremlin. Though he has been detained, roughed up by police, and even smacked on the head with a chess board, Kasparov has likely been kept relatively safe by his high international profile. But that could change depending on how much momentum the opposition movement against Putin can gain in Russia. Though the Kremlin may crack down even harsher on opponents, it's guaranteed that Kasparov will continue to be a vocal member of the pro-democracy movement.
"By committing these acts of brutality they want Russians to be afraid. But we are not afraid; we are angry. And we will stay angry until Vladimir Putin and his cruel, corrupt system are swept away." -- Kasparov after being arrested outside the August 2012 trial of opposition punk band Pussy Riot