Garry Kasparov (born April 13, 1963) is a chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion. His 2851 ELO rating in the July 1999 FIDE rating list is the highest rating ever achieved. On the January 2006 FIDE listing , Kasparov's 2812 ELO rating ranked him first in the world (although he was removed in April of that year due to inactivity). Ranked first in the world a record 23 times between 1985 and 2006, Kasparov was the last undisputed World Chess Champion from 1985 until 1993; and continued to be "classical" World Chess Champion (of the PCA and WCA) until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000. He also won the Chess Oscar eleven times.
Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess on March 10, 2005, instead devoting time to politics.
Garry Kasparov was born as Garry Vajnshtejn (the given name analogous to English "Harry" and surname analogous to German "Weinstein" ) in Baku, Azerbaijan (at that time republic of Soviet Union) to an Armenian mother and a Jewish father. He first began the serious study of chess after he came across a chess problem set up by his parents and proposed a solution. When he was 7, his father died, and he adopted his mother's surname as soon as was legally possible, at the age of 12. His mother Klara is an Armenian woman whose surname is "Kasparian", and "Kasparov" is the Russified version of this name.