Sports & Gaming

Garry's Journey

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 14:12 min

Even when Garry was a kid, the number 13 held special meaning for him. He shares the realization of that numeric destiny and the forces that shaped his singular style of play.

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Topics include: Garry’s First Moves • Number 13 Destiny • Intuition as a Muscle • Leaving Chess for Politics


It's hard to remember the very first experience playing chess. I'm looking at this wooden board with some pieces, trying to figure it out. Almost instantly, falling in in love with this mystery. And I learned how to do the pieces simply watching-- following my parents. And then, I even was brave enough to make suggestions. And actually, you know, one of the suggestions worked. I did play a little bit with my father, though he died at a very young age, 39. So I was 7. I remember playing more playing with my uncle. He was a pretty decent player. I was just in the beginning of my chess journey. And I remember, he gave me a rook handicap. And he beat me. I was so upset. I couldn't beat him instantly. It took time for me just to get stronger. My first big experience was 1972. I played the blitz championship. I was in the quarterfinal. And it was a real one for adults, and I was nine years old. And I made nine out of nine in the quarterfinal. And then, I played in the semifinal, and I qualified. I was pretty good blitz player. I was a good player period, but in blitz I was even stronger-- because I was very quick, very sharp. So I qualified for the final, when I could face masters. I mean, real tough guys. And I played in the final-- I was a very small kid, you know. It was hard for me just to sit in the chair to make moves. And I lost all the games except one. I won one game-- lost five or six games in a row. And I was not-- I was not ready. My mother took me away, because it was too early. But it was a good experience. I was lucky, because I found the game of chess. This is something that perfectly fits my personality. We all are good for something. But that was the nexus where my memory, analytical skills, determination-- by human standards, brute force of calculation-- everything worked perfectly. And I've been making progress. And it was more of limiting my eagerness to be involved. So my mother tried to make sure that I don't have too much chess. I was always hungry for more chess. Not to overload me, not to throw me into the big competitions too early. Because she remembered this experience of this blitz championship in Baku. It was too early. And that's why later on, when she was pushed by some of our friends and relatives-- yes, let's make sure Garry plays this tournament-- she said, no, no, no, don't rush. Don't rush. Give him time to get stronger, to get mature, and to be ready. to have enough stamina for serious competitions. Because it's not just about playing. You have to play, and you have to win. A lot of people around me believed that I could be a great player. I could be even the world champion. I remember in 1972, when Bobby Fischer won his title, beating Boris Spassky, I was given a present from one of our relatives. It was a chess board. And and it had squares surrounding the...

About the Instructor

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.

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Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov teaches you advanced strategy, tactics, and theory in 29 exclusive video lessons.

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