- A child prodigy turned International Chess Master and the world’s youngest ever World Champion
- Widely regarded as a master strategist in not only chess but the business world as well
- Political activist striving for Russian democracy
- An innovator with a deep understanding of cybersecurity and the digital future
Garry Kasparov became the USSR’s under-18 chess champion at the tender age of 12. Five years later, aged 17, saw him become the world’s under 20 champion. This was followed by his 1985 victory that saw him become the youngest world chess champion ever. He was only 22 years old at the time.
Garry Kasparov went on to defend his title five times, breaking Bobby Fischer’s rating record in 1990. His own peak rating record remained unbroken until 2013. He is also known for his chess matches against Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer. These bouts were instrumental in bringing artificial intelligence and chess into the mainstream.
One of the first prominent Russians to support democracy and market reforms, Garry Kasparov supported Boris Yeltsin’s drive to break up the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in ethnic violence in Baku, Azerbaijan where he and his family lived. He and his family managed to escape in 1990.
Garry Kasparov retired from professional chess in 2005. It was his 20th year as the world’s top-rated player. He joined the Russian pro-democracy movement and became the chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. His political activities and his imminent arrest as a result of Vladimir Putin’s crackdown, saw him make a permanent move from Moscow to New York City in 2013.
His Kasparov Chess Foundation is a US-based non-profit organisation that promotes chess in education on a global scale. The programme is used in numerous schools across the globe and has centres in such diverse countries as Mexico, Belgium, and South Africa.
Besides his humanitarian efforts, Garry Kasparov is a contributing editor to The Wall Street Journal and known for his regular commentary on politics and human rights. A Senior Visiting Fellow at the Oxford-Martin School, he focusses on human-machine collaboration. He is also a member of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics’ executive advisory board and a Security Ambassador for Avast Software. His role, with regards to the latter, sees him discussing cybersecurity and the digital future.
A bestselling author, Garry Kasparov has seen his books translated into over twenty languages. His latest effort, Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins, sees him use his years of research and lectures on both human and machine competition and collaboration.
Garry Kasparov – Speaker
As a speaker, Garry Kasparov has engaged business audiences across the globe on innovation, strategy, and mental peak performance. A peak performer of note, he challenges his audiences, blending inspiration, information, and unique insights into an end-message that keeps them captivated.
Garry Kasparov lives in the USA and presents in English.
- Understanding Your Own Process: I’m going to put you all in the shoes of leaders and decision-makers of all kinds. From presidential candidates to CEOs and even an admiral at war. It’s not the magnitude of a decision or the management level. It’s the process. By the time we are finished, you will be aware of your own tendencies as a decision-maker. We might not be able to change the hardware we were born with, that’s our DNA, but we can definitely upgrade our software!
- Leadership: Leadership is not about power. It is about vision, determination, and Courage is the final and often overlooked ingredient in successful decision-making and successful innovation. We have mapped this world, yes. But with courage and will, you can create a new world to explore. To lead is to decide.
- Asking the right questions: All the data and all the computers in the world cannot tell you which are the right questions to ask. Intuition is where it all comes together: our experience, knowledge, and If you aren’t exploiting these human skills you are only a spectator of the data.
- Decision Making: The first editor of my first book wanted a book of tips to make better decisions, the so-called “secrets of my success!” But one of the main themes of the book is that the decision-making process is as unique as fingerprints, as unique as DNA. There is no universal recipe or list of tips we can all use to make better decisions or to be more creative. There are no secrets, only hard work. We must all examine and understand our own strengths and weaknesses since what works for me might not work for you. We must work to discover our own tendencies, how and why we make the right decisions and the wrong ones.
- Human & Machine, the Future of Computer Technology: In 2005 the online chess playing site playchess.com hosted what they called a freestyle chess tournament in which anyone could compete in teams with other players or computers. Several groups of strong Grandmasters working with several computers at the same time entered the competition. The winner was revealed to be not a Grandmaster with a state of the Art PC or a supercomputer with hundreds of cores. The winners were a pair of weak amateur Americans using three average home computers at the same time. They worked as a team and their skill at manipulating and coaching their computers to look very into positions counteracted the superior understanding of their Grandmaster opponents and the greater computational power of other participants. They had a great process. Weak human plus ordinary machine plus better process was superior to a strong computer alone. That is the future. Do not discard human intuition. By carefully examining what humans can do that computers cannot do, we create more useful, and even more intelligent, machines. Developing superior processes to combine their best of human and computer thought is the stuff of computer science.
- Chess, Technology, and Risk-Taking in Education: The huge flood of information we have to deal with today cannot be navigated by textbooks and composition papers. Digital information speeds must be matched by education speeds which means we need new tools, new methods, and new ideas. We cannot equip kids with wooden rackets and expect them to compete at Roland Garros!