Former World Chess Champion
Chairman of Renewed Democracy Initiative (RDI)
Russian Opposition Leader
Garry Kasparov Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet Union in 1963, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985. In 2005, still ranked #1, he retired from professional chess to form the Russian pro-democracy opposition against the rising dictatorship of Vladimir Putin. In 2012, Kasparov was named chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. Facing arrest during Putin’s crackdown, Kasparov moved from Moscow to New York City in 2013. In 2017, Kasparov founded the Renew Democracy Initiative, dedicated to promoting the principles of the free world through education and advocacy. In 2022, in response to Putin’s allout invasion of Ukraine, Kasparov co-founded the Russian Action Committee with former political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other oppositionists at the Free Russia Forum. The Committee has published a plan for a Russian transformation to a parliamentary democracy post Putin, including abandoning all claims on Ukrainian and other foreign territory, reparations to Ukraine, and accountability for Russian officials. Kasparov’s regular publications include: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Daily News. His Twitter and Facebook boast over a million followers. His books include: How Life Imitates Chess, Winter Is Coming, and Deep Thinking.