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Garry  Kasparov

Garry Kasparov

One of the Greatest Chess Players of All Time


Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1963, Garry Kasparov became the under-18 chess champion of the USSR at the age of 12 and the world under-20 champion at 17. He came to international fame as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985 at the age of 22. He defended his title five times, including a legendary series of matches against arch-rival Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov broke Bobby Fischer’s rating record in 1990 and his own peak rating record remained unbroken until 2013. His famous matches against the IBM super-computer Deep Blue in 1996-97 were key to bringing artificial intelligence, and chess, into the mainstream. Read More >

Kasparov has been a contributing editor to the Wall Street Journal since 1991 and is a frequent commentator on politics and human rights. He speaks frequently to business audiences around the world on innovation, strategy, and peak mental performance. In 2013 he was named a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Oxford-Martin School. Kasparov’s book How Life Imitates Chess on decision-making is available in over 20 languages. He is the author of two acclaimed series of chess books, My Great Predecessors and Modern Chess. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Nordic Business Forum 2015

Speech Topics

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 as the same time entered the competition. Read More >

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 deeply 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 machines 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 still cannot do, we create more useful, and even more intelligent, machines. Developing superior processes to combine the best of human and computer thought is the future of computer science.   Read Less ^

Understanding Your Own Process

Garry Kasparov is 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 is not about power. It is about vision, determination and courage. 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 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 will. If you aren’t exploiting these human skills you are only a spectator of the data.


The first editor of Garry Kasparov’s first book wanted a book of tips to make better decisions, the so-called “secrets of his 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.

Chess, Technology & 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!


A seminar with Garry Kasparov is a unique chance to get hands-on coaching from a man with a lifetime of high-pressure peak performance to share. These customized sessions focus on getting the participants to evaluate their own decision-making process, to find their strengths and weaknesses and, as Kasparov puts it, "to upgrade their mental software." Working in groups and directly with Kasparov, the seminars are an instructive and entertaining tour through dynamic decision-making scenarios, each prepared especially for the client. Previous seminars have included examples from the worlds of business, politics, and even military history. Ideal for top management and especially for technology companies.