"When I was 13 or 14 . . . the course of my future began to unfold like a map in front of me," Gary Kasparov, world champion, writes in his autobiography, "Child of Change." It is his sixth book to date.
"I knew that I had already found my right place in the world."
English grandmaster Nigel Short, one of the strongest players outside the Soviet Union, recalls the 17-year-old Kasparov in Dortmund, West Germany: "I have never faced such energy and concentration, such will and desire burning across the board at me."In Bugojino, Yugoslavia, Kasparov scored a landside victory in 1982 against a field that included two former world champions and several other top-flight grandmasters, a crowning success for any chess player's career, almost unparalleled for a 19-year-old.
Two more such performances - in Moscow and Lucerne - were quick to follow, and by the end of 1982, Kasparov had become the focus of world chess, the scores of his games sought after and analyzed to exhaustion by grandmasters and duffers alike.
It was not simply his string of victories that impressed so much as the way in which he won. Kasparov continually showed his willingness to take chances that devotees of the game had long despaired was no longer possible at the highest level.
Win, lose, or draw, Kasparov always played exciting, dangerous chess. "Fighting chess," he calls it, "the only kind of chess I like to play." What no one could understand was how he kept on winning.
Perhaps no one followed the blossoming of Kasparov's career as closely as Anatoly Karpov, the man destined to become his professional and political nemesis. Certainly one of the most brilliant of his generation, Karpov had seemed as invincible off the chessboard as on during his 10-year reign as world champion: feted by Breshnev himself, awarded sinecures and privileges and the idolatry of his nation.
Karpov's seat upon the throne of the royal game always had an aura of political preference. Kasparov, rightful heir apparent to this throne since the age of 11, came to manhood well aware he was fighting not only Karpov but also an entrenched bureaucracy behind him in Moscow.
His troubles began in August 1983, when the Soviet chess federation refused to allow Kasparov to show up for his match in Pasadena, Calif., against Victor Korchnoi. Consequently Kasparov defaulted. Soviet authorities didn't want Kasparov to play Korchnoi because if, as was likely, Kasparov beat Korchnoi, then Kasparov would be one step closer to challenging Karpov.
Understanding that he had been tricked out his chance to become world champion, Kasparov circulated a petition that was signed by nearly every grandmaster in the world, and the match was rescheduled for London in November. Kasparov won without much trouble, then returned home to face his real enemies within.
"It was like David and Goliath," he remembers. "I looked around for a sling."
As his struggles with Karpov evolved into a grim, four-year pas de deux of chess and politics, Kasparov, who had learned at an early age the necessity of seeing farther ahead than his opponent, turned once again to the West to find his sling - to his colleagues in Europe, and to the business community and media of its capital cities.
Kasparov has traveled as widely in Europe as any Soviet citizen. His last title match with Karpov took place in the ornate Teatro Lope de Vega in Seville, the first half of the previous match in London's Park Lane Hotel, with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher presiding over the opening ceremonies.
After four such encounters between them in as many years, Kasparov, who has won the last three, still bristles at the mention of Karpov's name. When he speaks of their epic battle, however, his tone is somewhat objective, perhaps even a tad magnanimous. It has the tone of a politician.
"It's very difficult to understand what this title means to us in the Soviet Union," he says, "as there is nothing like it here in the West. It has been part of our national treasure for years."
(To be continued. Excerpts from "Gary Kasparov Profile" by Ivan Solotaroff. September 1988, European Travel & Life.)
-CONGRATUALTIONS to the solvers! - Dean Thompson, Wendell R. Hurst, Brian Griffith, John Nielson, Mel Puller, Keith Flower, Raymond Linner, Prof. Ardean Watts, Jack B. Friend, Ted Pathakis, Alan E. Brown, Hal Harmon, Erick DeMillard, Paul R. Lindeman, Mark H. Timothy, Robert Tanner, Allan Nicholas, Dr. Harold Rosenberg, Edwin O. Smith, Covert Copier, Mark Stranger, Jean Schoen, Kay Lundstrom, Joan Nay, Raeburn G. Kennard, Hal Knight, Michael Harsch and David D. Kirk.