Republished with permission from The Pharallax.
PRAGUE—Garry Kasparov is known as a chess grandmaster, but his political and human rights activism against Russian leader Vladimir Putin has earned him a second life.
The youngest-ever world champion of chess, who spent 225 weeks out of 228 as the top-ranked chess player across the globe, has refocused his life from competitive chess to being a rake at the Kremlin door. He felt strongly enough about opposing President Vladimir Putin that he led the political party trying to unseat him in 2005. Kasparov ran against Putin in Russia’s 2008 elections but claimed that political opposition derailed his campaign and stifled public support.
Since then, Kasparov turned his attention to human rights issues, decrying corruption in the professional chess world and in Putin’s Russia. In 2012, he became chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, which he still leads. He blames Putin for the murder of his friend Boris Nemtsov, the Russian political opposition leader shot and killed near the Kremlin on February 27.
A few weeks later, Kasparov testified about Putin’s policies in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. And in October, he published his 15th book, Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, which demanded that world leaders stop the Putin administration’s aggressions in Russia, Crimea, Syria, and elsewhere.… Read More