Garry Kimovich Kasparov (born 13 April 1963) is a Russian chess Grandmaster, former undisputed World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist. From 1986 until his retirement in 2005 (228 months), Kasparov was having the highest chess ranking in the world (in 1996 for 3 months ex aequo). His peak rating of 2851, achieved in 1999, was the highest recorded until 2013. Kasparov also holds records for consecutive professional tournament victories (15).
(activist) Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess on 10 March 2005, so that he could devote his time to politics and writing. He formed the United Civil Front movement, and joined as a member of The Other Russia, a coalition opposing the administration and policies of Vladimir Putin. In 2008, he announced an intention to run as a candidate in the 2008 Russian presidential race, but failure to find a sufficiently large rental space to assemble the number of supporters that is legally required to endorse such a candidacy led him to withdraw. Kasparov blamed "official obstruction" for the lack of available space. Although he is widely regarded in the West as a symbol of opposition to Putin, support for him as a candidate was very low. The political climate in Russia reportedly makes it difficult for opposition candidates to organize. He is currently on the board of directors for the Human Rights Foundation and chairs its International Council.