Is Kasparov Armenian ?


Has Gary Kasparov ever said that he is Armenian ?


Garry Kasparov was born Garry Weinstein (Russian: Гарри Вайнштейн) in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR, to an Armenian mother and Jewish father.[7] He first began the serious study of chess after he came across a chess problem set up by his parents and proposed a solution.[8] His father died of leukemia when he was seven years old.[9] At the age of twelve, he adopted his mother's Armenian surname, Kasparyan, modifying it to a more Russified version, Kasparov. [10]

From age 7, Kasparov attended the Young Pioneer Palace and, at 10 began training at Mikhail Botvinnik's chess school under noted coach Vladimir Makogonov. Makogonov helped develop Kasparov's positional skills and taught him to play the Caro-Kann Defence and the Tartakower System of the Queen's Gambit Declined.[11] Kasparov won the Soviet Junior Championship in Tbilisi in 1976, scoring 7 points of 9, at age 13. He repeated the feat the following year, winning with a score of 8½ of 9. He was being trained by Alexander Shakarov during this time.

In 1978, Kasparov participated in the Sokolsky Memorial tournament in Minsk. He had been invited as an exception but took first place and became a chess master. Kasparov has repeatedly said that this event was a turning point in his life, and that it convinced him to choose chess as his career. "I will remember the Sokolsky Memorial as long as I live," he wrote. He has also said that after the victory, he thought he had a very good shot at the World Championship.[12]

He first qualified for the Soviet Chess Championship at age 15 in 1978, the youngest ever player at that level. He won the 64-player Swiss system tournament at Daugavpils over tiebreak from Igor V. Ivanov, to capture the sole qualifying place.

Kasparov rose quickly through the FIDE (World Chess Federation) rankings. Starting with an oversight by the Russian Chess Federation, he participated in a Grandmaster tournament in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina (then part of Yugoslavia), in 1979 while still unrated (the federation thought it was a junior tournament). He won this high-class tournament, emerging with a provisional rating of 2595, enough to catapult him to the top group of chess players (at the time, number 3 in the World, ex-champion Boris Spassky had 2630, while World Champion Anatoly Karpov was at 2690–2700). The next year, 1980, he won the World Junior Chess Championship in Dortmund, West Germany. Later that year, he made his debut as second reserve for the Soviet Union at the Chess Olympiad at La Valletta, Malta, and became a Grandmaster.


Thanks Scott, but has he ever said that he is Armenian ?


From his interview at


Yes I am born in Baku and I am half Armenian-half Jewish but my native
tongue is Russian, my culture is Russian, my education is Russian."


So then what exactly does that make him? Azerbaijani Armenian Russian Jew ?


makes him Russian


slish007 - what's your point? Are you upset he just doesn't say he is Armenian? Doesn't mean you have to be nasty.


Wait, you guys got me wrong. I just wanted to know if he feels that his is Armenian, Russian or Azerbajani...... thats all. It wasnt ment to be rude or anything, I just wanted to know.


Haha, how should I know.

slish007 wrote:

So then what exactly does that make him? Azerbaijani Armenian Russian Jew ?

 Makes him Human.


he was Armenia. He changed his last name from Kasparian to Kasparov.

He sold his crown in action to help Armenian refugees after pogroms in Sumgait and Baku. His actions are more important than words in this case!

He's rather unlikely to feel Azerbaijani, no? Undecided


ATM he's a diehard neoliberal living in NYC.