Main content

Garry Kasparov

Kirsty Young interviews chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, who became the youngest ever world champion at the age of 22. He is also a writer and a political activist.

He grew up in the Soviet Union, the only child of engineer parents. He learned chess by watching his parents play as they worked out chess problems in the newspaper. As a five year old he was fascinated by the mysterious little pieces and the board with its 64 squares.

Garry Kasparov's father died when he was seven and it was his mother who guided him on his chess career. As a player, he was nicknamed the Beast of Baku, because of his dynamic style at the chessboard. He became a grandmaster on his 17th birthday and went on to become the World Champion after beating Anatoly Karpov in a now-legendary series of games in the mid-1980s.

He played high-profile matches against the IBM computer Deep Blue in 1996 and 1997. Since his retirement from competitive chess, he has written numerous books and become a high-profile political activist.

Presenter: Kirsty Young
Producer: Sarah Taylor.

Available now

35 minutes

Last on

Fri 2 Feb 2018 09:00

Music Played

  • Frank Sinatra

    Strangers In The Night

    • My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra.
    • Warner Music UK.
    • 2.
  • CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Symphony No. 40, K.550 in G Minor, 1st Movement: Molto Allegro

      Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
      • Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 40 & 41.
      • EMI Classics.
      • 1.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Etudes, Op.10 - No. 12 in C minor "Revolutionary"

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy.
    • Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 - 3; 24 Etudes; Fantaisie in F minor.
    • Decca.
    • 11.
  • Original London Cast

    Overture to Phantom of the Opera

    • Phantom of the Opera: Original London Cast.
    • Really Useful Records.
    • 2.
  • Vladimir Vysotsky

    Koni priveredlivye

    • Rossiyskie bardy. Vladimir Vysotsky. Chast' 2.
    • Navigator Records.
    • 10.
  • Georges Bizet

    Prélude to Carmen

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
  • Nino Rota

    Main Title (The Godfather Waltz)

    Conductor: Carlo Savina.
    • The Godfather: Original Soundtrack.
    • MCA.
    • 1.
  • Ennio Morricone

    Chi Mai

    • The Very Best of Ennio Morricone.
    • Virgin.
    • 4.
  • BOOK CHOICE

    Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

  • LUXURY ITEM

    A telescope

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Garry Kasparov
Producer Sarah Taylor

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Articles

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?

Podcast