|Garry Kasparov, 50, has been granted Croatian citizenship in February 2014. During the last 20 years he spent many summer holidays at a house he owns in the southern Croatian town of Makarska and he speaks the Croatian language. Since the 1990s he was also a member of the Borovo Chess Club in the town of Vukovar, which he has played for during the Serbian aggression on Croatia. Mr. Kasparov is Armenian on his mother's side, and Jewish on his father's side. |
Chess champion Garry Kasparov granted Croatian citizenship
Guardian, 28 Feb 2014
Former world chess champion turned human rights activist Garry Kasparov has been granted Croatian citizenship.
Kasparov, 50, has spent many summer holidays at a house he owns in the southern Croatian town of Makarska and he speaks Croatian language. He is also a member of the chess club in the eastern town of Vukovar, which he has played for in the past.
Kasparov achieved international fame in 1985 when he became the world's youngest world chess champion at 22, beating Anatoly Karpov in Moscow. He went on to hold the No 1 spot as the world's best chess player until he retired in 2005.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1963 when the country was still part of the USSR, the chess grandmaster is known for his outspoken political opposition to the Russian president.
His application for citizenship received support from politicians and organisations within Croatia. After they met in January, the Croatian president, Ivo Josipović, praised Kasparov for providing "great moral support to Croatia" during the country's war of independence between 1991-95. Kasparov is widely perceived in the country as having been a vocal supporter of Croatian independence. The Croatian war veterans' association has encouraged issuing him a passport.
Kasparov and Josipović also played a game of chess together, after which the president boasted on social media that he held the grandmaster off for 33 moves.
This week in the Croatian holiday town of Opatija, Kasparov discussed the idea of launching a local chess club with the minister of education and sports, leading to speculation in local media that he might settle in the town now that he has citizenship.
In a letter published in Croatian media, Kasparov also spoke of his desire to represent Croatia if he decides to run for presidency of the World Chess Federation (Fide) in 2014, as is widely expected.
Maddy French in Vienna
Garry Kasparov in the Baška Voda resort near the town of Makarska on Croatian coast, in 2013.
Garry Kasparov in the city of Split, Croatia. Many famous people originate from this city:
Breathtaking view to the town of Makarska and to the mountain of Biokovo.
Mr. Kasparov is of Armenian origin on his mother's side, and Jewish on his father's side. Many thanks to Mr. Artur Bagdasarov, distinguished expert for Croatian language living in Moscow, for this information, as well as for his first information about Kasparov's Croatian citizenship.
Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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