(photo credit: .)
Russian chess legend and grandmaster Garry Kasparov played simultaneously against 30 players at Tel Aviv University on Monday, beating the entire field in three hours and 45 minutes.
Among the players who challenged the former world champion were world under-14 chess champion Marcel Aproyamski, Paz Group CEO Yona Fogel and international businessman and philanthropist Dan David. The rest of the challengers were university students and faculty as well as young children and teens from chess clubs across the country and the university’s Dov Lautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth.
The games, staged in the university’s Smolarz Auditorium before a crowd of 200 spectators, were played in utter silence as Kasparov quickly passed from table to table, averaging 25 seconds per challenger every round.
The contestant who seemed to give Kasparov the most trouble was a retired player named Amir Mirovsky. In several rounds Kasparov, who normally rushed from player to player instantly, found himself scratching his head when standing in front of Mirovsky’s table.
After the game, Mirovsky, who was among the last three to remain standing before the grandmaster, said he was proud to have lost so honorably.
“During the game I was really focused, concentrating on the plays. Near the end I lifted my head to look around and saw there were very few people left,” said Mirovsky. “I haven’t been active on the chess circuit for more than 20 years, though I still play for pleasure and follow world championships.”
“I am happy that I was able to puzzle Kasparov for a little while and of course I am proud, even though at the end of the day I lost,” said Mirovsky.
The contest was filmed on video and screened live on the university’s Web site.
After the game, each contestant received a certificate and a book signed by the chess great.
Kasparov became the youngest ever World Chess Champion in 1985 at the age of 22.
He is also widely known for being the first world chess champion to
lose a match to a computer, when he lost to Deep Blue in 1997.
After his retirement from chess in 2005, Kasparov turned to politics
and created the United Civil Front, a social movement that aims to
preserve electoral democracy in Russia and fiercely opposes former
president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.