Chess greats gather to help launch the Anatoly Karpov's campaign to be the President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Former world champion Garry Kasparov appears as a special guest.
Maurice Ashley made history when he became the first African-American to attain the coveted title of International Grandmaster of Chess in 1999.
He has been an ardent spokesman and advocate of the intellectual and character building effects in young people for over 15 years. GM Ashley is the world's premier and live chess commentator for ESPN. He is a renowned speaker and consultant who has spoken to several universities and professional organizations nationally.
GM Ashley has received multiple community service awards from city governments, universities, and non-profit groups for his work. His book, Chess for Success (2005, published by Broadway Books), crystallizes his vision of using chess to help at-risk youth. GM Ashley (2007) signed a deal with HBO to make a movie about his Harlem team's victory at the National Junior High School Championships.
Richard A. Conn, Jr. is Managing Director of Conn International Group LLC, a Moscow/NY-based financial and legal advisory firm. Prior to founding CIG in 2003, Mr. Conn practiced international corporate law for nearly twenty years as an equity partner with the international law firm Latham & Watkins. He founded the firm's Moscow office in 1992 and managed it for four years prior to returning to U.S.
A longstanding member of the Board of Directors of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, Mr. Conn regularly consults with the World Bank, Members of Congress, and the Administration regarding Russian economic issues. He Co-Chaired the U.S.-Russia Business Council and American Chamber of Commerce (Moscow) joint initiative to facilitate Russian accession to WTO. He now serves as Strategic Advisor to DLA Piper US LLP, a 3,500 lawyer international law firm with 67 offices worldwide.
Anatoly Karpov is a Soviet and Russian chess grandmaster and former World Champion. He was official world champion from 1975 to 1985, played three more matches for the title from 1986 to 1990, then was FIDE World Champion from 1993 to 1999. For his decades-long standing among the world's elite, Karpov is considered one of the greatest players of all time.
Garry Kasparov is a Russian (formerly Soviet) chess grandmaster, a former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, whom many consider the greatest chess player of all time.
Kasparov became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at the age of 22. He held the official FIDE world title until 1993, when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association. He continued to hold the "Classical" World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000. 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.
Kasparov's ratings achievements include being rated world #1 according to Elo rating almost continuously from 1986 until his retirement in 2005 and holding the all-time highest rating of 2851. He was the world number-one ranked player for 255 months, by far the most of all-time and nearly three times as long as his closest rival, Anatoly Karpov. He also holds records for consecutive tournament victories and Chess Oscars.