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Kasparov in 'Time 100' list

Source: PTI
May 05, 2007 18:34 IST

What he could not achieve during his chess playing days, legendary Garry Kasparov has done now by being included in 'Time 100' list of most influential people for the year 2007.

The Russian Grandmaster, the first chess player featuring in the annual list, is today "leading a lonely fight for greater democracy in Russia."

The magazine's editor Richard Stengel said: "The TIME 100 is not a hot list. It's a survey not of the most powerful or the most popular, but of the most influential.

"We look for people whose ideas, whose example, whose talent, whose discoveries transform the world we live in... heroes like the great chess master Garry Kasparov, who is leading a lonely fight for greater democracy in Russia."

Chess was a way of demonstrating the superiority of communism over the decadent West in the Soviet Union, the nation in which Kasparov grew up.

Kasparov never dodged that fate when he took on and eventually defeated Anatoly Karpov, the darling of the Soviet chess establishment, in 1985. His was the image of a prominent outsider. Kasparov is half Jewish, half Armenian.

Kasparov's organisation, 'Other Russia', a coalition of those opposed to the rule of President Vladimir Putin, has held a series of demonstrations, often broken up by the police.

Putin's foes are fragmented and run from old-fashioned nationalists to modern liberals. Kasparov, 44, insists he is just a moderator, not a leader, of the movement.

But by giving a voice to those who believe that Russia can develop in a way different from the authoritarianism that seems always to have been its fate, the former world number one has shown that he has not yet made his last move.

Others named in this year's list of 71 men and 29 women from 27 countries include Queen Elizabeth, US presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice, Pope Benedict XVI, YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, film director Martin Scorsese, supermodel Kate Moss and tennis ace Roger Federer.

Oprah Winfrey made the list a record five times, Bill Gates four times, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Condoleezza Rice three times in the list first published in 1999.

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