SIGNED BY GARRY KASPAROV: MY GREAT PREDECESSORS
KASPAROV, Garry. My Great Predecessors. (London): Everyman Chess, (2003-06). Five volumes. Octavo, original red paper-covered boards, original dust jackets. $2500.
First editions of chess champion Kasparov’s study of previous chess greats, each volume signed by Kasparov in Roman letters on the title page.
Chess prodigy Kasparov was tapped by the Soviet Union at an early age: “At the age of 12, much the youngest competitor, Kasparov won the USSR junior (under 18) championship, undefeated, and repeated the success the following year, this time conceding only a single draw… At first he trained under Bagirov and then, like Karpov, by means of a correspondence course supervised by Botvinnik; but Kasparov’s hero is Alekhine and not, like Karpov’s, Capablanca” (Hooper & Whyld, 193). In the series My Great Predecessors, Kasparov gives tribute to some of the greatest chess champions with brief biographies and in-depth analyses of games in algebraic notation. Volume I looks at chess legends Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine; Volume II enters the modern era with Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov and Mikhail Tal; Volume III covers Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky; Volume IV is devoted primarily to Bobby Fischer; and Volume V studies current greats Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov.
Kasparov’s achievements in the field of chess are many: “In 1976, he was the strongest player in the world under age 13. He became a grandmaster at 17, the youngest Soviet champion at 18 and the youngest world champion at 22 years, 210 days. In his first international tournament, Baku 1979, he exceeded the Grandmaster norm and took first place as an unrated player… He became the World Junior Champion in 1980 and co-champion of the USSR in 1981… In May, 1997 he lost a match with the chess computer DEEP BLUE. In 1993 he broke away from FIDE and defeated Nigel Short for the PCA World Championship. In 2000 he lost his title to Vladimir Kramnik in the Braingames World Chess Championship, but continues to be the highest rated chess player in the world. He has been the world’s #1 rated player since 1984. From 1981 to 1991 he did not lose a single chess event. He successfully defended his world chess championship title more times than any champion. From 1981 to 1990, Kasparov won 15 straight tournaments in a row. After winning Linares (but losing his last game to Topalov) in 2005, he announced his retirement from chess on March 10, 2005” (Bill Wall, Off the Wall).