All mention of Russian chess legend and anti-Putin activist Garry Kasparov removed from history book

An entry about the chess legend was omitted from a book commemorating the 80th anniversary of Russian sports club Spartak

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The Independent Online

An entry about chess champion and anti-Putin political activist Garry Kasparov has been removed from a book commemorating the 80th Anniversary of Russian sports club Spartak, of which he was a member.

Kasparov, as well as being a chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion, is a long time opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a political activist, he has been a leading member of numerous pro-democracy groups, including the United Civil Front and The Other Russia, both of which he helped establish.

Despite being one of the Soviet Union's most successful and famous chess players, he has become a pariah of Putin's government due to his political activism. He lives in Moscow, but travels constantly across Europe and the USA.

Writing on Chess News, a Russian chess website, chess journalist and writer Yevgeny Gik claims that he was commissioned to write an entry for Spartak's 80th anniversary book about Kasparov and another World Chess Champion, Tigran Petrosian.

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Kasparov plays Anatoli Karpov at the World Chess Championships. Kasparov was World No. 1 from 1986 to 2005.

Gik claims he wrote the entries and submitted them - but upon reading the published book, found that Kasparov's entry and all mention of him had been expunged completely.

Quoting the editor of the book, Gik said that "one of the higher-ups" was responsible for the removal of Kasparov's entry, but it was not clear exactly who made the decision, or why it was made.

Kasparov is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time, and is probably the most prominent player to have been a member of Spartak - so the decision to remove his entry is a strange one.

 

Gik claims he wrote the entries and submitted them - but found upon reading the published book that Kasparov's entry and all mention of him had been expunged completely.

Quoting the editor of the book, Gik said that "one of the higher-ups" was responsible for the removal of Kasparov's entry, but it was not clear exactly who made the decision, or why it was made.

Kasparov is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time, and is probably the most prominent player to have been a member of Spartak - so the decision to remove his entry is a strange one.

Writing on Twitter after the publication of Gik's article, Kasparov said: "I suppose if Putin's lackeys want to remove my name from every Soviet/Russian record book it will at least keep them busy for a long time!"

Responding to another user who said removing all mention of him from books would create jobs, Kasparov said: "Yes! New jobs for censors, propagandists and trolls. They are always hiring in Putin's 'disinformation economy'."

Speaking to Radio Free Europe, the editor of the book, Yevgeny Bogatryev, said he would not "politicise this affair", and said that sometimes members of sports clubs like Spartak don't get on with famous athletes and try not to mention them.

Kasparov has been arrested and detained numerous times, typically during anti-Putin marches and rallies in Russia. In 2012, he was beaten by police outside a Moscow court, where he was attending the reading of the verdict of a case that involved political punk band Pussy Riot.

He writes extensively, commenting on Russian affairs for a number of major media outlets. After the outbreak of the crisis in Crimea, access to his website was blocked in Russia by the nation's regulator.