Kasparov to Upper West Side

78207275 Kasparov to Upper West SideIn 1985, at age 22, Garry Kasparov was the youngest world chess champion in history. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, Mr. Kasparov has retired from chess, taking up politics in its stead as a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin and a public enemy of the Kremlin. (He once declared of the current Russian government, “The system is not corrupt—corruption is the system.”) The chess prodigy and political dissident, who, according to an interview with Macleans Canada, “has no life” due to his choice to enter politics, recently bought a $3.4 million penthouse apartment on West 76th Street.

The UK Guardian reported in 2007 that Mr. Kasparov spends thousands of dollars on bodyguards each month to protect him and his family. But, I wouldn’t worry about him having to sell the family silver as it seems that the chess grandmaster has money to spend. As well as his recent $3.4 million purchase on the Upper West Side, Mr. Kasparov keeps residences in Paris, Moscow, Leningrad and that political hotbed: New Jersey. The deed for the penthouse condo was filed under the names of both Mr. Kasparov and his third wife, Daria, with whom he has a young daughter.

Mr. Kasparov, who was arrested during a protest in Moscow in 2007, told Playboy in an interview, “If something goes wrong with me or my family, I don’t think there’s a chance for them [the Kremlin] to say they aren’t guilty. For many Russians, I’m a symbol of national pride. I was the Soviet champion even for the left wing, even for the nationalists. I’m not Garry Kasparov, half-Armenian, half-Jewish born, but the Soviet champion, the man who was on top of the world of chess, the pride of the nation.”

Mr. Kasparov may soon assume a new role as the international pride of the Upper West Side.

cmalle@observer.com