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Political activist, former chess world champion Garry Kasparov to speak at UW-Eau Claire

| Gary Johnson

Russian political activist Garry Kasparov, who is a former world chess champion, will speak about global democracy and human rights on May 1 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov

The free presentation “Individual Rights and Democracy: A Conversation with Garry Kasparov” will be at 7 p.m. May 1 in Schofield Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Menard Center for Constitutional Studies, UW-Eau Claire Pre-Law Club and the university’s Chess Club.

Kasparov is an internationally recognized speaker on representative government and freedom around the world, says Dr. Eric Kasper, professor of political science and director of the Menard Center. Kasparov, like other speakers brought to campus by the Menard Center, emphasizes the importance of rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

“Kasparov will discuss a variety of topics, including obstacles he faced coming of age as a sports star in the Soviet Union, his decision in 2013 to immigrate to the United States to escape authoritarianism in Russia and what he sees as the largest threats to individual rights today,” Kasper says.

The event will reflect the 2024 national Law Day theme, “Voices of Democracy,” which acknowledges that in democracies, the people rule, expressing their political views and wishes by speaking their minds and voting in elections, Kasper says.

Kasparov was the youngest world chess champion at age 22 and the top-rated player in the world for 20 years. He had famous matches against IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in the mid-1990s.

Kasparov was among the first prominent Soviets to call for democratic reform and supported Boris Yeltsin’s efforts to break up the Soviet Union. After his retirement from competitive chess, he joined the pro-democracy movement in Russia.

Kasparov now lives in New York, where he remains a political activist and author, including writing “Winter is Coming: Why Vladamir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.”

Free tickets to the Kasparov event are available here.