יום ראשון, מרץ 11, 2007

 

Garry Kasparov

Thanks to PoliBlog, I came across a fascinating account (in the NYT) of former chess champion Garry Kasparov's chairmanship of the United Civil Front, which promotes activism against the creeping authoritarianism of Putin's Russia.

The story is quite interesting in its own right, but what really caught my eye is a fact I did not know about Kasparov (not that I knew much at all about him): He is half Jewish, half Armenian.

Now that is an impressive bloodline--Jewish and Armenian, descendant of two persecuted and dispersed groups. And from Baku, Azerbaijan, which indeed once had large Jewish and Armenian populations. Actually, Baku still has a pretty substantial Jewish population--around seven thousand, fourth highest in the XSSR--but I am unsure how many Armenians remain since the conflict between the post-Soviet states of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Assuming Wikipedia can be trusted with this sort of information, Kasparov was born Garry Vajnshtejn (the surname being Jewish, and a variant of Weinstein or Feinstein). His father died when he was young and he took his mother's name, the Armenian Kasparian (later Russified).

Fascinating. I wonder if his considerable celebrity in Russia trumps resentment over his ethnic background.

תוויות: , ,


Comments: הוסף רשומת תגובה

Links to this post:

צור קישור



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?