יום ראשון, מרץ 11, 2007
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.