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Kasparov Leaves Chess For Politics

11 March 2005 -- Former chess world champion Garry Kasparov has announced that he is retiring from professional chess.

Kasparov made the announcement after winning a tournament yesterday in the southern Spanish town of Linares.

The 41-year-old Kasparov is quoted as saying he now plans to devote himself to politics and writing books. Kasparov is a member of a Russian liberal political grouping known as Committee 2008.

Kasparov said he will continue to play chess, because he likes it, but will no longer play professionally.

Kasparov is said he decided to quit competitive chess because of the enormous pressure he has been under in recent years.

The Azerbaijan-born Kasparov lost his world title to Russian grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik in 2000, but Kasparov is still ranked as the world's top player by the World Chess Federation.