Garry Kasparov

Garry Kimovich Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster, former world chess champion and political activist, whom many consider to be the greatest chess player of all time. From 1986 until his retirement in 2005, Kasparov was ranked world No. 1 for 225 out of 228 months. His peak rating of 2851, achieved in 1999, was the highest recorded until being surpassed by Magnus Carlsen in 2013. Kasparov holds records for consecutive professional tournament victories and Chess Oscars. Kasparov became the youngest undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at age 22 by defeating then-champion Anatoly Karpov, he held the official FIDE world title until 1993, when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association. In 1996 he became the first world champion to lose a match to a computer under standard time controls, when he lost to the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in a publicized match, he continued to hold the "Classical" World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000.

In spite of losing the title, he continued winning tournaments and was the world's highest-rated player when he retired from professional chess in 2005. After Kasparov retired, he writing, he formed the United Civil Front movement, joined as a member of The Other Russia, a coalition opposing the administration and policies of Vladimir Putin. In 2008, he announced an intention to run as a candidate in that year's Russian presidential race, but failure to find a sufficiently large rental space to assemble the number of supporters, required to endorse such a candidacy led him to withdraw. Kasparov blamed "official obstruction" for the lack of available space. Although he is regarded in the West as a symbol of opposition to Putin, he was barred from the presidential ballot, as the political climate in Russia makes it difficult for opposition candidates to organize. Kasparov is chairman for the Human Rights Foundation and chairs its International Council. In 2017, he founded the Renew Democracy Initiative, an American political organization promoting and defending liberal democracy in the U.

S. and abroad. He serves as chairman of the group. Kasparov was born Garik Kimovich Weinstein in Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union, his father, Kim Moiseyevich Weinstein, was Jewish, his mother, Klara Shagenovna Kasparova, was Armenian. Kasparov has described himself as a "self-appointed Christian", although "very indifferent" and identifies as Russian. Kasparov began the serious study of chess after he came across a chess problem set up by his parents and proposed a solution, his father died of leukemia. At the age of twelve, upon request of his mother Klara and with the consent of the family, adopted Klara's surname Kasparov, done to avoid possible antisemitic tensions, which were common in the USSR at the time. From age 7, Kasparov attended the Young Pioneer Palace in Baku and, at 10 began training at Mikhail Botvinnik's chess school under noted coach Vladimir Makogonov. Makogonov helped develop Kasparov's positional skills and taught him to play the Caro-Kann Defence and the Tartakower System of the Queen's Gambit Declined.

Kasparov won the Soviet Junior Championship in Tbilisi in 1976, scoring 7 points of 9, at age 13. He repeated the feat the following year, winning with a score of 8.5 of 9. He was being trained by Alexander Shakarov during this time. In 1978, Kasparov participated in the Sokolsky Memorial tournament in Minsk, he had been invited as an exception but became a chess master. Kasparov has said that this event was a turning point in his life, that it convinced him to choose chess as his career. "I will remember the Sokolsky Memorial as long as I live", he wrote. He has said that after the victory, he thought he had a good shot at the World Championship, he first qualified for the Soviet Chess Championship at age 15 in 1978, the youngest player at that level. He won the 64-player Swiss system tournament at Daugavpils on tiebreak over Igor V. Ivanov to capture the sole qualifying place. Kasparov rose through the World Chess Federation rankings. Starting with an oversight by the Russian Chess Federation, he participated in a grandmaster tournament in Banja Luka and Herzegovina, in 1979 while still unrated.

Kasparov won this high-class tournament, emerging with a provisional rating of 2595, enough to catapult him to the top group of chess players. The next year, 1980, he won the World Junior Chess Championship in Dortmund, West Germany; that year, he made his debut as second reserve for the Soviet Union at the Chess Olympiad at Valletta and became a Grandmaster. As a teenager, Kasparov tied for first place in the USSR Chess Championship in 1981–82, his first win in a superclass-level international tournament was scored at Bugojno, Yugoslavia in 1982. He earned a place in the 1982 Moscow Interzonal tournament, which he won, to qualify for the Candidates Tournament. At age 19, he was the youngest Candidate since Bobby Fischer, 15 when he qualified in 1958. At this stage, he was the No. 2-rated player in the world, trailing only World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov on the January 1983 list. Kasparov's first Candidates match was against Alexander Beliavsky, whom he defeated 6–3. Politics threatened


Pittway Corporation was a diversified holding company best known as a manufacturer and distributor of professional and consumer fire and burglar alarms. In 1962, Neison Harris became president, after having worked as an executive at Gillette, at a time when the company was transitioning from a trolley operating company to a diversified concern running multiple businesses. Pittway completed its divestment out transportation in 1964 through sale of trolley operations to the Port Authority of Allegheny County, receiving more than US$16 million for the operations; the demise of the trolley operations could be attributed to the rise in personal car purchases. Neison Harris' brother, Irving B. Harris played a significant part in the company. Leo Guthart was the company's Vice-Chairman. Among the company's acquisitions in the 1960s were Barr-Stalfort Co. an aerosol cans filler company, Alarm Device Manufacturing Co. and Industrial Publishing Co. It relocated its headquarters to Chicago in 1967. In 1967, the company was renamed to Pittway Corporation.

Pittway became best known as a manufacturer and distributor of the First Alert brand of home smoke alarms, professional fire and burglar alarms, other security systems, as a real estate firm. It owned the fire alarm companies Fire-Lite and Notifier. By 1968, the company's vice-chairman was C. D. Palmer, the senior executive based in the company's former home town of Pittsburgh. In the 1970s in 1977, Pittway and General Electric were the dominant consumer smoke alarm manufacturers. At that time, Pittway units were distributed by Sears. In 1978, the Consumer Product Safety Commission assessed a US$100,000 fine against Pittway for selling smoke detectors which were themselves fire hazards. Proposed in December 1999 and completed in February 2000, Honeywell acquired Pittway for US$2.2 billion as a play to expand the breadth of their business in its home and building control unit

Bruce Laingen

Lowell Bruce Laingen was an American diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Malta from 1977 to 1979. Laingen is best known for having been the most senior American official held hostage during the Iran hostage crisis, while serving as the chargé d'affaires at the U. S. Embassy in Tehran. Laingen was born on a farm near Butterfield and Odin in Minnesota. During World War II, Laingen served in the U. S. Navy in the South Pacific as a lieutenant. After the war he graduated from St. Olaf College and obtained an M. A. in International Relations from the University of Minnesota. He studied at the National War College in 1968. In 1949 Laingen joined the U. S. Foreign Service, he served at posts in Germany, Iran and Afghanistan, was appointed Ambassador to Malta by President Gerald Ford in 1977. Laingen was sent back to Iran as the U. S. chargé d'affaires in June 1979, after ambassador William H. Sullivan and chargé d'affaires Charlie Naas were relieved of their posts by President Jimmy Carter.

Laingen had served in Iran during the 1950s. On November 4, 1979, the U. S. embassy was overrun by student protesters following the Iranian Revolution. 63 hostages were taken at the embassy, while Laingen and two others were seized at the Iranian Foreign Ministry Office. Mrs. Laingen tied a yellow ribbon about the oak at their home during the crisis. Laingen and 51 hostages were released on January 1981, following 444 days of captivity. Laingen remains the last American head of mission to Iran, as direct bilateral diplomatic relations between the two governments were severed following the seizure of the embassy and have not been restored since. After they were released from Iran in January 1981, Laingen and the other hostages arrived in the United States at the. United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Four months on May 26, the West Point Class of 1981 honored him as their graduation banquet speaker during a formal dining event in the Cadet Mess Hall. Laingen was awarded the State Department's Award for Valor along with several other recognitions.

Laingen's next position was that of Vice President of the National Defense University, a post traditionally held by a senior diplomat. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1987 after 38 years of service. Laingen served as the President of the American Academy of Diplomacy. In 2010 Laingen was presented the Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award by the American Foreign Service Association. Laingen died on July 15, 2019, at an assisted living facility in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 96 from complications of Parkinson's disease. Laingen, L. Bruce. Yellow Ribbon: The Secret Journal of Bruce Laingen. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 1992. Bruce Laingen Papers at Minnesota Historical Society Appearances on C-SPAN L. Bruce Laingen correspondence relating to his service in Iran is in the Library of Congress. Bruce Laingen at Find a Grave