Chess champion Garry Kasparov announces retirement. People who have real jobs wonder, “Retire from what?”

Garry Kasparov, the chess world’s youngest-ever champion and its public face and undisputed king the last two decades, made a stunning move shortly after winning a prestigious tournament in Spain: He announced his retirement from professional play.

The disclosure from the Russian grandmaster — the world’s No. 1 ranked chess player since 1984 who is considered by some the best in the history of the game — came shortly after he won the 14-match Linares tournament in Spain on Thursday, despite losing the final game.

“Before this tournament I made a conscious decision that Linares 2005 will be my last professional (tournament), and today I played my last professional game,” Kasparov said at a news conference in Linares, according to a video posted on the online chess magazine

He said his last games were “very difficult for me to play under such pressure, because I knew it was the end of the career which I could be proud of.”

Kasparov, 41, became the youngest world champion ever at age 22 and quickly cut a swath through the chess world with an aggressive style that shunned settling for a draw. He said part of the reason he was retiring was because he saw no real goals left to accomplish in professional chess.

Shay Bushinsky, who programmed Deep Junior, one of Kasparov’s famous computer opponents, said Friday that the grandmaster is “the closest thing to a computer that I know as a man. Sometimes I think he has silicon running in his veins.”

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