Political activist Garry Kasparov visits PCDS

Garry Kasparov, in center, with Phoenix Country Day School students. (submitted photo)

During April, Phoenix Country Day School was honored to host world chess champion and political activist, Garry Kasparov, for an insightful chat with students.

In a conversation moderated by Upper School history teacher (and former chess coach) Matt Guthrie, Mr. Kasparov enlightened students with stories of escaping Russia, his views on Russia’s influence in the recent U.S. election, and what is was like to be the first human to successfully defeat a supercomputer (Deep Blue) in chess, according to a press release.

“Dictators don’t ask ‘why?’ only ‘why not,'” Mr. Kasparov said, when asked by a current student about the current political climate and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“As long as a dictator looks strong, he’s immune. As long as (Putin) looks strong, by defying the United States, defying NATO, then no one will challenge him. He knows that the moment he’s weak, he’s done.”

After the event, Mr. Kasparov remarked often at how impressed he was with the PCDS students’ insights and thoughtful questions, the release stated.

Mr. Kasparov’s visit was made possible by Supreme Court Justice and former PCDS parent, grandparent, and Trustee, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

She, along with PCDS Advisory Trustee Gay Wray, were able to arrange Mr. Kasparov’s PCDS visit prior to serving as a keynote speaker at the O’Connor Institute.

Phoenix Country Day School is at 3901 E. Stanford Dr. in Paradise Valley.

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