Celebrity chess player Garry Kasparov is nursing severe head injuries after a disgruntled fan smashed him on the temple with a chess board on Friday (15APR05).

Kasparov, 41, complains the unnamed man asked him to autograph the checkered board and then used it to attack him with after a prestigious gaming tournament.

Russian grand master Kasparov believes he was attacked because he recently criticised President VLADIMIR PUTIN and announced last month (MAR05) he was leaving competitive chess to work as chairman of political group COMMITTEE 2008, which opposes Putin.

Kasparov says, "I'm glad that in the Soviet Union the popular sport was chess and not baseball."

His spokeswoman MARINA LITVINOVICH adds, "The incident was a planned and prepared action, linked to the launch of a new pro-Putin youth movement."

18/04/2005 14:08