World Chess Champion and Russian Pro-Democracy Leader to Address Consequences of Putin’s Ukraine Aggression

Fulton, MO, September 26, 2022 – Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, Russian pro-democracy leader, and chair of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, will describe the dangerous similarities between Vladimir Putin’s current aggression against Ukraine and that of the Soviet Union after World War II in a keynote address on October 7 at Westminster College.

Westminster is the site of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s historic declaration in 1946 that an iron curtain had descended across Europe.

Kasparov will deliver the 36th Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture at 11:30 a.m. in the historic Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, part of America’s National Churchill Museum, in conjunction with the 39th International Churchill Conference. The event is free and open to the public, with limited seating. The lecture will be livestreamed on the Museum’s website and Westminster’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages, and an overflow room will be available to in-person guests after seating in the church is filled.

An outspoken critic of Putin, Kasparov ran for Russian president in 2007 and has long warned of Putin’s danger to the world. He predicted the threat of an invasion of Ukraine in his prescient book Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, which was released in 2015.

Members of the Churchill family, such as Winston and Clementine Churchill’s great-grandson Jack Churchill and granddaughter The Rt. Hon. Edwina Sandys, will join hundreds of guests from around the world at the Kemper Lecture. Several special exhibitions will be on view: Winston Churchill: A Passion for Painting, Sinews of Peace: Power of Prose and A Royal Legacy at America’s National Churchill Museum along with Daughterly Knowledge: Mary Soames, Winston Churchill, and America’s National Churchill Museum and Highlights from the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Collection, which will premiere on October 7.

Widely considered history’s greatest chess player, Kasparov’s famous matches from 1996 to 1997 against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue were key to bringing artificial intelligence, and chess, into the mainstream. He retired in 2005 to form the Russian anti-Putin coalition. Forced into exile by Putin’s crackdowns in 2013, Kasparov now lives with his family in New York City. He is a frequent contributor to major publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Daily News, and appears regularly on news programs around the world.

Westminster College has long been a site for important speeches on global security — Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech chief among them. For more information, visit For more information on Westminster College, visit

he Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lectureship was established in 1979 by a grant from the Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri. It is intended to provide for lectures by authorities on history, Winston Churchill, and Churchill’s legacy in today’s world.


Media Contacts: Craig Workman at or 314-640-9033; or Sarah Backer at or 573-220-9038

For General Information: Please contact Susan Whitmar, Assistant Director for Member & Fellow Relations with America’s National Churchill Museum, at or 573-592-5396.


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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.