Anatoly Borisovich Shcharansky (Ukrainian: Анатолій Борисович Щаранський, Russian: Анатолий Борисович Щаранский) (later Natan Sharansky) was born in Stalino, Soviet Union on 20 January 1948 to a Jewish family. He graduated with a degree in applied mathematics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. As a child, he was a chess prodigy. He performed in simultaneous and blindfold displays, usually against adults. At the age of 15, he won the championship in his native Donetsk. When incarcerated in solitary confinement, he claims to have maintained his sanity by playing chess against himself in his mind. Sharansky beat the world chess champion Garry Kasparov in a simultaneous exhibition in Israel in 1996.
Natan Sharansky is married to Avital Sharansky and has two daughters, Rachel and Hannah. In the Soviet Union, his marriage application to Avital was denied by the authorities. They were married in a Moscow synagogue in a ceremony not recognized by the government, as USSR only recognized civil marriage and not church marriage.
Read more about this topic: Natan Sharansky
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“Had Dr. Johnson written his own life, in conformity with the opinion which he has given, that every mans life may be best written by himself; had he employed in the preservation of his own history, that clearness of narration and elegance of language in which he has embalmed so many eminent persons, the world would probably have had the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited.”
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