World chess champion Garry Kasparov promised to sell his $1-million, diamond-studded trophy and give the money to poor Soviet Armenians.
At World Chess Championship closing ceremonies Wednesday, Kasparov, 27, received the trophy studded with 1,018 diamonds and a check for $1.7 million.
Challenger Anatoly Karpov, 39, received $1.3 million for his losing effort.
“I won the world championship in the final minutes of the year,” Kasparov said, adding that he had not forgotten “that the year started with a tragedy.”
He referred to the thousands of minority Armenians who fled Baku, his birthplace on the Caspian Sea, during violent ethnic clashes with Azerbaijanis.
“The money gathered will be distributed to those who today have no work and who no one takes care of,” said Kasparov, whose mother is Armenian.