Chess great Garry Kasparov quits Russia over fears of probe

MOSCOW (AFP) - Former world chess champion and anti-Kremlin activist Garry Kasparov is currently staying out of Russia over fears he may be investigated as part of the authorities' crackdown on the opposition.

"I kept travelling back and forth until late February when it became clear that I might be part of this ongoing investigation of the activities of the political protestors," Mr Kasparov said in Geneva on Wednesday, according to an audio recording posted on his website.

"Right now, I have serious doubts that if I return to Moscow I may not be able to travel back. So, for the time being, I refrain from returning to Russia," Mr Kasparov added.

The chess legend has in recent years become an impassioned campaigner against the rule of President Vladimir Putin and took part in some of the mass opposition street protests against his rule.