THE BIG INTERVIEW: Chairman of the board
'You could have done this," Garry Kasparov said to the young chess player he had just beaten. The chess board had been reset and he ran her through all the moves both of them had made, showing her alternative moves. All of this he did from memory.
It was part of an exhibition match in which he played against eight Discovery employees simultaneously, beating all of them in under an hour. The last person standing was 24-year-old actuary Monique Sischy. Playing against "one of the world's greatest players was really exciting but quite intimidating", she said afterwards.
Kasparov is widely regarded as the greatest chess player ever. He reigned for 20 years as the world's number one chess player, after becoming a grandmaster at the age of 17. Arguably his most famous matches were against IBM's Deep Blue computer in two highly publicised matches, with Kasparov winning the first contest, and losing the second.
Kasparov was in the country to speak at the same Discovery Invest Leadership Summit conference last week where Archbishop Desmond Tutu's refusal to share the stage with former British prime minister Tony Blair made global headlines.
Kasparov dazzled the audience with his life story and his belief that the world has become risk-averse and companies are failing to innovate new ways of doing business.
Referring to the great explorers Columbus and Magellan, he asked: "Do they stand a chance to get venture capital today? I guess [their] chances are slim to none."
The space race of the 1960s was a radical, and expensive, attempt to achieve the seemingly impossible: getting a person into space, then on the moon.
The world needs this kind of investment in alternative energy sources too, he believes.
He also thinks we should return our gaze to the stars.
"By investing money in space exploration, we will move forward. We invest in new industries, new science."
The Apollo space programme that enabled Neil Armstrong's "one small step" onto the moon is credited with a number of "giant leap" inventions - including cordless power tools, wireless communication headsets, freeze-dried food and those silvery emergency wraps, aptly-named space blankets.
The Curiosity rover which recently landed on Mars and is exploring our nearest planetary neighbour is a remarkable achievement, said Kasparov.
"It makes me feel proud of the human race that this little machine, designed by humans, is now sending pictures from another planet.''
But, he said, we often use great technological advances for mundane things.
"Nasa's computing power [at the time of the moon landing] was the same as an iPhone now. We can land a man on the moon or we can throw birds at pigs."
He added: "We have to move forward. Courage is the common denominator for moving civilisation forward."
The chess grandmaster is now involved in the most complicated contest of his life, Russian politics - something which requires vast amounts of courage.
Kasparov was arrested last month, then released, after a policeman accused him of biting his hand during a protest over the imprisonment of Russian punk band Pussy Riot. This was despite photographic evidence showing the officer's hand already had a cut, he said.
He described the situation in Russia as "more like South Africa 20 years ago".
"We're not fighting to win elections. We're fighting to have elections," he said during our interview.
"The difference between chess and [President Vladimir] Putin's politics is that in chess we have fixed rules and unpredictable results. In Russian politics, it is exactly the opposite," he said.
Unlike Russia, which has a "negative trend", he said South Africa has a positive outlook.
"I feel there is a consensus to move forward and build the country."
While the country clearly has problems with a wealth gap between the rich and poor, and there are similar kinds of oligarchs in South Africa, "the lion's share of this money is being invested in this country".
Kasparov is keen on education and its ability to lift the quality of people's lives, and promotes chess through his US-headquartered Kasparov Chess Foundation.
New technologies like tablet computers and cellphones offer new possibilities to educate the world's youth, who may read less but are more tech-savvy, he said.
"I see chess as the small but important element in the transition into this new 21st-century classroom."
Kasparov said: "Keeping people poor and ignorant, that is the way to stay in power in non-democratic systems.
"The way forward is to invest in education.
"Investment in education is the only kind of investment that guarantees results.
"Education is the most powerful weapon with which you can change the world."