President Saakashvili met on March 16 former world chess champion turned opposition politician, Garry Kasparov, in Tbilisi and praised him for his "courage".
"I want to express my admiration towards your bravery," Saakashvili told Kasparov at a meeting in the presidential palace.
He told Kasparov, who is an outspoken Kremlin critic, that his political activism amounted to "civil courage, which I would call heroism."
"I read with huge interest each article written by you. Switching from a thinking of a chess master to a political thinking it is something which only you are capable of. What you are now doing is very important, because it brings real change into people's life," Saakashvili said.