Saturday, March 10, 2007

Kasparov vs. Putin

Every week at the club, one of our members asks me when I think former World Champion Garry Kasparov will turn up dead like the many Russian journalists we are hearing about in the news. I hope that never comes to pass, though he is surely risking a great deal. The New York Times has a good story in today's paper titled "Kasparov, Building Opposition to Putin One Square at a Time" (more permanently available in the International Herald Tribune). Kasparov reveals that since the famous incident where he was attacked with a chessboard, he now travels with bodyguards to ward off similar crazy people. But he has a realist's (some might say "fatalist's") view of his chances of surviving an assassin's attack. As he says in the Times piece: "If the state goes after you, there’s no stopping them.”

A student of Botvinnik's, Kasparov has approached chess as he approaches life, with as much objectivity as he can muster. As he says: "I am absolutely objective ... I think we can lose badly, because the regime is still very powerful, but the only beauty of our situation is that we don't have much choice." I continue to be impressed. So long as the regime does not sweep the pieces from the board in anger to end the game, I think Kasparov has the best chance of anyone to win it.

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Blogger Ryan Emmett said...

Kasparov's biggest asset is his high profile outside Russia, especially in the US. I would imagine it makes it a great deal harder to silence him by making him 'disappear' or arranging an 'accident'.

Kasparov was brave at the chessboard and seems to be brave off it too.

Good luck to him. He's going to need it.

Sat Mar 10, 10:06:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Goran said...

I'm afraid people in US have wrong picture about Russia.

Kasparov the politician is not necessarily brilliant as Kasparov chessplayer.

Mon Mar 12, 04:14:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Rey-Momo said...

This is my first enter to the blog and Im amazed. In Argentina chess blogs are no good.
I think Kasparov is a true free-minded liberal and thus what Russia needs.

Wed Aug 05, 03:38:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Rey-Momo said...

I forgot to say: Congratulations on your blog

Wed Aug 05, 03:39:00 AM EDT  

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