Kasparov in Newsweek

Garry Kasparov

Former World Champion Garry Kasparov (pictured left) is in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine talking about the political environment in Russia. Currently, he is leading an opposition movement to unseat President Vladimir Putin. Kasparov has been an outspoken critic of the Putin government and states that Russia has deteriorated into a police state. He gave an interview with Newsweek’s Steven Levy where he gave candid answers and address the chess/politics parallels.

When asked if he felt to be in danger, he stated, “We’re all in danger.” Such an evasive answer is probably rooted in the fact that Kasparov knows the danger and doesn’t want to think of it. Of course, that would not be in his character, but after getting hit on the head with a wooden chess board (a couple of years back) and tossed in jail, he certainly realizes the danger.

Kasparov retired in 2005 leaving behind the most impressive record of chess dominance in modern times. His 22-year reign will most likely stand for an eternity. In the article he was asked about his infamous match with Deep Blue and he stated, “I believe they cheated.” His retirement left the chess world with somewhat of a vaccuum without a champion and in total chaos.

Kasparov vs. Deep Blue

Garry Kasparov vs. Deep Blue in the controversial ‘Man vs. Machine’ match.

Three years later, Viswanathan Anand is the World Champion and the chess world is different from the one he left. Former Kasparov rivals like Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov and Vassily Ivanchuk are still at the top of the sport. Young lions such as Magnus Carlsen, Teimour Radjabov, Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin represent the future of chess.

Kasparov still follows chess, has authored the Predecessors series and still writes articles. Some say that Kasparov retired just in time while others have stated that he could have lasted a few more years if he had given up his political amibitions. What do you think about Kasparov’s quest to unseat Putin? Is this the best use of his talent? Thoughts?

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

7 Comments

  1. Well, one is for sure. Everyone has their 15 mins of fame and then a new, younger crop steps in and takes over. Kasparov is still a very strong player, but it’s just a matter of time before the younger guys take over. It’s life……………………Glad I was a teenager when he was and watched him rise to take over the chess world. I don’t think the game will ever be the same.

  2. Actually I’m glad the game is evolving. Kasparov had a good ride, but during his era, chess was so bogged down with political fighting and controversy that the sport became an absolute disgrace. His breaking away from FIDE didn’t help. However, his play shined through all of this and his contributions are unchallenged. I do think that we have not seen chess in its full development. The Chinese, Indians and other federations in the developing world will make chess richer and more intriguing. However, I agree… we may not see a personality as strong as Kasparov (or Fischer).

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  4. One thing that’s not surprising is that it’s very hard to conceal one’s personality across the chessboard. If that’s accurate, then we can make some assumption about Kasparov’s persona. He is forceful, courageous, animated, and knows when to give and take. All traits that is necessary for an aspiring politician. So, we know that he is a good commanding officer of the chess pieces, but because we cannot determine ethics from a chess game, it’s anyone’s speculation as to how he would handle the science of governing people as compare to his skill at manipulation of lifeless objects. As for the progress of chess, I think we’ll have a better idea of what the direction chess will take after the close of the 2013 world championship. My guess is that if Magnus wins, it will be a new epoch as avowed by Kasparov. If he loses, I am not so sure that anything will change.

  5. I agree but if Carlsen does not win, it will slow down his momentum. It’s very possible that he will ultimately win the World Title. However, there’s nothing like doing it the first time around.

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