Kasparov in New York – and on Al Jazeera

by ChessBase
12/20/2007 – What does the former World Champion do when he is not taking part in political rallies against Russian leader Vladimir Putin, or serving a prison sentence in Moscow for political activities? Garry Kasparov spends quality time in New York, doing book signings in the mega bookshops of the US metropolis. We have pictures from recent signings and a remarkable must-watch TV report on Al Jazeera.

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Book signings

The following pictures were sent to us by Mig Greengard, the writer and journalist who runs the web site Chess Ninja and has collaborated with Garry Kasparov on his latest book "How Life Imitates Chess". The pictures are from an October 2007 tour and a book signing on December 18th, all in New York City.

Garry Kasparov signing books at Borders on Wall St. and Broadway, NYC, on Tuesday

Kasparov signed 300 books in this session. For the first time people
were asking him to write things like "To Freedom!" in the books.

Photographers turn up at every signing to get shots for news reports

The line during the Barnes & Noble signing in Manhattan spilled out on the street and down the block

Jennifer Shahade is the two-time US Women's Champion who now edits Chess Life Online.
That's her father Mike with the shades on his head.

Maria Bartiromo is the famous "Money Honey" of CNBC financial shows. She and her husband are friends of the Kasparovs.

A young chess and Kasparov fan who will not forget this day

That's Lubomir Kavalek, who served for a while as Nigel Short's second against Kasparov in 1993. Lubosh has been the chess columnist of the Washington Post since 1986.

Look who got a signed copy: famed GM and trainer Lev Alburt

Wait a minute. Wait a minute!! Is it you, Misha? Back from the dead?
No, just an American look-alike of the great Mikhail Tal.

IM Dmitry Schneider and Iryna Zenyuk at the B&N signing in October

Annik Lafarge, Kasparov's US editor at Bloomsbury USA

Al Jazeera ("The Island") is a television network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel with the same name, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages, and in several regions of the world. It was started in 1996 and gained notoriety when it broadcast statements by al-Qaeda leaders following the September 11 2001 attacks. Today the station does not balk from criticising the leaders of Arab nations, and in fact one country actually shut electricity down in the capital to prevent its people from watching a critical report. Over the years Al Jazeera has become remarkably fair and balanced, at least in its English language channel Al Jazeera International, of which the biweekly programme People and Power is a part.

Last Sunday we caught a 23-minute report on Garry Kasparov's activities in the past month, including very graphic pictures of his arrest during a political rally in Moscow. You can watch the Al Jazeera report (in two segments) here:

People & Power - Garry Kasparov - 16 Dec 07 - Part 1 (11:36 min)

People & Power - Garry Kasparov - 16 Dec 07 - Part 2 (11:10 min)

One remark: Boris Makarenko, a political scientist, says (around 3 minutes into the second part) that the Other Russia coalition can never win votes "because they have radical leftists, radical nationalists and liberals. Kasparov is a genius in chess; he has a brain which works like the Deep Blue computer. Politics require a different type of brain. They require an ability to manoeuvre, to compromise, to strike deals not only with friends but also with adversaries, to build coalitions. None of these skills have ever been noticed in the personality of Mr Kasparov..." Is it us or isn't the analyst blatently contradicting himself in one short segment? The leader of Other Russia, Kasparov, would appear to be displaying exactly the qualitites the analyst says he doesn't have in the second part. We are confused.

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