Kasparov on Chris Matthews' Hardball

by ChessBase
10/25/2007 – Yet again we see Garry Kasparov on a big American TV network. One Good Move, which provides the video feed, writes: "Kasparov makes a compelling case for the Bush Administration's hypocrisy in the world, and that Putin has the puppet Bush dancing to his tune. A dance meant to keep the world in turmoil so that KGB Inc. can benefit from high oil prices." Interview and our readers' reactions.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Kasparov on Chris Matthews' Hardball

No wonder the Skype calls have temporarily ceased. This has been the Garry Kasparov Week, with the former world champion and current Russian opposition leader appearing on yet another major American TV network, MSNBC's Hardball, with host Chris Matthews throwing the questions. Here some excerpts:

Kasparov on Chris Matthews' Hardball

Matthews: Is Russia a free country? Can you speak out against the president when you want to?

Kasparov: Yes, on US television. We have very few opportunities left [at home] – there is one remaining free radio station, a couple of newspapers, and of course the Internet. But TV is under very tight Kremlin control. There is even a stop-list for people who cannot be shown on Russian television, under any circumstances.

Matthews: What do you think about America these days, are we changing as a country in your view?

Kasparov: For many Soviets America was a stronghold of democracy and a beacon of hope. But America has steadily been losing credibility because unlike in the 70s or 80s the American leadership is applying double standards to the very important issue of democracy. When the Russian people watch America invading Iraq and building "democracy" there, and at the same time closing their eyes to gross violations of human rights – not only in Russia but in the former republics of the Soviet Union – it creates absolutely the wrong image. Of course America's image today is much worse than twenty years ago.

Matthews: Let us take a look at this statement by President Bush on Iran, Putin and Ahmadinejad...

Bush: I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding world war three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nucular weapon. I take the threat of Iran with a nucular weapon very seriously."

Matthews: World war three – what do you think of that language by President Bush?

Kasparov: I think it is not addressing the issue. The issue is that Putin is trying to create or inflate the threat. I believe Putin would be delighted to see America strike Iran, because that would push oil prices even higher. The only item in Putin's geopolitical agenda is high oil prices. That's how his regime survives in Russia. That's why he is always playing a game of keeping the tension high, especially in the middle east. Unfortunately Bush lost this game in the geopolitical casino because Putin always succeeded in throwing in new bargaining chips. Right now I think he has taken a commanding lead.

Reactions from our readers

In our recent report on Kasparov in Late Edition we mentioned, in an editorial note, that every time we publish a story on the the political activities of Garry Kasparov we get a number of letters castigating us for doing so. Politics, we are told, do not belong on a chess news page. Kasparov, some people say, is an amateur who should have stuck to chess. some of the opinions sent to us are very aggressive and show a very deep animosity for the former world champion. We said, however, that we would continue reporting on Kasparov, when he appears on a major US new network, for instance.

The reaction to this note was a slew of letters mostly defending our decision. Naturally there were a few opposed to our policy, including one by a reader who called our stories "rhapsodic drivel" and advised: "You have to find something better to do with your time (or a less gullible public to con) than this clumsy fling at 'journalism'. To put it bluntly, aside from marketing its own products the chessbase.com site is full of sh*t."

In the following we give you a selection of letters that arrived after the three reports on Kasparov on the talk shows. Most were written after the Wolf Blitzer story and our editorial note. We have left none out for strategical reasons (mainly for othographic ones), and in particular included every one that was critical of Kasparov's activities or our reporting.

Joe Justice, Dayton, OH
Could you please explain me on thing. If Kasparov is really serious about helping Russian people like he claims, why then he said on your website that he was interested in working with Carlsen or Karjakin (I think there was a third non-Russian player), but he never mentioned working with any young Russian player. If you really love your country and your people, then you will always put them first. Kasparov has an agenda and is hungry for power. He is eager to play the puppet of the West like he did in chess. That's why you love him and are obviously biased in your comments about him!

Weiji Ma, Rochester, NY, USA
I am a big fan of your news service, but I was irked by your reports about Kasparov on American TV - gloating, deferential, uncritical reports. It's great if ChessBase wants to expand from chess into politics conducted by chessplayers, but I would then also expect more substance and a more critical view. I would suggest that if you cover TV appearances, you also spend an article or two to cover the politics that Kasparov stands for. Then you will find why he is disliked by many both in Russia and abroad. His political opinions can be characterized as radical neoconservative, extolling the free market and seeing the US as the policeman of the world. I do not say that ChessBase should take a stance on this, but I would hope for some more nuanced reporting.

Dalthorp, Albany, USA
"Superior intellect" of Bill Maher?! He always seems rather dimwitted whenever he is with someone who doesn't go by his script. He tends to know very little facts about what he is talking about and dominates some guests strictly by bullying and almost never by "superior intellect".

Marc Plum, Woodbury, CT USA
From the article. "On this fake news show Colbert, who is extremely intelligent and very liberal, plays the role of a dull-minded and right-wing patriotic American." I'm glad to see there are no simple-minded prejudices on your site.

Oh, yuck, you got sarcasm all over our computer screen! – ed.

Jackson Showalter, Lexington, Kentucky
Thank you for a such an enjoyable report and video clip. Hats off!!

Antonio Gillot
Kasparov is news regarding chess. On a site dedicated to chess. Kasparov's politics belongs to another place.

Raul Lagomarsino, Montevideo, Uruguay
I come to chessbase.com for news about the chess world. I am not realy into politics in my own country, much less so into Russian politics. Nevertheless, I think you (the individuals running this site) have the right to have a political opinion, and if you wish to make it public through your website, supporting Kasparov, critizicing Putin or whatever, you have all the right in the world to do so. If some readers don't like it, they can simply stop coming to the site. As easy as that. Keep it going and good luck!

Dr. Jaime Estrada, San Antonio, Texas
I would like to commend whoever did the descriptions of comedians Bill Maher and Steven Colbert for your readers. As an avid watcher of their shows I can attest that they were right on target!Kasparov did great with both of these comedians who are known for their intellect and tough questions. Congratulations to Kasparov and to your superb online magazine.

Marcel, Montevideo, Uruguay
Its very interesting to read in a chess site about Kasparov and his moves in politics. Why not?
If for example Fischer enter too, or Spassky or Karpov will be interesting too. I know Russia very well and I love this country. In fact my wife is from Moscow, I speak Russian and live half a year there. I have the same age as Kasparov. I admired him as a chess player and even as a man who challenges the Russian Secret Services and establishment. He can be dead as a fly if they want. But there is not so simple, Russian history is too hard to put all it in so simple terms. And I don't think Kasparov is a men who really cares about the "others". I think that deep down he is playing another big egotist game. In Russia no one likes him precisely for that kind of behavior in the past.

Petros Wallden, Bangalore, India
I would like to point out that, since Kasparov is running for president of Russia, he is likely to make every day some interview about this (and most times will say pretty much the same things, but usually to different audience). While it is interesting to have non-chess related issues now and then, it is not nice to have everyday, and in particular have every day pretty much the same opinion (Putin bad, Russia no democracy...). Whether this is trues or not, is irrelevant, but if you publish this every time Kasparov says so, it does seem to me like propaganda given the fact that you do not present equally the opposite opinions since they are not represented by GMs. A final rhetorical question to highlight the strange situation: if Kasparov gets elected, will ChessBase publish all the interviews of Kasparov (in this hypothetical case as President of Russia)? Then it would pretty much become a Russia's government news media...

Scott Kolb, USA
I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your reports on Kasparov, without them I would have no way of knowing that he is running for President of Russia. I don't really care if he is not playing chess anymore. He is still one of the best chess players of all time. Just like if Bobby Fischer is doing crazy things. I am glad you guys let us know what is going on with former chess players keep it up!!!

Alejandro Moreno, Valinhos, Brasil
Keep them coming. Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess champion on history but if he hadn't touched a chess piece in his life he'd still be a great man because of what he is trying to accomplish against all odds for his country. I wish him success and congratulation guys on reporting on news of such importance.

Brian Farr, Nashville, TN
Thanks for your continuing coverage of Kasparov's circuit on the American media shows. Not since Fisher has anyone transcended from world-class chess player to cultural icon. Kasparov has taken it a step further by taking on the biggest thugs in the world. It is way past time for some major governmental reform in Russia and thank god there is someone like Garry with the cajones to stand for what's right. I read every article that comes out on ChessBase everyday. Many of us enjoy this coverage and don't want you to limit them due to a handful of detractors. Keep up the good work and please continue this great site for all things chess and newsworthy involving chess players.

Stoitchko Kalenderski, Sofia, Bulgaria
I would like to express my admiration to chessbase.com for giving us a chance to follow one of the greatest chess player of all times, Gary Kasparov. Kasparov is on the news because of chess and I think most of your readers are interested to know how their favorite players perform in their other lives as well. I personally do not always agree with Kasparov but I think he makes good points which will helps Russia to develop democracy that meets the world standards. I am also curious to see how his aggressive style, which is definitely comes from the chess, works in some other areas of live like politics. Thank you very much.

Mark Warriner, Richmond, Virginia USA
Dear Chessbase, please continue to report on Kasparov's activities. He is the greatest chessplayer of all time and it does matter to chess what he does now. Just as many other great chessplayers had other professions or pursuits, so Kasparov's endeavors are interesting to chess fans. Thank you for your efforts in reporting what is most definitely chess news.

Barry Adams, Marshall, MI
I just wanted to say thanks and please keep publishing reports on Kasparov. They are very interesting. Ignore the castigators!

Lucio Calcagnile, Quartu Sant' Elena, Italy
About your editorial note on the last news about Kasparov talking on a US TV-show: I just want to tell you that I do agree with your decision of writing news about that. I am interested in Kasparov's politic role, but even if I wasn't, I think it is very interesting to know about what such great players do aside from chess.

Davide Chiocca, Italy
About that twelve readers that don't want to hear about the former world champion: I don't understand them (unless they are payed by Putin to harrass you!). But tell me: they are always the same twelve people or not? Instead I'm very happy to read about this subject and I support your efforts toward a free information, without filters. Go ahead so, guys at ChessBase! And compliments for your site.

Yes, they are essentially the same. A handful write mechanically after every political report, a couple after every Kasparov story. – ed.

Daniel Wigley, Florida, USA
You wonder if Kasparov might even appear on Letterman. You know, Kasparov has been on Letterman before (maybe more than once) and has even played a game of chess with Letterman on TV over the phone, where they did one move a day. Letterman played poorly, and it was over soon. By the way, you would have to be out of your mind to skip this stuff about Kasparov and politics (as others seem to want you to do). Your ability to expand the chess experience in important and entertaining ways is what makes this site the best on chess.

Calvin Bennett, Melbourne, Australia
I agree with the many readers who have expressed annoyance and distaste for Kasparov's American tour. Why is he simply going on American shows and not in his own countries? Its because the US are the main supporters of Kasparov, and are using their world-renowned imperialist power to influence Russia, trying to convince her to come around to more pro-right ideals. Ideology which talks about the expansion of the economy, which is very capitalist.

I stopped reading these articles when I heard him criticising Bush from the right (in one of your articles a while ago), saying the US should be more closely monitoring other countries weapon systems, and wondering why Putin wasn't advising them to do so. This was a revealing insight to his agenda. So given the recent influx in articles I felt a need to show solidarity with the readers saying 'no more Kasparov!'.

You have done such a great job with the tournament coverage, lets get back to the Chess now.

Tobias Nordquist, Sandviken, Sweden
I saw the editorial note and I recognize that this gonna effect ChessBase when things heats up. This is a huge thing in the chess world. What Kasparov is talking about in politics is more important for chess than every dollar Ilyumzhinov put into the game. A sound ratio balance Kasparov/FIDE is 9/1.

Navin Sawalani, Evansville, Wisconsin, USA
Hey guys, please just ignore the people who ask you not to publish such stories because they are not chess related. As far as I'm concerned, any news involving a chess player, whether active, retired, or dead, is definitely worthy of being on a chess website. Anand falls under the first category, Kasparov under the second, and Alekhine under the third, but any, and I mean ANY, news involving these people deserves mention on this site.

Tigran Petrovian, Los Angeles, US
I don't think you should drop news about Kasparov's political activities. Chess is not in a vacuum. And besides, Kasparov is an icon in chess world. What's wrong with reporting his activities? Some people think that chess players are not good politicians. I say, the best politicians perhaps are chess players, if they decide to enter the arena. As for the worst, well, those who have law degrees. They are the worst because they use to cheat and lie and rarely get caught. If you cheat in chess, there is a high probability that you will be caught. And having been trained how to face losses (the real chess players should master that), chess players will tend to have humility in facing losses in other areas of life as well. So, there you go. Chess and politics.

Jay Fox, Chula Vista, CA, USA
Regarding the criticism of reporting on Kasparov and other non-chess matters, I applaud you for covering important issues even if they fall outside the 64 squares. I also commend you for taking a stand and sharing opinions on matters that deeply affect chess (Kramnik v. Topalov, for example). I have always found your reporting to be fair and open (I dare not say "fair and balanced" or else analogies to Fox News might be drawn!). Keep up the good work.

George Pronoza, Northampton UK
Is someone paying the company ChessBase for mix news about chess and politically aspiration Mr Kasparov? You not see that Mr Kasparov have a possibility to have a free campaign in your news? Where is idea fair play? I never meet in good service about sport similar practice!

Chris Mundahl, Eden Prairie, MN
I am thrilled to continue to see the reports of Kasparov on different US media. These may not be totally relevant to chess, per se, but we are talking about Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player of this generation. I do not see this information on other web-sites or even other news outlets, for the most part. I welcome these reports and I hope you will continue to publish them as they come in. Thanks ChessBase!!!

Dan, Albany, NY
It is chess related because it relates to a prominent former chess champion and also it would be irresponsible not to publish this information. Americans need to be aware of the situation in Russia and I thank you for publishing this information.

Pat Bracken, Leighton Buzzard, England
I would just like to comment upon a sentence that you wrote in your latest report on Kasparov. I know you guys are busy so I'll keep it short. "Guys, you promised to visit chess sites that sanitize their news, filter out politics and/or Kasparov. Why do you keep coming back?" Ha! I found that funny. And I completely concur with you. Kasparov = Chess player. Ergo, any activities of his, be it chess or non-chess, should be posted on this site. Thank you for making me smile.

Alea iacta est – we will continue reporting on major Kasparov media appearances.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register