Lights, Camera, Kasparov

6/2/2004 – If you were a chess fan watching Fox News last Sunday you got a surprise. Garry Kasparov appeared on the cable news network to talk about his recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal about Iraq. Somehow Shrek 2 was also involved. We've got plenty of photos from both sides of the cameras.

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Kasparov on politics on the air

Chessplayers on television are a rare sight just about anywhere in the world. Chessplayers on TV in the United States are rarer still. Rarest of all must be a chessplayer on TV in the US not talking about or playing chess!

On May 19 World #1 Garry Kasparov wrote a hard-hitting editorial in the Wall Street Journal about Iraq and the war on terrorism. Now the folks at Fox News – along with CNN the top cable news channel in the USA – wanted to talk with Kasparov about it. They invited him to appear on their top weekend show with senior correspondent Rita Cosby. We tagged along to the Fox studios on 6th Avenue in Manhattan and bring you a very inside look.

It was a typically brief cable news interview that lasted just over five minutes, but the speed-talking Kasparov managed to get in a record number of words about the situation in Iraq, America's search for allies, Russian politics, and more. He even managed to work Shrek 2 into the discussion! But before the cameras roll there are a few behind the scenes issues to work out. Like TV makeup.


Preparing to look good under the hot lights.


Rita Cosby and Kasparov chat during a commercial break.

Kasparov is a firm supporter of the military action in Iraq, but doesn't think there is a quick solution. "The mess is going to continue. Iraq is surrounded by three major supporters of terrorism, Iran, Syria, and the Saudis." Kasparov is also skeptical of America's newfound desire to find allies in its Iraqi venture and made this unexpected analogy: "I recently saw Shrek 2 with my daughter and a part of it reminded me of the situation around Iraq. America is going around kissing a lot of frogs in its search for allies, but has yet to find a prince!" This got a laugh from Cosby as well as the people we were watching the show with in the "green room" outside the studio.

Kasparov also talked about kicking Russia out of the G8 (or G7) and how so many countries in the world have an interest in the Iraqi conflict dragging out in order to distract the world's attention from their own scandals and internal disasters. Kasparov has become very active in politics this year, leading a pro-democracy group in Russia and having his name put forward as a possible future president of his country. A few weeks ago he gave testimony before a US Congressional commission about human rights in Russia.

The interview went smoothly, although Kasparov talks too quickly for television and the conclusion by Rita Cosby was curious. She finished the segment by mentioning that Kasparov would have another WSJ editorial coming out toward the end of June and then added right before the commercial, "..a great chessplayer. I've always enjoyed watching him!" We didn't have a chance to ask her if she actually played the game, but we'd definitely like to know where she's been watching!


Fox News wasn't going to miss a chance to take a dig at their bitter rival.

 


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