Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Taking Kasparov Seriously

Hardly a week goes by these days that you don't see at least one news item on Kasparov's political ambitions in the news feeds. Here's one last week, another one earlier today and finally this appearing just 30 minutes ago (with a near unbelievable quote: "Kasparov's problem is that no-one under the age of 30 really knows who he is").

So you'd think, well, OK this guy is right into his politics. Good luck to him. Yet it still surprises me that, though now retired from OTB play, except for a special appearance at the Credit Suisse Zurich Blitz last year, the ex-world champion still takes time to make money out of the game. This week he stopped over in England for a series of media engagements. Plus there are his recordings for Chessbase and a regular column in NIC. I just can't help thinking: is this guy really serious with his politics?

7 comments:

Tom Chivers said...

I think he's very serious. I don't really see the contradiction in having chess-related activities as both a passionate hobby and a nice-little-earner, and being political.

He was on the radio yesterday afternoon here, and spoke with conviction and also I think he is at peace with himself now. I think he genuinely believes his life is under threat, too. He was saying how he never flies aeroflot long distance, for instance, and during short hops refuses to eat any of their food. In case it's poisoned.

Goran said...

Good question Amiel. I have answered in comments few weeks ago.

ed subijano said...

I would venture to guess that some of the money he makes from all these appearances and chess promotions go to the funding of his political activism and of his political organization in Russia?

You have to realize that he is trying to grow a movement and awareness in Russia -- despite all the odds against him. Obviously, it takes resources to do that.

Goran said...

Sitting in New York won't grow him movement in Russia

ed subijano said...

Here's an excerpt from a Christian Science Monitor news item:

'In St. Petersburg, in early March, an estimated 5,000 demonstrators chanting "freedom!" and "Russia without Putin!" broke through a cordon of riot police and surged toward Palace Square, where the Russian Revolution was staged 90 years ago. Dozens were arrested, but Kasparov insists it was Russia's biggest protest rally in years and "our first great victory." At a smaller gathering in the Volga city of Nizhni Novgorod in late March, thousands of police backed by helicopters and water-cannons blocked protesters from reaching the city's central square. The next protest is slated for Moscow on April 14.'

Pax said...

It's fair enough. He is trying to use his celebrity in order to leverage some influence and publicity for his political causes.

For that reason, it seems perfectly reasonable to continue to cultivate his chess celebrity when necessary.

Anonymous said...

Kasparov...the King of Ka-ching? lol