Garry Kasparov, Master Chess Player, Speaks Out on the Cold War and the West's Shameful Appeasement of Putin


Initially posted December 8, 2014. Original text below:

"I think we've forgotten many important lessons of the Cold war," says human-rights activist and former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. Especially when it comes to dealing with Russian leader Vladimir Putin: "You cannot project weakness….Putin's game is [not chess but] poker. And he knows how to bluff."
As the leader of United Civil Front and chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, Kasparov also worries that business and political leaders in what used to be called "the Free World" are no longer interested in backing large, transformative projects similar to landing a man on the Moon and the creation of the Internet.

"It is very important that we have these projects to energize society," he says. "And also that we don't eliminate risk. Because it seems to me that now we teach kids from school that failure is nothing but failure. If you fail, you are a failure. No, no, I believe that failure is a logical move on the way to success."
After becoming the youngest World Chess Champion in 1985, Kasparov went on to a career that is among the greatest in the sport. Originally supportive of Gorbachev's reform, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Kasparov became increasingly outspoken against the failures of Russian leadership, especially under Putin.

Reason's Nick Gillespie interviewed Kasparov in New York in November at a dinner co-hosted by the Atlas Network, a nonprofit that promotes free-market think tanks in the developing world.

About 30 minutes. 

Camera by Meredith Bragg and Jim Epstein. Edited by Joshua Swain.

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  1. As several commenters noted when the article was originally posted:

    I am not “The Free World.” I am not interested in going to the fucking moon or the bottom of the ocean or into Kasparov’s ass. If you are interested, get out your own checkbook.

    And I’d rather the U.S. government didn’t start a nuclear war over fucking Ukraine or South Ossetia or Estonia or wherever.

    1. This is the same bullshit I heard all through the 80s.

      “Practice hiding under your desks kids; crazy Ronnie is going to start World War 3 and get us all nuked by the Russkies!”

      It didn’t happen then, and it won’t happen now.

    2. Doesn’t sound like you’re interested in m uch of anything. Being a libertarian doesn’t have to mean being an apathetic, whiny pussy, unwilling to stand up for our principles you know.

  2. Thirty minutes ? Who has thirty minutes ?

    Can I get an executive summary ?

    1. it involves lots of pawns and sacrifices

      1. And most of the sacrifices are by others in pursuit of Gary’s demons.

    2. Gary Kasparov wants us to start a war with Russia and is deeply disturbed by the fact we’re not suicidal enough to go along with his plan.

  3. “”You cannot project weakness….Putin’s game is [not chess but] poker. And he knows how to bluff.””

    So Kasparov is saying you have to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run…

  4. Putin’s game is [not chess but] poker

    I thought Putin’s game was bare-chested horseback riding

  5. WTF is with the obsession and fear of Putin and Russia?

    OMG if his aggression against Crimea stand just think what he’ll do in Belorussia


    1. “Who

      If I lived in France or Germany, I’d give a fuck. And I think the French and the Germans ought to do something about it other than calling Washington D.C.

    2. Well, I’d assume some Crimeans, Ukrainians and Belorussians (though in the case of Belarus it’s really just be replacing one strongman authoritarian with a slightly less strongman authoritarian).

  6. By all means, O entrepreneurs, do large and transformative projects and perhaps the public will reward your efforts.

    But as to government-run large projects – no thank you, leave monumental government tasks to the Pharaohs with their pyramids.

  7. “think we’ve forgotten many important lessons of the Cold War”

    Like we should spend trillions of dollars on defense spending to fight Garry Kasparov’s political nemesis? Yeah, no thanks.

    1. Money we could be pissing away on vanity projects for “compassionate” politicians, instead.

    2. american socialist|2.7.15 @ 12:11PM|#
      “Like we should spend trillions of dollars on defense spending to fight Garry Kasparov’s political nemesis? Yeah, no thanks.”

      Almost as stupid as the lessons from that stinking pile of crap FDR:
      Like we should start a ponzi scheme and fool people that they’ll get something while we piss it away.
      Yeah, no thanks.

    3. I’m sure you dream of the return of The Soviet Union, or it’s reincarnation here in America. You probably cried when the first one collapsed.

      Of course you disdain Kasparov. He believes in freedom and liberty. The antithesis of all you hold dear, you statist piece of shit.

  8. I wish Kasparov had continued to play. The challenger he beat for the world title in 1995, Vishy Anand, is still active today at 45. Kasparov retired at 42.

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  11. Chess, schmess. Libertarians play go.

  12. Seems to me they have it correct:
    ” Something is missing in the West, the Free World. ”

    Yes, it’s called cohesion for one. Now players have the whole world as a playground and have no nation and no side, so there’s no “winning” for the West. Globalism.

    Secondarily, the other big problem, being inane pansies, unprofessional pushovers in negotiations, with no real goals was pointed out. That’s the new demoralized and normalized left liberal pro-communist fervor’s resultant malaise within Western power structures.
    In other words, USSR won the MKULTRA prize of last century – the communist(statist) espionage to indoctrinate the American mind is wildly successful and ongoing.

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