Grandmaster Garry Kasparov was the youngest world chess champion ever, at 22, when he took the title in 1985. He held it for fifteen years, the longest reign in history.
He beat the titans of the chess world year after year. He lost to IBM's "Deep Blue," then fought back to beat the supercomputer. He then retired to Moscow with the highest chess rating ever.
Now, Garry Kasparov has taken his game to the streets as a high-profile political dissident. He is up against Vladimir Putin at a time when Russia is cracking down on dissent. This is a dangerous game.
This hour On Point: chess master Garry Kasparov talks about dissent and Russia now.
Quotes from the Show:
"I believe my country is in trouble. ... My country is on the wrong path. ... The Russian political life needs to be fixed." Garry Kasparov
"Anybody [in Russia] can now be charged based on the testimony of a police officer." Garry Kasparov
"For the immediate future, I will stay as coordinator of the opposition group." Garry Kasparov
"If it's a game, there's always a chance of winning if you know the rules. But in Russian politics, there are no rules." Garry Kasparov
"I wouldn't say that Putin is President of Russia but more like the CEO of the corporation of Russia." Garry Kasparov
"The political system that was formed under Yeltsin was not democratic." Garry Kasparov
"The oligarchs today in Russia are state officials. ... I don't think Aristotle could find a better definition of oligarchy as it stands today in Russia." Garry Kasparov
"I think Kasparov is the top opposition leader and this was symbolized by his arrest last month. ... The group that Kasparov leads is at the forefront of battling the Kremlin." Gregory Feifer
"The Kremlin has shown that it really doesn't care about Western opinion. ... Everything is about domestic politics in Russia right now. ... I don't think Mr. Kasparov's reputation will protect him." Gregory Feifer
"I disagree that the Russian leadership doesn't care about the opinion of the West because their money is kept in the West." Garry Kasparov
Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion and currently a political activist.;
Gregory Feifer, Moscow Correspondent for National Public Radio.
This program aired on May 2, 2007.