Monday, April 16, 2007

Life Imitates Chess

There is an intriguing review of Garry Kasparov's How Life Imitates Chess in this week's Times Literary Supplement titled "Garry Kasparov's Deadly Game" by Daniel Johnson. In some ways it is less a review than a reading between the lines to find an explanation for Kasparov's most dramatic life decision: to give up chess for the dangerous game of Russian politics. With his recent arrest (he was released after a $38 fine) and with Putin's approval ratings in the 70 percent range (well over twice those of Bush and Blair), you have to wonder about his chances for success. Yet, as Johnson concludes his review: "this coded manifesto of a book is only the latest sign that his courage at the chessboard has not deserted him in the political arena."

1 comment:

Jack Le Moine said...

Korchnoi vs. Kasparov, 1983

Fascinating addition to chess history. Inside story became public today on the behind the scenes failed attempt to bring this event to the US. Just when you thought you heard it all.

No sponsors. No television. No press. The organizers were on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The USCF impounded FIDE money. FBI investigations. (It was the Cold War.) Then the Soviets pulled Kasparov for political reasons and the organizers were saved.

The whole story, written by Stephen L. Jones, the key organizer, was posted today on my blog.