Reports | August 19, 2012 11:23

"Kasparov could be sentenced up to five years in jail"

Kasparov trying to escape from the police van

Garry Kasparov could be sentenced up to five years in jail for using violence against a state official, after allegedly biting a policeman's hand. Kasparov himself dismissed the accusation as "drivel". Meanwhile, the 13th World Champion has given an interview and written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. We give an update to the Kasparov arrest story, including video footage on YouTube. 

One aspect of the arrest of Garry Kasparov last Friday that struck us was the huge amount of photo, video and phone cameras in the hands of protesters and journalists in the Moscow streets. Therefore it was no surprise to see more and more videos appearing on YouTube. In the following video (we start it from 0:48) you can see the confirmation of what was claimed by Kasparov's supporters: that he was not protesting, but quietly giving an interview.

While he is being dragged to a minibus, Kasparov asks repeatedly, "What are you doing? What are you detaining me for?"

The video is not a single shot, though - it was edited at some point. At 01:56, when Kasparov is about to be thrown into the minibus, a new clip starts. It seems like Kasparov is screeming while he is taken into the bus, but as the following video shows, this part is in fact from a later moment. As it turns out, Kasparov actually tried to escape from the bus. The following video (we start it from 01:39) shows this: 

The YouTube videos strongly suggest that indeed there has been some fighting going on inside the bus. As we noted last Friday, the police are pursuing a charge that Kasparov bit one of their officers. On his Facebook page it could be read that

he has more protocol to go through tonight with his attorney and must return to the police next week.

Kasparov could be sentenced a five year jail term. Here's how The Telegraph put it:

Police sources told Russian media that Mr Kasparov, who claims he was talking quietly to journalists when he was arrested, could be charged with using violence against a state official, a criminal indictment that carries a maximum custodial sentence of five years, after allegedly biting a policeman's hand. Mr Kasparov dismissed the accusation as "drivel".

Kasparov suggested that it could have been a police dog that bit the cop. In response, the police said they were ready to "carry out a test comparing a police dog's bite to Kasparov's teeth" in order to prove the alleged assault.

Shortly after his release, Kasparov gave an interview to Eli Lake of The Daily Beast. He said he was punched in the genitals and beaten by several police officers.

I remember one strong hit between the legs, then they tried to bring me in the bus, and they started carrying me and beating me. When that happens, you resist. They were trying to break my leg.

In the interview Kasparov does not mention that he tried to escape from the minibus.

The 13th World Champion also wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. Here's a paragraph:

My bruises will heal long before the members of Pussy Riot are free to see their young children again. In the past, Mr. Putin's critics and enemies have been jailed on a wide variety of spurious criminal charges, from fraud to terrorism.

But now the masks are off. Unlikely as it may be, the three members of Pussy Riot have become our first true political prisoners.

Taking into account the fact that Kasparov resisted being arrested and even tried to escape, who knows what he'll be charged of when he faces the police again next week.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Tom Servo's picture

He was attacked by police while giving an interview. I suppose you would have quietly let them beat you to a pulp. But then again you would never be in such a situation because no one wants to interview losers.

Anonymous's picture

where do you see that he was " attacked " ????

Goendi's picture

You're a real man aren't you mr Servo? Isn't it time to go back to kinder garden instead of harassing others?

Anonymous's picture

In the USA the rich celebrities arrange to be arrested during charged political events. I hope this is not the case, but then again, it's Russia.

Mauricio Valdes's picture

Vladimir Putin checkmated Kasparov using only pawns!

Tom Servo's picture

FIDE should boycott all Russian chess events, although I'm sure they will not. Hopefully at least some high level players will refuse to play in Russia if Kasparov is charged. Again, I am not optimistic because these kinds of protests require organization if they are to work, and organized is the least apt way to describe the chess world right now.

Anonymous's picture

Why should he not be charged? Although I didn't think the police should have arrested him, they were just pawns following the orders of higher-ups. Kasparov should not have bit one of them who was only doing his duty. He should have just went along with it and got released later. Only fight if it makes sense; otherwise you are hurting people without good reason.

Anonymous's picture

with this kind of " they were JUST pawns following the orders of higher-ups " you might end up saying that the guard of the concentration camp is innocent simply because he JUST followed the orders of etc etc etc

Thomas's picture

I see your point but it isn't all black and white, not even in western countries. Long ago, a German highschool classmate became a (young) policeman and had to face protests against a new starting lane at Frankfurt Airport - which had has private sympathy. Nonetheless, he had to do his job, and when he was attacked he had the right or even duty to react.
If a 'small' policeman gets orders to arrest somebody, does he have the opportunity and duty to assess whether the reasons make sense? Does his private opinion matter?
It's clear from the videos that violence came from both sides, it also seems clear that Kasparov started. Now the question is who was using excessive violence as opposed to self-defense. On this, we have mostly Kasparov's point of view.

Anonymous's picture

It has been settled that a prison guard can't just be a cog in a death camp and think that it is o.k.

However when it comes to a minor arrest (from which he will most likely later be freed) you don't really expect the arresting officer to decide give up his job instead of just gently escorting Kasparov into a police van, do you?

Anonymous's picture

if you want to boycott every country where something bad happen, then you might as well go as far as Pluto to try to organize chess events

Angel's picture

soon we will need a campaign "free kasparov".

gelagela's picture

what is the problem with Russians? Its still better than Arab and African countries

bragi64's picture

Same old story: the fight for power that comes to the usual thing. The perversity of the truth from all sides. There is of course no real democracy worlwide perhaps with the exception of Sweden and 1-2 more countries. Democracy has turned into a mask for tyranny even in developed countries. Kasparov's incidents with the Russian authorities are just unimportant to the majority of the Russians cause they know that Kasparov wont bring any change. It requires a really charismatic person and not an one sided personality to fight for the rights of others, all the more so as the only thing he got used fighting for in his whole life was his ego. Therefore I am inclined to comment on the situation: Putin-Kasparov 0-0

creamy Goodness's picture

If I get to punch garry in the genitals I can see myself enrolling in the russian police.

Anonymous's picture

Well at least Germany and Switzerland are still civilized. Or am I wrong about that too?

John Montgomery's picture

Kasparov apparently forgot the old rule that you never go to a protest on an empty stomach.

kwaku's picture

So many people fall for the anti-Putin propaganda.
Brain washing proved effective.

Anonymous's picture

If Putin/Medvedev had not decided to be revolving president-for-life then there would be no need for
"anti-Putin propaganda".

Anonymous's picture

I've noticed that many of the comments in this thread have dis-appeared. Is this some kind of censorship?

not a jew's picture

Russia is for Russians! kasparov is not a Russian! he hides his true last name,it's not from Russia.. he will never be Russian.Russians don't need rothschilds sh...t in their country they still remember who killed Romanov's family including children!.Putin is doing more GOOD for Russia then BAD ,it's a fact! if you think Police in this country is better,then why do they kill kids who holds bananas in their hands and never get in jail??!! Leave russia for Russians,they don't need American ""democracy""and Obama's care...


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