Reports | August 22, 2012 10:59

Kasparov: "I would never bite anyone under the rank of general!"

Garry Kasparov on Facebook

A new update on the Kasparov arrest saga includes descriptions of his meeting with the Moscow police and the Investigative Committee of Russia. Kasparov also wrote a new op-ed, now for The Moscow Times.

Garry Kasparov on Facebook

There have been some new developments since the last time we wrote about Kasparov's arrest last Friday outside the Pussy Riot trial. As we noted last Sunday, Kasparov could theoretically be sentenced a five year jail term for using violence against a state official, after allegedly biting a policeman's hand.

On Monday Kasparov went to the Moscow police, which he was summoned to do after Friday's scrimmage. Here's how the meeting was described at Kasparov's Facebook page:

My interview with police today was uneventful. I submitted my testimony and video evidence to the captain. I read the report by the lieutenant Ratnikov asserting that I bit him on the hand and plans to file an assault charge. The good news is that there is video and photos from a dozen angles showing no such thing, only showing him striking me in the head as his colleagues held me. The officer's hands appear in perfect condition before, during, and after the assault. The bad news is that evidence is not the deciding factor in Moscow courts in Putin's Russia. But I am optimistic, what else? I will now file suit against the police for my illegal arrest and beating, and against Lieutenant Ratnikov for libeling me with his absurd allegation. Such a waste of time and energy. There will be more details in my article in The Moscow Times tomorrow (Tuesday).

To make sure not a single detail would be missed, Kasparov's friend and personal assistant Mig Greengard
created a frame-by-frame export of the video that showed the struggle at the police van

On Tuesday Kasparov's op-ed was published in the The Moscow Times. Titled "Putinism Is the Only Religion That Matters", the former World Champion starts by arguing that in today's Russia obeying the law comes down to obeying Vladimir Putin. While he describes his arrest in detail, for the first time Kasparov mentions that he actually attempted to exit the police bus.

It was not in my mind to escape through a deep phalanx of police. I had been seized illegally and merely wanted to learn the charge against me.

Apparently Kasparov was under the impression that, after they had lifted, carried away and thrown him into the bus, the police officers were still ready to have a conversation about the matter. But as we know, instead he was tackled, beaten and dragged back into the bus, where according to Kasparov the physical abuse continued.

Here's Kasparov's reaction to the criminal charges he might be facing for allegedly biting a police officer (who happened to be certain lieutenant Ratnikov):

I am by no means a vegetarian, though as I am turning 50 next year I have had to cut back on red meat on my doctor's advice. I can say with certainty that were I to acquire a taste for human flesh, the way Bengal tigers are said to do, I would never bite anyone under the rank of general.

A day later Kasparov also went to the Investigative Committee of Russia (similar to the FBI) to submit his complaints about "illegal arrest, assault and libel". Here's the last update on his Facebook page:

Guess who else was there? Lieutenant Ratnikov, also giving his testimony! Unfortunately I did not have the chance to give him a strong handshake, but his hands looked fine to me... A full updating coming here tonight, with more photos and videos coming out. I am fighting bites with bytes!

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.


Corinne's picture

I liked Kasparov as a chess player, but I really dilike him as a politician. He thinks he can manipulate the media in the same way he can manipulate the chessboard.

I got the feeling that all has been carefully staged and planned in advanced. So much video evidance during an assault is anheard and his sarcastic comments above are those of Mig no doubt about it.

arkan's picture

At least he has the balls to show up at ''events'' like these, it's much easier to comment from your armchair on the internet..

And we all know in this day and age video is everywhere - it topples whole regimes.

sab's picture

Hoy, don't give us that "has the balls" crap.

Kasparov would had never tried anything like that if he was not more or less sure about the result.
We are chess players, we know what is about planning the next move(s).

Also, it's much easier to comment from a armchair on the internet... for everyone.

Anonymous's picture

"He (Kasparov) thinks he can manipulate the media in the same way he can manipulate the chessboard."

I don't know if he believes that but you can be sure of the fact that Putin's regime is much better at manipulating not only Russian media than Kasparov could ever be. All G.K. does is using his worldwide recognition to mark suppression and endorse the democratic movement in his own country just when the time is right and when it matters most. I consider him a hero. As everybody can see, he is actually still taking considerable personal risks, yet he decided not to remain just silent.

"I got the feeling that all has been carefully staged and planned in advanced."

Awww, how nasty of him! What a dirty little trick! :-))

Sure. Russia is a functioning democracy. The court trial against the "pussy riot" happened completely out of the blue and wasn't staged at all. The whole course of the trial was not planned in advance and that's because current Russian jurisdiction and judges are all highly independent. Civil rights are guaranteed. And earth is flat. So Garry Kasparov should just be happy, remain quiet and stay at home. Right?

sab's picture

" So Garry Kasparov should just be happy, remain quiet and stay at home. Right?"
Kasparov craves for attention, that's her point.
No need lay us a book as an answer.

Anonymous's picture

"Kasparov craves for attention, that's her point."
That could well be. If so, I'm happy he does, and for the right cause.

"No need lay us a book as an answer."
Not a need, right. I just felt like speaking out a bit. Unlike you, who just said.... what again?

sab's picture

Look at your own comment, you'll find your answer.
When something is obvious, there's no real merit to point it out like it was a great achievement.
So nothing special from Kasparov.

Anonymous's picture

"So nothing special from Kasparov."
Finally we agree: Kasparov was arrested for the 'crime' of speaking to a journalist, executing his natural right of free speech. He was not actively involved in an (un-) prohibited demonstration, yet simply dared showing up in front of the court building and then giving an interview. If anything was special there, it was his arrest.

Kronsteen's picture

> Kasparov craves for attention, that's her point.

That's it. He may sometimes be "right," or he may be "wrong." I don't think he knows or cares. What will get him in the limelight? It's the tragedy of so many retired superstars.

ian's picture

if gary wanted limelight he would have it still to this day beating the world at thee greatest game hes obviously not after limelight but making difference this is a man who has obviously questioned himself at his age and concluded he wants to make a difference he hasnt took the eay option of chess and winning hes gone the hard root taking on russias corruption and strife that is a lion in any standards long live kasparov

Mark Vellacott's picture

Whereas you maybe wouldn't like Putin as, say, your local KGB boss - but you do like him as - dictator?

ian's picture

your rediculous statement gary thinks he can manipulate the media your absurd this man is a true gentleman a heroic man in a troubled time in russia hes fighting for true democracy but all your idotical idealisms stem from the manipulated media id vote for gary kasparov 100 times out of 100 and still to this day gary kasparov hasnt beaten me at chess :o)

KK's picture

Sad that great world champions are being persecuted in their own countries. Nevertheless I am hoping to see a great cartoon by Diaz on the "biting episode".

FP's picture

Our greatest chessplayer ever cannot be treated like this! Russian chess players have a moral obligation to stand up for our greatest player ever. Hope to hear some strong comments from all the leading players in Russia.

Mark Vellacott's picture

Of course - if he wasn't the greatest of all time - and known so well in the west - he would have been locked up long ago - or be pushing up the daisies. ......

Kangeroo's picture

I hope Kasparov will not end up like Bobby Fisher....

Kangeroo's picture

I remember Bobby Fisher being wrongly arrested in Pasedana

sab's picture
Mark Vellacott's picture

... but it is Putin, not Kasparov, who has the growing and open contempt for his own countrymen...

Stephen's picture

Everybody is entitled to their opinion even if it is wrong.

Anonymous's picture

"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant." (Harlan Ellison)

Kangeroo's picture

Was Hitler's opinion on the Jews acceptable then ?

chris chanin's picture

Disgraceful treatment of the World Champion - he's human too! Kasparov's plight, ironically, will become, I believe, more of a cause celebre than that of Pussy Riot. Never bite the hand that feeds you??

noyb's picture

Best of luck to Garry Kimovich. Seems there are a lot of Putin supporters posting comments here, interestingly.

Anthony Migchels's picture

The State is no picknick, whether here or there, so I hope that Kasparov wriggles his way out of this, although he's clearly doing everything he can to get into trouble.

But my hunch is Putin will not relish a PR Nightmare.

But these Pussy Riot chicks, blimey, what bunch of worthless chicks. They never produced a CD, never perform anywhere, have no artistic trackrecord beyond calling themselves a punkband and are directly linked to George Soros's NED, which is the West's 'coloured revolution' factory.

This is the most blatant psyop since the 'free syrian army' which turned out to be a bunch of mercenaries flown by Mossad, the CIA and some Gulf States.

Anonymous's picture

Nobody ever asked for any 'State' to be a 'picknick'.

What you can and should ask for though by all means is every single human's right to express themselves freely. Pussy Riot and now (once again) Garry Kimovich, following the constantly growing active part of Russians, recently showed their courage to defend this basic human right. For now, that's all what matters to them and to the free world. We can only salute them for their audacity.

In this context, who cares about the artistic grade of the girls' performance? They are young beginners and simply constitute a symbol of the growing protest in their country and the latter's similarly growing helplessness.

May the force be with Garry! We all wish him the very best.

sab's picture

Same book, 2nd chapter.
Gotta be a best seller.

Anonymous's picture

It might take a while though, please bear with us. Thanks anyway for your encouraging assessment.

Anthony Migchels's picture

You think some stupid girls have the right to barge into a church and dance on the altar in the blasphemous way?

How about they doing it in a synagogue in London or New York? How do you expect the media to treat that?

do you know that in every western country there are similar laws that will incarcerate you for years when you pull such a stunt?

It's just nonsense, plugged by the mind controllers that are the 'free press' of the west.

Andrew's picture

> How do you expect the media to treat that?

As freedom of expression.

Anthony Migchels's picture

Go have shot, go do some silly sexdance denouncing Netanyahu in the
'holy' place in the Synagogue cursing the Talmud.

but clear your address book for the coming years. You will be crucified as an anti semitic hater and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Anthony Migchels's picture

your address book? I need some coffee.......

giovlinn's picture

You're right but still what a great idea! You know some sexy Jewish girls?

Anonymous's picture

A month ago, some people put a PIG HEAD full of blood in front of a Mosquet. the whole press immediatly jumped on it and said : " We have to PUNISH HARSHLY these people. They are guilty bla bla bla. So ok, let's say it was blasphemous. Then, these girls must be punished too. Otheriwse, the notion of Justice doesn't stand a chance

Chris Girardo's picture

Well, I don't know about London, but it's not illegal in the United States. Here's a media story about a similar occurrence back in 1989:

Sure, the protesters were arrested, but none of them could be sentenced for any anti-religious charge as these laws do not exist in the US...I was shocked when I read the Pussy Riot story and the charges, which are nonsensical in a country that does not have an official religion or religious stance, and simply stupid in countries that do. This was also forcibly protesting, and my understanding of the Pussy Riot protest does not indicate that they forced their way into the church...but I haven't really read that story too well.

Anonymous's picture

>none of them could be sentenced for any anti-religious charge as these laws do not exist in the US

I don't think you are correct. If someone burst into a synagogue and spews anti-semitic venom then they may be charged with a 'hate crime' which is much more punishment than just trespassing or disturbing the peace.

Anonymous's picture

try to do that to a cross in the US

and watch also the chicken video in the supermarket ... What do you think will happen in the States ?

Anthony Migchels's picture

A church is not a synagogue.

A 23-year-old Montgomery County man was convicted Wednesday on charges of desecrating a synagogue with spray paint in Olney last year. Ian Baron was found guilty of four counts of vandalism and one count of defacing religious property. He faces up to 6 1/2 years in prison at his sentencing, set for May 6, according to prosecutors.

dev anand's picture

2 years for dancing in a church - which western country are you talking about? please be specific

Anonymous's picture

Pussy riot sexual intercourse with chicken and in a museum while being pregnant ... That's kasparov new friends ? I am not on putin side and not on activists side... Let's play chess !

MW's picture

Chessbase is pushing a video as proof that Garry did not bite the cop.

And if Chessbase is saying Garry is innocent... that must mean he has a computer program on sale in their store! New Deep Kasparov Chess 10 exclusively from Chessbase!

Anthony Migchels's picture

Friedel is just annoying with his political correctness. He does not allow comments either, so his insane positions are never challenged.
His sycophantic support of Kasparovs silly antics in Russia is a clear example.

He never publishes any negative feedback on his one sided pro west, pro political correct mind control.

The way he handles women's chess is just another. Judith Polgar according to him is definitive proof that women are just as good at chess as men. The fact that her father wrote that book 'how to create a genius' before she (or her sisters) were born and that he set out to prove his case with his girls means nothing to him. I tried to have this talk with him, but he when he some time back started a pro women's chess campaign on his site 'celebrating diversity' (and thus insulting normal men) he simply posted none of my arguments. When another guy made clear men dominate every intellectual field, he just mentioned some woman quantum physicist, ignoring the fact that that subject, too, is completely dominated by brilliant men.

Anonymous's picture

I don't know what frame-by-frame is supposed to prove since the bite (if it happened) could have been done when Kasparov's head is not view.

1. He was being temporary detained because 'demonstrations' need a special permit. He can argue that he wasn't demonstrating, he was just 'there' talking to the press but he could have protested that later.

2. After being put on the bus by the police
HE chose to escalate the situation by attempting to leave the bus.

3. Contrary to Chessbase's assertion that Kasparov was being beaten, it seems that the purpose of the police use of force was to get him back unto the bus, not deliver concussive blows for the heck of it. That incident is shown at around 1:39 of THIS video:

Notice you see him trying to escape the van in a highly agitated manner (was this because he was being abused on the bus?) and he is forced BACK INTO the police van. He may very well have been biting when he was making those strange repetitive sounds "ai yai yai yai yai ... etc." If not, can someone provide a more reasonable explanation of those sounds by Mr. Kasparov?

@ a micro-second before 1:53 one of the officers is seen nursing his hand as if it had been injured in some way; it happens very quickly so you may have to stop the video more than once to see it.

4. Lasting injury is not necessary to prove a charge of biting a police official; one can bite without causing injury.

5. Yes, Putin is the head of an authoritarian regime but that has nothing to do with whether or not Kasparov bit a police officer. He could have just allowed himself to be detained and then complained about it later.

MW's picture

You seem to be implying that a victim has no right to resist an unlawful arrest or use of force by police in said arrest.

Anonymous's picture

In most nations you are supposed to cooperate with the police (who may indeed be in error) and sort it out through the courts later. Also I don't think it is very intelligent to use force unless there is a good probability of victory. o.k. if you just want to 'resist' to make a political statement o.k. but you shouldn't go to far with it. In that case I think Kasparov was offering just the right amount of resistance in the BBC video. Going beyond that may be a sign of a martyr's complex.

valg321's picture

DSK fully cooperated with the police but they still destroyed his career by parading him in front of the cameras like a chained circus monkey so...

MW's picture

Unfortunately no one seemed to get that my initial post was a Chessbase/Rajlich joke :(

Anonymous's picture

You were using humor to highlight something that is no laughing matter. Their lack of journalistic objectivity in the Rybka fiasco was disgraceful.

MW's picture

It certainly was.

Anonymous's picture

Russia is actually more civilized than the U.S. in some things. For instance if Kasparov had resisted the police in California then he might have ended up like this:


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