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.


PeterV's picture

Like him or not, Garry Kasparov is a brave man.

S3's picture

There is nothing brave about it. Kasparov is, and always has been, a coward. Searching for ways to start the fight with an advantage and playing the media. He knows he is safe because he is both famous and completely unimportant at the same time. It's just that he got lost in the moment and went too far biting an officer. The average Russian protester risks a lot more and has much more courage.

redivivo's picture

"Kasparov is, and always has been, a coward. Searching for ways to start the fight with an advantage"

You can call him many things, but hardly a coward, and I wouldn't say he is starting fights with an advantage either.

Anonymous's picture

While talking bulls-it all the time on the internet under S3 alias is the most brave thing.

Septimus's picture


MW's picture

Are you and RealityCheck the same person?

unknown's picture

S3 = Stupidity free

Septimus's picture

There ought to be a "for" in there somewhere.

Anonymous's picture

S3, now no one will take any of your subsequent posts seriously whatsoever.

valg321's picture

so what we seem to have here is a man giving an interview in a public street, being forcefully arrested by a group of thugs in uniforms and also being charged for resistance which means he's being charged because his survival instinct kicked in while they were kicking him in the balls. Is this arrest even legal in Russia? I mean weren't they supposed to read him his rights or something? I'm pretty confident that if a police official approached him calmly and asked him in an official manner to escort them in police hq, he would peacefully comply

Anonymous's picture

" him his rights..."? In Russia people still have no rights.

valg321's picture

and frankly i'm a bit shocked about some other remarks being made in this thread

S3's picture

Me too Valg, me too..

Goendi's picture

About what? How another country deals with law enforcement? Read his rights? Wake up, the world does not evolve around the USA!

Ruben's picture

Exatly, the police was very " friendly " in this arrestment if you take notice that Kaparov is not cooperating and refuse to get in the bus, start to struggle against te police and bite them. Not very smart to do. One in Holland I trew a stone to a group of marsing Neo Nazies and shout "go away you Nazies! " after this five police man were trowing me on the ground wile I was no risiting at all. I stay calm and told them that I would calmly go with them, but still they trow me at least three time hard against the van and then they wait for there supirior befor they trow me in the Van. So this Russian arrestment was very peachfull as you compare it to mine at that time.
Funny thing was that they must let me go because they did not find the stone, haha.

Anonymous's picture

Why don't I believe anything you've written?

rubi's picture

Please remember, thay Kirsan is a friend of Putin as well as other dictators. It might have been a provocation against Kasparov. Kirsan is not happy with last actions taken by Garry, so this case might not be so easy as we can see.

giovlinn's picture

@S3- LOL, are you in favor of Putin? I don't know where you live but your comments are appalling. I don't like Kasparov but clearly he was just giving an interview.

S3's picture

The only thing clear is him behaving agressively after the police tried to take him away in a most gentle manner.

Goendi's picture

Exactly. Some people just want to see conspiracy's everywhere, cause the west implies it is the case.

redivivo's picture

Ooh, the evil west is at it again!

valg321's picture

thank you for proving my point, even in your own unique trollish way

Niima's picture


I agree the police were gentle to begin with and Kasparov was the one who started the commotion. He most likely did bite the hand of an officer.

But was it an arrest, or were they just taking him to the bus to detain him for a while? In either case, why? If it was an arrest, what was the charge? If not, why detain someone who is calmly giving an interview?

What happens in authoritarian regimes is that at some point, people of character get fed up, sometimes resorting to violence. If the laws are unjust or the regime oppressive, is it always wrong to oppose them violently?

S3's picture

I don't know why they took him to the bus.The video isn't clear on that. It's a good question that doesn't seem to concern most people here as they pretend to know the answer already.

Whatever the reason, the violence of Kasparov is pointless, even if the police had orders to arrest him for no reason at all.
At the moment no violence is needed anyway since Putin isn't the worst that could happen to Russia. Most Russians still support Putin because there is no reasonable alternative. The power hungry Kasparov's of the opposition appear to be no better.
I hope things get better in Russia with time but people here shouldnt get all upset because of the self inflicted "mistreatment" of a quite safe chess millionaire who just wants attention.

KingTal's picture

Kasparov is not an opposition, he doesn´t even live in Russia. He just comes when he receives some money to create showcases for media propaganda, thats what he is paid for.

Saying in Russia there is no "freedom" f.e. "free press" like in other countries is totaly ignorant. When there were elections the Candidates had debates in TV, you could see them speak their mind, when there were protests i could watch in mainstream Russian TV that people speak their mind, would a totalitarian state let something like that happen, guess no? But there is a big difference in how and where you protest, you can´t just go to random places like churchs etc., also it must be approved, on some occasions some people like Kasparov and Nemzov etc. thought they don´t need that, so they got busted by the police. And that, ladies and gentlemen, happens in every country where not approved demos are made or where violence against police is used, see Spain or Greece.

Putin is not a saint, but people should wake up and stop being ignorant, completely ignoring the fact, that such things like beating demonstrants or hard judgements happens even in their so called "Democratic" countries too... but somehow you never see your head of states as criminals or your government, because you never hear it in your mass media and never think about it, but that´s no surprise, because people who rely too much on these just spit out the same nonsense, which the mass media squirts into them. The use of proclamations in the media like "political prisoners" about people who break laws on purpose, not once, and therefore sit in prison or are beaten, is ridiculous, but sheep can´t filter propaganda. There is a simple scenario used everytime: 1."something about human rights" or something people see as good, 2."seemingly some injustice happened", this good was broken and 3.connect this occasion to "Putin" or another figure we don´t like. This little schema is always used in the media against politicians or countries your "Western" government doesn´t like.. but never against itself of course. ;)

Ruben's picture

I don t know if it is just giving an interview because he said that the Pussy Riots are political prisoners and he encourish actions like they made in the church, and maybe also the sex orgie in public , I don t know.
So as a public person set people on to make crimes. Thus maybe the police wanted only to ask him some questions but then he starts to fight with them and bite them, so logical that they took him under arrest. But Kasparov has been arrested all ready many times, so he is looking for it. He wants the attention because he is a narcist.

Jambo's picture

Not saying the Russian police do not abuse people, no doubt they do, but Kasparov WAS resisting arrest and if he did bite someone I hope he is charged for it. Free speech isn't freedom to do what ever you want to, to destroy public and private property, or to express your views in private places as the band did, they crossed a line when entering into a church and doing what they did. Funny thing is let the cowards enter a Mosque and do the same, go to Mecca and protest see how that works out for ya. Never happen. For the record Putin is a scary man and I put nothing past him, I hope Kasparov gets treated fairly but he's not innocent either.

Tom Servo's picture

I hope the Russian police abducts your family. If one of them resists I hope they get the death penalty.

Tom Servo's picture

I hope the Russian police abducts your family. If one of them resists I hope they get the death penalty.

Goendi's picture

I hope you get picked up by the FSB. At least maybe that 'll teach you not to get personal towards someone else in a discussion. How and what you are saying is absolutely not relevant and not even constructive. Why would you wish someones family to be abducted?

Anonymous's picture

Where is the photo with the bite mark on the policeman's arm?

Anonymous's picture

@Chessvibes - you guys should track it down, I think it goes together with the 2nd video.

mircelalettin's picture

I honestly think that Gary should return to chess, that is his fighting ground. I would rather to see him fight on chess board against youngsters like Carlsen, Grishchuk and Nakamura. Come on Gary, a couple of months is what you need for a warm up!!

Ruben's picture

He would not have any chance anymore on the chessboard. His time is over so now he trys to be important on an other way but fails.

hildcar's picture

Kasparov is not a good politician.

Anonymous's picture

And it was only a matter of time before the State struck out at Gary...he's extraordinarily brave opposing tyranny from within the belly of the beast.

RG's picture

I'm hearing a lot of confusion on this topic.

Here is what I see ...

Kasparov resisted arrest (not violently) but he was successfully put into the police van without
biting anyone. This is shown in this UNEDITED BBC clip:

While he was inside the police van something happened which caused Kasparov to try to escape in a highly agitated manner.

Kasparov said. “They were trying to break my leg.” - Read the full report in The Daily Beast here:

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 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."

@ 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.

RG's picture

forgot the video:

Anonymous's picture

unedited version ??? are you joking !!!

RG's picture

The arrest portion of THIS BBC clip is 'unedited' in that it shows that he was initially put completely on the police bus without biting anyone:

The bite comes later after he was trying to be PUT BACK ONTO the police bus.

That incident begins around 1:39 of this video:

Notice you see him trying to escape the van in a highly agitated manner 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."

@ 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.

Anonymous's picture

You got the wrong guy and body part. It's an arm not a hand, from the photo that Mig tweeted and then removed, look around for it.

The policeman is the guy closest to the bus. He gets bit on the left arm that he hit Kasparov with as it slips from his head down to the front of his face. It's quite clear, at about 1:42/43 you can see his arm being yanked because someone's teeth are embedded into it. At 1:50 he's looking at his wound. It's quite obvious.

This is sad news, that Chessvibes won't post the photo.

Anonymous's picture

Chessbase has actually published a "A frame-by-frame analysis of the Kasparov assault". I was actually looking for the shooter on the grassy knoll! ;-)

Ruben's picture

Its as clear as it can be. Gary was there to support (and maybe even organise) the voilent of the Pussy Riot outside the court room and in general. Support there crimes in the church .Set on to voilent as a public person. And after this he used voilent himself against police officers resisted the arrest and bit them. ( Then said it was a dog , but there were no police dogs present, so also lying agianst the police. )
Thats all you can clearly see from the movies.
And you can conclude of whats he was saying to the press. All obvious and not so difficult.

Eiae's picture

Kasp will do anything if there is a camera around. His campaign is that desperate and always has been. Shame on the people urging him on...

Peter, this exact message was caught by your spam filter, no clue why.

Anonymous's picture

And it was only a matter of time before the State struck out at Gary...he's extraordinarily brave opposing tyranny from within the belly of the beast....

Ruben's picture

Where are the rest of the comments Peter? There were more then three pages, but a lot is removed. Is the many heads monster forcing you to this? As it goes about human rights and "Family live" in Holland?

Septimus's picture

It seems like Kasparov is screeming

Should be "screaming".

Zeblakob's picture

Unclear pozition.

Anonymous's picture

Anyone surprised?...This is how it works in a totalitarian State.

boneuaaa's picture

The man once was and actually still is my idol, now fights and screams like a child and animal..

Whats wrong with reality lately???


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