July 08, 2009 17:52

Kasparov meets Obama and... Karpov in September

Kasparov meets Obama... and KarpovU.S. President Barack Obama visited Moscow this week to meet with Russian leaders Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, but also with the opposition, including Garry Kasparov. The former world champion is mainly active in politics these days, but in September he will play an exhibition match in Valencia against... Anatoli Karpov!

On Tuesday U.S. President Barack Obama met with representatives of the Russian opposition in Moscow. Amongst others he spoke with United Civil Front leader Garry Kasparov, who presented Obama with a list of opposition figures who have been persecuted and killed recently, as well as a list of prisoners serving politically-motivated sentences in Russia. (Read Kasparov’s full statement here.)

The website of The Other Russia quotes Kasparov saying at a press-conference after the meeting: "The U.S. president is prepared to establish relations, not just between the White House and the Kremlin, but between the American people and the Russian people. In my address, I said that the situation with human rights has become worse since Dmitri Medvedev came to power. I turned over a brief list of the Russian opposition figures who have been arrested, assaulted or killed in recent years.”

Chessbase has a nice comparison of how the media in Russia covered the news. They point out that state controlled Russia Today ended their report with: "What exactly Kasparov and other opposition leaders talked about with Obama, remains a mystery," while the full statement was made available by The Other Russia.

Meanwhile (back to chess!) there is more news about Kasparov. The Spanish newspaper Marca is reporting that he will meet his old rival Anatoli Karpov in Valencia, September 21st-24th 2009 to play a 12-game (4 rapid and 8 blitz) match.

The exhibition match is part of the festivities of the Valencia Cuna del Ajedrez Moderno program: "Valencia, birthplace of modern chess". As was discovered recently, it was in Valencia where it was documented first that the queen may move to any square along the file, rank or diagonal on which it stands. The match between Karpov and Kasparov also commemorates the 25th anniversary of their first world championship match.

Kasparov (46) retired after the last round of the Linares tournament in 2005 when he was still the world's highest rated player. Karpov (58) is playing just a few tournaments a year, and at the moment he's one of the participants in San Sebastián.

The two faced each other behind the chess board for a total of more than five hundred hours in five world championship matches and many tournaments. It will be a historical encounter although it remains to be seen how much is left of the old rivalry; Karpov's attempt to visit Kasparov in jail in 2007 ironed out much of their animosity. But who isn't looking forward to their new match?

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Ruben Kuijper's picture

Great news!

Michael X Tractor's picture

And equally exciting - the week after, Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier will be coming out of retirement, to have their fourth fight, Eddie Mercx and Jacques Anquetil will have a bike race (presumably branded as The Re-Tour de France?) and the 1967 Green Bay Packers Superbowl-winning side will take on Chuck Noll's 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers side, for the "Veterans Bowl". Oh, and I almost forgot - that will be followed by a beauty competition between all the Miss World winners of the 1960s...

I can't wait.

GG's picture

Maybe the statement of opposition was issued after the coverage of Russia Today. Should be checked be4 accusing journalists.

abocer's picture

Video diary of Barack Obama, Russia 2009
The latest news, facts, curious.
You can watch here:Barack Obama-Russia 2009-online video

Arne Moll's picture

That's possible, GG! It would make the final point of the ChessBase piece rather unimportant. And actually, the other points in the ChessBase article are questionable as well.

1) The so-called 'traditionality' of meetings of US presidents with russian opposition is not a point of view only taken by RussiaToday. For instance, in the (liberal) journal The New Republic, we read the following: "Meeting with the opposition, or something close to it, is oftentimes part of the choreography when American presidents travel to Russia." Now, surely the Russian government doesn't control the New Republic? Also, there obviously haven't been that many American presidents since Reagan, so even though Bush never visited the opposition, this doesn't mean it can't be something of a tradition.

2) It's funny that ChessBase says RussiaToday was 'forced to mention Kasparov's' name. One could also argue that in fact they were trying to bring uncensored news... Anyway, showing footage of Kasparov and Limonov sitting next to each other, however 'mechanically' it was done, doesn't make it less interesting or sad. The least is shows is how opportunistic the opposition leaders, including Kasparov, sometimes are. Indeed, this is also the point of view in the New Republic article (titled 'So this is what passes for opposition these days'): "Moreover, the Kremlin is not protesting, and the invited opposition, for their part, have decided not to complain to Obama of internal politics, and instead promise to talk about issues like the global economic crisis, as if, in a hyper-centralized state, they are in any position to help resolve it." Again, this opinion is not particularly special for the RussiaToday report.

mike runyon's picture

That's not good!. He should keep away from those two commie's !!. Ahh Kasparov' should that is.

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