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It's Not TV, It's Kasparov on HBO

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Not really an alert since they re-air the Real Time with Bill Maher show throughout the week. Garry Kasparov is going to appear on the popular HBO political comedy/discussion show tonight via satellite from NYC. It's a quick disembodied Q&A, probably 4-5 minutes, surely about politics, no doubt to elicit any possible criticism of the Bush administration. (Maher is very sharp and often funny, but he's become such a one-note basher of Bush that he often prefers that route instead of being funny, but doesn't seem to notice the difference.) I'm sure Garry will oblige, at least when it comes to how Bush has totally been outplayed by Putin. Should be interesting. It airs at 11pm but check your local listings.

Philly signing went well today. Thanks to all the Dirt readers who came by and said hello. Will post more from Philly including pics and more from the NYC events later. So. Very. Tired.


mig, you should give maher more credit. i find the show to be quite nuanced and worldly for an American show. i wouldn't be surprised if garry gets a decent opportunity to talk russian politics. though agreed maher will certainly bash bush along the way (and why not?). really looking forward to this appearance.

Impressive performance by Garry. Chris Mathew's comments were right on point.

I now only see the last post in the 'Dirt' by Mig, and have to go to 'archive' for the rest. Anyone else having the same problem? Is this a deliberate change to the presentation, or a bug? g


Here's a link to the interview. This was much, much better than Colbert. Kasparov came off as interesting and erudite. I'll let the others argue Russian politics, but his performance was nice.

J.A. Topfke

i've been having the same problem as g above

Same here g and loses_to_monkeys...but it is sporadic. Some times all posts are there, some times they are not. Some times the newest post is there on my laptop but not there on the desktop. And sometimes the comment sidebar on the left-hand side of the screen is missing. Refresh doesn't solve the problems. Seems like a bug.


Now that's what I'm talking about. A good commentator and Garry shined. That's the Garry Kasparov that the general public in the USA needs to see and hear more from to better understand Russian politics and how it affects us here in the US and the world as well. If you haven't already, it wouldn't hurt to get him on Mathew's program asap. Speaking of which, I loved the "chess and checkers" analogy.

Excellent performance by Kasparov, really impressed with the way he handles the questions. He came across very well in this interview, much better opportunity for him, wasn't it? Great stuff.

Mig...it was great seeing you and Garry yesterday. Garry spoke very well, and his off the cuff remarks for the TV people before the formal talk and his answers to questions from the audience afterwards were great.

He certainly looks and acts very presidential. Wouldn't it be nice if he could actually get the chance to be on the ballot?

Kasparov is just a means of destabilizing Russia.

No way this guy will ever become president of Russia. He has to take care not to suffer the same fate Chodokorski did.

Intro to Topalov's bio at the Bilbao blindfold chess tournament: "Natural, modest and very likeable; just the opposite of the retired Gari Kasparov." Hah!

A much, much better performance by Kasparov, helped greatly by Maher and Mathews semi-fawning over him. The mix of comedy:seriousness was much more in Garry's wheelhouse - a few throw-away lines to hint at a sense of humor, but allowing his much stronger side (serious discussion and analysis about Russia and democracy) to dominate the discussion.

I do think Kasparov needs to learn to yield a bit more to the host of the show and work WITH them instead of seeing them as the intellectual opponent. It's obvious Kasparov is used to being the complete center of attention as he was for almost all of his chess career, but, like with Colbert and a bit with Maher, if he continues a steamroller style of conversation, he might find his invitations to other shows going down instead of up.

How life DOES NOT imitate chess - in so many cases it is better to work cooperatively with others inside the same game instead of trying to defeat everyone and seeing them as an opponent. The chess mentality does not teach the concept of symbiosis very well.

In fact, I would argue that chess, with its black-and-white landscape, simple definitions of winning and losing, and its provision of giving complete information before deciding on a move, is much less like real life than other games. But if you are the very best at chess in history, it is easy to see why shoehorning life into the analogy of chess makes sense.

Anyway, a much better TV performance by Kasparov. He does need to work on the smugness a little, but otherwise he was solid.

And who are you Stern- God Almighty to talk down at people. After you are invited to two top shows as Garry, talk to us earthly folks. Otherwise go into your cave among non-educated man, who make you feel better after all screw-ups you’ve done.

Awesome. Kasparov was great, home run after home run. That rarely happens in these interviews.

In contrast to Colbert's irritating stream of interruptions that trivialize his guests, Maher let the audience enjoy what Kasparov had to say.

Chris Matthews was right, the audience hung on Kasparov's every word. I wonder if Matthews will invite Kasparov onto Hardball?

Short is the best by a long way!

"... the head-butting, move-retracting, tournament-rigging, Zurab Azmaiparashvili for instance. He is a disgrace to the organisation. But never let it be said that he is a dunderhead."

... this after being hauled by the ethics committee!

Lots of softball questions in the Anand interview linked above, but a pleasant & insightful listen if you're cleaning your desk at the same time....

I think Stern raised some good points. For example, where he suggests Kasparov should work more with the hosts rather than view them as an opponents. Just because Stern has made some rather strange posts in the past does not mean all of his posts are strange.

I liked Kasparov on Maher's show much better than the Colbert Report. Maher was gracious enough (and mature enough) to allow Kasparov his points and even acknowledging his own questions/statements had been rebutted....how often do you see that sort of honesty?

Of course, Maher is also smart enough to do some background research and he'd know what answers Kasparov would have to some of his questions. So he may have asked those questions anyway knowing that Kasparov would supply snappy answers because he wanted Kasparov to look good (which he certainly did). And no, I'm not saying Kasparov was involved in stacking the questions....Maher could have done it all by himself without Kasparov's knowledge at the time. If it was theatre on Maher's part, it was well done theatre.

I also agree with Stern's assessment of Kasparov performance on Bill Maher. Kasparov should avoid interrupting the host when he is eager to make his point. He needs to relax and be less combative. Overall a very good performance.

Winning an election requires quite a different performance than winning a debate - Kasparov's downfall is that he will never understand that. Generally speaking, know-it-alls don't win elections, nor do they succeed anywhere other than an extremely academic/technical setting - like OTB chess.

Putin must be delighted that his opposition is uniting under Kasparov, and that western resources are being diverted to support Kasparov, because he can see that this is one opponent who poses little threat.

The Kasparov we know is not a good thing for any nation: a man willing to cheat, lie and destroy anything on his way if he deems it convenient to his goals.

Contrast Kasparov's crass behavior and appearance with Kramink's dignified demeanor and you will get an idea of each man's true intellect...

Paul Hoffman, author of the recently published King's Gambit (an autobiography, not an opening treatise), recounted an anecdote that bears on the above.

The first time the two met, Kasparov peppered Hoffman with a series of obscure questions about American history. The writer's take was that Kasparov is such a hyper-competitive personality, he was eager to show that he, a Russian, knew more about American history than an American (and at that, a famous American magazine editor with a Harvard education).

I was reminded of this incident when reading the above accounts of Kasparov competing with his TV hosts even though they were sympathetic to him.

Chess and Checkers indeed! That was very good, maybe a bit competitive, but not a problem considering who this is. Some of the point behind the chess and checkers comment is that you can actually rely on people to understand that the greatest chessplayer of all times is competitive.

(which also means that if wikipedia is a substitute for thinking for yourself, political campaining can be defined as a sport. Sorry for the spillover from the last thread, but it could not be helped...)


Garry was great on Maher!

Sorry, off topic, but have you seen Nakamura's first two games in Ciutat de Barcelona?!? First round, Nakamura conducts a bravura king walk to h7 on a board loaded with heavy pieces. Second round is a mini-immortal queen sac where the other guy's king goes for an ill-fated stroll.

It was a very good show, way better than the Colbert one. It just tells you how important is the role of the host. They should give their guests an opportunity to be what ever they want to be (smart, funny...). The best example is Johnathan Ross in the UK but this was very very good by Maher!

Obviously that was much much better than Colbert. Still Garry should work on his facial expressions and working with the host instead of competing with him. Likely it's the host that made all the difference.

I like Bill Maher. I don't think he is a one-note basher of Bush any more than Kasparov is a one-note basher of Putin.

By the way, this shows why Maher said they could use the KGB earlier:


"I think Stern raised some good points. For example, where he suggests Kasparov should work more with the hosts rather than view them as an opponents. Just because Stern has made some rather strange posts in the past does not mean all of his posts are strange."

My thoughts exactly. I was surprised to see 'Stern' attached to that post when I scrolled down.

I also thought Garry came across much better on Bill Maher than he did on Stephen Colbert. He seemed more relaxed. Very impressive, although I too get the sense that Kasparov sees conversations as an opportunity to win arguments rather than carry on an equal discourse.

The people with whom Garry can carry on an equal discourse are few and far between.
Of course, I will admit that he may well consider winning arguments his primary concern.
And then, I must admit that I cannot begrudge him that little pleasure.

Who called him "the monster with a thousand eyes"? Kasparov debates like he plays chess - he's prepared for anything his opponent throws at him, and he really goes for the throat.

That was Tony Miles after their 1986 match (5.5-0.5)

Note that Garry only had a camera to look at on Maher. There wasn't even a monitor showing Maher in the room for the satellite link-up. So it was just an earpiece. Makes it hard for timing if you can't read facial expressions, etc. Face to face is always much better. Maher has already invited Garry back to be on the panel for a full show next year, btw.

You really don't have time for a real conversation in these programs. You have 4-6 minutes to try and communicate your message, assuming you have one. If you stop and think you look like an idiot. If you're silent for a second the host (or other guests) will speak over you, and if you "umm, errr" into the microphone, you sound moronic. Which is why half the people on these programs either look like rude jerks or mumbling fools.

If you are asked a question you don't have an exact answer for it's better to give a prepared answer to a vaguely related questions, for example. Yes, this is insane. It's also why these shows don't bring real discussion, but only what the people on them are prepared to tell you. Which is why public television and radio have an audience, if they can stay awake.

Garry is now going to be on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews Wednesday, no surprise! Also recording "Fresh Air" for NPR Thursday, not sure when that will air though. He was on the new Fox business channel Tuesday. Also will be on the Wall Street Journal Report with Paul Gigot on Fox this weekend (recorded Wed morning).

I'm just glad all the traveling is over. Six airports (and a train station) in six days, bleh.

Mig thank you for all of the behind the scenes commentary. It is fascinating.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 19, 2007 6:49 PM.

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