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Chess Grandmaster Kasparov Versus President Putin

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the winning-combination dept.

Politics 416

An anonymous reader writes "The Times of London has an article on how Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, is using his fame and intellect in an attempt to defeat President Putin at the presidential elections in March 2008. Kasparov believes that Putin is virtually a dictator who is dismantling democracy and returning Russia to an authoritarian regime. Some high-profile Putin critics, such as Alexander Litvinenko, have been the victims of unsolved murders, and Kasparov is aware of the dangers: 'I can calculate the possibilities as a chess player and I have to be honest and say that our chances are not high. But I take this as a moral duty, and when you do something out of moral duty, then who cares?'" From the article: "[Kasparov] will not be a contender for the presidency but [his political umbrella group] The Other Russia aims to create the conditions under which an anti-Putin candidate can win. It appears, however, to be an uneven contest against a man who enjoys 80 per cent approval ratings. Most Russians want Mr. Putin to overturn a constitutional bar on a third term in office. Many will back whomever Mr. Putin endorses to succeed him."

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Dear Kasparov (5, Funny)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278274)

In Soviet Russia, Putin checkmates you!

Actually... (5, Insightful)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278334)

You may not be so far off.

There is a great controversy over this man [wikipedia.org] whom Putin may have personally had murdered. Or it could be someone framing Putin. Or it could be Putin making it look as though he was framed. Russia is a grim place. I don't expect Kasparov to live much longer...whether those "approval ratings" are truly 80% or more like (1/80)%, either Putin has the power to make it look as though he has the people's support, or he does have the people's support, obviously making him powerful.

Re:Actually... (2, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278512)

Putin has popular support and appears to have established a sustainable, balanced economy over there, speaking relatively, of course. The man has a great deal of respect, and people are prepared to be guided by his views when they vote.

Basically, these poisonings and their possible consequences on peoples opinion of him are the only thing that could screw it up for him. And, with all the political situaions he's faced, he is the sort of man who knows it.

Therefore, he didn't do it, and neither did anyone with a vested interest in his success.

Clearly, these poisonings aren't co-incidence, and just as clearly, they're not in Putins best interest.

It's obvious that you need to look among those who have an interest in seeing his political agenda fail if you want to know who did these poisonings.

I'm inclined to think this is a frame up put together by the CIA. Historically speaking, anytime you see a popular socalist leader being democratically elected, the CIA are there trying to install a puppet dictator that plays ball with foreign capitalists. Happens every time.

Re:Actually... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278608)

I'm inclined to think this is a frame up put together by the CIA. Historically speaking, anytime you see a popular socalist leader being democratically elected, the CIA are there trying to install a puppet dictator that plays ball with foreign capitalists. Happens every time.
Putin does play ball with foreign capitalists. He's not some Allende-like figure; this guy is part of the global elite, not one of their targets.

Re:Actually... (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278692)

Yes, he plays ball, but so does Chávez. They're similar political figures, and they both have right-wing capitalists gunning for them.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278694)

Are you some kind of nut case or what? Putin's enemies being murdered not in his best interest? Damn, Bush and the CIA are at it again. Here they go helping out Putin by killing his enemies to make him look bad. It's not like his enemies might be more effective ALIVE! This has been standard Soviet practice in the past, why not now?

Re:Actually... (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278792)

Are you some kind of nut case or what? Putin's enemies being murdered not in his best interest? Damn, Bush and the CIA are at it again. Here they go helping out Putin by killing his enemies to make him look bad. It's not like his enemies might be more effective ALIVE! This has been standard Soviet practice in the past, why not now?

Because he doesn't need to kill his enemies. They pose him no threat, politically. Nothing they can say or do is going to remove popular support or his power.

His enemies were not effective alive. However, the means of their death throws suspicion on Putin. They are more effective dead.

Now do you get it?

Re:Actually... (4, Informative)

statusbar (314703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278646)

Of course the most recent news:
...Litvinovich said the officers made copies of all documents they found of interest and she was told the search was connected to suspicions that Kasparov's group was involved in extremist activity...

--jeffk++

Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278296)

Ever since I read Bill Gates was a rather good Go player, it explained a lot to me about his business strategy.

A brilliant chess player like Mr Kasparov should not only be able to calculate the odds, but also devise some ways to alter them.

If he's really getting ready to battle Putin, he really should apply his best tactics to politics.
Which he might do, too.

Let's see what happens...

Re:Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

kassemi (872456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278336)

Strategic games like Go and Chess are great exercises for the mind, but outside the benefits in reason and patience you receive from practice, I don't see them helping calculate the odds of a political statement reaching an audience. In terms I know we'll understand: programming skills != social skills, just as chess skills != political foresight.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278396)

Strategic games like Go and Chess are great exercises for the mind, but outside the benefits in reason and patience you receive from practice, I don't see them helping calculate the odds of a political statement reaching an audience. In terms I know we'll understand: programming skills != social skills, just as chess skills != political foresight.

Of course not.

However, I do believe he knows his strategy... in this kind of games, without strategy, you're nothing.
I should know; I play rarely, have no strategy whatsoever and suck colossally.

So no, he won't be able to calculate the odds of a single political statement or whatever, but he should be able to plan an interesting strategy... although what should be the real life equivalent of sacrificing chess pieces, I really don't want to know.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

FasterthanaWatch (778779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278522)

I should know; I play rarely, have no strategy whatsoever and suck colossally.
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Much?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

CNeb96 (60366) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278826)

Just because he's good a chess doesn't mean that he is good at general purpose strategy. The article below is about what makes a person an expert at chess. While it doesn't discuss how transitive skills are to any depth, it does state that winning at chess does equal = tons of domain knowledge in chess and the discipline to refine and broaden that knowledge through practice. In short, it's possible that chess skills may not transition to other fields at all.

"Studies of the mental processes of chess grandmasters have revealed clues to how people become experts in other fields as well"

http://scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?chanID=s a006&colID=1&articleID=00010347-101C-14C1-8F9E8341 4B7F4945 [scientificamerican.com]

Re:Hmmmm (0, Flamebait)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278902)

Just because he's good a chess doesn't mean that he is good at general purpose strategy.

Well, he's extremely good at chess.
While he needn't be any good in general purpose strategy, I should think a mind like that could adapt to real world problems as well.

It's not that much of a leap.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

egr (932620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278742)

I totally agree with you, the argument that Kasparov is good in chess is just dumb, besides, everyone knows all Russians play chess.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278866)

In terms I know we'll understand: programming skills != social skills, just as chess skills != political foresight

Only chess was a political institution in the USSR. As Kasparov came up the ranks he became intimately familiar with the government, and had to deal with the people in power frequently. Furthermore, the Soviet chess machine was very much a political organization too. Kasparov was just the face of Soviet chess, he had many players who basically subordinated themselves to advancing his game, in terms of developing strategies, etc.

Putin does not respect the rules of the game. (1)

reporter (666905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278530)

Unfortunately for Garry Kasparov, dealing with Vladimir Putin differs sharply from simply playing a chess game. In chess, there is a set of rules respected by both players. The rules dictate the means of determining a winner.

However, Putin does no respect the rules of the political game. The rules are essentially basic human rights, the Russian laws, and the spirit and the letter of the Russian constitution.

Putin is analogous to a chess player who, upon seeing an imminent checkmate by his wily opponent, (1) positions a gun (with a silencer) inside his trenchcoat and under the chess table, (2) shoots and kills his opponent beyond view of the audience, (3) then immediately stands up to declare victory by default, revealing blood splattered from the opponent and onto the trenchcoat, and (4) becomes angry when the audience gasps at the scene in front of it. Kasparov must carefully deliberate his next move since he is now playing high-stakes "chess"; the stakes are his life and the lives of his supporters.

Re:Putin does not respect the rules of the game. (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278728)

Unfortunately for Garry Kasparov, dealing with Vladimir Putin differs sharply from simply playing a chess game. In chess, there is a set of rules respected by both players. The rules dictate the means of determining a winner.
Kasparov will not be using his chess skills, but rather trading on the notoriety as a chess grandmaster. In a democracy, perhaps the best cure for the KGB authoritarian-style ruler is Russia's version of Arnold Schwarzenegger - a dilettante cashing in on fame and fortune.

Re:Putin does not respect the rules of the game. (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278764)

Unfortunately for Garry Kasparov, dealing with Vladimir Putin differs sharply from simply playing a chess game. In chess, there is a set of rules respected by both players. The rules dictate the means of determining a winner.


There are rules in chess, but you make it sound civilised. Chess is an incredibly aggressive game when you get to championship level. Kasparov has not only brains but also a Hell of a lot of attitude. If you read the linked article, Kasparov sounds far from a fool. And as he points out, he's not trying to get elected. His aim is to keep democracy alive and I believe he can have a very positive effect in doing so. I wish him luck.

Re:Putin does not respect the rules of the game. (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278878)

There are rules in chess, but you make it sound civilised. Chess is an incredibly aggressive game when you get to championship level.

What people seem to ignore is the fact that both chess and Go are wargames.

Yes, there are rules to the game. There are rules as to how certain pieces can move.
Just like there are "rules" as to when you can launch some aircrafts or when you can just bring on the artillery.

Pick your analogies wisely.

Re:Putin does not respect the rules of the game. (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278818)

However, Putin does no respect the rules of the political game. The rules are essentially basic human rights, the Russian laws, and the spirit and the letter of the Russian constitution.

Actually, that's what you think the rules are.

I think Kasparov knows very well that the rules are substantially different from the official ones.
Besides, in politics as well as in other things, it's not cheating if you don't get caught.

Kasparov is no fool. We'll just have to see if he knows the game well enough.

"news relevant to United States politics" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278316)

That's what the slashdot FAQ says the politics section is for. [slashdot.org] How the hell does Kasparove vs. Putin chess match relate to US politics?

In fact, I hardly have seen any stories in this section that are really related to the US government at all.

Why don't some editors follow their own rules?

Re:"news relevant to United States politics" (5, Insightful)

nevergleam (900375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278428)

This country the article speaks of was the United States' bitter rival for over 50 years, and between the two, the shape of politics throughout the entire world was molded. Russia was supposedly won over by our plan for government, was supposedly no longer a threat to us, but when we look over there now, we see a country that is falling into the same millenia-old habits and a country that probably deep down still holds a lot of resentment of the United States of America.

How does this not effect our foreign policy and our politics?

Re:"news relevant to United States politics" (1)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278570)

..., we see a country that is falling into the same millenia-old habits and a country that probably deep down still holds a lot of resentment of the United States of America.


How does this not effect our foreign policy and our politics?


Don't you forget the Vietnamese, Koreans, Libanese, Iraqis and the whole Muslim world.

Good luck! (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278340)

Good luck, Mr Karparov! Anything you can do to modernise the Russian political landscape is a good thing. No one wants a nationalistic anti-West Russia on EU's and NATO's doorsteps. I certainly support a democratic Russia integrated into the EU (and why not NATO, too). Mr Putin should consider a West-Russia-Japan-India alliance against an increasingy powerful communist China which continues torturing Tibetan nuns and denies the Taiwan's independence.

Re:Good luck! (5, Funny)

TastyCakes (917232) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278424)

I love the wandering line of thought of some slashdot responses. Chess player runs for president of Russia ... Fucking Chinese!

LOL (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278628)

He was just thinking 6 moves ahead, unlike Kasparov who lost one of his major pieces early in his game against Deep Blue.

Re:Good luck! (1)

AlexDV (759799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278664)

I love the wandering line of thought of some slashdot responses. Chess player runs for president of Russia ... Fucking Chinese!

I love the way most poster on Slashdot don't seem to actually read the post that they're replying to. The GP was giving his opinion about why he thinks Russia needs new leadership, one of which is what he perceives as threat from an increasingly powerful China. I'm not going to take sides on that one, but it's a valid argument.

You watch too much TV I guess (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278476)

First, do not mix up nationalism and desire to protect own national interests. Please understand that the Russian people/government has no obligation to enrich Europe or America; whatever it has to enrich is Russia. Second, since NATO is an anti-Russian organisation [by this I mean that the purpose of maintaining NATO is to have a military power applicable against Russia], I don't see Russia joining NATO anytime soon. Third, integration of Russia into Europe spells death to the Russian economy - ask any decent economist why. Tip: it's cold here, and our production cannot possibly be as cheap as in Europe. Fourth, what planet are you from? Japan is no fond of Russia, nor Europe and the US are. And we're quite comfortable making friends with both India and China separately, leaving their mutual quarrels alone.

Right on Tibet but Wrong on Taiwan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278716)

Most Taiwanese oppose independence for Taiwan. Indeed, they support most of the geopolitical objectives of Beijing [geocities.com] . In particular, the Taiwanese support integrating Tibet into "one China". The constitution of the democratically elected Taiwanese government insists on integrating Tibet into "one China".

Most Taiwanese do not want to be ruled by Beijing, but they view being ruled by Beijing as simply an inconvenience. They can live with this inconvenience if they are earning plenty of money.

The Taiwanese love Chinese money: the Taiwanese voluntarily made Taiwan dependent on mainland China by investing more than $100 billion into more than 50,000 businesses in mainland China. More than one million Taiwanese have already emigrated to mainland China to live and work there.

We Westerners should not lift a finger to help the Taiwanese bastards. Their treatment of Tibet is outrageous.

Putin Has History and Current Form (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278346)

Remember that Putin is ex KGB.

My wife has family in Russia so that is why I am posting anonymously.
They hate Putin. Yeltin was a dream compared to Putin.
Look how Russia in implicated in the poisoning of several prominent people outside of Russia including the President of Ukraine.
Under Putin the Russian State is gradually taking control of key industries.
Look at the past week and how Shell were forced to relinquish control of a major Oil/Gas project in the Far East of the country.
The project will now go down the Tubes and fall apart but to Putin's idealogs this does not matter.

Russia controls most of the Gas Supplies to Western Europe so Government here dare not say anything against him for fear that their Gas supplies get cut off in the forthcoming winter period.

IMHO, any challenge to Putin is worthwhile.

Just my take on the issue. Right On Kasparov!

Re:Putin Has History and Current Form (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278410)

The project will now go down the Tubes

Down the Internets?

Sorry, I just had to...

Re:Putin Has History and Current Form (0, Redundant)

egr (932620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278640)

We have your location!

melodrama (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278688)

My wife has family in Russia so that is why I am posting anonymously.

Right. Because the KGB is reading Slashdot, has a lookup table between slashdot usernames and addresses, and has nothing better to do except target the family of some guy who said a few nasty words about Putin.

Putin may be very evil, but don't use melodrama to puff up your claims, please. Also- Yeltsin's name is spelled with an S.

Re:melodrama (2, Interesting)

really? (199452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278790)

Err... just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean they are not out to get you.

I am not Russian, nor do I have any connection to Russia. I do however still have friends and family in another Eastern European country. I thought I had half a clue as to how things were there ... I went back a couple years ago and was VERY VERY surprised. Forget what you read in the news, even the reliable news sources don't get deep enough. And those that do ... don't surface.

I have no doubt that Russia is just as bad, if not worse. Shrug.

Re:melodrama (5, Funny)

TheSuperlative (897959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278794)

Actually, it's spelled with an entirely different alphabet.

Re:melodrama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278944)

Putin may be very evil, but don't use melodrama to puff up your claims, please. Also- Yeltsin's name is spelled with an S.

Ah, you must be mono-lingual, having no understanding about how transliteration works.

(Also, I would agree that it's probably just paranoid to post anonymous, but you have no idea about the guys situation and who his family is)

Re:melodrama (1)

RESPAWN (153636) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278976)

Actually it's spelled with a -- .

PsyOps in actions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278726)

This message has been brought to you by your friendly PsyOps [wikipedia.org] agent.

Putin == barbaric and ruthless dictator
Bush == protector of democracy worldwide [antiwar.com]

P.S. George Bush was CIA Director [the7thfire.com]

Re:PsyOps in actions (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278842)

It was George Bush senior that was CIA director. Junior was some sort of entrepreneur disaster who ran companies into the ground.

Re:Putin Has History and Current Form (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278856)

"Look at the past week and how Shell were forced to relinquish control of a major Oil/Gas project in the Far East of the country."

Shell, Exxon-Mobile..

Russia is shooting themselves in the foot, acting like a spoiled brat. Inviting other kids over to his house to play, and then telling them that the rules are, they drop their toys and leave. Or that they can play with their toys, but they can't touch them, and if they do their toys are forfeit to the household.

Watch foreign investment plummet. The desire to do business with Russia is being killed by the Russian government -- even China plays on a more fair field than this!

Re:Putin Has History and Current Form (1)

Fanther (949376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278882)

Remember that Putin is ex KGB.

"There is no such thing as a former KGB man." (Putin in Newsweek [msn.com] )

Friskr - Multi Search [friskr.com]

Kasparov soon to be PaWNED? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278348)

President of the Russia?
I lol at the very concept of such contrivances.

80% approval rating? (2, Interesting)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278352)

That sounds almost like Alberta. Well, except Alberta's economy was been booming under Klein's regime, and nobody has accused him of murdering his opponents, but that's still a pretty high approval rating. Why is it so high? The impression the media here gives us is that Putin is a ruthless dictator and enemy of the people. (Media bias, anyone?)

Re:80% approval rating? (5, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278386)

Hmmm well the best answer to that is, think about what Stalin's "approval rating" would have been during his rule? I would venture 100%. And not out of popular fear, but popular love and admiration. The 80% does not surprise me in the least, and doesn't make me think "oh, he must be a swell guy after all" for a second.

Re:80% approval rating? (1)

Highrollr (625006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278960)

Well, he may be a huge asshole, I don't see how it matters. From what I can tell Russia has enough freedom of the press for people to have a basic idea of what's going on. If they want to elect some sort of neo-Communist dictator with a penchant for radiation poisonings, isn't that their right, even if we in the US and elsewhere may not be too enthused?

Re:80% approval rating? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278416)

Why is it so high? The impression the media here gives us is that Putin is a ruthless dictator and enemy of the people. (Media bias, anyone?)

Why does that sound familiar to me, only the other way around?

Re:80% approval rating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278468)

The impression the media here gives us is that Putin is a ruthless dictator and enemy of the people. (Media bias, anyone?)

He isn't quite a dictator yet but the important thing is that people would rather have a dictator who can hold the country together than a nice man who lets things disintegrate further. Maybe they're short sighted or maybe they're just "pragmatic".

Re:80% approval rating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278548)

His approval rating was so high because, unlike probably every other politician on the planet, Klein did what de said he was gonna do and Albertans respect that. He said he was going to tackle the debt... and that there were going to be some tough times ahead. He did... there were... and now we're in the enviable position of being completely debt free and rolling in cash. Our population is exploding and the political strength is shifting westward.

He wasn't perfect... but he made good on his promises. And besides... Liberal is a 4 letter word in Alberta so it's not hard to keep such an enormous power base happy.

Re:80% approval rating? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278714)

The impression the media here gives us is that Putin is a ruthless dictator and enemy of the people. (Media bias, anyone?)

A lot of times the media outside of a country gives you a better idea than the media inside. 80% approval rating might just mean a lot of people in Russia don't have an accurate view of what's going on.

Slippery slope (5, Funny)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278354)

If he wins, Deep Blue will run in the next election.

Litvinenko: Blackmailer, Smuggler, Gangster Extrao (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278360)

Antiwar has an interesting article [antiwar.com] about the case:

Berezovsky, who employed Litvinenko while he was alive and is using him in death as the symbol of Putin's malignity, is the key figure in all this: the man slain Forbes journalist Paul Klebnikov called Russia's "godfather." The real Mafia could learn a thing or two from Berezovsky, who, Klebnikov averred, assassinated his business rivals - one with an obscure nerve toxin - while the authorities stood by and let it happen on account of the oligarch's connections with top Kremlin officials. When Putin rose to power, however, and turned against Berezovsky - his former supporter and patron - the rule of the oligarchs was over. Berezovsky, Nevzlin, and the others fled Russia, and haven't stopped plotting to discredit and ultimately overthrow their nemesis ever since.

polonium anyone? (0, Redundant)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278362)

speaking out against putin? kasparov had better be carrying a geiger counter with him for a while....

Watch out (4, Funny)

MrP- (45616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278364)

I see some radioactive chess peices in Kasparov's future.

There's only one way to counter this threat.. (2, Funny)

TastyCakes (917232) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278366)

Deep Blue for 2008!

Putin : Nice move Mister Kasparov... (0, Redundant)

IInventedTheInternet (818590) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278368)

By the way, have you tried the Polonium salad?
 
It's simply.... to die for... MUHUHAHAH!

Check (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278370)

Polonium-210 to King-6.
Checkmate.

Will Kasparov see this coming? (5, Funny)

staticdaze (597246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278398)

Kasparov vs Putin

1. f3 e5
2. g4

Putin to move

Re:Will Kasparov see this coming? (4, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278494)

For those who don't know: fool's mate [chesscorner.com]

Putin is preventing even worse getting into power (4, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278402)

Putin might (or might not) be a dictator, but the sort of people who could take his place if he was deposed doesn't bear thinking about. Theres a whole nest of former and current FSB/KGB mixed up with BIG organised crime bosses behind the scenes. Russia is a political mess right now and I'm not sure theres a solution.

Re:Putin is preventing even worse getting into pow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278758)

Russia is a political mess right now and I'm not sure theres a solution.

Sounds a lot like every other government that has ever existed, democracy or otherwise.

Re:Putin is preventing even worse getting into pow (1)

really? (199452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278822)

Most ex Soviet block countries are in the same situation... Is there a solution? Not in the short term. Long term, it will stabilize, just as it did after the "robber baron era" in the west. IMHO, of course.

Re:Putin is preventing even worse getting into pow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278892)

This whole nest of FSB/KGB people who are themselves crime bosses is what makes up 75% of Russian bureacracy RIGHT NOW.

Kerry vs. Bush (1, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278420)

Here it is, another intellectual, versus another incumbent authoritarian in a major election. I completely agree with John Dean, in his book Conservatives without Conscience [amazon.com] , that there is a very pathological aspect to modern conservative authoritarians, but what can change the nature of the electorate? Intellectuals will continue to be perceived as wishy-washy no matter how bad the existing authoritarian, and the defense of increasingly authoritarian rule will not have a real challenge unless that changes. It seems that the only challenge to modern authoritarian rule is catastrophic failure across the whole society.

Will the honest questions of an intellectual ever not be a liability? Or will politicians always continue to have to be liars wearing masks of false confidence, grabbing all power available in order to hold onto any power at all? Must the functional brains of our society continue to be the most cruel amongst us?

Ryan Fenton

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278590)

Will the honest questions of an intellectual ever not be a liability?
NO

Or will politicians always continue to have to be liars wearing masks of false confidence, grabbing all power available in order to hold onto any power at all?
YES

Must the functional brains of our society continue to be the most cruel amongst us?
YES

Well, you asked.

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278596)

I'm sorry, but did you *actually* call John F. Kerry an intellectual? Just because you have a low opinion of GWB does not mean any opponent is an intellectual...

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278682)

I'm sorry, but did you *actually* call John F. Kerry an intellectual?

I'm not sure if the parent was trying to say that John Kerry was an intellectual or not.

I guess that if you interpreted the term "intellectual [wikipedia.org] " broadly, you might say that John Kerry is an intellectual, but then you would have to say that George W Bush is one also. I somehow doubt that the parent would argree with that.

On the other hand, Bill Clinton could probably have been more accurately deemed an intellectual than either.

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (2, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278756)

Well, regardless of what you think of his intellectual capacity, Kerry was pushed as the intellectual choice during the election by both sides. His 'flip-flopper' label was intended to take his willingness to change his position and push it as if it were a weakness. Indeed, both candidates graduated from Yale, but Bush was certainly not playing the card. My 'intellectual vs. authoritarian' argument is about the publics perception, not the dubious distinction of which is actually the most clever or curious.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (2, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278654)

Putin is an intellectual who is attempting to bring all those industries that were basically given as gifts to the former oligarchial rulers back to a position where they're responsible to society, not their foreign shareholders.

He's a democratically elected socialist trying to repair a quagmire of a country. After being elected twice and doing such a good job that everyone is imploring him to change the laws and run again so they can keep following his leadership, he's not sure if he should. Real totalitarian, he is...

Kasparov, on the other hand, is a chess player whose political allies include hard-right fascist groups. Which makes his opinion slightly less significant than that of the mayor of a small village, who at least has some experience with what he's talking about, as opposed to Kasparov, who quite frankly reveals his foolishness by his refusal to acknowledge his sharply defined limitations and by the political affiliations he attempts to justify.

If harm comes to Kasparov, it will most likely come from an outraged Russian citizen.

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278928)

How's the water where you live? The polonium tasting all right? The people who don't like Comrade Putin taking their prescribed doses of lead pills?

Come ON. Putin's a scumbag.

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278776)

The trouble is that most intellectuals are hardcore authoritarians themselves. Many of the most extreme expansions of government power are coming from intellectuals. If you look who supports banning all non-government schools, who supports banning guns, who supports banning trans-fats and ciggarettes and micromanaging personal lifestyles, who supports regulations and restrictions on free speech, who wants to see the government regulate newspapers and broadcast media, etc., etc., those ideas are overwelmingly created and supported by today's intellectuals.

So there isn't really a conflict between authoritarianism and intellectuals... There is a conflict between populist authoritarianism, and intellectual authoritarianism. At least Putin style populist authoritarianism is vaugly more democratic, in that it is popular with a lot of people.

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278898)

Many of the most extreme expansions of government power are coming from intellectuals. If you look who supports banning all non-government schools

WTF? Who is that???

who supports banning guns, who supports banning trans-fats

Think I have a good idea who you're talking about here (liberals).

and ciggarettes and micromanaging personal lifestyles, who supports regulations and restrictions on free speech

WTF? Again, this is wild stuff. Please tell me who these people are?!?!?! Because they sound really really bad.

who wants to see the government regulate newspapers and broadcast media

I don't really see the problem with this. Broadcasters use a limited public resource (the airwaves), so it's the government's job to regulate them and make sure that they are using this limited resource for the public good. Making sure that the media is not concentrated in a few hands would actually help increase the flow of information and provide more diverse viewpoints. That's one kind of regulation that is good for freedom. But you apparently disagree. Fair enough.

those ideas are overwelmingly created and supported by today's intellectuals.

Oh! It's "intellectuals" you are talking about. Never mind then.

By the way, who are these intellectuals???

Re:Kerry vs. Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278910)

China is getting into the habit of putting intellectuals and technocrats in power. Thus, perhaps they will win.

Kasparov on NPR (5, Informative)

Pancake Bandit (987571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278444)

Kasparov was on NPR's All Things Considered a while ago, and spoke about his move into politics. Here is a link [npr.org] to the interview.

Re:Kasparov on NPR (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278572)

I've noticed recently that nearly every story I listen to in the morning on NPR as I drive to work later turns up on Slashdot.

Must be a significant overlap between the audiences

Kasparov vs Bush, the leader of democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278456)

Kasparov believes that Putin is virtually a dictator who is dismantling democracy and returning Russia to an authoritarian regime.

I'd like to know what Kasparov thinks of President Bush. At least Putin has 78% approval rating, compared to 21% for Bush, so Putin must be doing something right.

Here's a couple of links for Kasparov to think about:

Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos [antiwar.com]
The US Government's Assault on Press Freedom [alternet.org]
How Israeli Soldiers Kill and Civilians Grow Numb [alternet.org]

Putin obliterated ALL free TV media in Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278464)

...and crippled, as much as he could, the papers. There's precious little opposition voice left alive in Russia - and that is the reason I think Putin is dangerous.

Mistranslation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278474)

Russian is my native language and it's annoying to see the name of Kasparov's party mistranslated. The party is "Drugaya Rossiya," which should more accurately rendered as "A Different Russia," rather than "The Other Russia," which sounds kind of sinister in an evil twin from a parallel universe kind of way.

I hope he wins--he comes across as a decent guy, but this also means he has a snowflake's chance in hell: the last (relatively) decent guy to head Russia was murdered in 1881.

Start a trend (3, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278488)

If this goes well, you can count on seeing George Bush in a Rap Battle with Eminem in the near future.

Re:Start a trend (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278864)

How is that offtopic ?

There's a clear relation to Leaders of Common Activities challenging the Leaders of a Country on a playing field that's not rigged in the Political Leaders favor while still being somthing that pertains to both parties strengths.

Is it because it mentions the name "George Bush" ?
Is it because it mentions "Eminem" or "Rap" when the game being played in the article is Chess ?

There's a clear relation between Politics & Chess, they both involve solid strategy.
There's a clear relation between George Bush & Eminem, they both mangle the English Language.

Why is he mad at Putin? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278490)

Did Putin lift Kasparov's shirt up and give him a kiss on the stomach during a chess match?

Re:Why is he mad at Putin? (1)

eggywat (1020737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278952)

No that was a young boy during a photo op. http://bymyreckoning.com/ [bymyreckoning.com]

he may be a genius at chess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278540)

but is that going to help him know how to change the minds of the average russian? I think not. He probably hasn't even met one in years.

Yeah, Kasparov to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278544)

Is this some kind of a joke, or do they publish this stuff out of pity for the former world champion? This guy and his party have about the same chance to make it into power as Ross Perot and the company. Putin does not even need to strangle Kasparov, so few people care about what he preaches.

Russian democracy (4, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278554)

Most Russians want Mr. Putin to overturn a constitutional bar on a third term in office. Many will back whomever Mr. Putin endorses to succeed him."

Well, as much as Kasparov is complaining about the democratic process, it seems to me the people are getting what they want. Who are we to tell them they're wrong? It's in America's culture to distrust extended rule and anything that smells like a monarchy. It's in Russia's culture to prefer stability of a strong leader to the uncertainty that can be found in the absence thereof. If they truly want Putin to rule them, let him.

Re:Russian democracy (2, Insightful)

agent dero (680753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278844)

Who are we to tell them they're wrong? It's in America's culture to distrust extended rule and anything that smells like a monarchy. It's in Germany's culture to prefer stability of a strong leader to the uncertainty that can be found in the absence thereof. If they truly want Hitler to rule them, let him.

That's a Putin Lie (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278862)

"Most Russians want Mr. Putin to overturn a constitutional bar on a third term in office."

It comes from the "Yuri Levada Analytical Centre",. Yuri Levada died November 16th this year (heart attack), but his organization has had repeated attempts at take over by the Kremlin, including trying to replace the board in 2003, that didn't like his polls showing Russians critical of Putin. Without Yuri, information put out in his name is likely tainted by the Kremlin. The poll was done just before Yuri's death, and the results released just after his death. So it's tainted.

http://www.russiavotes.org/levada-times-obituary.h tm [russiavotes.org]

"With the Kremlin's strategy of buying off the opposition, crushing dissenters and marginalising anyone who continued to speak up in a flattened political landscape, Levada's polls provided an awkward reminder of realities that Putin could not stomach, such as widespread popular opposition to the wars in Chechnya. The Kremlin preferred spin and polls that it manipulated. In a cunning move typical of current Kremlin tactics, the government ministry that had suddenly discovered it still owned VTsIOM turned it into a joint-stock company in September 2003 and appointed a new board of directors, who happened to be Kremlin loyalists. The Government claimed it wanted to make the agency's finances more transparent, but Levada and his colleagues knew the truth."

If Putin was really popular he wouldn't have to take control of the media, polling services and all major TV stations. It means that he isn't popular and is doing the KGB kill, lie and deny approach.

If you read the Moscow press, he's trying to create a false sense that everyone wants him to run a third term.

Too bad Solzhenitsyn is so old (2, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278580)

If I were to pick a single Russian of perfect integrity to challenge Putin for the presidency, it would be Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn [wikipedia.org] . The man who wrore The Gulag Archipelago, one of the most important books of the 20th centur [wikipedia.org] , and the one which exposed the vast Soviet network of slave labor concentration camps, as well as either the first or second worst (depening on which set of numbers you use) genocides of the 20th century. [hawaii.edu]

The man who put his life on the line to tell the truth about the evil's of communism is one of the great intellectual heroes of our day, as well someone of absolute integrity and moral authority. Alas, he is also 88 years old, and it's hard to conceive of him undertaking the rigors of a political campaign, or even the office of President, at that age. but one can dream...

Re:Too bad Solzhenitsyn is so old (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278666)

Sorry, no. He was fiercely attacking communism but this does not make him a democrat at all. In fact he's a right-wing, nationalistic nut deeply suspicious of anything coming from the west. Saner than many other nationalists, admittedly, but still not something I'd welcome for Russia.

Re:Too bad Solzhenitsyn is so old (-1, Flamebait)

Dr.Syshalt (702491) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278922)

Solzhenitsyn is one of the biggest liars of the 20th century. His books were just a way to distort reality in a way convenient to the West - that's why they are so popular in the U.S. and almost forgotten in the Russia even now. Jeez... even during its worst times in 1930s USSR has never had as many prisoners (yes, total - in prisons, gulags, etc.) as U.S. does right now (and that considering the population was very close). So much for dictatorship and police state. Yet everyone in Western media tries to make us believe that we've lost more people to Communism than to WW2...

As to Putin... I find it funny that slashdot declares that he "suppresses the democracy" and in the next line finds it wrong that most of Russians support him. Check your definitions - that's THE democracy! His policy finds support in masses. For those who can read/translate Russian - check what his enemies from Communist Party (yes, they are his political adversaries, if you don't know this, you are just don't have an idea on who is who in Russia) say [www.cprf.ru] about him now. In a nutshell - people start having a decent life, this is something they didn't have during Yeltsin times. The disintegration of the country has stopped. People have a hope now. But wait - this is not the democracy as US, UK and others want to see it - so this can't be a democracy at all, right? Those stupid Russians choose the wrong president and want the wrong politics, they must be stopped from doing such stupid things. Doesn't it sound familiar to you?

Putin made Russia strong (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278586)

Notice its mostly Jews who are against Putin. What Putin did was he stopped the Jewish Oligarchs from virtually stealing Russia blind. I believe this is very foolish on the part of jews and will just bring more and more hatred towards them in Russia.

Putin is a great leader who has made Russia strong again. He is somewhat like Chavez of Venuzela in making sure that income from Russian resources flowed back to Russia.

Re:Putin made Russia strong (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278740)

Did you attend the seminar [nytimes.com] ? Maybe you can make it to one of the upcoming events [aryan-nations.org] .

Just goes to show (0, Offtopic)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278624)

we are just pawns in the global geopolitical game.

If We Hit that Bullseye, the rest of the Dominoes will fall like a house of Cards. Checkmate.

Well, Kasparov had to do something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278652)

The chess computers are just too good now. There is no future for human chess players. Kasparov has chosen a good time to make his exit, while he still has some prestige and recognition factor left to try and make a difference in another field of human endeavor (eg. politics).

At one time, I could name all the top players, now I only look at computer chess. The programmers are my heroes. It's only a matter of time before the rest of the chess community figures it out and moves on to the machines. With Rybka pushing 3100 and the human champion coming in at about 2800, the human would be doing well to win one game in a hundred. In other words, it's no contest.

Chess player? (4, Interesting)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278672)

I can calculate the possibilities as a chess player and I have to be honest and say that our chances are not high.

Don't get me wrong... chess is one of my hobbies too. I also enjoy digging into politics, and I feel like I have enough experience in computer science to be able to identify and analyze systems. First, I can tell you that the game of chess and politics are two very different systems. So different, in fact, that being good at one will not ever help you with the other.

Chess is in fact a simple, deterministic game that is very limited and loses complexity over time. We've written software that can play chess excellently for a very long time. As far as I know, no computer systems have ever been elected to office.

I can tell you right off the bat that Kasparov's edge in politics is not his chess ability--it's his fame. That will attract more attention than anything else. Also, there is the public notion that anyone who is good at chess is some kind of genius, something he can use to his advantage as well. He keeps bringing up the fact that being so good at chess makes him smart enough to do all these things. People don't have trouble believing something like that, so maybe he is a good politician after all.

Re:Chess player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17278860)

He keeps bringing up the fact that being so good at chess makes him smart enough to do all these things.

You mean kind of like how the press and John Kerry kept bringing up that he was a "war hero?" I guess the only difference is that Kasparov is actually a chess champion, whereas Kerry made up the "war hero" thing.

But Kasparov ISN'T a chess player... (1)

uglyhead69 (186990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278868)

He's a conspiracy theory revisionist historian... Have a look at this: http://www.new-tradition.org/view-garry-kasparov.h tm [new-tradition.org]

Methinks ol' Gary may be at the very least, a tad paranoid.

Looking at Russia.. (1)

traveller604 (961720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278772)

At the moment they're not ready for happy happy joy joy European democracy. No, they need the US illusion. They need a strong leader who can do just about anything w/out asking anyone. There's so much to be done there that takes "brute force".. I just hope they someday convert to real European democracy and don't follow the US illusion..

Kasparov vs Putin (1)

iviagnus (854023) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278852)

If Kasparov dies at the hands of Putin, I'll kill Putin myself.

Democracy (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17278884)

It appears, however, to be an uneven contest against a man who enjoys 80 per cent approval ratings. Most Russians want Mr. Putin to overturn a constitutional bar on a third term in office. Many will back whomever Mr. Putin endorses to succeed him.
Then they deserve who they get!
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