Magazine article Foreign Policy

Epiphanies: Garry Kasparov

Magazine article Foreign Policy

Epiphanies: Garry Kasparov

Article excerpt

I WAS ASKED at the press conference after a tournament I won in 1997 or 1998, 'What else is left for you in the world of chess?' And I said that I have a son, who was born in 1996, and I want him to see his father win a big chess tournament. At the end of 2004, I played the Russian national championship. [My son] was already 8, and I won very convincingly. At the closing ceremony, I got my gold medal and put it around his neck. And that was it.

FOR MANY RUSSIANS, millions and millions of them, 1991 was a disaster. Not that they had any illusions about the Soviet Union, but they wanted change, they wanted democracy, they wanted freedom, they wanted better lives, and instead they got a lot of horsesh*t.

I BECAME GRADUALLY, NOT EVEN ANGRY, but ashamed at the events in my country. I recognized that I had a very tough choice: fight this regime or leave my country. Because seeing this bunch of criminals destroying the future of my country and doing nothing, I couldn't bear it.

THE FINAL MOMENT that shaped this decision was the Beslan [school massacre]. …

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