Garry, a (happy) Russian in Milan...

I'm exhausted. I can't say it wasn't a nice evening at Dal Verme theatre. Kasparov spoke for about 15 minutes to the audience (about chess and... politics): he was in a very good mood and he was as brilliant and polite as usual. His young wife Dasha was with him: they had a baby about 8 months ago. Unfortunately this was not that kind of event where journalists can make questions (and receive anwers :-) ). So... here are the questions I couldn't make to Garry (and some pictures I took).

Garry speaking to his interpreter (his wife on the right)

1) From chessboard to politics, from a virtual battlefield to a less defined one but definitely more real. Who is or has been you toughest opponent: Karpov, Kramnik, Putin or who-ever?
2) About your "war" against Putin, you told to "Spiegel": "We are not playing chess, we're playing roulette". Do you think, apart from the next elections results, that "battle for democracy in Russia", as you call it, would be less "bloody" without him? And, in case your coalition didn't win elections, are you ready to fight more and again?

A brilliant speaker

3) You were on top of the Fide list for two decades. Last April you were in the "top 100" list of the most influential people on "Time magazine". What's your next target?
4) You titled your last book "How life imitates chess". An ambitious title, since chess become a comparison for life and not the opposite, as one should expect. Is that title a tribute to chess or a way to impress readers? (Just a note here: this book will be published in Italy by Mondadori, probably in the next few months).

Garry signing books: he was in a very good mood

5) Russia is in a big chaos. Fide, headed by a Russian politician, a friend of Putin's, is in a big chaos too. Don't you think you may come back to chess, in 10 or even 20 years, and become the Fide president? (When I asked him this question three years ago in Turin he answered something like: "My attention is all for Russian people now").
6) What do you think about the present confusion in the world championship cycle? Rules are changing almost once a month...

Garry (second from right) with all other guests:
the evening is almost finished

7) And what do you think about the cooperation between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Bessel Kok? Would you ever cooperate so promptly with Putin or his coalition if they will win next elections?
8) Kramnik, Anand, Aronian, Leko, etc. who do you think will be the winner in Mexico city? And who do you think is the best active player of the world nowadays?

Leaving the scene: bye bye Garry

9) When you won a memorable game against Topalov in Wijk aan Zee 1999 you told your best game hadn't been played yet. You gave up professional chess, now. Can you tell what is your best game ever? And your most memorable tournament?
That's all. You can obviously use these questions if you find Kasparov on your way in the next few months :-)
I will report on this evening as soon as possible. I will leave for Rome on Monday morning and I won't be able to update this Blog (and my Italian site) for a few days, but I think I will have the possibility to write an article on my fiancée's lap-top along the week (I will have a new lap-top in a few weeks: my old one is dead :-) ). So stay tuned.
Vladimir Kramnik almost secured first place in the Sparkassen chess meeting, which will end tomorrow in Dortmund (Germany). Vlad won against local idol Arkadij Naiditsch in round 6, while Anand and Alekseev drew their game; Leko beat Gelfand with Black pieces and now share second place with them on 3.5 (Kramnik is on 4.5). Official site: http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting.de/. You can also find a Dortmund section on my Italian site www.messaggeroscacchi.it (direct link: www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/dortmund07.html).
Here is our game of the day: please forgive me, I'm too tired for commenting anything.

Kramnik,V (2772) - Naiditsch,A (2654) [E04], Dortmund 30.6.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Qa4 Nd7 7.Qxc4 Nb6 8.Qb5 a6 9.Qd3 e5 10.Nxe5 Nb4 11.Qd1 Qxd4 12.Qxd4 Nc2+ 13.Kd1 Nxd4 14.Be3 Nf5 15.Bxb6 cxb6 16.Nc3 Bc5 17.e3 0–0 18.Ke2 Re8 19.Nd3 Rb8 20.Rhc1 Be6 21.Bd5 Bd7 22.Ne4 Bf8 23.Rc7 Rbd8 24.Nc3 Nd4+ 25.Kd2 Be6 26.exd4 Bxd5 27.Nxd5 Rxd5 28.Rxb7 b5 29.a4 Rxd4 30.axb5 Red8 31.bxa6 Rxd3+ 32.Ke1 Re8+ 33.Kf1 Rdd8 34.a7 Ra8 35.b4 Re7 36.Rxe7 Bxe7 37.b5 Bc5 38.Rc1 Bd4 39.Rc4 Bxa7 40.Ra4 Rb8 41.Rxa7 Kf8 42.Ra5 Ke7 43.Ke2 Rb6 44.Kd3 Rd6+ 45.Kc4 Rd2 46.b6 Kd6 47.Rb5 Rc2+ 1–0

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