Don’t Play Chess With This Man – Updated

I play chess just well enough to know how poorly I play. It’s a curse. I’ve known PhD physicists who claimed to be addicts, reformed, but never cured. That’s chess addict.

President Vladimir Putin is not a chess player, but I wouldn’t want to meet him over a dark chess board. Garry Kasparov is a grandmaster, perhaps the best player the world’s ever seen, with the possible exception of certifiable Bobby Fisher at his prime. He wants to be a politician.

To say they are at odds would be an understatement. Now the BBC reports that Kasparov has been arrested in Russia.

Russian police have detained opposition leader and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. He and other critics of President Vladimir Putin were arrested as police broke up a rally in Moscow organised by Mr Kasparov’s Other Russia coalition.

Police moved in when protesters tried to march to the election commission, which had barred Other Russia candidates from next week’s election.

President Putin’s supporters are widely expected to win the 2 December poll.

Other Russia brings together a broad coalition of mainstream politicians, leftists and nationalists, all of whom are opposed to the Kremlin.

Putin seems determined to remind me personally that it’s still a dangerous world.

Update: More on the Kasparov arrest from the NYT.

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