Kasparov on Real Time with Bill Maher | May 1st, 2015



by Frederic Friedel

5/2/2015 – We always cheer when a chess player is on a mainstream show – and handles himself well. Bill Maher, the American comedian, writer, political commentator, actor, media critic and television host, is not one to be obsequious to famous guests, and he starts off with a brief altercation when Kasparov chides him: (“Garry, shut up – I make jokes about everything.”) Amusing and enlightening.

In case you do not have 20 minutes and 11 seconds to watch this interesting segment, which is embedded at the end of the report, here are the parts that involve the 13th World Champion. Kasparov’s entrance comes at around 1:45 min, when Bill Maher reminds his guests that the United States has 760 bases in 150 countries in the world – 50,000 troops in Germany alone. Kasparov reminds him that by 2013 there wasn’t a single American tank in Europe.

“If your are praising Obama’s ‘peace record’: because of this weak policy he had no choice but to bring American soldiers – a small detachment, a hundred soldiers and ten tanks – to the Russian border. For the first time in my living memory American troops are facing Russian troops in Estonia and Latvia, because those small countries are NATO members.”

At this point Maher mutters: “Wake me when he takes Poland”, which leads to a a short altercation. “Are you making jokes about it?” Kasparov asks? “Yes, obviously that was a joke,” Maher replies. “The Poles suffered – I hope there are no Poles in the audience.” Maher: “Garry, we make jokes about everything.” “About the Holocaust?” Garry asks. “Millions of Poles were killed.” “It’s not about the Holocaust,” Maher says.

“Garry, shut up. I make jokes about everything.” You can see from Garry’s face that not many people have said this to him since he was twelve. But Maher admits he is a big fan.

Darryl Lynn Hughley has to jump in to defuse. He is an American actor, political commentator and stand-up comedian. He has been the host of CNN’s D. L. Hughley Breaks the News, a correspondent for The Jay Leno Show on NBC, and a local radio personality and interviewer in New York City.

At around eight minutes into the segment Kasparov brings up a point about Iran: “When was the first time a United States President raised the issue about the Iranian nuclear program?” He answers himself: “It was Bill Clinton in 1995, asking Boris Yeltsin to stop supplying Iran with Russian nuclear technology. Yeltsin gave him a very vague promise and Clinton didn’t push him. Twenty years ago the American President already knew about the potential problem, but we are where we are…”

Jane Harman is the former U.S. Representative for California’s 36th congressional district, serving from 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2011; she is a member of the Democratic Party. At 12:50 min into the segment she says: “I’m trying to help get these things right. I think it’s a dangerous world. I agree with what Garry said about Putin. I think that if people don’t stand up to Putin what lesson are we not learning? We have to stand up to Putin…”

Dan Senor is an American columnist, writer, and political adviser. He was chief spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and senior foreign policy adviser to U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the 2012 election campaign. Senor is a frequent commentator on Fox News and contributor to The Wall Street Journal.

Kasparov at 15:15 min: “By the way all Democrats and Republicans support the Ukrainian army. By the way in 1994, under pressure from Bill Clinton, Ukraine was disarmed. Ukraine had the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world – bigger than China, France and the UK combined. The US demanded that this arsenal be dismantled, Ukraine gave it up for guarantees of territorial integrity. There is a signature by the US President and by the way the UK Prime Minister – you have to stand by your signature. It was good that they did it, but there were guarantees in exchange for moving them back to Russia.

Joseph Eugene Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the (US president’s) Council of Economic Advisers. He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free-market economists (whom he calls “free market fundamentalists”), and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

17:35 min: When the discussions comes to why the current administration did not push infrastructiure but decided to work on the economy first, Kasparov says “But economy is infrastructure. The last construction of East River Bridge in New York was 1909.”

To which Maher says: “Right, we’re agreeing, and if people go across that bridge and they die it will ne a holocaust – oh, I didn’t mean it that way, Garry.”

You can watch the whole segment with Kasparov on Bill Maher’s Real Time page, which you can bookmark for future entertainment. Or you can watch it on our Youtube embed above.


Editor-in-Chief of the ChessBase News Page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.

Garry’s Timeline

Follow Garry's extraordinary path through years of relentless activism.

View the full Biography