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The Queen's Gambit; Interview With Former Senior Presidential Adviser Valerie Jarrett. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 17, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. And welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here is what's coming up.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not Democrats first. We're not Republicans first. We are Americans first.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Trying to unify an union. Former President Barack Obama releases his-awaited memoir, "A Promised Land," and I get insights
from his close friend and longtime senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Men are going to come along and want to teach you things. Doesn't make them any smarter.
AMANPOUR: "The Queen's Gambit." I speak the chess grandmasters Judit Polgar and Garry Kasparov about the new Netflix hit making all the right moves.
DAN ARIELY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS, DUKE UNIVERSITY: One of the things that give us a lot of resilience is control.
We decide what do and so on. All of a sudden, a lot of the control was taken away from us.
AMANPOUR: Behavioral expert Dan Ariely tells us our Hari Sreenivasan why following the rules during this pandemic is harder than we think.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It is a tradition that nearly every American president has followed, the writing of a memoir from his time in office. And few have been as eagerly
anticipated as the four-year wait for President Barack Obama's.
"A Promised Land" hit bookstores around the world today, with a hopeful title and the idea that a more perfect union may still be possible, words
that his former vice president and now president-elect Joe Biden will try to live by, as he continues to amass his new White House team.
But it is an imperfect union indeed that he will inherit for now, as President Trump continues to challenge the election results and prevent
access to sensitive briefings.
Here's advice from his predecessor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When your time is up, then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego
and your own interests and your own disappointments.
My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it's time for you to do
the same thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, my first guest was there at the creation. She has been through two smooth transitions.
Valerie Jarrett is a close friend of the Obamas, and she was also senior adviser to the president throughout both of his terms. And I have been
talking to her about the insights contained in President Obama's book and this norm-busting, unprecedented spectacle of a defeated incumbent still
AMANPOUR: Valerie Jarrett, welcome back to the program.
VALERIE JARRETT, FORMER SENIOR PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: So, this is an exciting day. They even say that sales of this book might lift bookstores and book sales up that have been so badly hit by
But I want to ask you first about the very real drama that we're seeing -- or melodrama playing out -- that a transition has not yet happened, despite
the facts of this election.
You know, cast your mind back to 2008. What was it like when you all transitioned from Bush to Obama?
JARRETT: Surprisingly seamless.
And, as you know, Christiane, I was one of the co-chairs of President Obama's transition team. And I have to say that President Bush and his
entire staff in the White House and the Cabinet could not have been more helpful. And, obviously, we didn't agree about many policy areas, but both
agreed, both leaders agreed that part of the strength of the democracy is that smooth transition of power.
I know I was welcomed into the White House. My predecessor was very forthcoming about lessons learned over the course of their time, where they
were on issues. And that happened really ubiquitously throughout all agencies of the White House
And when elections are over, then it's about country first. And, unfortunately, that's not what we're seeing today.
AMANPOUR: And, obviously, we have all seen those amazing pictures of the Bush girls and the Obama girls during that period of showing them around
the White House.
But I was quite moved to read about President Obama saying, as they rode to the inauguration, there was jeering of President Bush. Obviously it was
after the Iraq War, et cetera, and how he felt about it.
Did he talk to you about that?
JARRETT: Well, sure, sure.
And I think what he felt is, the country owed President Bush, whether we disagreed or agreed with him, the grace of a positive send-off, and he was
very disturbed with the jeering towards President Bush.
And I think there's a core decency to him that comes out throughout the book. And I'm so glad that he was willing to be so intimate in describing
his feelings and how he saw the country and the world through his unique vantage point. And I think that ride went to the inauguration spoke volumes
of two men who, as I said before, disagreed mightily, but were not disagreeable, in fact, had respect for one another and the office.
AMANPOUR: So, let's fast forward eight years, when it was time for President Obama to leave and welcome and do the transition process with
Obviously, everybody was shocked. The polls, people believed that Hillary Clinton would win, and it was a very surprise result. Let me just read from
the book what Michelle felt about this moment.
"I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me. Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in
danger. That wasn't something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my
anger aside. So I welcomed Melania Trump into the White House. And I talked with her about my experience and answering every question that she had."
Talk to me a little bit about that transition, because, of course, as she says, it was so difficult, given the politics and the personal invective
that had come via President Trump and the birther movement and all of rest of it.
JARRETT: Well, yes.
I think her view is, is that, through that rhetoric and that nonsense about whether or not her husband's presidency was legitimate, it really ginned up
a lot of anger and potential violence. And so President Trump put her husband in harm's way.
But yet -- and it was painful. And she is very open about it. But yet she had to dig deep and behave the way you're supposed to behave. Her view is,
is that what her husband owed to President Trump was that smooth transition of power. And then what President Trump now owes to president-elect Biden
is the same thing.
And it's not even personal to the president-elect. It's what he owes the country. Every single day, Christiane, that they are not sharing vital
information, whether it's on plans for the COVID-19 and how the vaccine is going to be distributed, or national security, in all of these 16 different
intelligence agencies, not to mention the rest of government, every day that goes by that that information isn't being shared puts our country at
risk, needless risk.
We should all want president-elect Biden to be able to hit the ground running with the maximum amount of information that is available in a
transition. And to shortchange the American people on that prospect, for what? Because you don't want to admit results of the election?
That just is just wantonly irresponsible and unpatriotic, if you truly love our country.
AMANPOUR: It is extraordinary. And, of course, it's playing out all over the world. And many people around the world, including leaders, kind of
can't believe it, those who I have been speaking to.
Can I ask you? Because, again, this is Michelle Obama's Instagram that you mention and that I read out. You know, I was at the White House
Correspondents Dinner when President Obama essentially did his satirical joking about it. I saw President Trump across the -- well, then Donald
Trump -- across the room, and I could see he wasn't taking it at all well.
But it was something that must have really been offensive. I guess I just wonder how much of that do you credit for essentially Trump's win, and how
much does President Obama -- credit is maybe the wrong word -- attribute that kind of backlash to Trump's win?
JARRETT: Well, I don't know whether it's attributable to his win, but it certainly seemed to have motivated him to try to do everything he could to
try to extinguish President Obama's record.
Just anything positive that President Obama did for the country, almost in a knee-jerk fashion, President Trump has tried to reverse.
But let's go back to that moment. I was there as well. And what I remember thinking is just laugh. Laugh. It's a joke. And it's far less malicious
than him being such an instrumental force behind the birther movement that put President Obama at risk, or some of the outrageous things that he said
about President Obama.
He was tweeting up a storm, focusing on something like his golf game. Well, my goodness, we have lost nearly a quarter-million Americans, over a
quarter-million Americans, and President Trump plays golf all the time.
And so it's a sense, if you dole it out, you have to be able to take it. And it was given with such a light touch, it's just remarkable to me that
he has such a thin skin, that he would harbor resentment and take that resentment out on the American people.
And he's in court right now, the Supreme Court -- they just had the oral arguments -- trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That's going to have
a devastating impact.
And so why would he want to do that, other than it has President Obama's signature on it? And so I think we have to -- what we should be able to
expect from our elected officials is, is that they can absorb a little of the incoming themselves.
And, my goodness, President Obama had to absorb a fair amount, and he talks about that quite frankly in his book. But then you can't let that impede
your vision of what your role is as president, is service, service first, not yourself first, which means you have to resist the temptation to
indulge your sensitivities, and focus on the fact that the challenges that the American people are facing are far more daunting than a slight you
might receive in office.
And, again, that night was clearly the night that we learned afterwards when the raid on Osama bin Laden was taking place. And President Obama
talks about that in his book.
"I mean, here I was having to think about this major operation, people's lives at risk, and I had to perform this duty," which, by the way, Trump
has never gone to the White House Correspondents dinner as president.
Talk to me about that, because you must have also -- I don't know whether you were in the know at the time, but he speaks about how it had a real-
world impact. And, of course, the end of this volume of memoirs is at the point of the capture and kill of Osama bin Laden.
JARRETT: Well, again, I think part of the responsibility of office is being able to compartmentalize, being able to be in the midst of an
extraordinarily important mission, a commitment that he had made during the campaign and from day one
And even though he didn't talk about it a lot, I can tell you, from a national security perspective, he directed his team to go out there and
find Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice, and that he never took the foot off the pedal on that issue.
But yet he did have to appear on the stage and be lighthearted and compartmentalize. And that takes a certain level of strength and maturity
to do. And I watched him do that time and time again, when he would move from one issue to another, give it its laser-like focus that it deserved,
and then move on to the next issue, make a decision if he was ready, if he needed more information, push back on his team.
But the ability to analyze, read, digest, synthesize, push back, and then make decisions that have profound impacts potentially on hundreds of
millions of lives, that's the job.
AMANPOUR: I want to go back, because, again, the amazing thing about this book is how personal it is, as well as policy and political.
So, again, you were there at the beginning. You knew Michelle Obama. You hired her. Then she introduced you to her fiance. And that's how you became
friends and then senior adviser, and you have been with them all along.
So, I want to play this little sound bite that the president was talking to "60 Minutes" about what his wife, Michelle Obama, thought when he decided
that his next thing was going to be to run for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS: You quote her as saying: "The answer is no. I do not want you running for president. God, Barack, when is it going to be
Did I get the tone right?
OBAMA: Yes, it was a little sharper than that, but it was pretty good, Scott.
PELLEY: And then she walks out of the room. Why did that not stop you?
OBAMA: Look, it's a legitimate question. Keep in mind the context here. We had -- just two years earlier, I'd run for the U.S. Senate in unlikely
Two years before that, I had run for Congress.
PELLEY: In a race you lost.
OBAMA: In a race I lost. A couple years before that, I had run for the state Senate. We have got two young kids. Michelle's still working. And I
asked myself in the book, how much of this is just megalomania? How much of this is vanity?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You know, he's so introspective. I mean, it's very funny. It's very poignant. It's very personal.
But to ask oneself, how much is his vanity, what do you think about that?
JARRETT: Well, I don't think it was either megalomania or vanity.
Having been there in the room when they had those conversations, I think, honestly, he knew that he had something to give this country and that those
moments come along, the perfect storm, only once in a while.
Would that moment have been there four years from now? Maybe not. But he was the most in-demand senator doing fund-raisers around the country for
the Democratic party. His star was at an all-time high. He had given a magnificent speech with -- at the Democratic Convention right before he was
elected to the Senate.
And that obviously increased his notoriety and popularity two years earlier. And I will say she did walk out of the room and say no in that
moment. But, ultimately, he would not have done, I don't believe, if she had not been wanting to get on board. And I think she too recognized her
husband had something unique to offer.
And we spent a lot of time talking about what the impact would be on them and their family, both the campaign and then also in the White House. And I
will say, I think the campaign was, frankly, more stressful than the White House.
I describe in my book how, at about 10 minutes after 6:00 every evening, I would start to get nervous in the Oval Office because we knew that dinner
was at 6:30. And she expected him to be there. And he could work for countless hours after dinner. But it was our job to make sure that he got
home on time, because he had missed those couple years when he was on the campaign trail.
So, I think he -- she knew going in it was going to be a big sacrifice. And he did too. And I think it's so honest that he was willing to reflect on,
like, what did truly drive me? What did motivate me?
But I think, in the end, he just knew he had something very special to offer and decided the sacrifice would be worth it.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you about race, because, obviously, the first black president in the United States.
We're right now in the midst of a racial reckoning, uprising for justice.
And I wanted just to quickly quote to you Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who reviewed it for "The New York Times." And she said she was interested that
President Obama didn't delve so much into race in the book. And she had her own ideas about it.
But he writes: "It was" -- this is about Trump and Trumpism: "It was if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a sense
that the natural order had been disrupted. For millions of Americans spooked by a black man in the White House, he, Trump, promised an elixir
for their racial anxiety."
And he also said that Michelle said to him: "It's a trip, isn't it, that they're scared of you, scared of us?"
Talk about that a little bit. Again, you were right there.
So, I think both of them went in with their eyes wide open that being a first is always more challenging, right? You're breaking a ceiling. You're
disturbing the natural order of things that have been the precedent in our country since the beginning.
Certainly, during the course of the campaign, they both had been caricatured, were subjects of tropes, racist tropes, and in Michelle's
case, racist and sexist tropes attributed to her.
And so they had a sense of what would be in store once or if he was elected. And I think he recognized it quite, quite openly, and also
recognized that he had to be strategic on the issue.
So, for example, he describes in the book that, oftentimes, Joe Biden would go up on the Hill and have negotiations with the Republicans in the Senate
because he knew they felt more comfortable with him. It's one of the reasons why I think that president-elect Biden will have a good chance of
healing our country and bringing in some of the folks with whom he has this track record of experience.
And President Obama knew that they were not comfortable with him. And so he wasn't going to say, well, I insist upon being in a meeting. He was quite
pragmatic. And he said, well, look, they're more comfortable with Joe. Let's let Joe go.
And so I think he has -- he had a very acute awareness of race in our country.
But I will give you another example. I know he was quite surprised -- and he mentions this in the book -- by the reaction to his comment at the end
of the press conference on the Affordable Care Act about the incident between Skip Gates and the police in Cambridge, where he said he felt the
police had behaved stupidly by arresting Skip in his own home.
And he did not think it would blow up into a thing the way it did. Arresting somebody in their own home seems a little odd, right? And he even
caveated it by saying, I don't have all the facts, et cetera, et cetera.
And yet it blew up to the point where he had to have a beer summit and invite the officer into the White House. And he and Vice President Biden
sat down with Skip and the officer, Officer Crowley.
And we gave the officer's family a tour of the White House. And I got some pushback, which he mentioned in the book, from many of our African-American
colleagues, to say, well, why is he doing this? Well, why did he do it?
Because we were trying to get the Affordable Care Act passed. And he didn't intend this to be a slight on the police or the white community in general.
And so it was important to bring it to closure. And he was willing to do that.
And I think that that signified that he miscalculated what the reaction would be, but then wanted to resolve the issue and make it a teaching
moment. And I think that Officer Crowley and Skip went on to have a relationship.
And so it shows that we can move beyond these moments.
And Skip, of course, Henry Louis Gates, Harvard professor.
Let me ask you a final question. I was really interested by the president writing about the rise of this populist, nationalist Republican Partyism.
And he attributes it to Sarah Palin, when she was named vice president candidate for John McCain.
And he basically says, I could see that her rallies were so much more exciting than John McCain's. And he didn't -- he didn't quite twig at the
time, how this would be the path that would lead to the Tea Party and on and on to where we are right now.
Talk about that.
JARRETT: Yes. So, she was quite a phenomenon for a moment in time.
And so legitimizing her by having her on the ticket, I do think added fuel to the beginning of the Tea Party movement.
But I'll tell you something that I have always queried, Christiane, which is that, when he took office, our economy was in freefall. The banks were
teetering on the brink. The automobile industry was on the verge of bankruptcy. Millions of people were losing their homes and their jobs.
And I have always wondered, if he had inherited a good economy, would there have been the same level of anger that had been -- that was able to be
ginned up among the base of folks who are now supportive of Trump? If they weren't so worried about their jobs and their homes at the same time as
they're facing the first black president, might the temperature have come down a bit?
So, we will never know the answer to that question. But I do think that, going in, he saw the glimmer of what we now have today. And so he doesn't
hold President Trump responsible for it, because, although he was -- President Trump was instrumental in the birther movement, I think there
were many more factors than that.
But what President Trump has done is added fuel to it, has legitimized it, has embraced it, has retweeted it, and has encouraged his supporters to
continue to be divisive, at a time when, with the serious challenges we have, our country should be coming together.
That is what we have always done. And I think that what President Obama also would say, and he said it in the "60 Minutes" interview, is, is that
somewhere out there is a promised land.
AMANPOUR: Valerie Jarrett, thank you so much.
JARRETT: You are welcome. Stay safe out there.
AMANPOUR: And you would be forgiven if, through all of this political stress and through all the multiple lockdowns, you have spent a lot of time
indoors bingeing on your favorite shows.
One of them that's getting many through the fall is "The Queen's Gambit." It's a new Netflix miniseries that follows a young woman's spectacular rise
through the world of chess, and it's a world, of course, dominated by men.
Joining me now to talk about it are two of the best chess masters of all time, Garry Kasparov, who was a consultant on the show, and Judit Polgar,
widely considered the best female chess player ever.
Welcome, both of you, to the program.
It's really great to talk to you about this.
I just wonder, Judit, Garry -- let me ask you first, Judit, how surprised are you by how successful this series has been, "The Queen's Gambit"?
JUDIT POLGAR, CHESS GRANDMASTER: Well, to be honest, at first, I was very much looking forward. And I'm a little bit surprised at how it's taking up.
But I'm very excited and I'm very happy about that.
AMANPOUR: And, Garry, I know you were a consultant on it. Did you expect it to capture so much of the world's imagination?
GARRY KASPAROV, CHESS GRANDMASTER: No.
Just a few weeks before the release, I had a long chat with Scott Frank, the creator of the show. And we expected the show to hit some right
buttons, but not near its worldwide success. And I just have to say that, almost every day, I'm just being interviewed, people asking about it.
KASPAROV: And I think the reason is not so much chess, but it's a character. It's a character story. It's just -- it's the story of the girl
from Kentucky, an orphan, and the story coming of age.
And it's an amazing synergy that happens once every decade, if not...
AMANPOUR: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: Yes, exactly. I mean, it's such a rare thing.
So let me ask you, Judit, because you are actually a real master. Tell me your exact title. But you were very, very young when you entered the world
of chess. And you reached a very, very top rank.
What was it -- is it realistic to you, what we have seen? The character in the film, in the series, is called Beth Harmon, an orphan from Kentucky,
who learns from the janitor how to play a phenomenal game of chess.
How much of it, in terms of the actual playing, was realistic to you?
POLGAR: Oh, I love the chess things.
And thanks, Garry, for being there. And I know there were some other people also there. It was a real joy to follow all the chess scenes, and looking
some parts of the board only and figuring out what can happen.
So, it was -- it's a real joy for chess players, I think, to follow all these chess scenes.
But, generally speaking, of course, I think Beth, when she started to play chess, she was 8 or 9, if I remember well. I started to play chess when I
was 5 years old. And I think most of the big champions, they started earlier in the age.
And I have to tell you that, if you want to become a world champion, you can't afford having pills and drugs and drinks. But, of course, I love the
way Beth was playing. And the whole movie it is just so rich in every way.
AMANPOUR: And you refer to pills and drinks. She obviously in -- the character, it's based on a novel, let's be frank -- was very heavily
addicted, and that affected her playing. And she really had to pull herself together by the end to win that final victory.
Garry, let -- now let's get to the nitty-gritty of this. You have played -- you have played Judit. We will get to when she beat you.
But in terms of you respecting or feeling that women could actually handle this game, you were not always a convert.
Look, just not to confuse historical record, so the score is heavily in my favor.
KASPAROV: So, we played many years with Judit, yes.
But, when I played Judit, and we have to say that she was absolutely phenomenal. And none of us -- I'm talking about my male colleagues --
viewed her as a female player. She was one of the top 10 players in the world, period.
So -- and it's a unique accomplishment. And the Judit story proves that, though the story of Beth Harmon is kind of an exaggeration, it's Hollywood,
but, still, it's doable. And the fact is that Harmon had to struggle with these addictions, with green pills, with alcohol, and eventually she was
helped many of your friends.
And she learned about this even team spirit of working together. And that's what contributed to her final victory in Moscow.
I think that makes this story so attractive to millions and millions of people, who don't even know how to move chess pieces.
AMANPOUR: So, you say that the score is in your favor. Well, it certainly is in terms of the number of men vs. the number of women. Let's just say,
among the more than 1,000
KASPAROV: No, I'm talking our games. I'm sorry.
KASPAROV: I don't want to sound arrogant.
AMANPOUR: I love this. Oh, my God. OK.
So, I'm going to go to what you said, Garry. Let's just say what you said in the past, in 1989. "In the past, I have said that there is real chess
and women's chess. Some people don't like to hear this. But chess does not fit women properly. It's a fight, you know, a big fight. It's not for
women. Sorry. She's helpless if she has men's opposition. I think this is very simple logic. It's the logic of a fighter, a professional fighter.
Women are weaker fighters."
Garry Kasparov, do you still believe that?
KASPAROV: Look, it's -- you said 1989. So I'm still more generous than Bobby Fischer, who is -- in early '60s said that he could give a handicap
for every female player four piece, and still win the game.
Yes, you know, it's -- I always said many things about humans and computers. So we all make mistakes. And it -- by the way, it was just in
the beginning of Polgar's story. And, frankly speaking, 1989, we had yet to encounter a female player of that strength that could prove us wrong.
AMANPOUR: And, Judit, I mean, let's face it. I'm going to play this little clip, because I actually met you when you were 12 years old. You were
playing with your two sisters in New York.
It was one of my first ever reports as an up-and-coming little reporter. And here's a little clip of when I met you at a tournament in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: By far, the biggest crowd gathers around Judit, one of the very few chess prodigies in history.
In November, 12-year-old Judit became the youngest ever international master, beating out chess greats like Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov, who
made it at the age of 14. This year, she should make grandmaster, again, the youngest ever.
She doesn't speak much English, but she can say how she will feel about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I don't know whether you could see that. And you really did not want to see my hairdo back then.
AMANPOUR: But can we just say that you did actually beat, by age, both Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer in terms of becoming a grandmaster. That
must feel good, right?
POLGAR: Well, for me, actually, when I was 12, I had the best year of my career, I think, in respect that I won eight tournaments in 1988. And we
also won, with my sisters, the gold medal in the Chess Olympiad.
And, actually, that's where this interview was taken with Garry. And that was the first time I meet Garry personally, and it was a great honor for me
to see him watching my game and saying that, well, for sure I'm going to be ladies world champion, but he didn't believe at the time that I can be in
the top 10.
But he changed his mind. We had a lot of encounters and battles.
AMANPOUR: So, I want to play a little, little clip from the series. And this is when Beth Harmon, the main character in "The Queen's Gambit," she's
paying essentially with a friend.
And, I mean, it's a match, but she's also learning a lot from him. Let's just -- let's just play this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Jesus Christ, Harmon, you're humiliating my rook.
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY, ACTRESS: You won't have to suffer much longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, this is where he, you know, puts down his piece and he accept that he's defeated and he surrenders and they shake hand.
Judit, what was it like when won at that time? Here is, you know, shown as very genteel and the men are sort of priced but respectful. Did you have
that kind of reaction when you won?
POLGAR: When I was a kid, I had this people not reacting the nicest way. I think they really couldn't handle it the way when they were losing against
the 10-year-old or 11-year-old. When I first won against the first grandmaster, he was handling it pretty badly. He was like leaving the
playing hole, he was hitting his head into the elevator. But also, I had other occasions when my opponent didn't shake hand and stuff like that, but
I think it was a lot of frustration for the guys how to handle it because it was something a very experience.
But by the time I became a teenager and I was playing in the elite tournaments or very strong grandmaster tournaments and I was the only girl,
after some time they admitted that, well, I'm also a strong player so they shouldn't look at me as a girl who by change happen to be there by
accident. But actually, I'm there because of my strength.
AMANPOUR: Garry, I just want to ask you -- yes, go ahead.
KASPAROV: Yes. No, it's this. I think it's that Judit's eldest sister, Susan Polgar, who was at one point a female world champion but also was a
grandmaster and played in many men's tournaments, not with the same success as Judit but was a very strong player. I think she made this very sharp
comment saying that she never managed to beat a healthy chess player because every man who lost to her complained that he was sick or unwell.
So, that's --
AMANPOUR: You never get that, right, Garry?
POLGAR: But, Garry, when I beat you, you were not complaining, you just left.
KASPAROV: When I left -- you know, remember, you know, we played in Moscow, this is the game and this is rapid chess, I lost the game. My
peers, you lost. I said, come one, I lost to number 10 in this tournament. And by the way, that's -- you know, I could lose to number 20 or number 5.
Judit was not treated as a female player, you know, when she joined, you know, the elite club.
And everybody watched, you know, her as -- one of our colleague said -- well, knew that she was really dangerous and anybody could be a victim of
her very sharp aggressive style.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you. I mean, this must be a good thing for you guys who love chess so much, right? I mean, this lockdown, this series
potentially, you know, makes chess -- I mean, I know it's -- I know there's chess clubs and people are really into it, but it might maybe bring it back
to its glory days. What do you think? Garry, you remember the days of when you were playing and before that Spassky and Fischer and it was a big sort
of cold war thing and it was a major big deal thing, chess.
KASPAROV: You know, I think chess is on the rights now in America and around the world, but I think these series will do a great job promoting it
further and I expect now the boom because it helps to review this -- the image of the game of chess as something that could turn you into just, you
know, (INAUDIBLE) or just to make you crazy.
To the country, we could see that chess helps Harmon, Beth Harmon, to overcome her weakness. So -- and this addiction. So, chess helps to elevate
it to a new height, and I think that will encourage many, many more parents to look at chess more favorably and push their kids in this direction,
especially Europe (ph).
AMANPOUR: And, Judit, let me ask you particularly for girls because we see already small anecdotal evidence that the number of people going on
websites and blogs and asking about, you know, girls playing right now has doubled in some instances. What do you think it could do?
POLGAR: I think it can grow immensely the game's promotion for girls, and I do hope that more girls not only just starting it but they will not be
addicted but they would be staying with the game, and they will be supported by their parents and teachers and coaches that if they are
talented, they can also reach their maximum potentials. I think it's very important for everybody who are seeing a talented girl to get the same
encouragement than boys could.
AMANPOUR: Judit, let me just ask you finally, what is it about chess that you think is, you know, obviously, fulfilling for you but could be really
inspiring and fulfilling for any young person right now?
POLGAR: I think generally, chess is one of the most important educational tools and it's practically in every country where you go. You see different
kinds of programs. It teaches kids to many different skills which they can use in everyday life, and just name a few, logical thinking, decision-
making, responsibility and a lot of things which they should be -- resilience -- they should be having in their everyday life, taking
consequences, taking their decisions in a way that they know how to step from to another, to handle a loss, a win, a victory, and to be strong.
And I think, in many ways, chess can give this for the next generation. And I do work a lot on this to promote chess in education, actually, Garry does
the same, sometimes we do it together. And I do really believe that it will give a better-quality life and understanding for kids.
AMANPOUR: Wonderful. Thank you both so much, Garry Kasparov and Judit Polgar. Thank you for joining us. "Queen's Gambit."
And now, from panicked buying to refusing to wear masks. The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the stranger side of our human behavior, but why
do crises sometimes make us act so oddly, sometimes even against our own interests? Dan Ariely is a professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke
University and a specialist in irrationality. It's personal for him after an accident at age 18 left him with terrible burns on much of his body and
permanent hair loss on one side of his face.
During his excruciating recovery, he first started to observe human quirks and he began a lifelong quest to unravel them as he explains now to our
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, Thanks. Dan Ariely, thanks for joining us.
So, 2020 has been a horrible year for most people except probably behavioral economists and social scientists who are like, wow, look at all
this data, look at people believing and behaving irrationally. We are past 11 million cases now. Why is it so hard to get people to modify behavior
for what would be considered a public good? We're not even asking them to write a check or take money out of their own wallets, but just to wear a
mask, for example.
DAN ARIELY, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AND BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS, DUKE UNIVERSITY: Well, first of all, sadly, yes, every time there's a disaster
we rediscover how important social science is. It happened in 2007 and 2008, it's happening now. And the details of where we need social science
is incredible, right, how do we give instructions that are clear, how do we get people to believe, what do we do with distance education, like the
range, works from home? Really quite incredible.
But you said that it will be -- we're not asking people to give money. It actually would have been easier to ask people to give money because when
you give money, you give once and when you think about something like handwashing and wearing a mask, this is something that people have to do
And here's the thing, imagine -- let's take something like texting and driving, right. Imagine that you think to yourself that the probability of
texting and driving and something terrible happening is about 1 percent. And one day you drive along and your phone vibrates and you become slightly
a different person and you check your phone and nothing happened because the probability is only 1 percent. At the end of this, you say to yourself,
maybe it's not that dangerous. Maybe it's not 1 percent probability that something will be bad, maybe it's 0.9, and then you do it again and again
The same thing happens with behaviors like this. So, imagine we go with the mask and one day we forgot or we're in the outdoor space and nothing bad
happened. The experience basically is teaching you to the wrong lesson until, of course, it's too late. So, that's the first thing, that low
probability events are things that we have a very hard time because our intuition is that it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter
because every time we're wrong, we're not punished for it. We say, hey, things were OK.
The other thing about public goods is what happens when we see other people misbehaving? So, I'll describe you an experiment. I'll do it quickly, but I
think it's a really important experiment. In this experiment we take 10 people. Randomly selected. They will never meet anybody else. And we call
them every morning and we say, we're giving you $10 and you can keep the $10 to yourself or you can put it in the public pot. If you keep it to
yourself, you have $10. If you put it in the public pot, all the money you put in the public pot will multiply throughout the day five times, in the
evening, equally divided by everyone, and that's the game.
Now, what happens? They won -- 10 people $10, everybody puts their money in the central pot. 10 people $10, $100, multiply five times, $500, in the
evening equally divided by everybody, everybody gets $50. And life it good, right, you wake up with $10, you go to sleep with $50. And the metaphor
that together we could do things that we couldn't separately. We could build hospitals and schools and roads and all kinds of things when we put
our resourced together.
But one day one person puts zero in. That person keeps the $10. Now, there are nine people who puts money in, $90, multiplied five times, $450. In the
evening, equally divided by 10, everybody gets $45.
SREENIVASAN: Except for the guy who didn't take his money in, right, he's got more?
ARIELY: That's right. He gets 45 from the public pool but he also has his $10 in the morning. He basically betrayed the public good and made $5. And
that's what happens when we say to ourself, let's be selfish. If everybody else wears a mask, I don't need to wear a mask. I can have a good day and
other people would pay the price.
But here's what happened the next day in this game. The next day or two days later, as you would expect, nobody puts anything in. And we have kind
of two equilibria. There's equilibria with everybody participates and everybody benefits. An equilibria where nobody participates and nobody
benefits. And the good equilibria is very fragile. It's enough for one person to betray and the whole thing deteriorates. The bad equilibria where
nobody puts money and nobody helps is very stable.
Let's say one day after three months nobody puts, nobody puts, nobody puts. One day, three people puts money in. What happens the next day? It goes
back to 100 percent? No, it goes to zero. So, if you think about us looking at the world around us, we say, look at us, we're behaving well but these
other people who are destroying the public good and we feel like suckers for participating.
Like, you know, it's kind of amazing. If we all wore masks, washed our hands and kept social distance for a month this thing would be over, right,
across the world, like, there's no question about it. They are saying, you know, do we have a cure? Yes, we have a cure, social distancing, masks,
washing your hands, but we all need to do it all the time for a period. We just can't seem to be able to do it because the moment some people are
betraying the public good there's more and more pressure for more and more people to do that.
SREENIVASAN: In the United States, you have some people who are rebelling because they feel that this is an oppression of them. You have other people
who are just it's almost like they are fatigued. They are tired of being scared. And --
SREENIVASAN: Then they do what they want to do.
ARIELY: Yes. You know, the thing with, you know, staying at home and not meeting people, very, very stressful, right, and if you have little kids at
home this is extra stressful. You know, we see dramatic increases in domestic violence. We see increase in depression. I mean, this is a tough -
- it's a very, very tough period, and you can imagine that it's very, very depressing.
And one of the things that is so difficult is it's really hard to plan. So, if you think about, you know, two years ago, planning for summer vacation.
How many months before summer vacation were you already thinking about it and enjoying it? Now, we have no plans. We have no plans. We also have very
little control over our environment, and one of the things that gives us a lot of resilience is control. We decide what to do and so on. All of a
sudden, a lot of the control was taken away from us. Somebody else can decide to not let us leave home or somebody else tells us not to go into
this thing or close our business, all kinds of things like that.
So, a lot of control has been gone, but if you think about the combination of no planning, like we don't know what the plan is. You know, if somebody
told us, OK, here's what we're going to do. We're going to do four weeks of partial lockdown. If we see things are getting better -- in Germany, by the
way, they did a very good job. They told people, here are the districts and, in each district, here are the rules and as long as you have less,
than eight people -- eight per million we'll do this rule and if you have more we'll do this rule, and everything was -- kind of people knew what to
plan for and where things are.
We don't seem to have a driving force, like where is this going? And so, lack of planning from above, a lack of control altogether creating lots of
psychological anxiety and lack of control. And then, we want to do something. We want to feel that we're in control. So, some people do what's
called retail therapy, right, we can exert control by spending money and, you know, moving merchandise from this place to our possession, and people
are just rebelling, but this rebellion is really kind of a way to exert our individuality and our agency, and we are actors, we're not just passive
capturing and listening to what's going on.
SREENIVASAN: The other major crisis in the United States for these last several months has been the political storm that was the election, right?
Here we are now in a situation where there's a massive trust gap that people have, even after the election. There are people who are willing to
take to the streets and don't find the results of the election legitimate because it wasn't to their liking. They believe a narrative that there has
been widespread fraud when there is no evidence of that. How do you rebuild that kind of trust and institutions? I mean, you're advising President-
Elect Joe Biden, he's got a pretty big job in front of him.
ARIELY: So, the thing with trust is you erode it over a long time and it's very, very tough to build it a little bit overtime, right? If somebody
right now doesn't believe in the Supreme Court or doesn't believe something, you know, how would they all of a sudden start believing them?
How that happens? And it turns out it's very tough.
And the thing to do is not to -- like there's a slippery slope downward and there's no slippery slope upwards. What you need to do for trust is you
need to basically say, we're closing the books and restarting something new. Think about something like the Truth and Reconciliation Act in South
Africa. There was this terrible period of apartheid and then the question is, how do we move -- how do they move from apartheid? And there's no
And they do the Truth and Reconciliation Act and people stood on the stage and basically said, here are the list of all the awful things we have done
and we're really sorry about it. Now, it doesn't solve apartheid, it doesn't -- you know, you could decide if you want to forgive them or not,
but it does say there's an end to a period and something new is starting. The rebels in Columbia did similar things, right. This is like the Catholic
confession, it's the same principle, right, you basically say, I'm sorry about what happened so far. The (INAUDIBLE), we're starting a new page.
And I think that Biden needs to do something like that, right, where he needs to basically say, OK, we've been separated. We've had these questions
about what's true and false about media. Here are the new rules of the game. Here's how we're going to deal with the truth. Here's how we're going
to deal with the media. Here's how we're going to deal with the development of the country. Here's how we're going to appoint people. Here are the
rules of behavior and be transparent about it.
Now, you know, when you trust somebody like if you think about trusting your significant other, you don't need to see them all the time to know
what they do. You just trust them that they have your best interest in mind. On the period when you don't have trust, you want espionage, right?
You want to say, look, I really don't trust you that much. I just want to see what you're doing so you're not doing anything to hurt me, right, so
you could -- so, in the period -- so, I think Biden needs to have a new contract and here are the rules and so on, but he also need to say, for the
period now until -- I'm telling you this and the period where I build trust, I'm going to allow you, Americans, to have more espionage. I'm going
to basically give you more access to what is going on so you will rest assured that I have your best interest in mind, because you can't fix it
all at once.
I think both of those are needed -- three things, putting an end to it, new contract and for a little bit, increase dramatically transparency, so
people can see what the government is actually doing, how decisions are being made to fix this.
SREENIVASAN: Speaking of not true, we are coming off of a period of four years where I think "The Washington Post" has documented something like
22,000, they call them false or misleading statements, you can call them lies. What does that do, not just to the office of the presidency, but our
relationship with truth, especially when it's supposed to come from a trusted source?
ARIELY: So, there's a story in the bible that God comes to Sarah and said, Sarah, you're going to have a son, and Sarah laughs and she says, how can I
have a son when my husband is so old? Well, he says, don't worry, you'll have a son. And a then God goes to Abraham and says, Abraham, you're going
to have a son, and Abraham says, did you tell Sarah? And God says, yes. And Abraham continues and he says, and what did Sarah said and God lies. God
said, Sarah said how could she have a son when she is so old. And the religious scholars wondered, how could God lie and their conclusion was
it's OK to lie for peace at home.
And this is really the story. The story of lying, there are very few people that enjoy lying for lying's sake. But the fact is we have many human
values. I care about your feelings, like God in Abraham's case didn't want to offend him and I want my party to do better. I care about global
warming. I care about all kinds of things, and the question in the hierarchy of values, where is honesty? And I did a lot of research in the
previous election to try and understand why was Trump's base not concerned about him not being honest?
And, you know, the people -- the Democrats would hear Trump saying something that was not true and they were saying lying, lying, lying. What
the Republicans heard was committed to our cause even at the cost of lying, right? He was basically saying, I care about abolishing Obamacare, about
changing taxes, about all kinds of things, stopping regulations on pollution. He's saying, I want to do all kinds of things and I'm willing to
lie to do this because our values are more important to us.
So, the real challenge is, where is honesty in the hierarchy of values? And I think that what has happened is that it's at the lower place. Now, let's
say you believe that global warming is a dramatic problem in the world and we have to deal with this. Ask yourself, would you be willing to vote for a
president that would lie to the other side about the danger of global warming just to get these idiots to agree to do something?
You know, I'm not asking to say it here, but think about this, right. I tell you here's a president. He's willing to lie, to stab this back for a
purpose that we think is very important, like reducing emission globally. Would you say, you know what, I really care about the truth, but right now,
global warming looks like a bigger threat to me so and I'm willing to sacrifice truth for global warming just for the next 10 years until we
solve it then we'll go back to the truth. The problem is we don't get back to the truth. Once you have a political system where people are not honest,
it's very hard to change the values later.
So, in my view, Republicans voted for other values. It's not that they have no ethics. They voted for things that they cared about at the sacrifice of
the truth. But now, we're stuck with the truth being very low as a value in the political system, and it's very, very hard to recover from that
without, you know, the Truth and Reconciliation act and making real steps to try and improve it.
SREENIVASAN: You mentioned in the public good problem that as soon as somebody violates that trust that the system collapses. Have we reached
that point when it comes to this experiment that is American democracy? Have we violated enough trusts that our democracy as a whole is threatened?
ARIELY: So, I think democracy is threatened, but I'm optimistic. I think, you know, there's no question that we're in the fork on the road, it can go
in all kinds of bad directions and there's no question that there's some very threatening forces. But I'm optimistic. I think that the backbone of
American democracy and the institutions and so on are strong. So, I'm optimistic that we'll have a new wave that will change our direction.
It's not that it can't go badly. I can see how it can go badly, but my view is that the institutions of democracy and the beliefs that are so engrained
in Americans will win over time.
SREENIVASAN: Dan Ariely, thanks so much for joining us.
ARIELY: My pleasure.
AMANPOUR: And finally, to space. Four astronauts who boarded the SpaceX Crew Dragon craft from Florida have now arrived safely at the International
Space Station, no social distancing in space. So, their colleagues greeted them with hugs and cheers to kick start a six-month stay. Of course, they
do all quarantine before the flight. Astronaut, Victor Glover, makes history by being the first black crew member to live there long-term,
counting down from the six-month mark now.
And that is it for our program tonight. You can you always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media. Thank you for watching and good-bye