Musk has been under fire from supporters of Ukraine, including many on the American left since he tweeted a proposal for ending the Russian invasion of its western neighbor. Although Musk has spent tens of millions providing Ukraine with his Starlink satellite technology during the eight-month war, critics objected to his suggestion Ukraine make concessions for peace.
“The cost is huge but Ukraine is paying this cost,” Kasparov, a fierce foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Monday. “So why are people sitting in the comfort of their mansions in Silicon Valley telling Ukraine how to conduct their own affairs? It’s moral idiocy and geopolitical blindness.”
While it’s true that Kasparov is almost as good at playing chess as my iPhone, he is otherwise an idiot
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 24, 2022
Kasparov, 59, who was born in the part of the former Soviet Union now known as Azerbaijan, reigned as world chess champion from 1985-2000. He is now chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and frequently comments on geopolitics.
But Musk didn’t take kindly to Kasparov’s criticism and let his 110 million Twitter followers know it.
“While it’s true that Kasparov is almost as good at playing chess as my iPhone, he is otherwise an idiot,” Musk tweeted. “And I don’t even own a house, let alone a ‘mansion,’ you douche.”
Despite being the world’s richest man, with a net worth of over $200 billion, Musk lives in a modest, rented home in Texas. His efforts to fund communication in Ukraine amid Russia’s attacks on its infrastructure, has cost him more than $80 million. Earlier this month, Musk asked the Pentagon to pay for the service, but then said he would continue to cover it through his SpaceX company.
The peace proposal that Kasparov appeared to object to came in the form of a poll Musk tweeted on October 3. In it, he suggested conditions for peace including UN-supervised elections in Eastern Ukraine regions seized by Russia, Crimea being officially returned to Russia with its water supply guaranteed, and Ukraine not joining NATO.
Although Musk has famously focused his prodigious intellect on satellites, rockets, electric cars, and drilling tunnels, he told one Twitter user that he has played the so-called “game of kings” before.
“I did as a child, but found it to be too simple to be useful in real life: a mere 8 by 8 grid, no fog of war, no technology tree, no random map or spawn position, only 2 players, both sides exact same pieces, etc.,” he wrote of chess.