Into the Night with Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel

It’s like watching two sentient beings on a safari to NYC.

“Into the night with Garry Kapsarov and Peter Thiel” is a journey with two very intelligent people discussing chess, technology and economics.

This will likely make my list of best documentaries on Chess when I get to it (even though it’s about a lot more than chess).

Thanks to Theron Mohamed for first pointing this doc out in this article on Thiel and Warren Buffett.

And thanks to Alex Grosek for the funny “sentient beings” analogy above.


Watch “Into the night with Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel”

I watched “Into the night with Garry Kapsarov and Peter Thiel” for free on YouTube.

You can watch it by clicking the video embed above or going here: (that’s Garry Kasparov’s channel).

In case that doesn’t work for you, here are some backup links:


  • My Rating: 93/100
  • IMDB Rating: na
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na

Release Date: 2002

My Highlights/Review of Into the Night with Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel

Some favorite moments of mine are:

  • Kasparov and Thiel visit Columbia University’s AI lab. Kasparov poo poos the progress made in A.I. (the visit starts at the 10 min mark)
  • Thiel and Kasparov head to the Marshall Chess Club. Thiel plays chess against the Marshall President Frank Brady on a board that Bobby Fischer played. Thiel (who claims an ELO of 2300)) wins. Note: Thiel does indeed have an ELO close to 2300 (2287), according to @JimJWalker in the user comments with tournament victories against International Master Jay Bonin and Grand Master Anatoly Lein. (at 19:20 mark)
  • Kasparov then gives feedback on the game that Thiel played against Frank Brady (21 min. mark)
  • They meet Thor Halvorssen (a human rights advocate) and Thor gives Thiel and Kasparov a skateboard (31 to 41 min. mark)
  • Thiel’s 4 predictions of scenarios for our economy: 1) Worldwide Depression but people stop that by printing money (what’s happening now); 2) World War (but people do a lot to prevent that because of nuculear weopans) ; 3) A move to the left (government confiscates wealth and 4) Thiel doesn’t get to this one because Kasparov cuts him off to say the first scenario is most likely (at 42: 16 mark).

And then I found these quotes interesting:

Garry Kasparov Quotes

About Google’s Focus on Computers Replacing Humans

“The example I brought to Google…was very natural…why not to maximize the effect of the servers…by adding a tiny element of…human…visualization…[there were] great reservations [by Google]…It is a bit odd [Google’s prediction that machines will replace humans within 20 to 30 years] because certain things you can do very quickly… yeah if you accept that you know man plus machine…you know is a solution…”

Garry Kasparov (6:14 mark)

About Warren Buffett

“Look At Warren Buffett. The nineteenth century…is the year of Great Britain, the twentieth century is the year of the United States. The twenty-first will be China…You have Warren Buffett telling people that’s it…nice…and invest accordingly [e.g. in China]. You have the richest man in this country predicting its fall.”

Garry Kasparov (at the 45:02 mark)

On Simultaneous Exhibitions

I have almost impeccable record in the simultaneous exhibitions [playing 20 to 30 games at once] The last game I lost was in 2001.”

Garry Kasparov (at 25:54 mark)

Peter Thiel Quotes

About Google

“the Google ideology is that computers will replace humans in the next 20 years 30 years…”

Peter Thiel (at 6:33 mark)

About the Tech Industry’s Myopic View that Tech is Everything (versus the human’s value)

“Anybody in the technology industry finds it very hard to talk about the failure of technology because the question of technology is this incredibly important question for our whole civilization…everything has been dedicated and geared towards ever improving technology.

You know the credit crisis credit worked as long as the future would be better and you could borrow uh money against the future if the future was better you could pay it off and so our whole civilization is uh implicitly based on technology and to question technology is probably the the most sacred of the taboos and of course you can speak about the chess thing in some ways you [Kasparov] would be used as the exhibit of see uh if even the smartest person in the world could be beaten by computers at chess then computers will surely beat people at everything

Peter Thiel (at 6:45 mark)

About Warren Buffett

“The other thing I think is sort of problematic at least about Buffett is that…he’s become the richest man in America by avoiding technology altogether.”

Peter Thiel (45:19 mark)

About Warren Buffett

“Would you rather invest in a Spaceship that goes to Mars, or a Mars Candy bar?”

Peter Thiel (at the 45:37 mark)

About the “Into The Night” (aka “Durch die Nacht mit”) Series

The Kasparov/Thiel documentary is part of the “Durch die Nacht mit…” German documentary television series produced by ZDF for the Franco-German television channel ARTE.

The English translation of Durch die Nacht mit is “Into the Night”

The series (134 episodes) primarily takes place in locations across France and Germany. The French version is titled “Au cœur de la nuit”.

In each episode, two celebrities spend an evening together on film. One celebrity acts as the host, choosing the locations and activities for the evening. There is no moderator.

Credits for this Kasparov/Thiel doc:

  • Staring Peter Thiel and Garry Kasparov
  • Starring Thor Halvorssen, Dr. Frank Brady,
  • Maurice Ashley, Columbia University Robotics Group
  • Director is Hasko baumann
  • Idea/Concept Person: Hans Gunther Bruske
  • Format Concept: Martin Pieper and Edda Bowmann-Von Broen
  • Music: Ingo Gabriel, Henning Hellfield, Constanze Zacharias
  • Camera: Fabian Meyer, Christopher Rowe, Wolfgang Lehner
  • Editing: Martin Eberle

Other celebrity pairings for “Durch die Nacht mit” include:

  • Carl Barât and Adam Green
  • Christoph Schlingensief and Michel Friedmann
  • Calixto Bieito and Michel Houellebecq
  • Dolph Lundgren and Ralph Herforth
  • Bastian Pastewka and Frank Plasberg
  • Juliette Lewis and Crispin Glover
  • Shirin Neshat and Henry Rollins
  • Sibel Kekilli and George R. R. Martin
  • Heike Makatsch and Peaches
  • Franco Nero and Fred Williamson
  • Billy Corgan and Uli Jon Roth
  • Anne Will and Serdar Somuncu
  • Christoph Schlingensief
  • Christian Thielemann
  • Pierre Woodman and Brian Yuzna
  • Bryan Ferry and Dieter Meier
  • Joe Coleman and Asia Argento
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky and Daniel Pinchbeck.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc