Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov shows flashes of past glory but comeback falls short
Former 15-time world champion took on much younger generation at the Rapid and Blitz tournament, but won only a few games and finished eighth out of the 10 players in St Louis
Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov concluded his keenly awaited comeback after ending a week of games in which he showed flashes of his legendary prowess but ended up eighth out of 10 players.
The 54-year-old 15-time world champion temporarily came out of 12 years of retirement to take on a much younger generation of masters at the Rapid and Blitz tournament in St Louis, Missouri.
In this format featuring faster-paced chess than in traditional games, Kasparov played inconsistently.
He won just a few games against the other nine players, who included four of the world’s top 10, in a tournament won by Levon Aronian of Armenia.
After retiring from chess in 2005, Kasparov turned to politics and joined the opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) August 19, 2017
In his peak he was known as “the Beast of Baku” – a reference to the capital of his native Azerbaijan – because of his very aggressive playing style focusing on wins over settling for a draw.
Experts predicted the Russian would face stiff competition from the younger stars, especially after more than a decade away from the pro chess circuit.
“I expected a better performance from Kasparov,” French grandmaster Sylvain Ravot said.
Ravot said Kasparov actually dominated a number of games, but played too slowly through much of the tournament.
“The explanation for that is his lack of confidence,” said Ravot.