Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov concluded his keenly awaited comeback Friday, ending a week of games in which he showed flashes of his legendary prowess but ended up eighth out of 10 players.
The 15-time world champ 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. The winner of the tournament was Levon Aronian, of Armenia.
After retiring from chess in 2005, Kasparov turned to politics and joined the opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Born Garry Weinstein in Azerbaijan to an Armenian mother and Jewish father, Kasparov was known in his peak as “the Beast of Baku” — a reference to the capital Azerbaijan — because of his very aggressive playing style focusing on wins over settling for a draw.
Kasparov had not been expected to win this tournament. 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 told AFP.
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.