Kasparov shows flashes of past glory but comeback no dazzler

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WASHINGTON: Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov concluded his keenly awaited comeback Friday (Saturday in Manila), ending a week of games in which he showed flashes of his legendary prowess but ended up eighth out of 10 players.

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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.

Grandmaster chess player Garry Kasparov makes a move, late in a match against grandmaster Fabiano Caruana during the final day of the Grand Chess Tour at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis on Saturday. Kasparov and other chess grandmaters are in St. Louis to compete in the Grand Chess Tour. AFP PHOTO

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.

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.

Kasparov was not 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.

AFP

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