12 years after Garry Kasparov retired from chess in 2005 he’s returning next month as a wild card for the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz leg of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour. That means Garry will face off against the likes of Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin and Vishy Anand, with rating points and a $150,000 prize fund at stake.
He won’t play Magnus Carlsen, but the World Champion does play alongside the other eight tour regulars in the classical Sinquefield Cup. We’re delighted the wildcard there is Peter Svidler.
You have to feel a bit sorry for the players other than Wesley So and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who must have been feeling pleased they’d chosen to play the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz and therefore escaped the ordeal of playing Magnus Carlsen, at least in one event. But you get rid of one potential GOAT and another comes along to replace him!
Garry has been living his career in reverse for the last few years. In 2015 he was tempted back by the guys in the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis to play a 2-day blitz and rapid match against his old rival Nigel Short. The result became known as the St. Louis Massacre. Then in 2016 Garry graduated to taking on the current world elite as he faced off against Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So in a 4-player blitz event after the end of the US Championship.
Garry finished narrowly behind Nakamura and So but above Caruana, winning his mini-matches against both Hikaru and Fabiano. It was clear he still had it!
Now this! Garry will play in the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz, which has exactly the same format as the Paris and Leuven events we just enjoyed over the last couple of weeks.
That means for the first time since his retirement Garry will be playing FIDE-rated rapid and blitz games, featuring on lists that didn’t exist when he was dominating the world stage. Garry shared the good news…