Legendary player Garry Kasparov returned to chess after more than 12 years with his last match. The “great and terrible” as he was called 54-year-old Azerbaijani, decided to leave — “only time” — a political battle with the establishment to return to chess, the sport that made him famous, where he had no equal and he has made a number of innovations to make it more modern.
The return will happen this week in the United States at the international tournament “Rapid and Blitz” in St. Louis. Of course, the circumstances has changed a lot since then, as Kasparov last competed in tournaments with real opponents, but the return of GM to the official competition has already attracted the curiosity of half the world, like in the old days, when his fascinating and often never-ending matches were broadcast live on television before and after the fall of the Berlin wall. The grandmaster has decided to leave the sport in 2005, turning it over 20 years of his victories.
In 1984, he became the youngest ever world champion, leaving behind his permanent rival Anatoly Karpov. The son of a Jew and an Armenian, born in the Soviet Republic, the rebellious Kasparov embodied the complete opposite of the more phlegmatic Karpov, symbolizing the power of the Soviet Kremlin, which made the chess players of the sponsors of the power of Moscow.
For 15 years, Kasparov remained the king of the world, “one hundred head monster” as it was called because of his ability to not lose sight of even a millimeter of a chess Board for long hours. His desire to win, to fight for each move against an opponent, combined with theatrical, lively, temperamental warehouse, able to convince the opponents reverent fear (hence the nickname “great and terrible”). He first attracted major donors, populyarizirovan chess sport, forcing everyone to either stand on its side, or to play against him. He first began to train with the help of new technologies. The first challenged the machine, Deep Blue, and the first lost — it was March 11, 1997 — the sixth battle with the computer. He promised with his usual arrogance, that the piece of iron will never be able to defeat him.
The defeat of the machine, which in 2000 was followed by defeat in the game against Vladimir Kramnik, was the prelude to his retirement and the beginning of a new Chapter in his life, to participate in political life. The enemy of Vladimir Putin — whom he openly called a dictator — in 2013, put forward his candidacy in the presidential election, lost and went to the United States, fearing for his life. Despite this, he continues to take an active political position, he was encouraged by Ronald Reagan and Donald trump, he calls “the worst choice that could make the Americans”. In part because — he adds — that his support of Putin. His intransigence, straightness and lack of inclination to compromise has defined his political career in Russia. Kasparov could not even become President of the International chess Federation, instead chose Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is famous, rather, not for his chess achievements, and claims that he was abducted by aliens.
Now, in one unexpected move, Kasparov tries to rewind the tape and challenge the past: at the tournament in St. Louis will also be the participant, who is considered the heir to Kasparov, Sergey Karjakin. “This is a dream come true to meet one of the greatest players in history,” said 27-year-old chess player. “He has not forgotten how to play” — ironically commented on the French player Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Maxime Vachier-Lagrave). Among of respect due to the return of the old GM, and an easy contempt for the old man, who cannot accept and do something else, Kasparov laughs: “It would be unrealistic to think that I still have the same quality in the best years, it would be absurd, just as to find me on the old head of hair”. He insists that his return to the tournament — just five days. However, myself Kasparov probably continues to think about how to make chess something new. One more time.