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Kasparov notches first win in brief comeback

Russian legend also suffers two defeats in Rapid and Blitz tournament in St. Louis

Image Credit: AFP
Garry Kasparov
Gulf News

Washington: Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov finally claimed his first victory on Wednesday during his much-watched comeback tournament in Missouri following 12 years of retirement — but also conceded two more defeats.

After dominating the game globally for two decades, the 15-time world champion took a one-week hiatus from his political activism against President Vladimir Putin to face the next generation of chess masters at the Rapid and Blitz tournament in St. Louis.

Following two days without a win, the 54-year-old Russian beat Le Quang Liem of Vietnam — a player 28 years his junior — marking his only triumph of nine games.

Kasparov also suffered two more setbacks against the Czech player David Navara and the American Fabiano Caruana.

Known as ‘the Beast of Baku,’ Kasparov — who in 1997 took on IBM’s Deep Blue computer — now stands tied for last place.

His performance has not surprised experts, who predicted the Russian would face stiff competition from the younger stars, especially after more than a decade away from the professional chess circuit.

The tournament’s format will now change to a blitz round-robin format, with each of the players facing off against each other on Thursday and again on Friday.

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