It was March 2005, when the strongest player ever announced his retirement from professional chess. After 20 years at the top of the game, Garry Kimovich Kasparov declared: "Before this tournament, I made a conscious decision that Linares 2005 will be my last professional [tournament] and today I played my last professional game." He won Linares 2005, ahead of Topalov, Anand, Leko, Adams, Kasindzhanov and Vallejo Pons. Nonetheless, the decision had been taken: the greatest players of all time was out of the game. Kasparov was 41, and well on top of the rating list.
Here is his famous game vs. Michael Adams, in round 12
Now let's jump forward 12 years. Garry Kasparov has become an accomplished book author, in collaboration with the fine journalist Mig Greengard. The former chess Matador has participated, though sporadically, in exhibitions, but nothing serious, after all. Many chess fans have auspicated his comeback, even affirming that he would still be able to fight with the top players. And now, probably thanks to Rex Sinquefield, the Re Mida of American chess, the King is back!
And he's going to play in a real competition this time: the Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz in St. Louis, Missouri. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center - arguably the most important and awesome chess club in the US - will see the old Champion sit at the board with top players such as Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin, Vishy Anand, Ian Nepomniachtchi, David Navara, Lenier Dominguez and Liem Quang Le.
It's easy to say that this is the most awaited tournament of the year. No matter it's Rapid and Blitz. There is the King at the board, and millions of fans from all over the world will watch the games.
Play starts August 14th at 2 PM EDT, 20:00 Europe, 19:00 UK.
ICC will relay the games, and broadcast live recaps at the end of the Rapid games, and at the end of the Blitz games.
August 14th, 2 PM EDT: 3 rounds of Rapid games at 25 minutes + 10 sec delay
August 15th, 2 PM EDT: 3 rounds of Rapid games at 25 minutes + 10 sec delay
August 16th, 2 PM EDT: 3 rounds of Rapid games at 25 minutes + 10 sec delay
August 17th, 2 PM EDT: 9 rounds of Blitz games at 5 minutes + 2 sec delay
August 18th, 2 PM EDT: 9 rounds of Blitz games at 5 minutes + 2 sec delay
To celebrate Garry Kasparovs, ICC has released a new video series by GM Alex Yermolinsky: Revolution revisited.
Watch the first episode!