World Champion Garry Kasparov will be coming out of retirement to compete against world’s top chess talent of modern time in the inaugural Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament, set to take place in August.
The chess legend, Kasparov, who became a World Champion at the age of 22, will be competing in the tournament from August 14 to 19, 2017. The competition will feature six of the Grand Chess Tour players and four wildcard picks playing for a total prize fund of $150,000. The Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz competition is the fourth stop on the Grand Chess Tour.
“It’s a thrill to officially be returning to the game, and certainly not something I would have anticipated more than a decade after my retirement,” said World Champion Kasparov. “Coming back to the board in Saint Louis is truly an honor – I wouldn’t want to commemorate this moment anywhere else.”
He also tweeted about his return, saying “Ready to see if I remember how to move the pieces! Will I be able to announce my re-retirement afterward if not?”
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) 5 July 2017
The 54-year-old came to international fame as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985 at the age of 22. He retired from professional chess in 2005 after a record 20 years as the world’s top-ranked player, and now – 12 years post-career – he’s coming back to the board in Saint Louis.
Kasparov was a household name in the 80s, becoming famous through epic duels with his predecessor, the 12th world champion Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov retired in 2005 from professional chess in tears after a record 20 years as the world’s top-ranked player.
He went on to become a prolific author, human rights campaigner and a fierce critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Executive Director of the CCSCSL Tony Rich, said, “Not only is the caliber of talent historic in this year’s tournament – but the fact that legendary World Champion Kasparov has chosen to come out of retirement for this inaugural Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz event is truly unprecedented.”