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Kasparov Back in the Game!

Kasparov Back in the Game!

Mihai-Stefan
Aug 13, 2017, 12:03 PM 1

Yes, that's right! The legend Garry Kasparov is back in action playing rated Rapid and Blitz in Saint Louis!

This is the fourth event of The Grand Chess Tour, starting right after The Sinquefield Cup (see my article here). The format is the same as in Paris and Leuven with six Tour Participants and four Wildcards fighting in three days of rapid chess (nine rounds) and two days of blitz (18 rounds), but points in the rapid portion count double.

Because Carlsen, MVL and So played in both Paris and Leuven, they won't be in Saint Louis. That leaves AronianNakamuraCaruanaKarjakinAnand and Nepomniatchi as the Tour Regulars playing. They will be joined by some intersting players. Let's have a look:

 

Garry Kasparov

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Kasparov defeating Fabi in an unrated competition

After the big announcement of the comeback, the chess world was buzzing and couldn't wait for the start of the competition. Even though Kasparov played some events, this would be the first rated tournament after 12 (!) years. Is he going to play more after or is he going to re-announce his withdrawal? Put your bets! Here is an "antic" blitz game against Kramnik:

 

 Leiner Dominguez Perez

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The 4 time Cuban Champion can be dangerous

Dominguez has not played any tournaments in 2017, but for the past few years he managed to maintain himself as a Super-GM. His best tournament result was in Barcelona in 2006, where he scored 8/9 and finished first, ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk, with a performance rating of 2932! He was also World Blitz Champion nine years ago. How will he play against this strong field after a long break? I personally do not think he will impress either the public or his opponents. Meanwhile, a fine attacking game from 2008:

 

David Navara

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Czech Number 1 has a degree in logic at Charles University in Prague 

On the other side of the spectrum, Navara played quite a bit this year... but not so great. Most recently, he lost badly in a match against Ivanchuk and finished on a dissapointing eigth place in Biel where he started as the first seed. Nevertheless, he will be looking to regain his form and put up a fight in Saint Louis. Is he going to be succesful? Hard to believe, but you never know.

For now, enjoy this beautiful queen sacrifice:

 
Le Quang Liem
 

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Just graduated from the Webster University in Saint Louis in May

Vietnam's number one was very constant during the course of the last years. This remained true in 2017: he won the HD Bank Cup in his home country coming ahead of Wei Yi; finished second in the strong Danzhou tournament and second in the World Open. In rapid and blitz, he is a top performer. He even won the 2013 World Blitz Championship, so he is a player to look out for. Check out this amazing combination created by Le:

 
This line-up looks very exciting and you can expect anything from it. I am not sure whether there is a clear favorite, but Nakamura might have a slight edge. Anyway, you can't count any of these guys off.
Will Garry play at his best and win the event or will one of the wildcards dominate? Let the games begin!
 
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