Chess 9LX 2: Kasparov is back! Dominguez leads | Chess 24 | September 10, 2021


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By Colin McGourty

“The rumours of my chess death probably have been slightly exaggerated!” said Garry Kasparov as he stormed back to defeat Sam Shankland and Levon Aronian on Day 2 of Chess 9LX in Saint Louis. After being one of just two players not to win a game on Day 1, he was now one of just two players to remain unbeaten on Day 2. The other, Leinier Dominguez, took the lead with a perfect 3/3, defeating Peter Svidler, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Hikaru Nakamura.

After everything went wrong for Garry Kasparov from the end of his game against Wesley So on the first day of Chess 9LX, the first game of Day 2 acquired great significance. Would the downwards spiral continue, or would Garry hit back?

It was the latter, as Garry was winning within 10 moves and made no mistake in what followed — in fact the commentators felt Garry was having too much fun!


It would be an excellent day at the office…

…and it was great to see Garry relishing the experience in the interviews after it was over.

Perhaps the move of the day came against Levon Aronian, when the world no. 5 went for an exchange sacrifice on d5 in order to push his c-pawn.

It looked powerful, but Garry was delighted to find 36…d4+!, when 37.Kxd4? gets hit by 37…Rc2! and the black pawn is faster if White takes the rook. In the game after 37.Kxb3 Garry had 37…Rxg3+ 38.Kc4 Rc3+ 39.Kxd4 Rxc6, and then he went on to squeeze out a win in the Rook vs. Bishop endgame.

Garry’s final game of the day was against Fabiano Caruana, who started the day in the sole lead and almost got off to the perfect start against Hikaru Nakamura. Fabi said 24.a4!? was an amazing resource by Hikaru in a lost position, but there was a spectacular refutation — 24…Qe5!!


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