5 July 2017
I’m delighted to have the chance to return to the chessboard against elite competition in St. Louis. Rapid and blitz against such a strong field will be by far my toughest test since I retired in 2005. I’m not leaving behind the very full life I’ve led since then, however. My family, my political activism, speaking and writing, coaching—there is little time for the dedication serious chess requires and deserves. But for me, playing in St. Louis is special, not least because it is a way to say thanks for what the Sinquefield family has done to promote the game there and worldwide, especially in education. Thanks to the Sinquefields, St. Louis has become the global chess capital and the atmosphere there is something approximating the enthusiasm and respect for chess culture back in the Soviet Union—and you can see that the results are excellent as well. I’m very comfortable there, and while I have no plans to play elsewhere I hope to do well enough to honor such a wonderful event with my chess, not just my name.