Linares 2005

Linares 2005


1. Kasparov, Garry g RUS 2804 8.0
2. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2757 8.0
3. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2786 6.5
4. Leko, Peter g HUN 2749 6.0
5. Adams, Michael g ENG 2741 5.5
6. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2686 4.0
7. Kasimdzhanov, Rustam g UZB 2678 4.0

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The big news today was the start of Kasparov’s press conference where he made this announcement.

Linares 2005 was his last professional tournament and today was his last professional game. He might still play some rapid chess, but just for fun. There is nothing more to achieve, he does not see any reunification coming and there no goals left.

Kasparov had planned to make this statement tomorrow at the closing ceremony but after his loss today he wanted the big words out right away.

He wanted to leave in style and not the way he was playing 6 months ago. He wanted to leave in style and prove to himself he plays better than the others. That he has proven here in Linares, today had little to do with level of the other games, he just collapsed under pressure that it was his last game.

Besides that there is nothing left to prove in the chess world, the mess of the last two years also added bit by bit to his decision. Everyone was happy when he was denied a chance to be in the world championship again. He did not hear a voice of support for him, while he still hears support for Ponomariov. After the Prague agreement there were regular disappointments for him and people were putting their own agenda first for their own good and at the expense of him. He does not want to press anyone, just live his own life now. It was a difficult process to come to this decision. He needs reasons to be so determined in his game and he is missing that now. He has not lost his passion for the game, so he will still play some chess for fun and a lot of writing. Besides Predecessors, there will be a new book at the end of the year, “How life imitates chess”. This book explains how decision-making in chess can help in daily life decision-making. The book is very important to him and for a broader audience.

He will be back in Linares as a guest of honour. He feels he has been part of a growing community here. The first time here 15 years ago the city ended at the back of the hotel and now it is so much bigger.

He will spend some time on Russian politics as he believes every decent person has to oppose to the dictator Putin.

The chess world is in big crisis and he does not see any player that can make an impact like Fischer or himself. There are players like Karjakin or Carlsen but it is still too early to say anything for sure about them. The chess world needs some outstanding measures to be taken to get better again. He hopes that his departure will help in this aspect. He has taken his responsibility for his mistakes, unlike others that make up excuses and shift responsibility. He recognizes his failures and maybe because he plays such great games he is not so good at the organization part.

The first time he thought about leaving was after Dubai got cancelled, he felt he did not belong to this chess world anymore. He wanted to leave earlier, but he had accepted Linares already so for example when he wrote the letter during Corus he could quit yet.

He felt the tournament was over after the nice win over Adams. He had no energy to fight Anand, and with that draw he realized that because of the tie-break he had clinched the trophy already. This may have been the reason for his bad play today. It was very tough to play here anyway, as every game in the second half was the last one. It was like a rocket launch with the discounting to zero. Everyday he was afraid to make a big blunder. Only today did he not think about it, and so it happened today.

He feels his best games ever are against Karpov in 1985, game 20 and in 1987 game 24 and probably the best of all his games, the one against Topalov in Corus. In Linares he thinks he has played 168 games and lost 7 and won a lot more. He enjoys watching the pictures of the previous tournaments in the hotel lobby, seeing himself and Vishy with long black hair back in the old days.