Kasparov holds Carlsen in their first clash in 16 years

Garry Kasparov battles an inferior position in the middle game before forcing a draw in 55 moves.

Garry Kasparov is a special invitee for the event. - GETTY IMAGES (FILE)

In their first battle in 16 years, former World champion Garry Kasparov drew with current title-holder Magnus Carlsen in the second round of the Champions Showdown Chess 960 online event on Friday. Kasparov battled an inferior position in the middle game before forcing a draw in 55 moves, when only the kings and a couple of pawns remained on the board.

In this 10-player round-robin event, Carlsen and Leinier Dominguez Perez led after the first day with 2.5 points from three rounds.

But the talking point of the day was the return of the retired legendary Russian, considered by many in the chess world as the greatest player to have played the game. Kasparov is a special invitee for the event.

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Kasparov started his campaign with a win against young Iranian Alireza Firouzja, who plays under the FIDE flag. He drew the second with Carlsen before losing to fellow-Russian Peter Svidler. He shares the fourth spot, with four others, at 1.5 points.

Unlike traditional chess, in Chess960 the pieces are placed randomly on the white's home-rank by following two rules. The bishops occupy squares of different colours and the king is placed between rooks. Black's pieces are then placed on the corresponding squares on its back-rank. The pawns retain their traditional starting rank.

The results (third round)
  • Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2.5) bt Fabiano Caruana (USA, 1.5);
  • Leinier Dominguez Perez (USA) bt Alireza Firouzja (FIDE, 0.5);
  • Levon Aronian (Arm, 1) drew with Wesley So (USA, 2);
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 0) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 1.5);
  • Peter Svidler (Rus, 1.5) bt Garry Kasparov (1.5).

The results (second round)
  • Kasparov drew with Carlsen;
  • Caruana bt Vachier;
  • Nakamura drew with Aronian;
  • So drew with Perez;
  • Firouzja drew with Svidler;
  • Firouzja lost to Kasparov;
  • Svidler lost to So;
  • Perez bt Nakamura;
  • Aronian drew with Caruana;
  • Vachier lost to Carlsen.

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