The 54-year-old Kasparov took time to get going but his appearance at St Louis still overhadowed Aronian’s three-point margin of victory at the tournament

Winning a top tournament by a three-point margin normally captures the headlines but Levon Aronian’s impressive result at the St Louis speed event last week was sweepingly upstaged by Garry Kasparov’s return to competitive play after a 12-year absence.

This one-off comeback by the 54-year-old, whom many regard as the all-time No1 ahead of Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen, sparked a tidal wave of interest, with six-figure internet audiences reportedly watching the live video. It was gripping stuff, too, as Kasparov showed his old skills with deep strategic plans yet for most of the event simply could not or would not handle his clock time sensibly. He took 22 minutes to his opponent’s four in a 25-minute rapid game, and spent two of his five minutes for blitz on a single move. He was often down to a few seconds at the end of his games.

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