Indian Grand Master Viswanathan Anand’s campaign at the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament in the rapid category, in St Louis ended on a disappointing note on Wednesday. In the last three round robin games, the former world No 1 drew two games before losing the ninth and final game.

To start off the day’s play, Anand took on Vietnamese Grand Master Le Quang Liem in the seventh round. Quang Liem opened play with Bogo-Indian Defense and both players decided on the draw after 43 moves. In the eighth round, against American Grand Master Fabiano Caruana, Anand started off the game with the Russian Game with the opponents acknowledging the draw after 30 moves.

In his ninth-round game against Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, Anand faced problems countering his opponent’s tactic of opening with the Italian Game before conceding defeat in the 37th move.

At the end of the nine round robin games in the rapid category, Anand is joint-eighth along with Czech Republic’s David Navara and Garry Kasparov with seven points. Armenian Grand Master Levon Aronian won the rapid category in the tournament with 12 points.

The tournament’s format will now change to a blitz round-robin format, with each of the players facing off against each other on Thursday and again on Friday.

Slow comeback for former legend

Former world No 1 Kasparov finally claimed his first victory on Wednesday during his much-watched comeback tournament in Missouri following 12 years of retirement – but also conceded two more defeats.

After dominating the global chessboard for two decades, the 15-time world champion took a one-week hiatus from his political activism against Russian president Vladimir Putin to face the next generation of chess masters at the Rapid and Blitz tournament in St. Louis.

Following two days without a win, the 54-year-old Russian beat Quang Liem – who is 28 years his junior – marking his only triumph of nine games.

Kasparov also suffered two more setbacks against Navara and Caruana.

His performance has not surprised experts, who predicted the Russian would face stiff competition from the younger stars, especially after more than a decade away from the professional chess circuit.