This year looked like the perfect season to rest and to spend some time with his family, especially with his little boy Sebastian. There were no major events ahead, so the best Cuban chess player nowadays wanted to take a sabbatical 2017.
However, life sometime changes and it happened these days. He was invited to participate in a rapid and blitz Tournament to be held in St. Louis.
I am pretty sure this is not the first invitation he has received this year. He rejected the others, but this one is different. It has something special: the return of genius Garry Kasparov to an official tournament.
Playing against Baku’s Beast, privilege or torture Leinier has never experienced before, must have shaken his foundations as he said yes. Therefore, Leinier will be playing along with seven other strong chess players in August 14-19.
Besides Leinier and Kasparov, Vietnamese Le Quang Liem, Czech David Navara, Russians Ian Nepomniachtchi, Sergey Karjakin, and Americans Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruano, Armenian Levon Aronian, and Indian Vishy Anand complete the line-up.
With such line-up, it is hard to turn the invitation down. Not even for the Cuban, who has not competed for months and will face here strong players.
Nonetheless, Leinier is not there for free. He is number three in the FIDE world rapid ranking with (2803) behind Nakamura (2822) and Nepomniachtchi (2819).
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff