Garry Kasparov, the Man Who Would Be King


Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion, put his head down, hunched his shoulders and walked hurriedly down the carpeted corridor of the Sands Cotai Central, a labyrinthine new complex on reclaimed land in Macau. Downstairs were two of the world’s most lucrative casinos and retailers like Saint Laurent Paris and Fabio Caviglia. There were restaurants, spas and an array of theme-park attractions from DreamWorks, including a daily parade through the lobby with characters from “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda.” Here on the fourth floor, though, hundreds of boys and girls from across Asia had just wrapped up their matches in a chess tournament. Spilling into the corridor, many of them gaped at Kasparov barreling by, as if Shrek himself had wandered up to the wrong floor. That was why he was rushing, he explained, when I managed to catch up to him as he turned toward a bank of elevators. “If you stop,” he said, “you’ll be there for 30 minutes.” He did not sound angry, just matter of fact. “Everyone circles around. They want pictures.”