After being in the Mercenaries campaign add, Kasparov returns to Hearthstone to take revenge against the AI that once broke his perfect record almost 25 yeas ago.

Garry Kasparov appears once again in the Hearthstone scene. Almost 25 years after Kasparov’s first career loss, which was against a computer, he is seeking revenge against the AI, this time in Hearthstone.

Some weeks ago, we talked about Kasparov’s adventures in Hearthstone. The chess grandmaster mentioned that he started playing the game during the filming of the Mercenaries add he was part of. It seems that wasn’t just some casual gaming!

Garry Kasparov against Hearthstone’s AI?

Garry Kasparov took this Hearthstone challenge seriously. He trained intensely with Nathan Lyons-Smith and Peter Svidler, eight-time Russian chess champion and Hearthstone player. During his preparation, Garry quoted Bruce Lee, referring to his situation:

“I am not afraid of someone who knows thousand different moves but I’m afraid of someone who practiced one move thousand times”

Kasparov quoting Bruce Lee during his training sesions

With his competitive instinct intact, Garry Kasparov went for his revenge against the AI in Hearthstone.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

If you haven’t watched the video yet, and don’t want to be spoiled, take 5 minutes to check what happened and then continue reading. If you have already seen the video, you know by now that Kasparov didn’t actually battle against Hearthstone’s AI but against Slysssa, former #2 Legend Rank.

Slysssa is now better known for her incredible success in Battlegrounds and her content creation career. However, before the auto battler launched, she was a competitive player and streamer. Putting over 12 hours a day into Hearthstone, it was probably a much well-suited opponent for Garry Kasparov.

After the video aired, Esports.gg talked to Slysssa about how did she prepare for the event, and she gave some colorful insights.

“Omg I panicked when I realized I had to play constructed. I learned the deck while getting my hair and makeup done”

Slysssa’s experience when filming the documentary

The outcome

Despite not being actively competing in standard, Slysssa proved that playing constructed Hearthstone is like riding a bike. You might not do it for some time, but you will never forget how to do it.

Kasparov losing to Slysssa in a Token Druid mirror match
Kasparov losing to Slysssa in a Token Druid mirror match

The best-of-three match went to a decisive game, in which Slysssa took the win. However, the result is just an anecdote. I think the take from this documentary is something that Garry Kasparov mentions at the end, and that it doesn’t only apply to Hearthstone, but to life as a whole.

“As long as we are willing to learn, as long as we’re capable of learning, we’re good.”

Kasparov after his Hearthstone loss against Slysssa

This incredible lesson goes hand in hand with a healthy competitive mindset. On top of that, another phrase from the chess grandmasters stood out. Before his Hearthstone match, Kasparov says: “I want to win. Though, again, I understand my limitations. If one of the greatest strategic minds of our century is humble enough to talk about his limitations, I guess that it’s important we all do.

Garry Kasparov Hotel's wall filled with Hearthstone cards
Garry Kasparov Hotel’s wall filled with Hearthstone cards

On a personal note about limitations, I think I could never beat anyone if my only prep time is while my hair is being done. But enough about me, I hope you have enjoyed this new incursion from Kasparov into Hearthstone. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more news and updates.  

Manuel

Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.