Sinquefield 06: Magic Magnus wins again

9/15/2013 – It seemed for a moment that a repeat of the Candidate's tournament would occur. Nakamura was against the ropes against Kamsky but he was able to salvage an almost miraculous draw. Aronian with black outplayed Carlsen, played on in an equal endgame, and then saw his position deteriorate move by move until a blunder sealed his fate in an already bad position. Carlsen wins another tournament. Last round report.

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The Sinquefield Cup is taking place from September 9th to September 15th at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The tournament brings together the top two players in the world as well as the top two Americans in a double round robin. The time control is the standard FIDE 90 minutes for 40 moves plus thirty minutes at move 40 with 30 second increment throughout. Sofia rules apply, which means none of the games can be drawn before move 30 - with certain exceptions.

The man: Rex Sinquefield. Thanks to him the Sinquefield Cup, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the World Hall of Fame not only exist but are top-tier class. Not to mention the over 500 schools the chess club reaches out to to popularize and teach chess.

Round six

The Sinquefield Cup has finished in a very unexpected way. Kamsky had the chance to upset Nakamura after the latter took too many early risks, but eventually Kamsky was unable to convert. His inaccuracies near the end of the game still gave him a small edge due to the weakend position of Black's king, but a combination of not being in shape and probably wanting to get the tournament over with influenced his decision to take a draw by perpetual check. This wasn't so bad for Nakamura as at this point Carlsen was significantly worse in his game.

Kamsky was friendly from start to finish, despite the less than stellar result

Nakamura's opening was risky and you could argue that he got the unbalanced position he wanted, but he soon found himself in trouble

Kamsky's 2625 performance is well below his rating, but he hopes to bounce back in future tournaments

[Event "Sinquefield Cup"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2013.09.15"] [Round "6"] [White "Kamsky, Gata"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2741"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Ng4 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Bg3 Bg7 10. h3 Nf6 (10... Ne5 {is more common, after the move in the game Kamsky started thinking.}) 11. Bc4 Qb6 {exploiting the diagonal is part of Black's idea in this set-up. Without activity on the dark squares none of Black's moves make sense.} 12. Bb3 Nc6 (12... Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Qxd4 14. Qe2 $16 { is just asking for trouble.}) 13. Nxc6 Qxc6 14. O-O g4 15. hxg4 Bxg4 16. Qd2 { Black has problems as he will never find a safe haven for his king. Hikaru wanted a double edged position to fight for first with a win, but Kamsky can hold his own in complicated games.} Nd7 17. Nd5 Bxb2 18. Rab1 Be5 {almost forced.} (18... Bg7 19. Nxe7 Kxe7 20. Bd5 Qc5 21. Qf4 $1 {with an initiative. This is not the only way White can play.}) 19. f4 Bg7 20. e5 $1 Nc5 21. Bh4 dxe5 $2 {Too optimistic.} (21... e6 {taking advantage that White can't play Nf6:} 22. Nf6+ Bxf6 23. Bxf6 Ne4 {and Black's structure is solid and he retains an extra pawn.}) 22. fxe5 Be6 23. Nxe7 Nxb3 24. cxb3 $6 (24. Rxb3 $1 Qc5+ 25. Kh1 $1 {is complex but better for White.}) 24... Qb6+ $2 (24... Qc5+ 25. Kh1 Rd8 26. Qe1 Rd4 27. Bf6 Bxf6 28. exf6 Qh5+ 29. Kg1 Rh4 $11 {this swinging of pieces to the kingside is of paramount importance.}) 25. Kh1 Rd8 26. Qe1 Rd4 27. Bf6 Bxf6 28. exf6 {now there is no Qh5+.} Kd7 29. Rd1 $2 { Letting the advantage slip} (29. Rc1 $1 {The point of this move is that any retreat of the knight cannot be answered with Bxf5 as Qe7 will be checkmate.} Rd8 $6 30. Nf5 $1 Rd5 31. Qe4 $1 {is for example just winning.}) 29... Rd8 30. Qg3 Ke8 31. Qg8+ Kd7 32. Qg3 Ke8 33. Qg8+ Kd7 34. Qg3 {Probably White has little better than a perpetual. A crazy game that proved that even top level chess players can go wrong with too many complications.} 1/2-1/2

When asked about his play in Saint Louis the Norwegian mentioned that he was overall pleased and that he was in good form. Despite being slightly worse at the beginning of the game, Carlsen fought back and even refused a draw offer when he sensed that he had chances to be better, despite the fact that a draw would've clinched first place.


[Event "Sinquefield Cup"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2013.09.15"] [Round "6"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2862"] [BlackElo "2813"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "139"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 dxe5 (10... Nxe5 11. Nbd2 {was the game earlier in the tournament, Nakamura-Aronian in which the American obtained a comfortable advantage.}) 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. Nbd2 h6 13. a5 Bc5 14. Bc4 {White has spent a lot of time fixing Black's pawn structure. Unfortunately for him this means that if some key pieces are traded Black might be able to obtain an initiative. } Ng4 $5 {Luring the rook to a not very favorable square.} 15. Re2 Be6 $1 { White's bishop is very valuable: more valuable than Black's structure.} 16. Bxe6 fxe6 17. h3 Nf6 18. Re1 Rab8 19. Nc4 Rb5 20. b3 Bd4 21. Bb2 Rc5 22. Ra2 Bxb2 23. Rxb2 Ne8 24. Ra2 Nd6 25. Nfd2 Nb7 $5 {Black has obtained excellent pressure against White's position. The problem now will be exactly how to convert this.} 26. Nf3 Kf7 27. Kf1 Kf6 28. Ra4 Nbxa5 {Black gobbles up a pawn, but he will be permanently tied down as it will be almost impossible to regroup his knights. White will double on the a-file and make sure that these knights don't move for the rest of the game.} 29. Ne3 h5 30. Rea1 Rd4 31. Ne1 Ke7 32. f3 Rd2 33. Rd1 Rd6 (33... Rxd1 34. Nxd1 g5 35. Kf2 Kf6 36. Ne3 {and White has nothing to worry about, if anything White is better.}) 34. Rda1 Kd7 35. Nd1 Rd2 {Aronian keeps trying, as a draw or a loss will still give him third place while a win allows him to tie for first.} 36. Nf2 Kc8 37. Nfd3 Rb5 38. h4 Kb7 39. R1a2 Ka7 40. Kg1 Kb6 41. Kf1 g6 42. Kg1 {The players could've repeated moves now, but Aronian pushes too hard. White's position cannot be breached and Aronian should've given up around now, but you don't get to be second in the world by not taking risks.} Kb7 43. Kf1 Kc8 44. Nf2 Rd8 $6 {The rook becomes to passive now.} 45. Ned3 Kb7 46. Ke2 Kb6 47. Ke3 Kb7 48. Nd1 (48. Nh3 $14 {also gave White an edge, as the knight will be strong on g5.}) 48... Kc8 49. N1b2 Rd6 50. Ra1 $1 (50. Nc4 $6 Nxc4+ 51. bxc4 Rb8 52. c5 Rd7 53. Rxa6 b3 $1 {is an important detail that Carlsen takes care of with his move in the game.}) 50... Kd8 $2 (50... Rd4 {was mandatory, but Black's position is already uncomfortable.} 51. Nxe5 $1 $14) 51. Nc4 Nxc4+ 52. bxc4 Rb8 53. c5 $1 { now there is no b3 resource.} Rd7 54. Rxa6 b3 (54... Nd4 55. Ra8 $1 Rxa8 56. Rxa8+ Ke7 57. Nxe5 Nxc2+ 58. Ke2 {and Black's rook is somehow trapped!}) 55. Rxc6 bxc2 56. Ne1 {simple, the rest is technique.} (56. Rxe6 {also won handedly.}) 56... Ke7 57. Nxc2 Rb3+ 58. Ke2 Rb2 59. Rc1 Ra2 60. Ke3 Kf7 61. f4 Kf6 62. fxe5+ Kxe5 63. Ne1 Ra3+ 64. Kf2 Rd2+ 65. Kf1 Rd7 66. Nf3+ Kf4 67. Rxe6 g5 68. hxg5 Kg3 69. Rf6 Ra2 70. Ne5 {Carlsen wins the Sinquefield cup and whos that he is still easily the number one player in the world, almost effortlessly obtaining a wonderful +3 score in this tournament.} 1-0

 

 

Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony was a relatively quick affair. The players were part of a quick question and answer session and immediately afterwards Carlsen was presented the winner's trophy replica.

The players were generally gracious and funny with their answers

Many of the questions were of course directed towards Carlsen and his preparation for the World Championship. He thanked the organizers for the event and mentioned that it was a perfect opportunity for him to play, as he had not been able to really have a challenge since the Tal Memorial earlier this year. Without this tournament he was afraid he might even be a little rusty at the match.

Nakamura liked the double round robin format and mentioned that it was much more fair than the traditional nine roudn tournaments, were one player having white and sometimes having that color against certain players gave them the davantage.

Aronian enjoyed the conditions in America and loved being here, he expressed his desire to be back soon. Carlsen was also happy with the conditions provided and thanked the organizers for an excellent job, except for the last bit of his match against Kamsky. This game was played on a Friday evening and music had started at the Central West End (the area of Saint Louis were the tournament is held) and it became "a little bit annoying".

The players agreed unanimously that the chess club is like nothing they have seen before and hope that it will increase the popularity of chess in Saint Louis and in America.

When asked about computers influencing draws in chess, Carlsen kicked back the answer challenging that the "death by draw" of chess has been an unfounded theory since the times of Capablanca and Alekhine, and that at his level most everything is just about fighting chess.

The mayor of Saint Louis Francis G. Slay gave the final words of the event

The people that made this happen and the tournament winner: Jeanne Sinquefield, Rex Sinquefield, Chess Club Executive Director Tony Rich and Magnus Carlsen

The last few words were incredibly encouraging for American chess: The Sinquefield Cup will return next year in approximately eleven months to Saint Louis!

Photos by Alejandro Ramirez

Standings

Schedule

Round 01 – September 09 2013, 13:00h
Carlsen, Magnus 2862
1-0
Kamsky, Gata 2741
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2813
Round 02 – September 10 2013, 13:00h
Aronian, Levon 2813
½-½
Carlsen, Magnus 2862
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772
1-0
Kamsky, Gata 2741
Round 03 – September 11 2013, 13:00h
Carlsen, Magnus 2862
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772
Kamsky, Gata 2741
½-½
Aronian, Levon 2813
Round 04 – September 13 2013, 13:00h
Kamsky, Gata 2741
0-1
Carlsen, Magnus 2862
Aronian, Levon 2813
1-0
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772
Round 05 – September 14 2013, 13:00h
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772
½-½
Magnus, Carlsen 2862
Aronian, Levon 2813
½-½
Kamsky, Gata 2741
Round 06 – September 15 2013, 11:00h
Carlsen, Magnus 2862
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2813
Kamsky, Gata 2741
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2780

The games start at 20:00h European time, 22:00h Moscow, 2 p.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here. The commentary on Playchess begins one hour after the start of the games and is free for premium members.

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

 


Topics Sinquefield
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