Sinquefield Cup starts Sunday

by Alejandro Ramirez
8/23/2015 – It is time! The second leg of the Grand Chess Tour, and the strongest tournament of the year, is starting tomorrow! Today there was an autograph session with the players at the Saint Louis Chess Club, as well as a brief opening ceremony to determine the drawing of lots. As fate would have it, there are two repeats from Norway's first round: Giri-Grischuk, and Carlsen-Topalov!

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2015 Sinquefield Cup

This super-GM single Round Robin brings together some of the best players in the world. This is the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour.

The players – Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Fabiano Caruana (USA), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Viswanathan Anand (India), Wesley So (USA).

The venue is the Chess Club and Scholastic Center at 4657 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108. Tickets can be purchased at the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Preview

It is finally here! The 2015 Sinquefield Cup, probably the strongest tournament of the year, starts tomorrow! All of the players have arrived in Saint Louis and are ready to start a new venture. Some come in tip-top shape, such as the veterans Veselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand, not to mention America's #1 Hikaru Nakamura, while others come into the event trying to forget about the disasters in Norway and trying to get a new start. First, let us look at the current standings in the Grand Chess Tour:

Few expect Caruana to repeat his historical 7-0 start, he has had a rough year, though he did have a great Dortmund as his last tournament.

Carlsen is definitely still one of the players to watch out for, but with his disastrous last tournament (Norway 2015) he still has a lot to prove.

Today there was a two hour autograph session. Over 300 fans lined up outside the Kingside Diner to get the signatures of their favorite players:

The players signing vinyl boards

Fans brought all kind of gear to get signed

Malcolm Pein, organizer of the London Chess Classic, overseeing Aronian vs. Caruana as they
test the DGT boards. Karthik Ramachandran and Vishy Anand also look.

No stopping any fan from meeting their legend!

Nakamura, sponsored by Red Bull, was accompanied by two red bull girls

A relatively short opening ceremony including a Q&A with the players

The drawing of lots was done by the players choosing an envelope and a nice dress jacket. Inside the envelope was a number. As fate would have it, there will be two repeats from the Norway 2015 first round in the Sinquefield first round: Giri vs. Grischuk (a win for Giri in Norway) and Carlsen vs. Topalov (a pretty famous time forfeit for the World Champion).

The action starts tomorrow at 1 p.m. CST, make sure to tune in on playchess.com for your live commentary, or on the official website!

Photos by Lennart Ootes

Pairings

Round One
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Giri, Anish 2793   Grischuk, Alexander 2771
So, Wesley 2779   Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
Aronian, Levon 2765   Caruana, Fabiano 2808
Carlsen, Magnus 2853   Topalov, Veselin 2816
Nakamura, Hikaru 2814   Anand, Viswanathan 2816

Games start at 1 p.m. local time (20:00h CEST, 22:00h Moscow, Thursday 12:30 New Delhi, 03:00h Tokyo, 04:00 Canberra – check your location here).

Playoffs, if necessary, will be on September 2.

The games will be broadcast live on Playchess, with expert analysis (see schedule below).

Broadcast Schedule

Day Date Time Event German
English
Sunday Aug. 23 1 PM Round 1 Thomas Luther   
Mihail Marin
Monday Aug. 24 1 PM Round 2 Calrstedt/Pähtz
Mihail Marin
Tuesday Aug. 25 1 PM Round 3 S. Siebrecht  
Simon Williams
Wednesday Aug. 26 1 PM Round 4 S. Siebrecht  
Simon Williams
Thursday Aug. 27 1 PM Round 5 S. Siebrecht  
Simon Williams
Friday Aug. 28 Rest Day
Saturday Aug. 29 1 PM Round 6 Reeh/Breutigam
Y. Pelletier
Sunday Aug. 30 1 PM Round 7 Reeh/Breutigam
Y. Pelletier
Monday Aug. 31 1 PM Round 8 S. Siebrecht  
Daniel King
Tuesday Sept. 1 1 PM Round 9 Y. Pelletier
Daniel King
Wednesday Sept. 2 1 PM Playoffs  
 

Links

The games are being 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.


Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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begamot begamot 8/23/2015 07:49
Why is it so difficult to understand when the tournament games begin? The article should make it clear that they begin Weds., Aug. 26. But, instead makes it seem like "the action begins tomorrow"... What action? When is tomorrow? (depend on when I'm reading it, yes?) To top it off, the "official tournament site" link sends us to the US Chess Championship site. Very poor article for those of us who just want to know what site and when, but, I find this consistent with other Chessbase site articles. So, I finally decided to point out this simple, and correctable, deficiency... which drives me batty...:) no offense.
hpaul hpaul 8/23/2015 12:27
The top 9 players on the FIDE January 2015 rating list were invited to play the entire circuit of 3 tournaments. When Kramnik (no.8 at the time) declined, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was chosen to replace him. The tenth player added at each tournament is a "local hero": Hammer in Norway, So in St.Louis. (So was no.10 on the Jan '15 rating list and had been the first choice to replace Kramnik for the entire tour, but had a schedule conflict.) The 10th man in the final tournament - the London Classic - will be Michael Adams, who is currently no.17 in the "live ratings".
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 8/23/2015 12:08
anand has three blacks in the first four games!
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 8/23/2015 12:08
anand has three blacks in the first four games!
Phillidor Phillidor 8/23/2015 11:19
Each time the organizer has the right to invite a player of his own choice. This time it's Wesley So, I suppose, the last time it was Jon Ludvig Hammer. How about the others? They stay the same, regardless possible rating drops?
Denix Denix 8/23/2015 10:28
Five Players above 2800 with lowest rating @ 2731 (2744 live)! What category is this?
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