Sinquefield 04: Fight for second already?

by Alejandro Ramirez
8/31/2014 – The leader of the tournament is not saying it, but it is in everybody's mind: has the Sinquefield Cup 2014 turned into a battle for second place? Caruana continues to crush the opposition, today playing a beautiful game against Aronian, inflicting the Armenian's second loss in a row. Second place is currently held by Vachier-Lagrave half a point ahead of the rest.

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2014 Sinquefield Cup

This super-GM double round robin tournament is being played from August 27th to September 7th. It is billed as the strongest tournament in the history of chess.

The players – Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Fabiano Caruana (Italy), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) – are the world's number 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 9, the average rating is 2801, making this the first ever Category XXIII tournament!

The prize fund is US $315,000 in total, with the winner getting $100,000, the runner up $75,00, and the rest $50,000 – $20,000. The venue is the Chess Club and Scholastic Center at 4657 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108. Tickets cost $15 per round, $65 for five rounds and $100 for all ten rounds.

Round Four

Round 04 - August 30, 2014
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
½-½
Topalov, Veselin 2772
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2805

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Nakamura, Hikaru
Nakamura was brave enough to repeat the Archangel Spanish after his loss yesterday with this sytem agaisnt Veselin Topalov. Today's opening was not as successful as yesterday (where Nakamura was arguably just better out of the opening) but it was enough for the American to obtain decent counterchances.

Nakamura is at -1, but he has played three blacks and one white

MVL tried to hold on to a slight edge but there was nothing to be found, Nakamura gradually equalized and the players agreed to a draw in an equal endgame on move 30.

Clear seond place: Maxime Vachier-Lagarve with 50%

Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Topalov, Veselin
Carlsen's opening did not bring him any sort of advantage. Despite almost tricking Topalov and obtaining just a little bit of pressure in an endgame, the Bulgarian's position proved to be very solid. After some further trades the players went into an equal endgame.

The players played a drawn endgame out to the position in the board

After that the usual story in Carlsen's game is that the Norwegia plays like a machine, puts pressure on his opponent's apparently out of nowhere and some of the times his opponent breaks. However today what happened was that every move that Carlsen played placed him in a more dangerous and dubious position. The World Champion held on to a draw, and it doesn't seem as if Topalov missed a real winning chance, but by the end of the game it was Black that was thinking of winning.

Carlsen has not found his shape in Saint Louis, his play ressembles nothing what he did last year

Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 Aronian, Levon
The Italian's preparation in this tournament continues to be very strong. Today his new move 15.Na2!? was nothing earth-shattering and it is hardly a refutation of the variation that Aronian chose in the Spanish; but it certainly brings the game to new interesting waters. Despite the apparently locked position there were dangers for both sides.

Aronian checks with a computer what happened in his second defeat in a row

The Armenian player was the first to err, and his idea of closing the center with 16...d4 is questionable at best. Once Caruana installed his queen on h5 it was clear that only one side was playing for the advantage. A subsequent beautiful piece sacrifice left Caruana with two pawns and a big initiative plus some rolling pawns on the kingside, and Aronian's position only got worse and worse from there. Caruana finished his opponent off perfectly and moves to a simply unbelievable 4-0.

A beautiful game from Caruana. By this point the result was clear.

The Italian interviewed by Channel Two of Norwegian TV. Fabiano is solidly the number two
in the world and "only" 40 points away from Carlsen in the live rating list.

A Saint Louis fan with his new prized picture! The players are being incredibly friendly
and taking the time to sign autographs and take pictures after the rounds.

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Commentary provided by Grandmaster Ben Finegold, who is doing live commentary for the Saint Louis Chess Club at the Lester's Bar next to the tournament site. Commentary thanks to the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Standings

Photos by Lennart Ootes

Pairings

Round 01 - August 27, 2014
Aronian, Levon 2805
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
Topalov, Veselin 2772
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
½-½
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
Round 02 - August 28, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
½-½
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Aronian, Levon 2805
1-0
Topalov, Veselin 2772
Round 03 - August 29, 2014
Topalov, Veselin 2772
1-0
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2805
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
Round 04 - August 30, 2014
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
½-½
Topalov, Veselin 2772
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2805
Round 05 - August 31, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787   Caruana, Fabiano 2801
Aronian, Levon 2805   Carlsen, Magnus 2877
Topalov, Veselin 2772   Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Round 06 - September 02, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787   Aronian, Levon 2805
Caruana, Fabiano 2801   Topalov, Veselin 2772
Carlsen, Magnus 2877   Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Round 07 - September 03, 2014
Carlsen, Magnus 2877   Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768   Caruana, Fabiano 2801
Topalov, Veselin 2772   Aronian, Levon 2805
Round 08 - September 04, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787   Topalov, Veselin 2772
Aronian, Levon 2805   Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Caruana, Fabiano 2801   Carlsen, Magnus 2877
Round 09 - September 05, 2014
Caruana, Fabiano 2801   Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
Carlsen, Magnus 2877   Aronian, Levon 2805
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768   Topalov, Veselin 2772
Round 10 - September 06, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787   Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Topalov, Veselin 2772   Carlsen, Magnus 2877
Aronian, Levon 2805   Caruana, Fabiano 2801

Games start at 2 p.m. local time (21:00h CEST, 23:00h Moscow, Thursday 0:30 New Delhi, 04:00h Tokyo, 05:00 Canberra – check your location here).

Playoffs, if necessary, will be on the 7th at noon.

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

Broadcast Schedule

Day Date Time Event
Playchess commentary
Wednesday Aug. 27 2 PM Round 1
Simon Williams
Thursday Aug. 28 2 PM Round 2
Simon Williams
Friday Aug. 29 2 PM Round 3
Simon Williams
Saturday Aug. 30 2 PM Round 4
Simon Williams
Sunday Aug. 31 2 PM Round 5
Simon Williams
Monday Sept. 1 Rest Day
Tuesday Sept. 2 2 PM Round 6
Daniel King
Wednesday Sept. 3 2 PM Round 7
Simon Williams
Thursday Sept. 4 2 PM Round 8
Daniel King
Friday Sept. 5 2 PM Round 9
Simon Williams
Saturday Sept. 6 2 PM Round 10
Chris Ward
Sunday Sept. 7 12 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.


Topics: Sinquefield Cup

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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WJD WJD 9/1/2014 02:03
Mr. Patman: what do you say.
In some elements Morphy was considerably stronger Weinstein or Carlsen or Caruana. And "for one he would be well over" 177... And for example Capablanca was too, and "for one he would be well over 126...
LetsReason LetsReason 8/31/2014 04:47
Is it technically possible that Caruana could surpass Carlsen in this one tournament? Carlsen continues to draw and lose and Caruana wins again against Carlsen and Aronian?

Would be interesting. Looking forward to seeing if Caruana can keep his composure and whether the others will step up their game.
KevinC KevinC 8/31/2014 04:21
Caruana might be the first to ever beat two 2800s in the same tournament.
johnmk johnmk 8/31/2014 03:35
Finegold meant in his commentary on Aronin game: "once his QUEEN roams on the king-side".... fingerfehler
Pentium Infinite Pentium Infinite 8/31/2014 12:18
WJD, take your retarded family and go live with them in your pig cave
Patman Patman 8/31/2014 10:11
Oh please not the bobby Fisher worshiping ... he was a player in his own time , no he would not have 3200 now , for one he would be well over 70 !
anonimous anonimous 8/31/2014 07:37
@craniotomy it's perfectly normal in some caucasian men that that facial expression gives the chin that shape… I can do that too.
WJD WJD 8/31/2014 06:19
Caruana actually takes points like Bobby Fischer, but Bobby was considerably stronger and at present would have ELO on the level 3000-3200 pts.
Present forefront is strongly in element prepared by computer, but they do not understand the position and all are lousy in endings.
craniotomy craniotomy 8/31/2014 05:50
what the heck is wrong with carlsen's chin man? it looks like some kind of skin disease.
mentel83 mentel83 8/31/2014 05:46
Caruana playing like Bobby Fischer!
Decade Decade 8/31/2014 04:42
It's crazy
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