Sinquefield 08: Streak stopped, Event clinched.

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/5/2014 – Caruana's streak has been stopped by Carlsen, though barely. The Norwegian was lucky to survive the position against the tournament leader.... well, the tournament winner now that mathematically it is impossible for anyone to catch up to him despite there being two more rounds! Aronian forgave MVL's mistakes while Topalov was ruthless in a Berlin endgame against the local legend.

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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 2802, 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 Eight

Round 08 - September 04, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
0-1
Topalov, Veselin 2772
Aronian, Levon 2805
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
½-½
Carlsen, Magnus 2877

He has finally been stopped, but he has clinched the tournament two rounds before its finish. Mathematically Fabiano Caruana can be called the winner of the Sinquefield Cup, 2014.

Nakamura, Hikaru 0-1 Topalov, Veselin
If one game was thought to be a Berlin Defense, it would probably have been the Caruana-Carlsen game, but since it was Nakamura-Topalov a sharp game could be expected even with this opening, and a sharp game we got.

Nakamura has had some trouble calculating this tournament, it is unclear why

Nakamura's handling of the position was simply not very good. His dubious knight maneuver to g5 left him underdeveloped and exposed to Black's bishops, and Topalov played basically perfectly. Strokes against White's pawns combined with Black's piece activity proved too much for the American who succumbed in a lost rook endgame.

Nakamura resigns in another disappointing game

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
MVL can count his lucky stars! Asked earlier in the tournament, when he lost his round yesterday, what his goals were, it was basically "I don't want to collapse". He almost did as he was completely destroyed against Aronian, but the Armenian managed not to convert.

MVL walking with his coach/second, legend Alexander Belivaksy

Maurice Ashley asked Aronian about the significance of Caruana's historic performance... the answer: "well, it will take the focus away from my bad play!". Aronian is always in a good mood, somehow, but he cannot be happy with letting MVL off the hook so easily in this game.

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
If there was ever a chance to go 8-0, it was this one. Caruana had Carlsen against the ropes, but he was not strong enough to convert; the time trouble factors and the tiredness from playing such a demanding tournament surely factored in. Full analysis below.

We guess 7.5/8 is not bad

Carlsen claimed not to be the underdog, but against a guy that has an incalculably good rating performance after seven games and with the White pieces, maybe he wasn't being totally objective.

Norwegian TV2 is here! They have two reporters on sight covering everything Carlsen does!

Alisa Melekhina is visiting the tournament, here she is engaged in a conversation with organizer Tony Rich

A few spectators following the event at the club. Can you name the 2600+ ones?

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Standings

Photos by Lennart Ootes and Kevin Duggin

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
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
Aronian, Levon 2805
0-1
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
Topalov, Veselin 2772
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Round 06 - September 02, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
½-½
Aronian, Levon 2805
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
1-0
Topalov, Veselin 2772
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Round 07 - September 03, 2014
Carlsen, Magnus 2877
1-0
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
Topalov, Veselin 2772
½-½
Aronian, Levon 2805
Round 08 - September 04, 2014
Nakamura, Hikaru 2787
0-1
Topalov, Veselin 2772
Aronian, Levon 2805
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2768
Caruana, Fabiano 2801
½-½
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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Petrosianic Petrosianic 9/6/2014 02:47
>jcaleb 9/5/2014 03:16
>Carlsen vs Caruana WCC 2015


Um, actually if Carlsen forfeits, it's Anand vs. Karjakin.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 9/5/2014 07:52
surprising to see nakamura in half-colour ; hope he will do better in the last two!
rerent20 rerent20 9/5/2014 05:29
A few spectators following the event at the club. Can you name the 2600+ ones?
Ray Robson 2600-2700
Wesley So 2754
rerent20 rerent20 9/5/2014 05:28
About the Spectators : Should be 2700+ and 2750+ not 2600+ :)
Pentium Infinite Pentium Infinite 9/5/2014 01:06
i don't know why i am dissapointed with his 7,5/8
Pionki Pionki 9/5/2014 10:48
MVL vs Caruana 2016. Carlsen no longer interested in WC (he has never been).
Nisarg Nisarg 9/5/2014 09:22
@firestorm, that date has been extended to Sept 7, coming Sunday.
firestorm firestorm 9/5/2014 08:18
FIDE were threatening to default Carlsen if he didn't sign by Sunday, what happened?
VVI VVI 9/5/2014 06:10
Anand vs Caruana , WCC 2016
iSeeThis iSeeThis 9/5/2014 05:39
Disappointed! I love Carlsen's works but here I want to see 10-0!
Kingpawnkid Kingpawnkid 9/5/2014 05:01
Can you name the 2600+ ones? Ray Robson and Wesley So
Mystical Mystical 9/5/2014 04:28
standing table is incorrect.
jcaleb jcaleb 9/5/2014 03:16
Carlsen vs Caruana WCC 2015
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