Goodbye Sinquefield Cup, hello Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz

by Macauley Peterson
8/14/2017 – Closing the books on the Sinquefield Cup with video from the closing ceremony, and turning to the next major event right on its heels, the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament, which opens Sunday with live-streamed opening ceremony and drawing of lots. Find out who Garry Kasparov will play on Monday! | Photos: Lennart Ootes

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Goodbye and hello again

"After nine rounds of heart-stopping action ended in a convincing victory for the pride of France, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, his critical win in the final round pulled him away from the rest of the pack."

That's how Maurice Ashley's introduction began as he hosted the closing ceremony on Saturday night in Saint Louis:

Sinquefield Cup closing ceremony | Source: CCSCSL on YouTube

In case you've missed out on the past two weeks of coverage, you can find all ChessBase reports along with other Grand Chess Tour related posts on our GCT event page:

Grand Chess Tour 2017

Tournament winner Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is one of the four players (along with Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, and Peter Svidler) who now say au revoir to Saint Louis, and head home.

Vachier-Lagrave's last handshake

Maxime's final handshake of the 2017 Sinquefield Cup | Photo: Austin Fuller

Shaking things up

Four new entrants join the remaining players in the fourth leg of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour, the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz. They are:

Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz logo

  Name FideID FED Rtg
GM Nakamura Hikaru 2016192 USA 2822
GM Kasparov Garry 4100018 RUS 2812
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 4168119 RUS 2810
GM Dominguez Leinier 3503240 CUB 2803
GM Aronian Levon 13300474 ARM 2794
GM Anand Viswanathan 5000017 IND 2778
GM Karjakin Sergey 14109603 RUS 2765
GM Le Quang Liem 12401137 VIE 2761
GM Navara David 309095 CZE 2737
GM Caruana Fabiano 2020009 USA 2700

Note: FIDE rapid ratings shown (via Chess-Results), but Universal Rating System ratings are used by the Grand Chess Tour.

Shahade, Kasparov, Seirawan, Anand, Ashley

Garry Kasparov arrived in Saint Louis for Round 7 | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Of course a major point of intrique will be how Garry Kasparov fares in a slighty more serious return to the board than he's had in recent years (although there have been a few). He has already made his presence felt with a memorable appearance in the Round 7 live commentary webcast:

Kasparov joined Yasser Seirawan, Jennifer Shahade and Maurice Ashley

Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov's play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Müller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov's play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.

Newly arrived in town are blitz specialists Le Quang Liem and Leinier Dominguez Perez, plus Czech number one David Navara, fresh off a disappointing tournament experience in Biel where he finished with two wins, three losses and four draws.

Navara did not participace in the last World Rapid and Blitz in Doha, and his FIDE rapid rating currently stands at exactly the same as his classical rating 2737.

This evening the players turned out in advance of the opening ceremony for an autograph session at the Kingside Diner, adjacent to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center.


Watch the Opening

The opening ceremony of the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz takes place at 6:30 PM local time (Monday 1:30 AM CEST):

Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz opening ceremony | Source: CCSCSL on YouTube

Rapid Round 1 pairings:

Aronian - Navara
Nepomniachtchi - Dominquez
Anand - Nakamura
Kasparov - Karjakin
Le - Caruana


Macauley served as the Editor in Chief of ChessBase News from July 2017 to March 2020. He is the producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast, and was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.


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