Vladimir Kramnik withdraws from Sinquefield Cup

7/29/2016 – The 2016 Sinquefield Cup, one of the strongest tournaments of the year, will start in about a week, on 5th August, in St. Louis. Unfortunately Vladimir Kramnik, with a rating of 2812 currently officially number two in the world, had to withdraw due to health issues. But with Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Ding Liren, Vishy Anand, Wesley So and Veselin Topalov the line-up is still enormously impressive, promising a fantastic tournament. Press release...

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2016 Sinquefield Cup Spotlights International Chess Competition in Saint Louis
Top World Talents Face-off at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis Aug. 5-16

ST. LOUIS, July 29, 2016 – It is the summer of sports – but Rio is not the only international competition gaining attention in August. The world’s top chess players are headed to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL), located in the U.S. Chess Capital, Aug. 5-16, to compete for a total prize fund of $300,000 in the pinnacle of chess tournaments held on U.S. soil – the Sinquefield Cup.

The Sinquefield Cup is the third of four stops on the 2016 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) - a circuit of international chess events featuring the world’s elite chess talent, created in partnership between the CCSCSL, Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic) and the Kasparov Chess Foundation. The tournament is named after Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, founders, founders of the CCSCSL.

The 2016 Sinquefield Cup features ten of the top international chess players from eight different countries. Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana, now a Saint Louis resident, is entering the tournament with home field advantage after taking the U.S. Championship title at the CCSCSL in April. Another top-ranked American, GM Hikaru Nakamura, is coming off a noteworthy win, beating the No. 1 player and World Champion, Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, for the first time ever this July. The third U.S. player ranked in the top ten, GM Wesley So, is coming back to Saint Louis as the U.S. Championship runner-up, and GM Levon Aronian from Armenia may be experiencing a career comeback, as the defending Sinquefield Cup champion returns to try and claim the title once again.  

In a recent field change, GM Vladimir Kramnik regretfully withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup due to health issues. The CCSCSL invited fellow Russian, GM Peter Svidler to replace Kramnik as the 10th participant in the tournament. GM Svidler is a seven-time Russian Champion, 2015 World Cup runner-up and participated in the 2016 Candidates tournament.

The Sinquefield Cup is the final, major event held at the CCSCSL annually. In addition to the Sinquefield Cup, the U.S. Championship, U.S. Women’s Championship and U.S. Junior Closed Championship - the “Triple Crown” of chess championships – make up the most prestigious chess tournaments held in the United States each year.

“Top grandmasters view Saint Louis as the hotbed for chess, and this year’s competition for the 2016 Sinquefield Cup is at an all-time high,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the CCSCSL. “It’s an exciting time to be a fan of chess as the sport continues to become more fiercely competitive and popular.”

The 2016 Sinquefield Cup will be streamed live daily on www.grandchesstour.org, featuring play-by-play and analysis from the world-renowned commentary team of GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley, and WGM Jennifer Shahade. Live spectators may view the action in the tournament hall and enjoy additional GM-led commentary on-site.
For more information, visit www.grandchesstour.org.
About The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.

About The Grand Chess Tour
The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world's best players. The 2016 Tour was created in partnership between the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic). The legendary Garry Kasparov, one of the world's greatest ambassadors for chess, inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnership between the organizers. His tireless efforts to popularize the game around the world mirror the goals and ambitions of the Grand Chess Tour.

The 2016 Grand Chess Tour stops consist of the Paris Grand Chess Tour in Paris, France June 9-12; Your Next Move Grand Chess Tour in Leuven, Belgium June 17-20; the Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, USA Aug. 5-16; and the London Classic in London, UK Dec. 8-19, 2016.

Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
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lajosarpad lajosarpad 8/2/2016 11:56
It is ok to tell that one is not a fan of Giri's play, but I was never a fan of trash-talk :)
Brian Smith Brian Smith 7/31/2016 06:10
The same ol' faces...
Why Topy? He's no where near the 'elite'...just keeps his rating there by playing them...ala Ulf.
amarpan amarpan 7/31/2016 04:59
I hope Kramnik is doing fine and will be back in action soon. However, could it be that he was drafted into helping out his Russian counterpart prepare for the WC rather than play in St. Louis? After all this is the best chance Russia has had to bring back the crown to their country since a long time.
Pionki Pionki 7/31/2016 06:29
To keep the World Champion (who can "squeeze blood out of stone" - GM Gawain Jones) to a draw 15 times in a row, that's class! Tigran Petrosjan was like that.
Aighearach Aighearach 7/30/2016 09:13
@ARK_ANGEL as with a statue, Giri does have some visual appeal; look at how well his wife dresses him!

Leko may not be as fashionable as Giri, but as with Svidler he can sell tickets to older American club players. His play got a bit flat after he realized he would never be world champion, but some of his Benko gambit lines are really wild and sharp, and important.

@Katastrov No, I don't think Giri reads the comments. If he does read them, and he doesn't already know that his boring play is not inspiring the fans, then he should learn that people want to like him, but they can't, because he's basically just stealing the appearance fee and not even doing the work of trying to play good games. He's a fraud, entirely by choice; he could just choose to play seriously. His rating isn't fake, but he still manages to be a fake player!

And the reason I joked that he could be replaced by Leko is that Leko is also known for bland draws, but is very popular with American players because instead of just putting people to sleep, his opening lines are major contributions to theory. He also has a lot of sharp games in his history, including some of the most amazing and sharpest lines for black in the Benko gambit. Leko would be a major improvement from a fan perspective. People would buy tickets to see him who would not otherwise buy a ticket. It wasn't picking on Leko, it was picking on Giri. And he deserves it.
Chessspawnvt Chessspawnvt 7/30/2016 03:44
Irreverence amongst chess fans is good. It means that the sport is alive and well. Can you imagine football (soccer) fans not making trash talking comments. And besides, Giri always shows up with his wife. That's a real plus for any tournament.
digupagal digupagal 7/30/2016 02:53
@ tom_70 are you and the general public sponsoring him to play? if not, then you guys have no right to complain on a serious note.

If its for making fun, he also takes it lightly, so that is fine.

All we as an audience do is to watch their games, mostly free of cost online, so what right do we have to complain about where their career is progressing?
tom_70 tom_70 7/30/2016 01:59
@katastrov and lajosarpad, The reason people joke about Giri and Leko being drawish players, is because it's mostly true. Giri is a solid, world class player. But I bet he would have more tournament success if he just went all out occasionally instead of taking the safe draw. That's how Carlsen got where he is.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 7/30/2016 01:03
@Katastrov, I totally agree. All these insults towards Giri and Lékó arre irritating me. They are great players and we should respect them. Nobody expects one to be a Giri fan, but we should at least show some decency.
sayros87 sayros87 7/30/2016 11:34
Katastrov , you are very funny , only facts were mentioned , it's not my problem you dont like them , when did Giri win a tournament ? I would be so happy if the super non modest Gm Anish Giri read my comments !
start to play to win an event buddy , people started to realize in order to beat you , they should play non theoritcal lines ! enough with your super solid dry openings , take some chances , there is no shame in playing the Benoni , KID and other sharp openings. people started to call you the next Leko for a reason .
I agree totally with ARK_ANGEL !
Katastrov Katastrov 7/30/2016 11:21
Do you guys realize that your insulting comments are likely read by Giri ?

If you want to express some judgement about his playing style at least do it in an elegant manner...
ARK_ANGEL ARK_ANGEL 7/30/2016 11:03
If Giri withdrew then invite Peter Leko. :). Actually there is nothing different even if he plays or not. Just like a statue in the street. No body cares if it is there or not. I still don't understand why people even invite that guy from the first place? At least invite Shirov. Svindler is ok but I prefer Alexander Morozevich. Sometime these ratings are too materialistic. Only guy stands for his ratings is our almighty CARLSEN.
sayros87 sayros87 7/30/2016 07:26
Anish Giri the draw master is playing again ? does not he want to rest after Spain? we want an exciting tournament ! invite Sasha instead ! Giri does not play in tournaments to win them , when was the last time did Giri win a tournament ?
Im happy to see Ding though , finally an aggressive player who has some chances !
tom_70 tom_70 7/30/2016 01:11
Hate to see Kramnik withdraw. Carlsen isn't playing this year, so anybody can win.
Aighearach Aighearach 7/29/2016 11:51
Hopefully Vlad will be feeling better soon. He usually bounces back quickly!

Svidler is very popular with older club players in the US, so he is an excellent replacement.

It is going to be a really great tournament! Caruana, Aronian, Nakamura, Anand, Topalov, So, Svidler, these are basically all the most popular players to a US audience, except Carlsen and Kramnik.

And if Giri drops out, they can invite Peter Leko.
x_ileon@yahoo.co.uk x_ileon@yahoo.co.uk 7/29/2016 10:49
What health reason has kept Kramnik? I hope it's not too serious!
jpmoldovan jpmoldovan 7/29/2016 08:08
Svidler speaks English like it's his 1st language & Mamedyarov is an Alain Vigneault look-alike.
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 7/29/2016 07:48
Svidler is ok but it was Kramnik we had wanted to see in the Grand Chess Tour. I check the list and found out that Mamedyarov are two places above on the rating list but it could be different reasons that Svidler was choosen instead. Mamedyarov most likely part of the team that will help Karjakin to become the new world champion.