Ultimate Moves Recap

by Tatev Abrahamyan

The Ultimate Moves has become a staple of the Sinquefield Cup and one of the most fun events to follow. This year it proceeded the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz and included all the players from the event playing in two teams with four amateurs. Unlike most tournaments, the atmosphere is more relaxed and the players are actually encouraged to banter and “trash-talk.” Some of the players participated in both the Sinquefield Cup as well as the Rapid and Blitz and were enjoying themselves quite a bit in the more relaxed atmosphere. The playing hall was as full as it was during the previous two events, as the fans enjoyed seeing the fun side of their favorite players.

The two teams were “Team Rex,” led by the founder of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) and “Team Randy”, led by Rex’s son, and owner of Spectrum Studios. The special guests were 7-year-old phenom Rachael Li and former member of the Baltimore Raven’s and current PhD student at MIT, John Urschel. The event was a 6-round blitz match, with the players alternating turns after five moves.  The teams were:

Founder of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Rex Sinquefield, and his son Randy Sinquefield were team captains for today's Ultimate Moves.


Ultimate Moves Teams


Team Randy

Team Rex

Randy Sinquefield

Rex Sinquefield

Fabiano Caruana

Levon Aronian

Garry Kasparov

Hikaru Nakamura

Vishy Anand

Sergey Karjakin

David Navara

Ian Nepomniachtchi

Liem Le

Lenier Dominguez

Rachael Li

(7 year old sister of GM Ruifeng Li)

John Urschel


Ultimate Moves wildcards, former NFL player John Urschel and GM Ruifeng Li’s 7 year old sister, Rachel Li, held their own at today’s games.

Team Rex started really well by winning the first two matches, but Team Randy made a comeback in the third match when Rachael Li defeated John Urschel. In the next round, the score was 3-1 in favor of Team Rex and all they needed was a draw to win the match, but they went on to lose the next two matches, bringing the score to 3-3. The tiebreak game followed the same format, except the teams were alternating players after every move. In a completely winning position, Randy Sinquefield made an illegal move, thus losing the game and the match. The lifetime score between the two teams is now 3-1, in favor of Team Rex.  

Players always have a great time in the relaxed environment during Ultimate Moves.