Ultimate Moves has become an integral part of Grand Chess Tour stops in Saint Louis. This year’s event took place during the day off after the conclusion of the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz, preceding the Sinquefield Cup. It included all the players of the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz, as well as World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who is the wildcard in the Sinquefield Cup. Peter Svidler, one of the Russian commentators, also joined the fun.
The fate of the tournament was sealed in the penultimate round when the two frontrunners, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Hikaru Nakamura, faced off. The Azeri grandmaster was a point behind and desperately needed a win to keep his chances of winning the tournament alive. Having the white pieces put him in an ideal position to achieve his goal but, in the end, his poor time management cost him the game. Hikaru Nakamura won the tournament with a round to spare, thus earning $37,500 and 13 GCT points.
After nine rounds of blitz, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Hikaru Nakamura still remain in the lead of the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, extending their lead over Fabiano Caruana to 1.5 points. There were several other changes in standings: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave moved up to the 4th place, only two points behind the leaders. Last year’s winner, Levon Aronian, is in the middle of the pack and three points behind the leaders and still has a chance of winning the event. Today was action packed, full of blunders, time trouble, and brilliancies. After nine more games tomorrow, the new champion will be crowned.
After the final day of the rapid, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Hikaru Nakamura emerged as the new leaders. Fabiano Caruana conceded his leadership spot after losing his first game of the day then drawing the next two. Mamedyarov and Nakamura are currently only one point ahead of Caruana who is in third place, and three points ahead of Karjakin, Aronian and Dominguez. Since wins will be worth only one points in blitz, catching the two leaders will require immense amount of work and luck from the rest of the field. The next two days of blitz are not to be missed!
Day two of the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz brought a lot of exciting action but only few changes in the standings. After three more rounds of exhilarating rapid games, Fabiano Caruana still leads the tournament by two points.
After a month break, the Grand Chess Tour finally arrived to the capital of chess in the United States. The last half of the tour kicked off with the second annual Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz. After the first day of rapid, Fabiano Caruana is leading the event with a perfect score.