The 2019 Sinquefield Cup came to an exciting conclusion in a tiebreak match between Ding Liren and Magnus Carlsen. The day kicked off with two rapid games, both of which concluded in a draw. In the first game, the World Champion had to resort to passive defense to save the half point with the white pieces then went on to draw comfortably with the black pieces. From there the match moved on to blitz, the fastest time control in chess.
For the first time in the Sinquefield Cup history, the winner will be determined in a playoff. With a clutch last round victory, Magnus Carlsen tied for first place with Ding Liren who only managed to draw his game. Sergey Karjakin was also on the heels on victory and could have joined the duo on top, but was unable to convert his advantage. The playoff will consist of two 25 minute games with 10 second delay and will move on to blitz if still undecided.
After an exceedingly close tournament, a new face emerges as the sole leader of the tournament. Ding Liren sits on top of the leaderboard after drawing with Levon Aronian using the black pieces and his closest rival, Ian Nepomniachtchi lost his game today. World Champion Magnus Carlsen scored his first victory of the tournament and is half a point behind the sole leader along with Sergey Karjakin, Viswanathan Anand and Ian Nepomniachtchi. With only one round left, any one of these players can still clinch the title.
The tension is rising as two players have separated themselves from the pack of leaders. Ding Liren defeated his immediate rival Fabiano Caruana in a well played game and was joined on top of the leaderboard by Ian Nepomniachtchi who won against Wesley So with the black pieces. The two grandmasters are now half a point ahead of Viswanathan Anand and Sergey Karjakin, both of whom drew their games today.
After an exciting round 8, there is now a five-way tie for first place in the Sinquefield Cup. Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi joined the leaders with wins over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Levon Aronian respectively, while the rest of the leaders drew their games. The trio of Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov remain half a point behind.
Once again, a round of all draws left the standings unchanged. It was another frustrating day at the office for Viswanathan Anand, who missed a golden opportunity to defeat one of his co-leaders and take the sole lead in the tournament. Tomorrow, he will be facing Fabiano Caruana with the black pieces. As the tournament is entering its final stages, tomorrow’s game is almost a must-win situation for Caruana if he wants to take the title home.
The players returned to action today but the rest day did not seem to impact the player standings in the tournament as all of the round 6 games ended in a draw. Each player is unique in how they choose to spend their day off; Sergey Karjakin played in an online Fischer Random qualifier, Anish Giri went to the Saint Louis Zoo, and Magnus Carlsen was invited to throw the first pitch for the Cardinals in their game against the Colorado Rockies. The World Champion discussed his experience with Maurice Ashley, explaining how uncomfortable and nervous he felt in an unfamiliar territory.
The round before the day off had the highest number of decisive results and a shake up in the leaderboard. There is now a three way tie for first place as Ding Liren joins Viswanathan Anand and Fabiano Caruana with a win over Anish Giri. Anand had an easy day in the office while Caruana had to put in quite a lot of work to earn his half a point
There was finally a shake up in the standings today as Fabiano Caruana defeated Levon Aronian. The American joins Viswanathan Anand in the lead as the rest of the games were drawn. Caruana’s win is the second decisive result in the first four rounds.
Round 3 of the Sinquefield Cup saw all six draws again, which was enough for Viswanathan Anand to remain on top of the leaderboard. While Anand had no trouble drawing with the black pieces, Karjakin, on the other hand, had to fight for his half a point, essentially defending for over 80 moves. Tomorrow will see some interesting battles as Caruana will have the white pieces against Aronian and Carlsen will have the black pieces against Mamedyarov, the last player to have defeated him in a classical game over a year ago. Anand will be looking to increase his lead as he has the white pieces against Wesley So.