2021 Sinquefield Cup - Day 3 Recap

It was a bloody day in Saint Louis as four players won their games today, with Caruana, So, and Vachier-Lagrave remaining in the lead with 2.5/3 so far. Bringing his score to 2.0/3 was Mamedyarov, who defeated Rapport in an incredibly action-packed game.

Standings after Round 3

Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by an additional 30 minutes, with a 30-second increment added from move one.

Xiong - Dominguez | ½-½, 34 moves

The only draw of the day was the first one to finish as Xiong essayed the Four Knights Scotch but was unable to generate much imbalance against the solid play of Dominguez. A balanced middlegame saw the players trade everything off before ending up in a dead drawn rook endgame.

So - Svidler | 1-0, 28 moves

A difficult game for the eight-time Russian champion, who fell worse in a Symmetrical English after So executed the thematic queenside break of b2-b4. Things rapidly turned sour for Svidler, as White’s pressure on the queenside and center soon reached a breaking point, causing Black’s position to collapse under the stress.

28.Ne4! forced resignation from Svidler, as 28...Be5 runs into 29.Rxd6! and Black can’t take back in view of Nef6+, winning the queen.

A second win in a row for the current GCT leader. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Bryan Adams

Caruana - Swiercz | 1-0, 47 moves

After starting the tournament with two losses Darius Swiercz had the unpleasant task of facing Caruana today as Black. Unfortunately for Swiercz, Caruana showed up in excellent form, outplaying the former World Junior Champion in a dynamic Open Sicilian. Thanks to some powerful play in the middlegame, Caruana obtained two powerful passed pawns in the center, which allowed him to quickly steamroll his opponent soon thereafter.

30.b4! gave Caruana two unstoppable pawns in the center, leading to a crushing victory.

Caruana was simply ruthless in the middlegame. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Crystal Fuller

Vachier-Lagrave - Shankland | 1-0, 47 moves

Good preparation by Shankland allowed him to seize the initiative on the Black side of an Italian Game, but after castling queenside he did not find the most accurate way to proceed and allowed Vachier-Lagrave good counterplay. After the ensuing complications the players ended up in a knight endgame that was objectively drawn, but a blunder by Shankland gave MVL the chance to go into a winning king and pawn endgame, which he promptly seized and eventually converted.

32.Nxd6! led to a winning king and pawn endgame for Vachier-Lagrave, as after 32...cxd6 33.Ke4 Black soon found himself in zugzwang.

MVL made the most of his chances to stay tied for the lead with 2.5/3. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

Mamedyarov - Rapport | 1-0, 54 moves

The most exciting game of the day, as Mamedyarov and Rapport squared off in the ultra-sharp Meran Variation of the Semi-Slav. In a dynamic middlegame with chances for both sides, Mamedyarov got the better of his opponent in a wild time-scramble, as Rapport ended up blundering on the 40th move. Upon reaching the time control, Mamedyarov was able to accurately calculate his way to victory, finding a number of only-moves to finish off the game.

44.Qe5! was the only winning move in the position, with the point that 44...Rg2 45.Ne4!+- is winning for White, as pointed out by Mamedyarov after the game.

Mamedyarov showed some incredible calculation skill today. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Crystal Fuller

Round 4 of the 2021 Sinquefield Cup will take place Friday, August 20, starting at 2:50 PM CDT with all of the action covered live by commentators GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Alejandro Ramirez, and GM Maurice Ashley. Watch live on grandchesstour.org as well as twitch.tv/kasparovchess.