At the end of a tumultuous day, Levon Aronian was crowned the winner of the 2019 Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz. He will collect $37,500 and 13 tour points for his efforts. This is the second win for Aronian since the inception of the tournament in 2017. It is also his first rapid and blitz event of the tour, which puts him in an excellent position to qualify for the London finals.
After 9 rounds of blitz, the tournament saw a new leader. Coming into the day, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Levon Aronian were tied for the lead with 13 points each but by the end of the day Vachier-Lagrave leapfrogged his closest rival and is leading by half a point. Ding Liren and Sergey Karjakin had the best showing today, scoring 6 points each and are in third and fifth place respectively. Tomorrow promises to be an exciting day as anyone in top five can win the event.
The final day of the rapid portion of the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz brought some big changes to the standings. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Levon Aronian are now tied for first place and will enter the blitz portion with 13 points each, 3 full points ahead of the rest of the field. Aronian was the sole leader in the first two days but wasn’t able to keep the momentum going allowing Vachier-Lagrave to join him at the top. Magnus Carlsen finds himself in fifth position in the standings after scoring 50% today, while Fabiano Caruana lost all his games today after having successful first two days. The tournament is still wide open with 18 more blitz games left to play in the next two days.
At the end of day two, Levon Aronian still remains in the lead but there were several shifts in the standings. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had a perfect day, winning all his games and moving to the second place, only a point behind the leader. The most surprising part of the day was Magnus Carlsen’s result, who lost two games in a row and is now in a tie for fifth. Tomorrow, the final three games of the rapid will take place.
The Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz started off with fireworks. The players came ready to fight as indicated by the high number of decisive games. After three rounds, Levon Aronian is in the sole lead with a perfect score. He is closely followed by Magnus Carlsen and Ding Liren, both of whom have 4 points. Aronian and Carlsen will face off tomorrow in round 5.