2016 Sinquefield Cup (St. Louis, USA)

GM Levon Aronian

Defending Champion, GM Levon Aronian (Armenia)
Photo by Lennart Ootes

With the World Champion Magnus Carlsen dropping out of the Grand Chess Tour to prepare for the World Championship in November and Vladimir Kramnik dropping out for what is presumed to be health issues, the Sinquefield Cup will be missing two legendary attractions, but will still be a powerful event. The American triad of Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So will hold down home court against the top seed and world #2, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave who has vaulted twenty spaces from last year.

Top seed, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

In the 2015 Sinquefield Cup, MVL was #24 in the world at 2731, but now has a rating of 2819, a career-high. There have been wild fluctuations in rating of several of the competitors with drops by Giri (-24 from 2793), Anand (-46 from 2816) and Topalov (-55 from 2816) from a year ago. Levon Aronian is the defending champion of the Sinquefield Cup and has rebounded after a slump in 2014-2015.

The Sinquefield Cup had been rescheduled due to the changing of the Olympiad which was affected by the World Championship. It was a cascading effect. Nevertheless, the field has an All-Star line-up with China’s Ding Liren and seven-time Russian champion Peter Svidler filling in the vacated spots.

The 2016 Sinquefield Cup is an elite international event, featuring 10 of the strongest chess players in the world. Over the course of nine rounds, these competitors will battle for $300,000 in prize money (first: $75,000, second: $50,000, third: $40,000, last: $15,000) plus points toward the Grand Chess Tour and the coveted title of 2016 Sinquefield Cup Champion.

The venue is the Chess Club and Scholastic Center at 4657 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108. Tickets cost $10 per round or $80 for all ten rounds. Full information available at the official web site. Live commentary will be given by an eminent line-up of Maurice Ashley, Jennifer Shahade, Yasser Seirawan with roaming commentating by Alejandro Ramirez. For more information, visit www.grandchesstour.com or follow along at @CCSCSL.

2016 Sinquefield Cup
August 4th – August 16th, 2016 (St. Louis, USA)
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (4657 Maryland Ave.)

Players
Rank Name Rating Country Flag Age
No. 2 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2819 France
25
No. 4 GM Fabiano Caruana 2807 USA
23
No. 5 GM Levon Aronian 2792 Armenia
33
No. 6 GM Hikaru Nakamura 2791 USA
29
No. 7 GM Wesley So 2771 USA
22
No. 8 GM Viswanathan Anand 2770 India
47
No. 10 GM Anish Giri 2769 Netherlands
22
No. 11 GM Veselin Topalov 2761 Bulgaria
41
No. 13 GM Ding Liren 2755 China
22
No. 14 GM Peter Svidler 2751 Russia
40
Official Site

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

64 Comments

  1. GM Hikaru Nakamura

    Hikaru Nakamura
    Photo by Lennart Ootes.

    Jeanne Sinqufield

    Jeanne Sinquefield rings the opening bell for round one.
    Photo by Lennart Ootes.

    Anish Giri

    Anish Giri came close to winning again Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, but went astray and ceded the half-point. Photo by Spectrum Studios.

  2. MVL vs. Viswanathan Anand in a slugfest

    The game between Viswanathan Anand and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
    results in theoretical debates.
    Photo by Lennart Ootes.

    Interview with GM Viswanathan Anand

    Video by chess.com (Mike Klein).

  3. Topalov gives Caruana something to think about while Nakamura looks on.

    Veselin Topalov gives Fabiano Caruana something to think about while Nakamura looks on.

    …while GM Maurice Ashley gives his angle on the position!


  4. Photos of Round #3

    Peter Svidler

    Peter Svidler trying to get on the board today.

    Levon Aronian vs. Wesley So

    Two of the most genial chess players shake hands…
    Levon Aronian and Wesley So

    Levon Aronian vs. Wesley So

    …before the battle!
    Photos by Austin Fuller.

  5. Ding Liren vs. Anish Giri

    Photo by Austin Fuller.

    Unfortunately for Ding, the game ended peacefully. However, Caruana caused fans to get into a nervous tizzy.

    He joked about it after the game, but to see the video was quite nerve-wrecking. He was dangerously close to forfeiting.

  6. Photos of Round #4

    Fat Chimp Studios

    Fat Chimp Studios… this is how it’s done!

    Fat Chimp Studios

    Fat Chimp Studios

    Wesley So on the move as Anish Giri kibitzes.

    Wesley So on the move as Anish Giri gets a different perspective.

    Wesley So

    So in deep thought.
    Photo by Lennart Ootes.

  7. Hey Nice Daaim a fancy fan! hahaha, Chessdrummas what do u think of the play by the top TRADITIONAL GMS in this event? What do u think they learnin in St. Louie? Anything? Adia? Buffalonians what do u think of rd2 by Vishy is that GENIUS? UM just curious? ULTRAMODERNIST.

  8. Photos of Round #5

    Levon looks much better today after citing illness yesterday.

    Levon looks much better today after citing illness yesterday.

    Ding Liren

    Ding Liren trying to gain confidence after losing +25 ELO in China.

    Fat Chimp Studios

    Nakamura vs. Svidler was rich in ideas.

    Photos by Lennart Ootes.

  9. Chessdrummas i hear Maurice keep sayin Ultra this and Ultra that durin this event. Does this chess look ULTRAMODERN to U ? Adia? Buffalonians? Frank Johnson of ATL? UM JUST CURIOUS?

  10. Photos of Round #6

    Ding Liren in a good mood after his win over Svidler.

    Ding Liren in a good mood after his win over Svidler.

    Action outside of the St. Louis Chess Club.

    Action outside of the St. Louis Chess Club.

    Photos by Lennart Ootes.

    Round #6 (Full Broadcast)

    Video by CCSCSL.

  11. Oh thanks Daaim i see the Traditional gms still practicing, how do u think they doin with my funny knight trick? lol. OH GM Carlsen thats really me on chess.com not actually a ghost or an alien UM ready when U R, oh U2 Dapsay! Daaim is Maurice still BlackBear on ICC with the rest of the traditional gms they tellin me in Buffalo N.Y. that Dlugy and them guys still practicin over there is that true? havent been there since 2008 when i gave their gm a few chess lessons on that site! hahaha ULTRAMODERNIST.

  12. Sup Drummas , currently Um checkin out the Topy – Giri game rd. 7 , i wanna see if hes knows what hes doin with the Nf6-d7-c5-e6 ? I KNOW it looks KTAZY from a traditional point of view but UM sure its an Ok concept despite what was said about it here in Buffalo, NY. Adia what yall talkin about in N.Y.C at the Marshall Chess Club with Alex King? ULTRAMODERNIST.

  13. Photos of Round #7

    Hikaru Nakamura making several statements today.

    Hikaru Nakamura making several statements today.

    MVL and Nakamura battled to a draw.

    MVL and Nakamura entered a discussion in the Berlin and battled to a draw.

    Topalov lost his lead today after falling to Wesley So.

    Topalov trying to regain his lead after falling yesterday to So.
    Photos by Lennart Ootes.

    Round #7 (Full Broadcast)

    Video by CCSCSL.

  14. Daaim i saw the video u posted yesterday where Naka wuz talkin about the computers changing chess. Um checkin out the So – Corona game rd8, Do u think hes talkin about the NF6-e8-c7-d5 stuff played in this practice game? the reason UM askin is cuz the chessplayers here in Buffalo done gone and got quiet on me! unreal. ULTRAMODERNIST.

  15. Photos of Round #8

    The penultimate round!

    The penultimate round!

    Elderstatesmen battling and young bucks locking horns!

    Elder-statesmen battling and young bucks locking horns!

    Anish Giri got compliments on his suit, but his play didn't match. Svidler got the win.

    Anish Giri got compliments on his suit,
    but his play didn’t match. Svidler got the win.
    Photos by Lennart Ootes.

  16. 2016 Sinquefield Cup
    USA USA USA
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Final Standings (Overall)
    Rank Name Score Fed. Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    1 GM So, Wesley 5.5 USA 2771 2859 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½
    2 GM Caruana, Fabiano 5.0 USA 2807 2818 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1
    3 GM Aronian, Levon 5.0 ARM 2792 2820 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½
    4 GM Anand, Viswanathan 5.0 IND 2770 2823 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½
    5 GM Topalov, Veselin 5.0 BUL 2761 2824 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½
    6 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 4.5 FRA 2819 2774 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½
    7 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 4.5 USA 2791 2777 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1
    8 GM Ding, Liren 4.0 CHN 2755 2738 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0
    9 GM Svidler, Peter 3.5 RUS 2751 2702 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½
    10 GM Giri, Anish 3.0 NED 2769 2655 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0
    (All PGN Games)

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