2017 Sinquefield Cup (St. Louis, USA)

Blazing trails lead to St. Louis, the self-proclaimed “capital of chess” to host to 2017 Sinquefield Cup. As part of the third of five events of the Grand Chess Tour, it is a chance for players to ground on tour leader and World Champion Magnus Carlsen. According to tournament organizers…

The 2017 Sinquefield Cup is an elite international event, featuring ten of the strongest chess players in the world. Over the course of nine rounds, these competitors will battle for $300,000 in prize money, points toward the Grand Chess Tour, and the coveted title of 2017 Sinquefield Cup Champion. Join GMs Yasser Seirawan, Maurice Ashley, and WGM Jennifer Shahade for the move-by-move.

Magnus Carlsen is back in the Grand Chess Tour after successfully defending his World Championship title against Sergey Karjakin. Although he has not had a good string of tournaments in the past year, he still leads the GCT with 25 points ahead of Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (17 points) and Wesley So (14 points). While So is the defending champion of the Sinquefield Cup, Carlsen finished 1st in the Paris, France and 1st in Leuven, Belgium.

The field is slightly different from last year with Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi replacing Ding Liren and Anish Giri, respectively. Veselin Topalov, Alexander Grischuk and Vladimir Kramnik are also missing. Wesley So now leads the American triad switching positions with Fabiano Caruana as the top-rated U.S. player. Hikaru Nakamura will anchor the attack against an able field. The three Russians are considered “underdogs” in this field.

Magnus Carlsen hopes to break his drought by winning his second Sinquefield. Photo by Lennart Ootes.

This is the 5th edition of the Sinquefield Cup and since it’s start as a four-player tournament has blossomed into a format that includes 10 players. Last year, MVL was sitting on 2819, but has stabilized at 2789 while Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana have been threatening Carlsen in the 2800 stratosphere. The same core of players are participating this year with the return of Carlsen, but in a somewhat vulnerable state. The World Champion has not won a major classical event in nearly a year and other players will be jostling for position to vie for the crown next year.

After the Sinquefield Cup there will be a blitz/rapid event featuring former World Champion Garry Kasparov. He will be combined with six players from the Sinquefield and three wildcard selections Leinier Dominguez (Cuba), Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) and David Navara (Czech Republic). This will be the official unretirement of Kasparov who has created quite of a stir with his pending battle.

“It’s a thrill to officially be returning to the game, and certainly not something I would have anticipated more than a decade after my retirement. Coming back to the board in St. Louis is truly an honor – I wouldn’t want to commemorate this moment anywhere else.”

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.

2017 Sinquefield Cup
August 2nd – August 12th, 2017 (St. Louis, USA)
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (4657 Maryland Ave.)

Players
Rank Name Rating Country Flag Age
No. 1 GM Magnus Carlsen 2822 Norway
26
No. 2 GM Wesley So 2810 USA
23
No. 3 GM Fabiano Caruana 2808 USA
24
No. 5 GM Levon Aronian 2799 Armenia
36
No. 7 GM Hikaru Nakamura 2792 USA
29
No. 8 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2789 France
26
No. 10 GM Viswanathan Anand 2783 India
47
No. 12 GM Sergey Karjakin 2773 Russia
26
No. 15 GM Ian Nepomniachtchi 2751 Russia
26
No. 16 GM Peter Svidler 2751 Russia
40
Official Site

The Sinquefield Cup is a 10-player all-play-all tournament played at a classical time control: 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes to the end of the game, with a 30-second delay (not increment) from move 1. It takes place from 2-11 August in the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, with games starting at 13:00 local time (14:00 New York, 19:00 London, 20:00 Paris, 21:00 Moscow, 01:00 Mumbai). There’s going to be live commentary in English from an array of star names: Yasser Seirawan, Jennifer Shahade, Cristian Chirila, Maurice Ashley, Varuzhan Akobian and Eric Hansen. Ivette Garcia and Alejandro Ramirez will commentate in Spanish, with Jan Gustafsson adding commentary in German for the last two rounds.

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

20 Comments

  1. Round 8

    Wesley So donning some dark shades against Sergey Karjakin to change his fortunes in the tournament. Hikaru Nakamura, who tried this a few years back against Magnus Carlsen, watches the action. Photo by Lennart Ootes

    Full Broadcast

    Video by CCSCSL

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