With the Chess Olympiad and the World Championship coming up this fall, the Sinquefield Cup will round out the summer’s last Grand Tour event before the London Chess Classic in December. The London event will follow the Championship which is also held in London and will feature two of the GCT participants, World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Challenger Fabiano Caruana. Carlsen will not participate in the Classic, but will certainly be ready to try to win his second Sinquefield Cup. In fact, Carlsen tweeted his inspiration.
— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) August 17, 2018
The 2018 Sinquefield Cup is not very different from last year’s edition with the exception of Alexander Grishcuk’s return (from 2015) and the hottest player in the past year Shakriyar Mamedyarov replacing Russians Ian Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler.
In addition, the previous four GCT tournament (this included) will serve as qualification events for the finale which will be held in London. The format has been tweaked over time and this year means that players have to fight more vigorously to compete for a lion’s share of the prize money.
The Sinquefield Cup sees Magnus Carlsen and 9 more of the world’s best players compete in the Saint Louis Chess Club from 18-27 August 2018. The event is the last leg of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour before the final in London, with Carlsen joining the tour regulars as a wild card. In addition to tour points the prize fund is $300,000, with $75,000 for 1st place.
Players receive 100 minutes for 40 moves then 60 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second delay from move 1. A tie for first place will be decided in a 2-game rapid mini-match (10 min + 5 sec delay), only between the top two, and if necessary an Armageddon game (5 vs. 4) on 28 August at 13:00 local time.
Rex Sinquefield presenting some words about the Sinqufield Cup’s role as part of the 10-year history of the St. Louis Chess Club. Sitting on the dais from left to right are: Shahkriyar Mamedyarov, Viswanathan Anand, Wesley So (partially hidden), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana, Sinquefield, Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin, Levon Aronian. Photo by Lennart Ootes
— Grand Chess Tour (@GrandChessTour) August 19, 2018
This is the 6th edition of the Sinquefield Cup and since it’s start as a four-player tournament has blossomed into a round robin format that includes 10 players. Mamedyarov has vaulted over the 2800-level to join Carlsen and Caruana while the other players have essentially shuffled positions. The same core of players are participating this year with the return of Carlsen. This will be a tuneup for the pending match as he will not compete in the Olympiad.
The venue is the Chess Club and Scholastic Center at 4657 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108. 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 commentary at Kingside Diner by Grandmasters Alejandro Ramirez and Cristian Chirila. Games start at 13:00 local time (14:00 New York, 19:00 London, 20:00 Paris, 21:00 Moscow, 01:00 Mumbai).
August 17th – August 28th, 2018 (St. Louis, USA)
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (4657 Maryland Ave.)
|No. 1||GM Magnus Carlsen||2842||Norway||
|No. 2||GM Fabiano Caruana||2822||USA||
|No. 3||GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov||2801||AZE||
|No. 6||GM Wesley So||2780||USA||
|No. 8||GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave||2779||France||
|No. 9||GM Hikaru Nakamura||2777||USA||
|No. 10||GM Sergey Karjakin||2773||Russia||
|No. 12||GM Viswanathan Anand||2768||India||
|No. 13||GM Levon Aronian||2767||Armenia||
|No. 14||GM Alexander Grischuk||2766||Russia||