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GCT St. Louis Rapid & Blitz Tournament

Levon Aronian15.5/27(+9 -5 =13)[games]
Yu Yangyi16.5/27(+12 -6 =9)[games]
Ding Liren16.5/27(+10 -4 =13)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave15/27(+13 -10 =4)[games]
Sergey Karjakin15.5/27(+12 -8 =7)[games]
Magnus Carlsen13/27(+9 -10 =8)[games]
Richard Rapport12.5/27(+9 -11 =7)[games]
Fabiano Caruana11/27(+7 -12 =8)[games]
Leinier Dominguez Perez10/27(+6 -13 =8)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov9.5/27(+6 -14 =7)[games]
* Chess Event Description
GCT St. Louis Rapid & Blitz (2019)

The Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz was the 4th stage of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour. The 10-player tournament took place in the Saint Louis Chess Club from 10-14 August. The prize fund was $150,000, with $37,500 for 1st place. Seven tour regulars including World Champion Magnus Carlsen were joined by wildcards Leinier Dominguez, Yu Yangyi, and Richard Rapport. The rapid section on the first three days was a single round-robin with a time control of 25 minutes for all moves and a 10-second delay from move 1. The final two days were a blitz double round-robin, with 18 rounds of 5+3 blitz. Rapid games counted double, with 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw. A two-player tie for first would be decided by a 2-game rapid mini-match (10+5) and if necessary an Armageddon game (5 vs 4). (1) Tournament director: Tony D Rich. (2) Chief arbiter: Christopher Bird. (2)

Levon Aronian won with 22/27 and collected 13 Grand Chess Tour points (GP):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts GP 1 Aronian *** 1½½ 1½1 200 2½0 2½½ 0½1 2½½ 10½ 211 22 13 =2 Yu Yangyi 1½½ *** 0½1 101 101 111 0½1 210 210 21½ 21½ 8⅓ =2 Ding Liren 1½0 2½0 *** 011 1½1 210 1½1 111 11½ 1½½ 21½ 8⅓ =2 Vachier-Lagrave 011 110 200 *** 2½0 00½ 201 210 201 21½ 21½ 8⅓ 5 Karjakin 0½1 110 1½0 0½1 *** 210 101 111 011 210 19½ 6 6 Carlsen 0½½ 100 001 21½ 001 *** 21½ 0½0 2½0 111 17 5 7 Rapport 2½0 2½0 1½0 010 110 00½ *** 011 0½1 210 16½ 4 8 Caruana 0½½ 001 100 001 100 2½1 200 *** 1½1 101 15 3 9 Dominguez 11½ 001 10½ 010 200 0½1 2½0 1½0 *** 000 13½ 2 10 Mamedyarov 000 00½ 1½½ 00½ 001 100 001 110 211 *** 12 1

Official site:

Previous GCT event 2019: GCT Paris Rapid & Blitz (2019). Next: Sinquefield Cup (2019)

(1) Chess24: (2) Chess-Results:

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 135  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Ding Liren vs Carlsen 1-0452019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
2. M Vachier-Lagrave vs R Rapport 1-0502019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC02 French, Advance
3. Mamedyarov vs Aronian 0-1452019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
4. Karjakin vs Yu Yangyi ½-½442019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD05 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Ding Liren vs Caruana  ½-½382019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
6. Carlsen vs L Dominguez 1-0302019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Aronian vs Karjakin 1-0562019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD05 Queen's Pawn Game
8. R Rapport vs Carlsen 0-1352019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzA06 Reti Opening
9. L Dominguez vs Ding Liren  ½-½352019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC53 Giuoco Piano
10. Yu Yangyi vs R Rapport  0-1612019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Aronian 0-1452019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC53 Giuoco Piano
12. Karjakin vs Caruana  ½-½422019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
13. Mamedyarov vs L Dominguez  1-0352019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Caruana vs Mamedyarov  ½-½232019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC53 Giuoco Piano
15. Yu Yangyi vs M Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½662019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD93 Grunfeld, with Bf4 & e3
16. Karjakin vs R Rapport  ½-½412019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC55 Two Knights Defense
17. Aronian vs L Dominguez  ½-½702019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC67 Ruy Lopez
18. Karjakin vs Mamedyarov  1-0622019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC53 Giuoco Piano
19. R Rapport vs Caruana 0-1652019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzA07 King's Indian Attack
20. Yu Yangyi vs Carlsen  ½-½692019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzB08 Pirc, Classical
21. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Ding Liren 1-0642019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC53 Giuoco Piano
22. L Dominguez vs Caruana  ½-½582019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzC78 Ruy Lopez
23. Ding Liren vs Yu Yangyi  1-0492019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. Mamedyarov vs M Vachier-Lagrave  0-1552019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
25. Caruana vs Carlsen 1-0392019GCT St. Louis Rapid & BlitzB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 135  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <csmath: 5-minute blitzes are garbage, 10-minute would make more sense but then they would not be able to play 9 games a day. ...> What do you mean by "would make more sense"? In what regard? Which format would "make sense" to you? You seem to operate with a sort of lower limit, when quality suffers decisively by restriction of time. But isn't that a very subjective border? Some players need a lot of time to make the right move - others much less. Some players may even play worse if they are forced to play long lasting games - they may lose patience or concentration.

Evidently, 5 minutes blitzes favours the quick thinkers - full time classics the slow deep thinkers. Are the former worse chessplayers than the latter? Which format gives you the "right" best players? Even in the classics it's a trivial fact that some players always end up in Zeitnot, making banal blunders or fatal errors, but we don't reject the classical games for that reason, do we?

This time-quality issue is - IMHO - a very complicated matter packed with subjective assessments and personal preference.

Aug-14-19  KnightVBishop: I don't know what it is, but Magnus just seems more confident in classical chess than rapid/blitz now a days
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: The Carlsen ship is leaking front, aft and center.
The hope of reaching 2900 may be a pipe dream.

I don't know. He is clearly in front of his peers when it comes to classical chess, but his dominance is partially built on the fear of his opponents.
This fear might erode here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: My last post was in no way an answer to <KnightVBishop> that I for some reason not have put on ignore.
Consider it done.
Aug-14-19  jphamlore: Carlsen with White with an excellent demolition of Karjakin.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: I actually wrote pears instead of peers initially.
My English is bad and getting worse.
Aug-14-19  KnightVBishop: >Diademas

what a stupid thing to say, one bad tournament isn't proof of anything. Magnus has won 8 tournaments in a row before this...

his dominance isn't just "fear" its because he plays better moves than the others

Aug-14-19  Everett: Finally a drop in form for Carlsen
Aug-14-19  csmath: Looks like Carlsen and Caruana are repairing the damage done yesterday, three wins each so far in 4 rounds although Fabiano lost the first game. Magnus killed Karjakin and Ding Liren for a revenge from yesterday.
Aug-14-19  csmath: Now two losses for Magnus. First he loses to Caruana then Magnus attempted to sell Cochrane Gambit to Yu and promptly lost. This is really funny. :-)
Aug-14-19  csmath: Aronian wins the tournament. And Nakamura leads the blitz rating by a virtue of not playing this ridiculous blitz meeting.
Aug-14-19  nok: Dang, Maxime really dropped the ball. He lost like 200 points in two weeks.
Aug-14-19  csmath: Just today

Yu 6
Caruana 5.5
Aronian, Ding, Karjakin 5
Carlsen, Shak 4.5
Rapport 2.5

Aug-14-19  csmath: Actually Carlsen could be satisfied with blitz since he played some real wild offbeat stuff and getting 50% on two days of crazy openings is pretty much fine.

I think it is all about luck except for LDP and Shak, they are just consistently underperforming.

Aug-14-19  csmath: Blitz only:

Yu, Ding, Karjakin 11.5
Aronian, Carlsen 9
Rapport, MVL 8.5
Caruana, Shak 7
LDP 6.5

Aug-14-19  Bugrit: Any updates on Tour Standings?
Aug-14-19  Everett: <jphamlore: This disparagement of blitz is the ahistoric anomaly>


Aug-14-19  botvinnik64: Easy all - Classical is coming Friday. Add Vishy, Nepo, So, Nakamura and...Giri (!) and it should make for a great tournament. Sorry that Yu won't be there.
Aug-14-19  Matt1e4: What is with this sudden backlash against the format?!! What’s wrong with playing blitz and having exciting games!? It’s chess - sometimes even great players get beat up when playing it... what’s the point otherwise?

This was a crazy and massively entertaining tournament- on average the strongest players will still have the strongest showings... more of the same please.

Aug-14-19  Atking: Players look tired. They did unusual mistake for their standard. Sure Blitz is quite a lottery compare to normal format Even more lottery is the armagedon which decided Riga And again MVL finished 2nd. I have the same question<Bugrit> Any update on Tour standing?
Aug-14-19  KnightVBishop: Magnus doesn't care about speed chess

only classical now a days

Aug-15-19  csmath: Oh, I think he cares about every game he plays no matter the format. But here he was just awful and lost interest, he played as if online but that does not work with this opposition.
Aug-15-19  starry2013: It was a weird tournament because it looked like several players didn't even belong there, or as if players were throwing games from the start. Some classical players just aren't that good at shorter formats so mixing the two has a strange result. Classical is given a much heavier weighting anyway, and blitz far less. So for various reasons I wonder if it's the best promotion of shorter time control. The attempt to integrate all forms together may not work.
Aug-15-19  goodevans: <Some classical players just aren't that good at shorter formats so mixing the two...>

There were no 'classical' games in this Tournament, although I'd concede 'rapid' often produces chess of a quality approaching that of 'classical'.

<...has a strange result.>

Aronian and MVL did well at rapid and averagely <not poorly> at blitz. The reverse was true for Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi and Karjak. Apart from that the results were remarkably consistent across the two formats.

The two rounds of blitz had little affect on the overall standings:

LA 1st= to 1st
MVL 1st= to 2nd=
DL 3rd= to 2nd=
YY 3rd= to 2nd=
SK 5th= to 5th
MC 5th= to 6th
RR 5th= to 7th
FC 5th= to 8th
LDP 9th to 9th
SM 10th to 10th

Aug-15-19  goodevans: Despite the consistency between the rapid and blitz results (my previous post) I think the inclusion of blitz detracted from the tournament. I found playing through the rapid games much more rewarding than the blitz.

A double round robin of rapid would have required an extra day. Would that be too much to ask?

Blitz has it's place, which is in blitz tournaments and not to be mixed with other formats.

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