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Sinquefield Cup Tournament

Levon Aronian6/9(+3 -0 =6)[games]
Magnus Carlsen5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Anish Giri5/9(+1 -0 =8)[games]
Alexander Grischuk4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Veselin Topalov4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Fabiano Caruana3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]
Viswanathan Anand3.5/9(+0 -2 =7)[games]
Wesley So3/9(+1 -4 =4)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Sinquefield Cup (2015)

The 3rd Sinquefield Cup was played in the Saint Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center, Missouri USA, 23 August - 1 September 2015. It was this year the second of three events of the new Grand Chess Tour. The nine regular tour players were joined by wildcard Wesley So for a single round robin. Tournament director: Tony D Rich. Overall prize fund: $300,000, with $75,000 to the winner, and down to $15,000 for 10th place. Players received 120 minutes for 40 moves, 60 more minutes for the rest of the game, and a 30-second delay from move 41. Rounds started at 1 pm. Levon Aronian won with 6/9 and collected 13 Grand Chess Tour points (GP):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 GP 1 Aronian 2765 * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 6 13 2 Carlsen 2853 ½ * ½ 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 1 5 10 3 Nakamura 2814 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 5 8 4 Vachier-Lagrave 2731 ½ 0 ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5 7 5 Giri 2793 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 5 6 6 Grischuk 2771 ½ 1 0 ½ 0 * ½ 1 1 0 4½ 5 7 Topalov 2816 ½ 1 1 0 ½ ½ * 0 ½ ½ 4½ 4 8 Caruana 2808 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 * ½ ½ 3½ 3 9 Anand 2816 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 3½ 2 10 So 2779 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ * 3 1

Category: XXII (2795). Chief arbiter: Christopher Bird

Wikipedia article: Sinquefield Cup#2015
GCT page:

Previous: Sinquefield Cup (2014). Next: Sinquefield Cup (2016). Previous Grand Chess Tour event: Norway Chess (2015). Next (and last): London Chess Classic (2015)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Aronian vs Caruana 1-0392015Sinquefield CupD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Carlsen vs Topalov 0-1402015Sinquefield CupB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
3. Nakamura vs Anand 1-0432015Sinquefield CupE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
4. Giri vs Grischuk 1-0342015Sinquefield CupD02 Queen's Pawn Game
5. So vs Vachier-Lagrave 0-1352015Sinquefield CupA15 English
6. Topalov vs Nakamura 1-0732015Sinquefield CupC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
7. Vachier-Lagrave vs Aronian ½-½322015Sinquefield CupD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
8. Giri vs So ½-½302015Sinquefield CupA30 English, Symmetrical
9. Caruana vs Carlsen 0-1402015Sinquefield CupC78 Ruy Lopez
10. Grischuk vs Anand 1-0352015Sinquefield CupA45 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Anand vs Topalov ½-½312015Sinquefield CupB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
12. Nakamura vs Caruana ½-½762015Sinquefield CupD81 Grunfeld, Russian Variation
13. So vs Grischuk 1-0412015Sinquefield CupA35 English, Symmetrical
14. Carlsen vs Vachier-Lagrave 1-0432015Sinquefield CupA15 English
15. Aronian vs Giri ½-½422015Sinquefield CupA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
16. Grischuk vs Topalov ½-½312015Sinquefield CupB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
17. So vs Aronian 0-1282015Sinquefield CupE20 Nimzo-Indian
18. Giri vs Carlsen ½-½312015Sinquefield CupB33 Sicilian
19. Vachier-Lagrave vs Nakamura ½-½512015Sinquefield CupE81 King's Indian, Samisch
20. Caruana vs Anand ½-½422015Sinquefield CupD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
21. Topalov vs Caruana 0-1532015Sinquefield CupC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
22. Carlsen vs So 1-0562015Sinquefield CupB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
23. Anand vs Vachier-Lagrave ½-½422015Sinquefield CupB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
24. Nakamura vs Giri ½-½392015Sinquefield CupB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
25. Aronian vs Grischuk ½-½302015Sinquefield CupB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 56 OF 56 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <HeMateMe> I fail to see how playing in a few events would inflate anyone’s rating. True, a smaller number of games would result in a less reliable rating since if a player has a good tournament his rating might be higher than if he played a larger number of games so that his overall results might be more statistically correct. But he would have an equal chance of having a poor tournament and having his rating drop below what it should be.

And, given that playing in a smaller number of events makes you rusty, I would say that the chances of having a poor tournament are then higher than your changes of having a good tournament, unless you play in so many events that exhaustion has an effect.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think it's a function of fatigue or boredom with the game. I think if Topalov was playing more events he would be losing more games and wouldn't qualify for the candidates tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I not really understanding what your point is
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: if he played in more events, his rating would be lower.
Sep-07-15  bobthebob: It was funny to hear Yasser refer to Aronian as "The Armenian Hammer"!

Really happy that he won the event and I hope he has a bunch more large wins like this coming up...the Armenian Hammer indeed!

Sep-07-15  SirRuthless: <<<HeMateMe> :"if he played in more events, his rating would be lower"> This statement is pure conjecture.>
Sep-07-15  Appaz: "Hammer"? Why not just "Lion", which - as far as I know - is what his name means. Very suitable.
Sep-07-15  Clemens Scheitz: He is one of the most likeable guys out there, I don't have a problem with the "lion" or the "hammer", just don't insult him by calling him "Lemon Erronian" anymore. And also, don't get jealous if you see him on the dance floor.
Sep-07-15  drleper: Chessbase gave a link to the "Ultimate Moves" team chess event after the cup, great fun!
Sep-07-15  SirRuthless: I think it's time for a World Cup page. As fun as the GCT tour is the world cup is really the star event of 2015.
Sep-07-15  Clemens Scheitz: I second that, bring it on !
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: At the Russian tournaments they always have a pair of hot chicks (even twins, sometimes!) at the drawing ceremony, in sexy formal evening gowns. Very traditional, gives a bit of maturity to the event. That would be my one suggestion for the Rex, is bring on the hot chicks for opening ceremony night, let them hold the container that has the white/black configurations and they could also give out the h'orderves at the party, if that was acceptable to all parties.
Sep-08-15  Karposian: <HeMateMe: That would be my one suggestion for the Rex, is bring on the hot chicks for opening ceremony night, let them hold the container that has the white/black configurations and they could also give out the h'orderves at the party, if that was acceptable to all parties.>

Your old-fasioned, patriarchal suggestion of reinforcing gender stereotypes at Sinquefield Cup does not get my approval.

We already have all this ridiculous cheerleading in this country reflecting our sexist culture. Let's at least keep chess out of our misogynistic way of doing things.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Of course I was just kidding. Still, you'd rather look at a 5-10 model in a sleek black gown, or MVL? The way they do it in Russia, and in some Europe events, is to show the chess event as a sort of presentation, entertainment. The hostesses reinforce this by being well dressed, giving the opening ceremony/party a sort of night club look.

Maybe they could start giving out a gift bag of sponsor's products, like at the Oscars, in Los Angeles?

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <bobthebob: It was funny to hear Yasser refer to Aronian as "The Armenian Hammer"!>

Sounds like a sponsor.

Arm'en Hammer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sir Ruthless> I would think that if Topalov, or anyone else, played more games their rating change would be related to how well they played. If they played well, their rating would go up. If they played poorly, their rating would go down. What is conjecture is anticipating how well they would play if they played in additional events. If they played in a lot of events to the point that they would be exhausted, I would think that their play would be poorer and their rating would go down (but, again, that is pure conjecture).

So then the best approach to increase your rating (providing, of course, that your playing strength is greater than your rating indicates) would be to play enough games to avoid getting rusty and not so many games that one gets exhausted. And that happy point varies from individual to individual as well as the circumstances.

Sep-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: Wonderful to see Levon Aronian pulling off results like this one. Totally in awe at the moment!

He has always come across as such a pleasant individual. I mean, part of me usually wishes that "good guys" are the ones getting the silverware!

Sep-11-15  Overgod: On a side note: I 'finally' managed to beat this extremely difficult opponent (of mine), who's 2100+ on playchess. I put finally in quote marks, because I have beaten him before. But this was a while ago now. Lately he's improved a lot and I really, desperately wanted to beat him just one more time.

Here's the deal: I have winning records against 2800+ players, 2600+ players, 2500+ and 2400+ players, etc, and the other day I crushed a 2100 about 15 games in a row, but against this guy, I lost at least 10 games in a row. It was 3 min, and most of the time I lost horribly in less than 30 moves or so.

He didn't beat me on time. He just crushed me positionally and tactically. You might be thinking that he could be a much stronger player who just has a 2100 rating (or is using that account) -- which is what I thought also.

But I analyzed all the games played, and he wasn't playing anything out of the ordinary. Against him I just kept making terrible choices (admittedly some of it was out of pure frustration and humiliation). Psychologically I was just demoralized.

Maybe he was just having a great run or something, I don't know, but I became obsessed with him. I added him to my friends list, just so I can issue a challenge (to all players) as soon as he logs on, knowing that he would be most likely to receive it based on the challenge criteria.

My main account he actually stopped playing against, because he must have gotten bored of beating me so many times, so effortlessly, it seemed. So I made another account, and logged that one in, as soon as I saw him on.

He had beaten me on that account several times in a row also, but today, on this fateful Autumn morning, I finally beat him in a superior endgame, where he graciously resigned after I made a queen. We were both low on time, but there was no way I was not going to win that one. I'm an excellent bullet player.

You don't understand how relieved I am to finally have beaten him. I was questioning my life, my values, my purpose, my existence. I was ruminating about the teleology of the universe, and whether or not it brought him into my world, just to teach me a lesson in humility.

I haven't showered in days either. I just wanted to beat this (excuse my French) bastard just ONCE, and get on with my life. My work, my hygiene, my responsibilities, etc, were all put on hold because of him.

I'm not proud of this, I admit. But for what it's worth, I can get on with my life again.

Sep-11-15  A.T PhoneHome: <Overgod> For a side note, I'd say it's a pretty comprehensive one at that.

So much so I'm glad there was no main note!

As for this tournament and a few prior ones, I have been pleased to see such a wide array of strong finishers. Does nothing but good for the game!

Sep-11-15  Overgod: Another note: I also know that he's not using an engine. I meticulously checked all the moves played in several games, and he's definitely not an engine user. He does play good, strong, consistent moves most of the time. Some of them are engine's first choice. But many of them are decent moves, which the engine is okay with, but doesn't recommend as top priority. Further, he would have long ago been banned had he been using an engine. He plays frequently, and playchess is very good at detecting cheaters.

Still, the way he beat me, was just mind boggling. I tell you I've had longer and more comfortable games versus Houdini, than against him. I found myself totally lost out of the opening several times. My king side was routinely smashed open and my position was embarrassing. In all my years on playchess (including playing against engine cheaters, who seem to be more forgiving than him and are easy to detect), I have never had such difficulty winning against somebody as against him. I mean the other day I beat a 2800 player with black, in 23 moves!!! And it was quite an easy win for me. But this particular player, just plays in a way difficult for me to adjust to. I find myself on the defensive from the get go, and when I play aggressively against him, I'm almost always punished.

I'm simply at a loss for words.

But, I'm happy now that I finally beat him.

Sep-11-15  epistle: Naglalabasan ngayon ang mga fboyz a. Panay ang koments. Nung sa sinquefield parang mga hipon na nagtatago sa lungga.
Sep-11-15  bobthebob: <overgod> I know how you feel! I once caught 2 fish using the same worm! And the second fish is one the I had previously thrown back!

Now that the irrelevant "side notes" and done, back to discussion about the Sinquefileld cup.

Sep-11-15  Karposian: <HeMateMe: Still, you'd rather look at a 5-10 model in a sleek black gown, or MVL?>

Well. that's a given. But let me tell you what I absolutely <don't> want to see:

MVL in a sleek black gown :)

Apr-07-16  Makavelli II: The top 20 players are still dominating each tournament. I thoroughly enjoyed this particular tournament more than the recent candidates which more than half of these players played in. My spider senses tell me Kara may cause Carlsen SERIOUS problems.
Aug-23-18  Caleb554: Grischuk beat both Carlsen and Caruana. He beat Anand as well. Had 3 losses in this Sinquefield cup. Always felt Grischuk under-achieved at the top level. Could have achieved a lot more with bit more stability and hunger.
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