Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Sinquefield Cup Tournament

Ding Liren6.5/11(+2 -0 =9)[games]
Magnus Carlsen6.5/11(+2 -0 =9)[games]
Sergey Karjakin6/11(+1 -0 =10)[games]
Viswanathan Anand6/11(+1 -0 =10)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi5.5/11(+3 -3 =5)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov5.5/11(+0 -0 =11)[games]
Fabiano Caruana5.5/11(+1 -1 =9)[games]
Anish Giri5.5/11(+1 -1 =9)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura5/11(+0 -1 =10)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave5/11(+1 -2 =8)[games]
Levon Aronian4.5/11(+0 -2 =9)[games]
Wesley So4.5/11(+0 -2 =9)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Sinquefield Cup (2019)

The 7th Sinquefield Cup saw Magnus Carlsen and 11 more of the world's best players compete in the Saint Louis Chess Club from 17-28 August 2019, with a rest day on 22 August. The event was the 5th leg of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour. In addition to tour points the prize fund was $325,000, with $90,000 for 1st place (if without a playoff). Players received 130 minutes for the entire game, with a 30-second delay from move 1. A tie for first place was to be decided the day after Round 11 with Rapid time control and if necessary with Blitz or other means.

Ding Liren and Carlsen ended with 6.5/11 and 16.5 tour points (GP):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 GP =1 Ding Liren 2805 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 6½ 16½ =1 Carlsen 2882 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 6½ 16½ =3 Karjakin 2750 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 6 11 =3 Anand 2756 ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 6 11 =5 Nepomniachtchi 2774 ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 0 1 0 1 1 5½ 6½ =5 Mamedyarov 2764 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 5½ 6½ =5 Caruana 2818 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 5½ 6½ =5 Giri 2779 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 5½ 6½ =9 Nakamura 2743 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 5 3½ =9 Vachier-Lagrave 2778 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 5 3½ =11 Aronian 2765 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 4½ 1½ =11 So 2776 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 4½ 1½

Category: XXII (2783). Chief arbiter: Christopher Bird

The first place was resolved (without bearing on GP) on 29 August in the Sinquefield Cup Tiebreaks (2019). After two draws in Rapid (25m + 10s), both games in the first Blitz set were won by Ding Liren:

1 Ding Liren ½ ½ 1 1 3 2 Carlsen ½ ½ 0 0 1

Ding Liren won the event and earned $82,500, while Carlsen had to be content with $67,500.

Official site:
Tour regulations: 1: 2:
ChessBase 1:
ChessBase 2:

Previous: Sinquefield Cup (2018). Next: Sinquefield Cup (2021). Previous GCT event: GCT St. Louis Rapid & Blitz (2019). Next: GCT Bucharest Rapid & Blitz (2019)

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Carlsen vs Giri ½-½362019Sinquefield CupA28 English
2. Nakamura vs Caruana ½-½432019Sinquefield CupC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
3. Ding Liren vs So ½-½402019Sinquefield CupA14 English
4. Aronian vs Vachier-Lagrave ½-½252019Sinquefield CupA48 King's Indian
5. Nepomniachtchi vs Anand 0-1772019Sinquefield CupA21 English
6. Karjakin vs Mamedyarov ½-½312019Sinquefield CupB01 Scandinavian
7. Anand vs Carlsen ½-½452019Sinquefield CupB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
8. Mamedyarov vs Nakamura ½-½442019Sinquefield CupD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Vachier-Lagrave vs So  ½-½432019Sinquefield CupC53 Giuoco Piano
10. Karjakin vs Ding Liren ½-½352019Sinquefield CupC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
11. Caruana vs Nepomniachtchi ½-½352019Sinquefield CupB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Giri vs Aronian ½-½532019Sinquefield CupC50 Giuoco Piano
13. Aronian vs Anand ½-½422019Sinquefield CupC50 Giuoco Piano
14. Carlsen vs Caruana ½-½432019Sinquefield CupD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
15. Ding Liren vs Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½502019Sinquefield CupD85 Grunfeld
16. So vs Giri ½-½372019Sinquefield CupE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
17. Nakamura vs Karjakin ½-½1042019Sinquefield CupE10 Queen's Pawn Game
18. Nepomniachtchi vs Mamedyarov  ½-½532019Sinquefield CupC78 Ruy Lopez
19. Caruana vs Aronian 1-0532019Sinquefield CupC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
20. Karjakin vs Nepomniachtchi  ½-½212019Sinquefield CupE60 King's Indian Defense
21. Giri vs Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½452019Sinquefield CupD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
22. Nakamura vs Ding Liren ½-½472019Sinquefield CupC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
23. Mamedyarov vs Carlsen ½-½682019Sinquefield CupD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. Anand vs So ½-½422019Sinquefield CupC42 Petrov Defense
25. So vs Caruana ½-½362019Sinquefield CupA20 English
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 26 OF 26 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-04-19  Sokrates: It was labelled "Showdown Chess", a kind of promotion of chess in my understanding. I think it is a fun idea to let the old magician play with the elite of today - although some of them were opponents from Kasparov's heydays. I don't think even Kasparov would suffer from the illusion that he'd be stronger than Caruana, but it's great entertainment and promotion for chess.
Sep-04-19  starry2013: Kasparov is just too slow now. But what puzzles me is why Sinquefield thought that the match format was worth redoing, he should just admit he was wrong and have everyone play each other. Just like last year you find a lot of lopsided matches.
Sep-04-19  WorstPlayerEver: Kasparov is much about Kasparov. Just like Fischer he eventually became a capitalist pig. Sold out.

NB I cleverly figured out why Fischer refused to become a sponsored donkey in the 70s. He was mama's commie boy. Eastern Europe was still a thing, you see.

So yeah all this hardship with tournament organizers, businessmen etc. etc. came from his mother. Une idéologiste pur sang. Cute.

"Look mam, I can handle my own membership now, you don't have to place an add again..." "Hell no, Bobby, I don't want you to become one of those serial killers!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Worst Post Ever>

Even your posts about AlphaZero aren't this stupid and incoherent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <NB I cleverly figured out why Fischer refused to become a sponsored donkey in the 70s. He was mama's commie boy. Eastern Europe was still a thing, you see.>

"Cleverly" is not the first word that comes to my mind.

Sep-04-19  morfishine: <HeMateMe: In the Midwest they call an 8 ounce glass of beer "a tap" as in, "Bartender can I get a tap?" Hearing someone in a lot of USA areas ask for "a pint" is kind of rare. That's east coast lingo, but not Midwest. They just ask for "a tall one" [a pint] or a "a tap" or "a short one."> Please flush this nonsense, and yesterday
Sep-04-19  messachess: Am I not seeing it here? I do not see the tie break games anywhere.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Sinquefield Cup Tiebreaks (2019)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

The Carlsen - Ding tie break games No's 52-55

Sep-05-19  Sokrates: World Cup Knockout in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, should be the next big event (10 Sep > 3 Oct). With many of those from St Louis participating, but not Carlsen and Caruana. A chance for the "bottom" here to redeem themselves. I would be happy to see good "old" Aronian show his talent. For Ding it could be another triumph.
Sep-06-19  botvinnik64: @Sokrates: I, too, would love to see Nepo and Ding shine; MVL, as well? We need fighters in this game. 960 was a breath of fresh air. In 20 years we will, I think, acknowledge several champs: Classical, 960, Blitz, Rapid...maybe another variant well. Thoughts?
Sep-07-19  Sokrates: Hi, <botvinnik64>, thanks for your notions.

As you know formats have been discussed here for quite a while. My suggestion has been and still is a sort of amalgamation between the classic and the rapid formats. A format of one hour per player plus some kind of increment after move 40. So that we end with two formats, the 1hr and the blitz.

<We need fighters in this game.> Absolutely, but we also need personalities, players with a wider horizon than the next game. Thinkers like Steinitz, Lasker, Botvinnik, Keres, Kasparov, who moved the understanding of the game forward and upwards. With the aid of computer programmes the players have become more technocrats than artists, thus actually quite uninteresting as persons. Besides chess, what subjects of conversation would you have with Ding Liren and MVL? No idea? I haven't any.

Sep-07-19  botvinnik64: Ha! Yeah, the only interesting cat I'd have dinner with would be Svidler - and Kasparov, of course, the rest, as you suggest, might be a little narrow-minded, but I'm no scholar myself. But what about 960 - do you think that we will be talking in 10-20 years about the 960 champ the way we currently think of the Classical Champ? So people will have their choice of champs. There will be camps defending their chess champ, perhaps?
Sep-08-19  Sokrates: I like the idea behind the Fischer Random or 960 if you prefer. It's a way to go back to the basics of the game: the manoeuvrings of the pieces, the exploration of completely and constantly new constellations.

Both reduced time and Fischer Random seek the same goal: to prevent that memorized pre-laid patterns will dominate the game.

This is actually the reality of games today. The players with the somewhat autistic capability to memorize long lines of "best" moves certainly have an edge over the intuitive, spontaneous players.

I know, when theory ends, the "memorizers" are on their own as much as the "intuitives", but before that they may have gained as much advantage that the win would be rather technical.

We tend to forget what chess is.

To some it's a sort of science and it's only natural to use the best tools (= computer programs) to solve the complications rationally. Thus, the players who are best at adapting the approach of computers will be the best to achieve success. The goal is actually to become the best human computer.

To others, like myself, the game of chess is meant to be an intellectual challenge between human minds. It's unfortunate for chess that humans have invented computer programs that take over the intellectual pleasure of humans. Svidler says it in the new edition of New in Chess magazine: There are no post mortems in chess anymore. Anyone knows that you can sit for an hour and analyse the game with your opponent and yet not get the best result, which is obtained in seconds with your laptop in your hotel room shortly thereafter.

Mr Levitov recently arranged an exclusive tournament in Amsterdam where he wanted to push against the reign of computer programmes, he wanted to make the GMs happy playing chess again.

Shorter time formats - increasing the rate of errors - is one way of doing it. Fischer Random another and perhaps better way. As long as something is done about it, I am glad. I am not happy with the present state of the game, where technocrats often triumph intuitives.

If speed was the goal, a man in a racing car would always triumph the runner who only uses his own legs. I prefer watching a 100 meter run for humans to the same for racing cars. But I am a hopeless romantic! :-)

Sep-08-19  botvinnik64: @Sokrates - I hear ya, brother. Especially the part about being a Romantic. Will there be "romantic" openings in Fischer Random, you think?
Sep-09-19  ex0duz: <keithbc: thought it was Liren Ding (ie last name is Ding)??>

Yes, his last name is Ding, but it is a Chinese name and in Chinese its always pronounced last name first, so it would be Ding Li Ren.

Even in English, no Chinese would say Liren Ding, and most Chinese adopt an English name and don't use Li Ren. That is usually only reserved close family, like parents or grandparents and shows a level of "familiarity" and it would be kind of rude for strangers or random to just be using it. I guess kind of like Japanese if that helps you to understand. This also exists in English but it's to a greater degree in Chinese and Japanese.

So basically just call him Ding, or Ding Li Ren in English. Li ren just sounds off. Disclaimer I am Chinese.

Sep-09-19  Sokrates: <ex0duz: ... So basically just call him Ding, or Ding Li Ren in English. Li ren just sounds off. Disclaimer I am Chinese.>

If you step a couple of pages back you'll find my quote from an interview with DL, where he says this:

<Ding Liren (DL): My first name is Liren and my family name is Ding. Everyone in China calls me Ding Liren. Usually people call me with my full name or the first name, but using my family name is also fine.>

It seems to me that DL, meanwhile having become a cosmopolitan, doesn't feel offended or regard it rude, when "people" call him Ding Liren, Ding, or Liren. He seems to be quite relaxed in this matter. I have never seen his first name spelled Li Ren, and since DL must have seen it zillion times spelled Liren - which should be taken as an acceptance - I wonder why you think it's Li Ren.

Anyway, I think we have exhausted this rather insignificant issue by now :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sokrates> I assume because Liren (or Li Ren) is two different characters in Chinese. His full name: 丁立人
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sokrates> Anyway, I think we have exhausted this rather insignificant issue by now :-)>

I have a list called "25 Thoughts to Help Get You Through Any Crisis". Whenever I started a new project at work I would change "Any Crisis" to "the <project name> project" and posted it outside my office. It saved me much time having to answer questions since I would just say the number of the appropriate thought and the person usually went away.

One of my favorites was: "The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets." It seems appropriate here.

Sep-09-19  Sokrates: Many thanks, <keypusher> - that's a splendid explanation, settling the question definitely.

<AylerKupp> LOL - I shall remember the flat cat henceforth.

"Cross out and move on!"
August Strindberg, Swedish playwright (1849-1912)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: < After winning the inaugural (4-player) Sinquefield Cup in 2013, I’ve struggled quite a bit in several of the subsequent events with shared 1st last year as the main highlight.

The Sinquefield Cup is part of the Grand Chess Tour and the field was identical to the Zagreb field in June/July, but with alternate color pairings.

My rather awful performance in the Rapid & Blitz event the week before Sinquefield Cup eroded some of the confidence gained in Zagreb and previous tournaments. Starting with several draws (and more draws, and…) was frustrating, but I wasn’t overly surprised that victory eluded me for so many rounds. On the bright side the opening preparation worked well (cudos to Peter Heine and his team), and I didn’t have any really dubious or seriously worse positions during the eleven rounds. My play was not as good as in Zagreb, and I did miss a great opportunity against Mamedyarov.

The round 8 game against Ding Liren was amazing. As white I sacrificed two pawns for a lasting initiative, and Ding had to maneuver a minefield just to stay alive. I simply couldn’t believe that his king would survive in the g-file, but he managed to find a beautiful geometrical defense. Ding proved he is a formidable calculator, and he generally showed why he belongs in the top 3 (rated players).>

<Initially my Italian opening and early middle game against Wesley So in the penultimate round didn’t look particularly promising. It is not obvious that the open b-file compensates for the double pawn in the c-file. More importantly, the resulting pawn structures hide an amazingly rich plethora of positional nuances and tactical tricks. He probably only got one chance to close down the position and afterwards he faced continuous difficulties. The second half of the game is well worth a closer look! He was probably lost already after 29.Ne8. I played slightly inaccurately in the rook ending, but he didn’t put up the most stubborn defense. 1-0.

Ding was sole leader with +2 before the last round, and he seemed content playing a draw. As black against Vachier-Lagrave I was hoping he would play aggressively to try to secure an overall top-4 placement in the Grand Chess Tour to reach the final in London in December. My Rossolimo structure looks somewhat dubious, but I think it is actually quite sound. His early h4-h5 break looked premature, and black was probably not worse at all. I could have played 20… Qf8 with a small advantage, but I felt it was too little and Nc6 instead kept the tension. I suspected his 22.Nf3 simply was a blunder, and although he surprised me with 24.Rd3 keeping maximum tension, I continued to think that he was objectively lost. While getting gradually lower on the clock, I managed to keep relatively cool, and as expected my attack was more dangerous than his.

The play-off against Ding Liren this morning was not particularly fun. I was not in great shape, as opposed to Ding who played really well. I managed to salvage the two Rapid games, but in first Blitz game I made a mistake early on and had to give a pawn. He converted the extra pawn into a won endgame. In practice it was not so easy and when I hesitated to claim a three-fold draw fearing that a faulty claim resulting in one more minute for him would give him sufficient time to find a killing blow, I lost on time instead. The second Blitz game was very interesting, and I thought I had an advantage after Nc6! He found the amazing continuation Bxc6 Qxc3 Bxd5 Qa5 Bxe4! as g5 winning a piece gives no more than a draw after Ba8! I had to play on without capturing on f6 and lost instead.

Congratulations to Ding Liren on a well-deserved victory!

Anand and Karjakin shared 3rd, although Anand could well have won overall had he converted just two more of his many promising and winning positions.

In the Zagreb and St.Louis classical events I scored +7 in 22 games against the rest of the elite and even gained a few rating points overall. Combined I’m highly satisfied with my results in these events!

Right now I’m glad I decided against playing the World Cup. I need another long break and some time back home. I will instead follow the World Cup as a keen online spectator, and get prepared for the Isle of Man tournament mid October and the Fischer Random World Championship back home late October.

Heartfelt thanks to Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield and the staff and volunteers at the St.Louis Chess Club for a great event!

Magnus Carlsen, St.Louis 29.August 2019>

Sep-12-19  torrefan: Mahina na talaga. Even Magnus says so
Sep-12-19  ex0duz: <keypusher: <Sokrates> I assume because Liren (or Li Ren) is two different characters in Chinese. His full name: 丁立人>

Yeah. 3 characters in Chinese so i put 3 words/characters in English.

<<Ding Liren (DL): My first name is Liren and my family name is Ding. Everyone in China calls me Ding Liren. Usually people call me with my full name or the first name, but using my family name is also fine.>

It seems to me that DL, meanwhile having become a cosmopolitan, doesn't feel offended or regard it rude, when "people" call him Ding Liren, Ding, or Liren. He seems to be quite relaxed in this matter. I have never seen his first name spelled Li Ren, and since DL must have seen it zillion times spelled Liren - which should be taken as an acceptance - I wonder why you think it's Li Ren.>

Yeah I'm just giving out cultural context, Liren is not the "preferred" name and has association with familiarity/closeness even if Ding doesn't take offence to it. It's just good to know these things when deciding what to call him and in what context etc.

It's like in Japanese, you wouldn't/shouldn't call strangers by their first name or use -chan even if others use it unless you are also close like the other person who said it.

May-13-20  1d410: I will leave thoughts on these games
May-13-20  1d410: <Why does St. Louis feel the need to demonstrate that a 56-year old mostly retired Garry Kasparov can be dominated at some variant of chess by the world's #2 player, Caruana, half the age of Kasparov, in Caruana's prime?> Since it's a chess variant they should be evenly matched. Obviously Caruana has a job but his job is not playing chess variants. Also He doesn't think fast. I might watch it now that I've started seeing a few more interesting games. I haven't been paying much attention but it's starting to get more exciting.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 26)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 26 OF 26 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific tournament only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC