Aronian, Caruana and Carlsen Share Sinquefield Cup Title

Fabiano Caruana, Photo Lennart Ootes

In an unexpected finale to the 2018 Sinquefield Cup (August 17-28), Grandmasters Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen shared the prestigious title. Fabiano entered the final round with a half a point lead. He drew relatively quickly with Olympic team-mate Wesley So to score 5.5/9, undefeated with two victories.

The thrilling final day was highlighted by two decisive games to create a three-way tie at the top, starting with Levon Aronian’s brilliant and brave victory over Grischuk.

Just when commentators and fans thought we’d see an Aronian-Caruana playoff, Magnus crashed the party with an incredible endgame grind against Hikaru Nakamura.

IM Eric Rosen captured some key moments on our twitter feed @USChess, starting with the pre-round march to the playing hall. 

With Caruana, Aronian and Carlsen all tied for the lead, the regulations stated that one would have to be eliminated by random draw, after which a playoff for first would follow.

Graphics by Spectrum Studios

Led by Magnus Carlsen, who thought the random draw was an unacceptable outcome, the players chose to share the title this year instead. Find many more details on this, including video, in FM Mike Klein’s chess.com report. 

There was still chess to be played on the day reserved for playoffs, Fabiano Caruana defeated Wesley So in a two-game rapid match for the fourth Grand Chess Tour finals spot. It will be an all American semi-finals as Caruana is set to play Nakamura, while seeds 2 and 3, Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, face one another.

Look for more on the Sinquefield Cup and Grand Chess Tour, including tactical quizzes later this week. You can replay all the broadcasts, in both Russian and English, on the Saint Louis Chess Club YouTube channel.

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