Can You Calculate Like a Sinquefield Cup Grandmaster?

The Sinquefield Cup Opening Ceremony. Photo: Austin Fuller

Vishy Anand, Ding Liren, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Fabiano Caruana, Rex Sinquefield, and Wesley So at the Sinquefield Cup Opening Ceremony. Photo: Austin Fuller

Just like last year, Veselin Topalov has an early lead in the Sinquefield Cup.  He currently has 3.5 points out of 5 and is the only player to have won two games.

In fact, victories have been particularly sparse at this year’s event. Rounds 3 and 4 featured draws on every board. In round 5, Topalov was the only victor.

Levon Aronian, Wesley So, and Vishy Anand are currently tied for second, trailing behind Topalov by half a point.

Veselin Topalov at last year's SInquefield Cup. Photo: St. Louis Chess Club

Veselin Topalov. Photo: St. Louis Chess Club

One particularly memorable duel was the game between two of the top Americans, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura. Using a two pawn sacrifice to gain the initiative, So was able to score his first ever victory against Nakamura in classical chess.

Wesley So at the opening ceremony. Photo: Spectrum Studios

Wesley So at the Sinquefield Cup Opening Ceremony. Photo: Spectrum Studios

Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura are tied for fifth with an even score, although they have reached 2.5 points in very different ways. Caruana has drawn every game while Nakamura recovered from his first round loss by defeating Giri the very next day.

Here are some of the key tactical moments so far in the strongest tournament in the country.

Tactic #1

Veselin Topalov vs. Peter Svidler

Can you find the simple tactic that made Svidler resign against Topalov?

White to move. 

Level: Warm-Up

Tactic #2

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Viswanathan Anand

What in-between move ended MVL’s nearly 70 game undefeated streak?

Black to move. 

Level: Intermediate

Tactic #3

Anish Giri vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

What clever tactic did Anish Giri have planned if MVL captured his c2-pawn?

White to move. 

Level: Advanced

Overall Standings

Standings After Round 5

Round 6 Pairings

Pairings Round 6


Watch the games live and enjoy engaging commentary by Yasser Seirawan, Jennifer Shahade, Maurice Ashley, Eric Hansen and Alejandro Ramirez on the Official Grand Chess Tour Website.

Find updates, photos, and more on the US Chess Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

The Sinquefield Cup runs from August 5-15 with rounds everyday at 1 P.M. CST (except for August 10, the rest day).

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