Fabiano Caruana Leads Going into Championship Monday

World Championship challenger Fabiano Caruana leads going into Championship Monday, the final round at the Sinquefield Cup. After a dramatic round seven, Fabiano tried to press a small edge against Anand in round eight, but the five-time World Champion defended well to secure the split point.

[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Date "2018.08.26"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8.
cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 Bb4+ 11. Nd2 Nc6 12. O-O Be7 13. a3 g6 14. Rc1
Bf6 15. b4 Qe7 16. Nf3 Rd8 17. h3 Ne5 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Qd2 a5 20. bxa5 Bxf4
21. exf4 Qxa3 22. Ra1 Qd6 23. Rfb1 Qf6 24. Ra2 Rd6 25. Rc2 Rc6 26. Rxc6 bxc6
27. Qb4 Qd8 28. Ra1 Ba6 29. Bxa6 Rxa6 30. f5 d4 31. fxg6 hxg6 32. Rd1 Rxa5 33.
Rxd4 Rd5 34. Re4 Rd1+ 35. Kh2 Qd6+ 36. Qxd6 Rxd6 37. Re7 Rd2 38. Rc7 Rxf2 39.
Rxc6 Ra2 1/2-1/2

All the other games were drawn as well, allowing Caruana to keep his half point lead.
Graphics by Spectrum Studios
After the game, I asked Fabiano about his patriotic choice to play in the Olympiad for our gold medal team, despite facing Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship match a month later. He replied: "I didn't even think about not playing in the Olympiad. I wanted to represent the US." In the final round, Fabiano will be facing an Olympic team-mate, Wesley So, also the 2016 Sinquefield Cup champion. So nearly won his penultimate battle against Alexander Grischuk, another contender for this year's Cup. Caruana takes down the Cup clear on a victory, but Wesley has a lot to play for as well. A win for So will give him a chance to qualify for the Grand Chess Tour finals in London.
Grand Chess Tour standings after the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz
Hikaru Nakamura, the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz Champion, already guaranteed his place in London by virtue of outstanding performances on the GCT so far, despite having a tough Sinquefield Cup. He plays Magnus Carlsen in the final round, where a win gives him a decent chance at a playoff for the Sinquefield Cup title. The other three spots seem up for grabs, though the math of Eric Issacson shows Maxime Vachier-Lagrave as very likely to be in the mix. In round nine, popular IM and streamer Eric Rosen will again be taking over our twitter feed @USChess. Follow along starting at 2 ET! https://twitter.com/USChess/status/1033399571987226624 Follow along with commentary by Yasser Seirawan, Jennifer Shahade, and Maurice Ashley on the Official Grand Chess Tour WebsiteThe Sinquefield Cup runs from August 18-28 with rounds everyday at 1 P.M. CST. 

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