Can You Calculate Like the 2018 Sinquefield Cup Co-champions?

2018 Sinquefield Cup Co-Champions, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, and Magnus Carlsen. Photo: Austin Fuller

For the first time, the Sinquefield Cup has finished without a clear champion. In addition, the event has finally had its first repeat winners. Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, and Levon Aronian, the winners of the first three Sinquefield Cups in 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively, have tied for the 2018 title.

Let’s take a look at the critical moments of tactics, intuition, and endgame determination that led to their victories.

Puzzle #1

Fabiano Caruana vs. Sergey Karjakin

White to move and win.
Level: Warm-Up

Puzzle #2

Levon Aronian vs. Alex Grischuk

Levon Aronian is known for his creative and energetic play. Although his move choice here is not the top computer move (in fact, Stockfish is rather skeptical), it certainly is in an interesting and dynamic idea. Can you guess what he played?

White to move.
Level: Advanced

Puzzle #3

Magnus Carlsen vs. Hikaru Nakamura

What plan did Carlsen use to gradually grind his endgame edge into a victory and a share of 1st?

White to move. 
Level: Advanced

For more information, visit the Official Grand Chess Tour Website.


Vanessa West is a regular writer and digital assistant for US Chess News. She won the 2017 Chess Journalist of the Year award.

You can follow her on Twitter: @Vanessa__West


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