The 3rd Annual Sinquefield Cup will surely be a tournament to remember for Levon Aronian who struggled to come back on top (2800+) over the last year. The event took place from August 22 – September 3, 2015, at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).
Aronian was ninth seed in the Grand Chess Tour with „modest“ Elo rating of 2765, which didn’t put him among the favorites, especially in competition with World champion Magnus Carlsen, two-time title pretender Viswanathan Anand, Norway Chess 2015 winner Veselin Topalov and the young and hungry for victories Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, etc.
However, Aronian showed he was in great shape in the very first round of the tournament by demolishing last-year’s hero Caruana with a brilliant rook sacrifice.
The tournament reached culmination in the sixth round when Carlsen and Aronian faced each other. The latter has tested Carlsen’s patience in the English Opening but the reigning World champion found strong queen manoeuvring to cope with the tasks and equalize the game.
In crucial seventh round Carlsen lost an even ending against Grischuk, while Aronian remained brilliant and scored a full point versus Nakamura. In a positional game with long-lasting advantage, Aronian put pressure on the American until he made a decisive mistake.
With two rounds to go and one-point advantage, it wasn’t hard for Aronian to maintain the sole lead and finish supreme on first position. It is a historical win for the best Armenian player, who finished Sinquefield Cup 2015 with 6 points, leaving the nearest followers, Carlsen, Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave and Giri, a full point behind.
The last stage of the Grand Chess Tour will be London Chess Classic, played in London, England, December 3 – December 14, 2015.
1 GM Aronian, Levon (2765) 6
2 GM Carlsen, Magnus (2853) 5
3 GM Nakamura, Hikaru (2814) 5
4 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime (2731) 5
5 GM Giri, Anish (2793) 5
6 GM Grischuk, Alexander (2771) 4½
7 GM Topalov, Veselin (2816) 4½
8 GM Caruana, Fabiano (2808) 3½
9 GM Anand, Viswanathan (2816) 3½
10 GM So, Wesley (2779) 3
Grand Chess Tour current standings:
1 GM Veselin Topalov BUL – 17
2 GM Hikaru Nakamura USA – 16
3 GM Levon Aronian ARM – 15
4 GM Magnus Carlsen NOR – 14
5 GM Anish Giri NED – 13
6 GM Viswanathan Anand IND – 12
7 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA – 12
8 GM Fabiano Caruana USA – 9
9 GM Alexander Grischuk RUS – 9
10 GM Jon Ludvig Hammer NOR – 1
11 GM Wesley So USA – 1