It was a hard-fought day with four draws as GM Wesley So continues to lead the Sinquefield Cup, the final leg of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour. With So having a bye round today it was an opportunity for his competitors to close the distance, but with just two rounds left it’s only Alireza Firouzja and Ian Nepomniachtchi, who are a half-point behind, that have the best chance of catching up.
As the event stands right now, So looks poised to win the 2022 GCT–if the tournament were to end as is, he would overtake Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final tour standings:
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game; with a 30-second increment starting from move 1.
DOMINGUEZ – FIROUZJA | ½-½, 55 moves
In a sharp Najdorf (6.Be3 Ng4), the players quickly reached a very double-edged middlegame with a bishop and knight for Dominguez against Firouzja’s rook and two pawns. With the evaluation close to equal, it wasn’t clear who was playing for the win, as both players rejected repetitions throughout the game. As the long battle entered mutual time-trouble with both sides playing on the 30-second increment, a repetition was finally found, with neither player able to make any more progress.
VACHIER-LAGRAVE – NIEMANN | ½-½, 55 moves
Starting with the surprising 1.Nf3, Vachier-Lagrave decided to go for the Symmetrical Grunfeld, playing for a small edge. White was certainly better in the middlegame due to Black’s misplaced knight on a6, but MVL missed his best chances for an advantage, allowing Niemann to simplify and hold the position with precise trades. Replay the game here
Hans Niemann after yesterday’s game spoke in the post-game interview about the mental pressure he is facing over the last few days: “It is absolutely ridiculous to play chess under these conditions”.
CARUANA – ARONIAN | ½-½, 44 moves
Facing the Berlin, Caruana opted for a long theoretical line that went deep into the endgame. Aronian, having lost in the same variation to Caruana before, was better prepared this time, knowing exactly how to generate good counterplay. With both sides having passed pawns Caruana needed to be careful not to overpress, as the game eventually simplified down to bare kings.
MAMEDYAROV – NEPOMNIACHTCHI | ½-½, 33 moves
A rather uneventful game, as Mamedyarov went for the 4.Qc2 Nimzo, testing Nepomniachtchi’s preparation in a long theoretical line. Nepo passed the test, as the players ended up in a completely drawn endgame and repeated moves shortly before the first time control.
The 2022 Sinquefield Cup continues Saturday, September 10, starting at 12:50 PM CT. Catch all the action live with grandmaster commentators Peter Svidler, Yasser Seirawan, and Alejandro Ramirez here.
After Hans Niemann defeated the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup 2022, Carlsen decided to withdraw from the tournament without detailed explanations. Rumors that Magnus Carlsen suspected Niemann was cheating started spreading over social medias and Hikaru Nakamura claimed in his live stream that Niemann has done “unallowed things” during the online chess tournaments. Possible reasons of Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal can be found here. Sinquefield Cup improved anti-cheating measures and Carlsen’s results got annulled. Niemann decided to tell his truth after the 5th round and he confessed cheating in random chesscom games, adding that he will not let chesscom, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura slander his reputation. Nakamura reacted to Niemann’s interview, while chess.com posted the official statement to explain why they removed Hans Niemann from the platform. Garry Kasparov called Carlsen’s withdrawal as an act with no precedent in the past 50 years, adding that chess.com’s ban of Hans Niemann prompted Carlsen’s withdrawal and the cheating allegations against the American.
Read more: Elon Musk commented on accusations towards Hans Niemann / Susan Polgar about Niemann – Carlsen case: The professional reputation of many parties is at stake