Carlsen Wins, Takes First Sinquefield Cup

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 15.09.13, 16:36.

GM Magnus Carlsen only needed a draw to clinch the first Sinquefield Cup and the winner's $70,000 payday. He was offered one, and declined.

Carlsen eventually won against GM Levon Aronian, securing the world number one a plus three score and grabbing the cup by a full point.


"When I finally had the better position, I wanted to use it," he explained of his decision to keep playing on his 38th move. Prior to his opponent's offer, Aronian had Carlsen's pieces in a knot. They began to unravel, and Carlsen sensed the initiative was finally his. He did not see much risk in going for glory.


American GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky had drawn earlier, so Carlsen knew that a draw or win ensured tournament victory. Had Aronian found a way to convert his earlier advantage, the Armenian grandmaster would have forced a three-way playoff.


He wanted nothing more than to create that chaos. "I had a big advantage and then I played like an idiot," a despondent Aronian said. "I played all the wrong ideas. I felt like I had to win immediately."

Carlsen guessed that Black missed the strength of White's 31st move, and Aronian confirmed that he had. "I just blundered Ne1 and I started playing ridiculous moves," Aronian said. "Losing that position is embarassing."

Nakamura's help from Aronian never came, but he was not afforded the luxury of focusing on the other game. "I would have liked to have paid attention [to Carlsen-Aronian], but considering how quickly my game got out of hand, I didn't really have a chance," Nakamura said.


He tried everything to complicate the position as Black, and although he opened lines everywhere, Nakamura was not significantly better at any point.

Overall, the top American player was pleased with his result. "Any time you pick up rating points, generally it's a good result overall," he said.

Carlsen's $70,000 payday will be his last tournament winnings before the World Championship Match with GM Viswanathan Anand in November. "I don't have too many worries," he said about his study plans.

He also moved his rating north to 2870 - two points from his record high. Nakamura wins $50,000 for second place and is currently fifth on the live rating list. Aronian takes home $30,000 for third and Kamsky $20,000 for fourth.

Club founder and tournament sponsor Rex Sinquefield thanked the players at the closing ceremony.


The host Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis also announced its intention of hosting the second edition of the Sinquefield Cup next year. Carlsen said that he wants to return if his schedule permits.

After being overrun with autograph requests (in what has become a daily routine), Carlsen had finished his business and took a walk with his father.


"The final margin of victory is a little flattering," Carlsen said.


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  • vor 3 Jahre


    blitz and bullet ratings don't count. they don't mean anything except with blitz and bullet. Yes 1600 standard is good, but he/she has only played 8 games which means that he/she does not have an accurate rating. If he/she wins a game the rating will go up 50 or more points. same with a loss, I will go up or down a range of 7 8 or  9 points depending on my opponents rating. Also Aronian is 1000 point higher, whereas the rating difference between us is 100 points and his/her rating is not accurate yet.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    ChessPlayer6033, It is interesting that you say SexiCutiePie shouldn't judge those who are that strong but you feel quite comfortable doing so yourself, despite having the lower rating of the two of you.  I'll agree that Aronian isn't weak.  He just had a bad tournament.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    ClavierCavalier maybeSexiCutiePie Yeah Aronian is so weak yet he places 4th at the Candidates wins the Alkiene memorial. Yeah poor weak Aronian. Seriously? He is very strong! you say "Aronian is weak" but you have way below 2000 rating. really don't judge those who are better than you could imagine. Yes Carlsen is better, but that does not mean Aronian is weak! Yes I judge Carlsen, but I say Kasparov or ficher are better not Carlsen is Weak!

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @siiva if the knight takes the rook on d4 then blacks create a very powerful dpassed pawn coz after that exchange your knight on e3 is under attack by d4 pawn after retreating then the c5 Rook takes the c2 pawn and the black d4 pawn is soon to be promoted in several moves.....

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Respect !

    Anyone would have taken the draw if they need half a point to secure something.

    but he declined and fought - and won !

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @ChessPlayer6033, isn't it unfair to compare 22 year old Carlsen to Fischer or Kasparov at their peak?  Surely it's better to wait to see what Carlsen's peak will be.

    @pijao,  Are you saying you personally know Carlsen or are you saying that you've never bothered to look up other great chess players, like Fischer and Karpov, or do you mean you've never looked up Picaso, Leonardo, Beethoven, Mozart, Einstein, Newton, Shakespeare, Morlière, Voltaire, Plato, etc.?

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @yugesh03 & @shubham_the_best: in your dreams - maybe

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @pt22064: i think the plan is quite trivial. on 31. ... Rxe4 goes 32. Nd3 and then 33. c4.  Black can't really keep the rook on C file after Nd3, and they can't also take en passant on c3 because of unprotected rook on e4.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    This game shows why I would never be capable of becoming a GM.  Not only would I never have thought about playing Ne1, I still don't understand the briliance of the move.  Perhaps, if Carlsen explained it to me personally, I might get it.  I also don't understand why Aronian chose to double his e pawn (by exchanging the light square bishops.  Surely, he could not have been that concerned about preventing attacks on f7 pawn.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    dont worry ! .  GM ANAND will  win GM magnus

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Can someone explain why 31. NE1 is so powerful? Also, why didn't he take the rook?

  • vor 3 Jahre


    anand will end the rule of carlsen in november....

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Kasparov.  Greatest all time.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    aronian is so weak! 

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Carlsen's live rating  is 2.870.  He's the only player with rating above 2.800.  THE STRONGEST PLAYER EVER!!!, even if rating inflation is counted.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    I predict that Magnus Carlsen will walk away from competitive chess by the age of 30.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Carlsen is the greatest. It will take ten years before another chess prodigy world champion comes up.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Bryce008sNo i don't think so. Carlsen is the strongest player now, but compare him to Kasparov or ficher in their prime and he could not compare. get Lasker petrosian or Capplaca and I believe they could all deafeat him. Someone else will come along, and put him down. Just wait and someone young champion will have a higher rating, and then he will be the rage

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Carlsen was and will be the only genius I knew.

    Carlsen fué y será el único genio que conocí.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    All the 2700s should team up and bring the only 2800 player carlsen down to their level ;-)

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