Sin­que­field Cup 2014 in St. Louis

| Chess
| St. Louis, USA

It was not only about chess. I’ve looked for­ward to com­ing back to St. Louis and the Sin­que­field Cup for some time, hav­ing had lots of good expe­ri­ences dur­ing the visit last year. The peo­ple, excur­sions, sport activ­i­ties, restau­rants, the nearby park and even some sight­see­ing are fond mem­o­ries. And, it was no draw­back that I won and gained con­fi­dence prior to the Chen­nai match.

The hos­pitable Sin­que­fields hosted a nice din­ner yes­ter­day, and today we had sign­ing and photo ses­sions, did inter­views, and of course the open­ing cer­e­mony with the draw­ing of lots.

For once I’ll start with two black games against M. Vachier-Lagrave and H.Nakamura. The rest of the his­tor­i­cally high-rating-field aver­ag­ing above 2800 con­sists of L.Aronian, F.Caruana, V.Topalov and me.

The chess Olympics in Tromso wasn’t a great suc­cess for the Nor­we­gian top team as lost a crit­i­cal match against Croa­tia in the penul­ti­mate round. Until then we had had many good results merged with the occa­sional dis­ap­point­ing result. On the last rest day I par­tic­i­pated in a nice chess exhi­bi­tion event hosted by one of my main spon­sors Simon­sen Vogt Wiig before return­ing home to pre­pare for this event. In the last round my team­mates won 4–0 as expected, and it was enough for 29thplace. In the past, being the best Scan­di­na­vian coun­try was an ambi­tious goal. This time this achieve­ment did not feel as much of a consolation.

I’d like to con­grat­u­late the Open group win­ners China, and the sil­ver and bronze medal­ists from Hun­gary and India with their impres­sive results. Espe­cially when con­sid­er­ing that none of them were rated top three in advance and both China and India played with­out sev­eral of their high­est rated players.

Hope­fully the Olympics and the broad Nor­we­gian media cov­er­age con­tributed to an (even) broader national chess interest.

The Sin­que­field Cup will be cov­ered live on TV2 start­ing tomor­row at 2 pm local time in St.Louis (9 pm back home).