Sinquefield Cup 2015 rollercoaster

| Sjakkbloggen
| St. Louis, USA

After a controlled draw with black against co-leader Aronian in round 6 I was very optimistic, but the next two white games was just miserable. I made several mistakes against Grischuk, and inexplicably squandered a winning position against Nakumura in the penultimate round. Aronian had won against Nakamura in round 7 and he could cruise to sole victory in the last round. Despite the emotional rollercoaster of miserable losses and lost opportunities following enjoyable fights and wins in this tournament, I’m taking great comfort from achieving 2nd place on tie-break in the end, despite scoring just 5/9. Nakamura, who saved my day with his last round win over Grischuk (who would have been second with a win or a draw), came third with Vachieve-Lagrave and Giri next. The final standing in Sinquefield Cup differ to such an extent from Norway Chess that Topalov is still leading the Grand Chess Tour with 17 points despite 7th place here. Nakamura is next with 16 followed by Aronian at 15 and me at 14.

While 2nd place is acceptable I’m still concerned about the higher than usual level of mistakes. In the London Classics in early December it will be all about winning. Most likely the London Classics winner will also win the overall 2015 Grand Chess Tour. However, coming up next is the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Berlin October 10-15. That is going to very exciting. In November I’ll play for Norway in the European Team Championship in Iceland.

The Sinquefield Cup finished on 1st of September and today the annual Ultimate Moves spectacle with GM’s trying to help out Rex and Randy Sinquefield took place. It was quite enjoyable but the trash talking still leaves room for improvement, and we have got a full year to prepare one-liners:).

The usual August heat wave arrived last week and we spent more time by and in the pool than running and sporting towards the end. The Sinquefield Cup has been well organized and features lots of memorable games and battles. I’d like to thank the Sinquefields and all the staff and volunteers for the efforts and kindness and hope to be back next year.

Before returning to Norway I’ll head out to the west coast for a few days for an event. I look forward to see friends, good contacts, the Play Magnus folks and representatives of some of my main sponsors over there.