Wednesday 27 August 2014

2014 Sinquefield Cup

The 2014 Sinquefield Cup is being billed as the strongest tournament in the history of chess. With Carlsen, Aronian, Caruana, Nakamura, Topalov and Vachier-Lagrave all in the worlds top 10, it would be hard to find a recent (post 1970) event that matches it in strength.
The tournament is a double round-robin, so each player gets White and Black against their opponents. While this removes the luck of the draw re colours, I have seen players adopt a 'draw with black, win with white' strategy in such events, which can bog the tournament down a little. However the assembled field looks top heavy with chess 'fighters' so this may not be a problem.
In terms of who I am tipping to be the winner, I am going to move away from my usual prediction of Carlsen. He seemed a little out of sorts at the Olympiad, and I am not sure he has recovered from the pressure of that event. The player who I think is still on the rise is Fabiano Caruana, and even though he lost to Carlsen at the Olympiad, I think he might just have enough to pull off a famous victory here.
The tournament starts early tomorrow morning Canberra time (5am!), which isn't the greatest time to start watching chess. However I'm assuming that most of the games will still be happening while I am eating breakfast, and work may see me distracted by some tough endgame play! Event details can be found here, and follow the links to the live coverage of the games.  

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