Strongest Chess Tournament Ever Begins in Saint Louis
By Brian Jerauld   
August 26, 2014
SAINT LOUIS, MO (August 26, 2014) -- It‘s time to ring the bell on the strongest chess tournament in history.

The 2014 Sinquefield Cup, featuring six of the world’s top-ten International Grandmasters, is set to kick off Wednesday afternoon at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The second annual event, which returns last year’s winner World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen, held its opening ceremony and drawing of lots on Tuesday night at the World Chess Hall of Fame, across the street from the tournament venue.

With Carlsen in Saint Louis is GM Levon Aronian (Armenia, World Rank No. 2), GM Fabiano Caruana (Italy, No. 3), GM Hikaru Nakamura (U.S.A., No. 5), GM Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria, No. 8) and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France, No. 9). Together, the six players average a historical 2802 rating, according to the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

The 2014 Sinquefield Cup will be a double round-robin format, with each player challenging every opponent twice, as both white and black pieces. Wednesday’s Round 1 matchup will feature:

Round 1 Pairings

GM Levon Aronian (2805) v. GM Hikaru Nakamura (2787, FIDE)
GM Veselin Topalov (2772, FIDE) v. GM Fabiano Caruana (2801, FIDE)
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2768, FIDE) v. GM Magnus Carlsen (2877, FIDE)

The 2014 Sinquefield Cup will contain 10 rounds and run through Sunday, September 7, with each round beginning daily at 2:00 p.m. local time. Monday, September 1 will be a rest day. Every round will be broadcast live through, featuring analysis from the world-class commentating team of GMs Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley, and WGM Jennifer Shahade.

Last year’s inaugural Sinquefield Cup, which featured Carlsen, Aronian, Nakamura and American No. 2 Gata Kamsky, became the strongest tournament ever held on U.S. soil. The 2014 encore, now upgraded as the strongest in history, features a $315,000 prize fund with $100,000 to its winner.