Caruana Wraps up Cup; Kasparov in STL for Ultimate Moves
September 8, 2014
Chess Club founders Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, Sinquefield Cup Champ Fabiano Caruana & Mayor Francis Slay, Photo Lennart Ootes

SAINT LOUIS (September 7, 2014) -- GM Fabiano Caruana won the 2014 Sinquefield Cup undefeated, besting the strongest-rated field in chess history by a three-game margin.

Caruana (8.5/10) went a record seven consecutive wins to start the U.S. super-tournament, then closed with three draws, including his final round match with GM Levon Aronian on Saturday. Considering the improbable streak and the caliber of opponents he achieved it against -- all six players are among the world's top-ten -- Caruana's performance in Saint Louis is already being argued as one of the best-ever.

Garry Kasparov called into the show on Saturday and lauded Caruana's performance, explaining that the most amazing thing was that Fabiana Caruana had such a result without luck. 

On Sunday night, benefactor Rex Sinquefield handed his prestigious trophy and the first-prize gift of $100,000 to winner GM Fabiano Caruana. Though there was a special gift waiting for Mr. Sinquefield on his 70th birthday.

The thirteenth World Champion GM Garry Kasparov arrived in Saint Louis to personally thank Sinquefield -- and to take place in Monday afternoon's bonus event, titled "Ultimate Moves."

The exhibition will feature Kasparov, GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Veselin Topalov -- three world champions -- and the remaining 2014 Sinquefield Cup field of Caruana, GM Levon Aronian, GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, as well as four-time U.S. Champion and commentator GM Yasser Seirawan. 

The eight legendary kings of chess have been split into teams and will pair up with Mr. Sinquefield and his son Randy, (founder of Spectrum Studios), who organized the birthday surprise, to compete in a series of rapid and blitz games. The Grandmasters may initiate dazzling combinations, but the Sinquefields will be tasked with completing them, as the professionals and amateurs will alternate moves across two rapid games and four to eight blitz games.

Ultimate Moves will begin at 2:00 p.m. local time and once again be broadcast live through the worldwide stream on 2014 Sinquefield Cup coverage reached over 190 countries and accumulated more simultaneous viewers than the Tromso 2014 Chess Olympiad. Live viewers may also enjoy the exhibition with commentary, provided by GMs Ben Finegold and Varuzhan Akobian, at Lester's Sports Bar and Restaurant next door to the host venue Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
Strong birthday party analysis

The reigning World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen, who sarcastically referred to Caruana's performance as "depressing" to thunderous laughter in the post-event press conference, took second place with 5.5/10. In the tenth and final round, last year's Sinquefield Cup winner Carlsen found his way into an early and easy draw-by-repetition with the only player who could have challenged him for second place, GM Veselin Topalov. Carlsen won $75,000.

Topalov (5/10), who had begun the tournament with two straight losses, settled for $50,000 in clear third. Aronian (4/10) finished tied for fourth with GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, both winning $35,000 for their efforts. GM Hikaru Nakamura (3/10) drew with Vachier-Lagrave in the final round to earn $20,000.

Tuesday afternoon will also feature an exhibition titled "Ultimate Showdown," a six-game friendly between GMs Levon Aronian and Hikaru Nakamura playing the popular chess variant of Chess960. Both players are former World Champions to the variant, also known as FischerRandom Chess, and will play the exhibition games on iconic furniture used by Fischer and his childhood mentor Jack Collins. The furniture is currently on display at the World Chess Hall of Fame, as part of a presentation titled A Memorable Life: A Glimpse into the Complex Mind of Bobby Fischer.
Follow Ultimate Moves on with GM Maurice Ashley, Alejandro Ramirez (filling in for GM Yasser Seirawan, who will be participating in Ultimate Moves!) and WGM Jen Shahade.