Fight Night – Carlsen v Caruana, the Live Blog
By GM Ian Rogers   
September 11, 2014
Fabiano Caruana vs. Magnus Carlsen, Photo Lennart Ootes

Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield Productions Present...

The Central West End Wrumble!

It's time for the rematch everyone has been waiting for – Magnus Carlsen against Fabiano Caruana.

At their last bout, the Trauma in Tromso, Carlsen emerged victorious against the young pretender. Now the two have been brought together for their first bout in the US, at the famed Fight Club and Scholastic Centre of Saint Louis.

With a winner's purse of $100,000 and the highest ranked under-card in history, this is set to be an evening to remember.

Live blogging tonight's contest will be GM Ian Rogers.


The opponents have arrived on stage.
Photo Spectrum Studios 

In the White corner we have the reigning Champion of the World, Magnus Carlsen, weighing in at 2877. Magnus is a maximalist, not given to false modesty, and probably views this bout as just a stepping stone on the way to his battle with Vishy the Tiger at Putin's Palace in November.

In the Black corner we have the Pride of Italy, Fabiano Caruana. Four-time Italian Champion, weighing in at 2801, Caruana looked great in his two warm-up bouts and, with all Italy behind him, is sure to give the Champion some nervous moments as he goes for a third round knock-out.

2.00  The two great rivals have commenced battle in this non-title bout.

2014 Sinquefield Cup
White: M.Carlsen
Black: F.Caruana

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 

Carlsen is looking for a good opening. Some fans are not sure why Carlsen avoids the Spanish, but here is his reason...

2...Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bg5


2.10pm  Rather impetuous. A better move is...

7...dxe4 8.dxe4 h6 9.Bh4 Qe7 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.Bg3 Bc7 12.0–0 Nh5! 13.h3!? 

3.05pm Carlsen, confused by Caruana's last feint, decides to wind up for a big hit. At first sight Caruana left himself wide-open down the centre but Carlsen wisely avoided the counter 13.Nxe5? Nxe5 14.Qxh5 Bg4! and the queen is trapped.

13...Nxg3 14.fxg3 Nc5 


15.Bxf7+! Kxf7!

3.50pm What a shot from nowhere by Carlsen. If 15...Qxf7? 16.Nxe5 and it's no sacrifice at all

16.Nxe5+ Kg8 17.Ng6 


3.55pm 17...Qd6 18.Rf8+ Qxf8 19.Nxf8 Kxf8 gives Black plenty of material for the queen but after 20.Qh5 the Black king remains in danger.

18.Rf8+ Kh7 19.Nxh8 

4.20pm Carlsen seems to be ahead on points


4.50pm What a response from the Italian! He's recovered his composure and now hits back.

20.Qf1! Nd3! 



5.05pm Carlsen is dazed and narrowly avoids a combination which would have floored a lesser man.

21.hxg4 Qe3+ 22.Kh1 Rxf8 23.Qxf8 loses beautifully to a remarkable series of knight checks 23...Nf2+ 24.Kg1 Nxg4+ (One pawn gone.) 25.Kh1 Nf2+ 26.Kg1 Nxe4+ (Another one bites the dust.) 27.Kh1 Nxg3+ (And another one's gone.) 28.Kh2 Nf5+! 29.Kh1 Qf4! 30.Nf1 Ng3+! - what a knight!

21...Rxf8 22.hxg4 Qxg4 23.Nf3 Qxg3?!


5.25pm  It's mayhem here. The commentators are crying out for Carlsen to strike with 24.Nf7! but the World Champion is too engrossed in battle to hear them.

24...Kxh8 25.e6 Bb6+ 26.Kh1 Qg4! 27.Qd6 Rd8 28.Qe5 Rd5! 29.Qb8+ Kh7 30.e7 Qh5+ 


5.50pm  After making this move, Carlsen slumps in his chair and appears to be muttering something under his breath...


5.51pm  It's going to be all over soon – Carlsen is going down!

32.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 33.Nf1 Qxf1+ 34.Kh2 Qg1+ 0–1

5.53pm I have never seen scenes like this - even Maurice Ashley is excited! Caruana is dancing around the arena and the spectators are throwing gold coins. Caruana leaves, on the best day of his life, with the loudspeakers blaring a celebration of his victory. 

Carlsen stays in his chair thinking...

6.00pm What a contest! What an event! Will Caruana soon be challenging for the world title? Can Saint Louis ever put on a better show than this? I am sure fans worldwide can't wait for the next Sinquefield Cup.

GM Fabiano Caruana, Photo Spectrum Studios