Sinquefield 2014 / Round 5

fiveWell That’s It – Five for Five

There are six competitors.  That means everyone plays five other players in a Round Robin tournament.  This is a Double Round Robin.  Still – What’s the worst that could happen.  Everyone has played everyone so far.  In my opinion – not a very hard one to construct – This tournament is effectively OVER.  Caruana has Five for Five.  The only “slight” hope is that he did slip a bit during his game versus Hikaru Nakamura – but not enough to alter the sporting aspects of the game – he still won.

Nakamura vs. Caruana,  ?,  Source2014.08.31,  Round 5 Aronian vs. Carlsen,  ?,  Source2014.08.31,  Round 5 Topalov vs. Vachier-Lagrave,  ?,  Source2014.08.31,  Round 5

By move 44 Nakamura was scrambling for his life and played g4 trying to blast lines open for some activity to get after the Black King (Left Diagram).  It was right here that Black had Bh4 ! !  Amazing – There is the threat of playing R1c2 and pinning the Bishop against White’s King and the King has nowhere to run as the 1st and potentially 3rd ranks are covered by the Black Rooks.  So – what happens when White captures the Bishop on h4?  Rac3 !  and White’s Queen is corralled; every square is covered – even if she attempts to run to the 2nd rank, then one of the Rooks pins her against his majesty and it’s lights out.  The lights still went out for White in this game, but he got to flicker a bit longer.

Aronian had a mental flicker on move 34 (Middle Diagram).  He just played c5.  What was the danger he saw with simply leaving the Pawn on c4?  Maybe he saw something, or thought that it would be “simple” to recapture the Pawn.  Alas – he was struggling, gasping for air, uphill thereafter and Carlsen won his first game of the tournament.

Topalov won a very convincing game against Vachier-Lagrave (Right Diagram) and is now tied for second with Carlsen.

# Name Pts SB
1 Caruana, Fabiano 5 10
2 Topalov, Veselin 2.5 4.75
  Carlsen, Magnus 2.5 4.5
4 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2 3.5
5 Aronian, Levon 1.5 3.25
  Nakamura, Hikaru 1.5 3


Tomorrow (September 1st – Labor Day) is a “Rest Day”.  You can catch coverage again on Tuesday or which I found gives a bigger screen where I can follow the demonstration board a little easier.

Three Games – and Three Excellent Photos – Courtesy of Derrick Bartotto.

image (8)

image (2)

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