Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian were the joint leaders after Round-5 before Friday’s break in the Sinquefield Chess tournament at Missouri USA. In Round-6, they played against each other and settled for a draw. That means; before the start of the seventh round, the two are still the joint leaders with 4 points each. India’s Viswanathan Anand drew his game against Netherlands’ Anish Giri and improved to no.8 in the points’ table. With his tally of just 2 points and three rounds remaining, Anand has already lost his chance in the 3rd Sinquefield Cup. Three Grand Masters are at the joint second place with 3.5 points apiece. They are Anish Giri, Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and American Hikaru Nakamura.
Several time in this tournament, Vishy Anand lost his way after good opening moves. He played with white against Netherlands’ Anish Giri and had an extremely solid Slav setup. The Indian controlled the vital dark squares but the Dutch Grand Master was able to obtain a pleasant position because of his pair of bishops. However, Giri allowed Anand to exchange one of his bishops. Such an eventuality led to a dead drawn endgame after 32 moves. The draw has further weakened Anand’s standing in the tournament as he has 2 points from four consecutive drawn games and is yet to record his first victory. With 3 rounds left, there is a hardly any way for Anand to make a quantum leap now.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave outplayed Veselin Topalov in one of the cleanest games. MVL obtained the driver’s seat with a brilliantly timed 8.e6 and then everything went wrong for the Bulgarian as the French GM finished with an almost perfect Berlin endgame. In another decisive game USA’s Hikaru Nakamura played a fiercely attacking game against compatriot Wesley So in King’s Indian. Nakamura launched an all-out attack and sacrificed everything and checkmated So with a 39th move Kg6.
In the game between table-toppers Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen, the Armenian faced disappointment in not being able to build more pressure on the Norwegian. Probably Aronian preferred safety and allowed Carlsen to equalize without difficulties and the game was drawn.
In the day’s another decisive game, Italy’s Fabiano Caruana began by pushing the Russian ALexander Grischuk too hard. But Caruna’s aggression was thwarted by Grischuk’s solid defense. The Russian led Caruna on the garden path by allowing the Italian some control on the board but Caruna misplayed it badly. Caruna’s mistake of playing b5 helped the Russian’s queen to make improvement and as the game progressed, the game moved in Grischuk’s favor and Caruna resigned.
After six rounds, it looks as if Sinquefield 2015 is a truly classic tournament with all giants of Modern Chess Era participating. The games have been extremely engrossing and full of novel ideas. The one between Americans Nakamura and So ended in a checkmate and is a must-see game. In Round-7 matches on Sunday, Magnus Carlsen will take on ALexander Grischuk; Hikaru Nakamura plays Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand will play against Wesley So, Fabiano Caruna takes on MVL and veselin Topalov will face Anish Giri.
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