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Sinquefield Cup 2013 (3)

Nakamura leads heading into Sinquefield Cup rest day

Nakamura in sunglasses against Carlsen. Nice talking point, don't do it again. Photo ©

Nakamura in sunglasses against Carlsen. Nice talking point, don't do it again. Photo © | http://www.uschesschamps.com/

Hikaru Nakamura leads the first Sinquefield Cup half a point clear of world number one Magnus Carlsen going into Thursday's rest day of the event in Saint Louis.

Nakamura has a very bad record (-7 no wins) against Magnus Carlsen but had much the better of the struggle today without missing any clear chances to win. Carlsen played a Fianchetto variation against Nakamura's king's indian but couldn't find the right path. Nakamura's 13...b5 came as a surprise to him as he initially thought it too bold but then with many different ideas on the board he admitted he didn't find the right one and was quickly forced to give up the exchange. Carlsen's position remained very solid and even though in quite severe time trouble he found a setup that held. Nakamura could have pressed for a little while longer but none of his active plans promised anything.

Gata Kamsky admitted that after two consecutive losses his plan was "Draw, go home". Aronian decided to provoke him into action and this almost backfired. Kamsky however found it difficult to change his attitude towards playing more actively. Aronian had some chances going up to first time control but seems out of shape so far.

The talking point of the round was Nakamura's choice to where dark glasses at the board to "change things up" after a series of disppointing results against Carlsen. Most famously Pal Benko tried to ward of Mikhail Tal's hypnotic stare with dark glasses in the 1959 Candidates, Viktor Korchnoi wore mirror glasses (now that's a really spooky look on a chess player) in some games against Anatoly Karpov in his 1978 match. Carlsen wouldn't really be drawn beyond "I don't know why he did it." but I don't think the ever polite Levon Aronian was at all impressed saying that Nakamura had worn a cap before, "what next?".

Rest day Thursday.

Round 3 Standings: Nakamura 2.5, Carlsen 2, Aronian 1, Kamsky 0.5

Friday 13th Sept: Kamsky-Carlsen, Aronian-Nakamura.

Pal Benko avoiding being 'Hypnotised' by Tal

The precedent quoted by Nakamura: Pal Benko avoiding being 'Hypnotised' by Tal.

Pal Benko avoiding being 'Hypnotised' by Tal

Karpov found Korchnoi's glasses in their 1978 match genuinely off-putting as they reflected the stage lights into his eyes.

Sinquefield Cup 2013 Saint Louis (USA), 9-15 ix 2013 cat. XXII (2797)
1 2 3 4
1. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2772 * * ½ . 1 . 1 . 3078
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2862 ½ . * * ½ . 1 . 2 2900
3. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2813 0 . ½ . * * ½ . 1 2666
4. Kamsky, Gata g USA 2741 0 . 0 . ½ . * * ½ 2542
Round 3 (September 11, 2013)
Carlsen, Magnus - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 42 E62 King's Indian 6...Nc6
Kamsky, Gata - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 43 D02 Queen's Pawn Game

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