Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

4th Sinquefield Cup 2016 (2)

Many mistakes in a wild round two of the Sinquefield Cup

MVL lost to Anand after having a big advantage out of the opening. Photo ©

MVL lost to Anand after having a big advantage out of the opening. Photo © |

There was another full blooded day of play in the second round of the Sinquefield Cup. However there were also a lot more errors than one might expect at this level.

Fabiano Caruana escaped with a draw after missing 21...Nxe4 against Veselin Topalov. Caruana decided to give up his queen on move 25 in order to get at least some counter play but this position was objectively lost if still trick. The greedy 28.Qxd4 was the start of Topalov's troubles (he had missed the strength of 34.Bc3) and his advantage had mostly disappeared by move 40 and the draw was soon agreed.

Ding Liren got a very large advantage out of the opening against Wesley So. 16.Qh5 was one good idea but Ding continued to have a nice advantage until he missed an important tactical point after 19.Nxb7 that there was a sting in the tail with 21.Bxg2 when if anyone was better it was So. The game finished in a draw.

Viswanathan Anand beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave after being close to being lost on the black side of a Caro Kann. Anand "mixed something up in the opening" and then was just "just trying not to lose on the spot". 20.Qf7 was not the best MVL missed 25...Qe7 at the end of a long line which seemed to disturb his confidence. White was still better until the blunder 30.Nxe6 missing the tactical point 31...e3! which won black a piece and Anand went on to win.

Peter Svidler was again surprised in the opening, this time by Levon Aronian but soon both players were on their own and it was Svidler who managed to get to equality. However inaccuracies in time trouble on the run up to move 40 led to a difficult endgame for Svidler which he couldn't hold.

Anish Giri got a good opening against Hikaru Nakamura but gradually drifted into trouble and after 30...b5? was busted. However Giri had a threatening attack and his bluff 37...Rh4 (it can be taken) Nakamura's defensive Qa8+ followed by Qf3 turned out to be only dynamically equal. Giri made time control but didn't stop and played 41...Nd3? almost immediately to stand much worse again (although the situation remained complex). Instead Giri had the excellent 41...Ng4! when everything was up in the air. Giri admitted to not seeing this move and to being just relieved to be still on the board.

Round 2 standings: So, Anand, Topalov, Aronian 1.5pts/2. Caruana, Ding, Nakamura, 1pt, Giri, MLV 0.5pts, Svidler 0pts.

Round 3 pairings Sunday 7th August 2016: So-Aronian, Giri-Ding, Anand-Nakamura, Topalov-MVL, Svidler-Caruana.

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