Caruana Demolishes Topalov, Increases Lead Again | Update: VIDEO
Start counting on your other hand. GM Fabiano Caruana's run at the strongest tournament in history now stands at 6-0.
Sinquefield Cup commentator GM Ian Rogers had a request for Caruana after today's game: "At least equal the chances and give us some hints what you're going to play [tomorrow]."
Today Caruana began his second time around the field, but so far it's looking the same as the first. A mere 31 moves and barely three hours was all it took to take out GM Veselin Topalov in round six.
Much of the game was won at home. Caruana's second, GM Vladimir Chuchelov, prepared the move 13. Re2:
"How else to get the bishop to d2?" said Chuchelov.
Although the idea looks simple, Chuchelov said that the computers don't have it as a top recommendation.
Caruana must also know the ideas well -- he used the same opening from the opposite side against GM Dragan Solak at the 2014 Olympiad.
When asked how he finds strong novelties that are not computer discoveries, Caruana's second smiled wryly and talked about "a feeling a position gives you that there is something there."
Chuchelov has actually known about the move for a while -- he showed it to Caruana about a year ago but struggled to remember the original student that he found it for. That's about the only oversight team Caruana has made in St. Louis.
While waiting to see if White would find the cruncher 28. e6!!, GM Maurice Ashley referenced Frank Marshall's ...Qg3 and said, "Gold coins? I've got credit cards I'll throw on the board if e6!" Currency has changed a lot in a hundred years, but brilliancies are still brilliancies.
"It's all coming together in one tournament," Chuchelov said of his work with Caruana. He explained that three games have been won by preparation, and three by Caruana over the board. "I don't know what to do anymore!" he said, simultaneously joyous and exasperated about the good fortune.
For more on the relationship between the two, and about today's game, here's our exclusive interview with Caruana:
On these pages we've chronicled various 4-0 and 5-0 starts in super tournament history. Now chess historians must dig deeper into chess record books for possible comparisons.
Anatoly Karpov's 1994 undefeated score at Linares (11/13), often considered the best single performance of all time, could be rivaled soon. Bobby Fischer won 20 in a row leading up to his world championship, but that took place over many months.
"In terms of play, I'm not even close to Karpov," Caruana said. He told Chess.com that his chances for 10-0 are "not very large."
United States Chess Federation (USCF) Executive Director Jean Hoffman was asked about the chance that Caruana might return to representing the U.S. in international play.
"The USCF welcomes chess players and we welcome Fabiano Caruana," Hoffman said, then clarified to Chess.com, "we would welcome Fabiano Caruana."
That's an important auxiliary verb!
Meanwhile, it continues to be a curse to be in second place. Today the gap widened by yet another half-point (as it has every single round) as GM Magnus Carlsen was frustrated in his inability to win an endgame against GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
"Anyone in second place should not focus on Fabiano anymore," MVL said.
If Caruana gains another half-point tomorrow, he will clinch clear first place with three rounds to go!
"After today, I lost the very little chance I had of catching [Caruana]," Carlsen said as he pinched his fingers together to show his ebbing chances.
"I had a good position today and I screwed up. That's why I'm in a foul mood now," Carlsen said.
In a tournament where only one player seems capable of avoiding self-deprecation, this game may top the charts.
Carlsen: "In general I've played three good games with Black and three terrible games with White. I don't know why."
Vachier-Lagrave: "It was a disgraceful moment on my part. It could be my worst game."
MVL meant to play 7...Qa5 intead of 7...0-0, which he realized five seconds after making the move. Later, he said, "I was very lucky not to resign immediately. It's a miracle it's not mate in certain variations. I was sure at some point I would lose this position."
He did admit that a win, if it exists, was "not obvious."
In the final matchup of the day, the two men in last place remained there. GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Levon Aronian drew after Black's d-pawn was corralled.
Nakamura repeated the same line against the Berlin that he played against Carlsen at the 2013 event. He differed with 11. Re2 instead of 11. Re1.
The two players are in a simply weird tournament position. They are mathematically nearly eliminated from first, but both still control their own destiny in the race for second!
For those expecting MVL to play it safe tomorrow against Caruana, think again.
"I'm not going to make a draw tomorrow," the Frenchman said. "As good as he is, I'm still White."
Asked how chess fans will receive him if he breaks up the "perfect game," MVL laughed and said, "I really couldn't care less."
Chess.com/TV will embed the official commentary at 2 p.m. Central (GMT -6) for every round.
2014 Sinquefield Cup | Round 6 Standings
2014 Sinquefield Cup | Schedule & Pairings
|Round 1||27.08.14||14:00 CDT||Round 6||02.09.14||14:00 CDT|
|Round 2||28.08.14||14:00 CDT||Round 7||03.09.14||14:00 CDT|
|Round 3||29.08.14||14:00 CDT||Round 8||04.09.14||14:00 CDT|
|Round 4||30.08.14||14:00 CDT||Round 9||05.09.14||14:00 CDT|
|Round 5||31.08.14||14:00 CDT||Round 10||06.09.14||14:00 CDT|
- Rest Day: Fire, Water, Sport During Sinquefield Rest Day
- Round 5: Caruana Completes Perfect First Half at Sinquefield Cup
- Round 4: Caruana Streak Continues at Sinquefield, Now 4-0
- Round 3: Caruana Beats Carlsen, Leads Sinquefield After Round 3
- Round 2: Caruana and Aronian Win Rd. 2 in St. Louis
- Round 1: Caruana Weathers Early Storm at Sinquefield Cup
- Preview: 5 Things You Didn't Know About the World's Strongest Chess Tournament
- Preview: 2800+ Elo for 2nd Sinquefield Cup