Caruana Beats Carlsen, Leads Sinquefield After Rd. 3 | Update: VIDEOS
Is it a perfect start? Mathematically, yes.
GM Fabiano Caruana moved to 3-0 today by beating GM Magnus Carlsen as Black. No other player is within 1.5 points, which is the maximum possible lead after three rounds at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup.
"I couldn't hope for better, especially since I was starting with two Blacks," Caruana said.
He now has an even higher live rating (2816) than all but five men in history (passing GM Vladimir Kramnik).
In fact all three games were decisive today, with GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave bouncing back against GM Levon Aronian, and GM Veselin Topalov getting on the board after surviving time trouble against GM Hikaru Nakamura. F-pawns were particularly important, as you'll see below.
Collectively, the players have now produced six wins in nine games, but that's not the most telling statistic. Not a single game has had both players reach the time control, whereas all but one game got to move 40 in 2013.
Something is in the water, lovers of endgames.
Chief Arbiter Chris Bird joked that he had to reread his contract to make sure he wasn't getting paid by the hour.
Today at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Carlsen sacrificed on f7 early but it was Black who began an onslaught. Just when the worst may have been behind him, he uncharacteristically blundered on move 31.
Carlsen explained that he saw 31...Rd1+ several moves earlier in his analysis. But when 30...Qh5+ appeared on the board, he became unsatisfied with 31. Qh2, and so instead played 31. Nh2, expecting 31...Re5. He simply forgot his earlier analysis.
"I can't really explain it. He just blundered ...Rd1," said Caruana.
Here's Caruana talking about his win against the world number one:
After the game, Carlsen stayed at the board for a minute with his head down.
Caruana still liked Black after 31. Qh2. His original intent was 31...Qe8 32. Re1 Rh5. He mentioned in the post-mortem that 32...Bf2 is even better (see the above analysis).
Topalov told Chess.com that 19. e5 was probably the losing move.
2014 Sinquefield Cup | Round 3 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|