Sinquefield Cup: 6 Games, 6 Draws In 6th Round
World Champion Magnus Carlsen was in his element today, here seen with commentator GM Maurice Ashley.

Sinquefield Cup: 6 Games, 6 Draws In 6th Round

Rakesh
IM Rakesh
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44 | Chess Event Coverage

After yesterday's rest day, everyone expected some action at the 2019 Sinquefield Cup! But round six saw an anti-climatic end to a round where once again all six games ended in draws. Joint leader Viswanathan Anand had Anish Giri on the ropes but failed to put the ball in the back of the net. The two winners of round five, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren played each other and drew after a good fight.

Caruana vs Vachier-Lagrave was the most followed game of the day. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour
Caruana vs. Vachier-Lagrave was the most followed game of the day. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.
Co-leader Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played out 21 moves of theory in the Sicilian Najdorf where Black gives a double-exchange sacrifice. Caruana knew most of it and tried for a while. He gained an edge, but it was never substantial.

Indian star Anand has been leading from the start. He got a slight edge out of the opening against Giri. Anand then slowly managed to outplay his opponent and then won a pawn in the middlegame. At one point Anand had a decisive advantage but failed to spot it. This allowed Giri back in the game, and they soon drew.
Giri was fighting, and a little prayer always helps. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.
a visibly upset Anand after the draw against Giri. | Photo:Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour
A visibly upset Anand after the draw against Giri. | Photo:Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

At the post-game interview, Giri expressed his views: "I think it was my fault. I did a terrible thing in the opening—I played the Sicilian, which is a good thing, but then I switched to the French, which is a disaster."

World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who had been winless in St. Louis, tried to make the most of the rest day. He literally tried his hand at baseball as he made the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies game.

When asked about his entire baseball experience, Carlsen replied, "Home plate seemed far away!  I had been practicing [his pitch] last week, and it was going so well, but when I was up there, I just couldn't handle the limelight.
"But the game itself was fun and I have to say, I warmed up quite a bit to baseball as an event. At first I thought it was a bit boring, but now I feel like it's a great event."
Nakamura and Carlsen greet each other before their round six game. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour
Nakamura and Carlsen greet each other before their round-six game. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.
Hikaru Nakamura took on Carlsen in round six who for once seemed content with a draw. Nakamura tried the Rossolimo variation against Black's Sicilian Sveshnikov. Nakamura played solidly and retained a tiny edge. He tried to shuffle around, but in the end they repeated moves for one of the fastest draws of the day,
Two of the round five winners faced each other. Nepomniachtchi vs. Ding was another trendy Italian line that has risen at the elite level. Ding gave an interesting pawn sacrifice and had the initiative going for him. Nepomniachtchi is never known to hold back and went for counterplay against Black's king. Ding managed to stabilize but couldn't make much of it in the queen-and-rook endgame. In the end, they drew with a perpetual.
Ding tried but Nepomniachtchi hung on to the draw. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour
Ding tried but Nepomniachtchi hung on to the draw. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.
The game between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Wesley So was a bizarre draw that left everyone including the commentators perplexed.
Playing as White, Mamedyarov decided to not try too much and repeated within 14 moves! So seemed content with the draw and basically got two rest days.
Mamedyarov, a fighter who generally always plays on even in equal positions, later explained his decision during the post-game interview, saying that he was happy with a draw today. His rest day wasn't exactly that. He was really tired and didn't sleep very well last night.

Sergey Karjakin and Levon Aronian played a rather uneventful draw. This result was desirable for both the players since Aronian was happy with a draw as Black and Karjakin didn't have any free time on the rest day as he played in the Fischer Random Knockout Qualifier on Chess.com for about seven hours! He won $500 for second place as he lost to eventual winner GM Vidit Gujrathi in the finals. 

Karjakin must have been exhausted with seven hours of chess on the free day! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour
Karjakin must have been exhausted with seven hours of chess on the free day! | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Grand Chess Tour is giving away a signed poster by all the players of the Sinquefield Cup 2019. Feel free to enter!

This trio still leads at the top:

Image: Spectrum Studios.
Six games, six draws in the sixth round.
Image: Spectrum Studios.
Two of the joint leaders face each other in Ding Liren vs. Viswanathan Anand tomorrow. Fun fact: Ding Liren has not beaten Anand in any time control.
Image: Spectrum Studios.
Round six coverage:

Watch Sinquefield Cup Round 6 with host GM Robert Hess #grandchesstour from Chess on www.twitch.tv

You can find all games here as part of our live portal. More photos from the event can be found here. The official site is here.

Previous reports:

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