Sinquefield Cup 2016 – Round 4

Perhaps Svidler is right – the fact that all games were drawn again is because he stopped losing.

However, the main reason for me was Aronian. I remember a conversation between Aronian and Caruana some time ago, at the Candidates. Caruana played the Benoni against Aronian and the latter was thrilled to meet the opening. The game was exciting and Aronian was probably lost as he overpressed in the complications, but in time trouble Caruana agreed a draw. So after the game Aronian complained how nobody played the Benoni against him. That was in March.

Now in August, in St. Louis, Caruana essayed the Benoni again against Aronian! You would expect Aronian to be jumping up and down, full of joy and excited to crush the infidel who dared to repeat that dubious opening against him! Instead what we got was this:

This game was the major disappointment for me, after seeing the first 3 moves. Alas, at least I can hope Caruana continues to use the Benoni on future occasions as well.

An interesting creative moment was Topalov positional queen sacrifice in the opening against Nakamura. In a well-know position, theoretically good for black, he went for a sharp sacrifice instead of a calm pawn recapture.

The remaining games were tranquil affairs. Giri did try to get something more after So treated the position somewhat too passively, but he didn’t manage it. Anand chose an old favourite of his, a line that can be played both against the English (like in this game) and the Catalan.

The recent match opponents Vachier and Svidler drew a theoretical Spanish. The Frenchman destroyed Svidler in the match, but he couldn’t do much this time.

Next round today (in Europe) hopefully brings more bloodshed. Who doesn’t love bloodshed?

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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