Sinquefield Cup 2015 – Round 2

In the last New In Chess magazine there was an interview with Topalov after winning the Norway Chess. This is the quote that cleared it all up for me: “The worst that could happen to me here was last place. OK, that’s 15,000 dollars. I mean, is that bad?”

These are words of a man who has obtained fortune after having struggled at some point in his life – if the bad thing is getting more money, everything is really just awesome! And this gives him the freedom not to care, since he is secure and he can play with gusto and no pressure at all.

Topalov now is on 2/2 after beating Nakamura. Nakamura usually plays 1…e5 as response to Topalov’s 1 e4 even though he saved a draw in Norway a few months back and lost with it in the Zug Grand Prix in 2013 and in Saint Louis one year ago. He probably thinks it is the best way to curb Topalov’s aggression, but Topalov is not as one sided as people would like to think. After being aggressive and sacrificing a pawn for initiative he got the pawn back and transposed to a technically superior endgame which he went on to win without major problems. Excellent game for Topalov:

The drama of the day belonged to the two Cs – Caruana and Carlsen. The game was decided in extreme time-trouble when in an advantageous position Caruana just made the first move that came and lost immediately. With only 3 seconds left literally anything is possible, but it’s Caruana’s fault to allow himself to get so low on time. Not very good chess, but definitely great entertainment and excitement:


Obviously a relief for Carlsen, who doesn’t play so well, so any gift is more than welcome. And more misery for Caruana, who appears to have lost his stability, way too many losses lately for the usually solid American.

Grischuk beat Anand for the first time in his life (speaking of classical chess, of course). And he did it by repeating an opening from their blitz game in Norway, which started 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4. This certainly doesn’t look serious, does it? Anand wasn’t expecting it and he repeated the blitz game, which didn’t make much sense because certainly Grischuk had prepared an improvement (as he lost that blitz game). And soon enough Anand found himself in the same structure of the game 7 of his match against Gelfand (see the game in the comments). As back then, he lost again without much of a resistance. Bad play by Anand in the first two rounds, but he’s white against Topalov in Round 3, and usually he’s successful against him, so let’s see if his tournament turns around.

And you have to love the Frenchman (Vachier)! After his excellent win in Round 1, he proudly tweeted: “We are not here to make stupid draws!” Guess what he did in Round 2? Of course, a stupid draw against Aronian. Silence is golden, and not tweeting during tournament is priceless.

Giri and So drew an uneventful game. What was eventful was Giri’s cheeky tweet that even his wife knew of Topalov’s novelty 7…g5 from the game with Carlsen in Round 1. And as Karjakin correctly wondered, instead of inviting Aronian and similar folk, is Carlsen going to invite Guramishvili for his next training camp?

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