After defeating Richard Rapport in the final round, Fabiano Caruana won the 2023 Sinquefield Cup with a score of 5.5/9, capping off an incredible triple-crown victory which included the 2023 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, Sinquefield Cup, and overall Grand Chess Tour.
Finishing in second was Leinier Dominguez, who drew his last game against Levon Aronian, while third place went to Wesley So. Narrowly coming second in the overall Grand Chess Tour was Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who finished with 28 tour points, just ahead of So in third.
VACHIER-LAGRAVE - FIROUZJA | ½-½, 28 moves
A highly theoretical line in the 5.Re1 Berlin saw the player repeat moves early on, as they settled for a draw to finish the event.
MVL finished second in the overall GCT, earning a bonus prize of $50,000. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
ARONIAN - DOMINGUEZ | ½-½, 33 moves
In a 4.d3 Berlin Aronian did not get too much out of the opening, apart from a bit of central pressure. Dominguez played solidly and managed to achieve the key d5-pawn break, equalizing the situation. From there the pieces got traded off pretty quickly, as the players entered a completely drawn rook endgame.
Dominguez indicated he may try to fight for the 2024 FIDE Candidates spot in the coming weeks. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
NEPOMNIACHTCHI - GIRI | ½-½, 50 moves
An interesting Italian saw Giri play quite boldly in the middlegame, sacrificing a pawn on the queenside in order to activate one of his rooks. A timely queen exchange gave Black full compensation well into the endgame, as Nepomniachtchi managed to win an exchange but at the cost of two protected passed pawns for Black. From there the endgame was dynamically balanced, with neither player getting a chance for advantage.
Nepomniachtchi-Giri: After 23…Qd8!, despite being down a pawn, Black offers a queen trade in order to remove White's best defender.
Giri trails So by eight points on the live FIDE ratings list. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
CARUANA - RAPPORT | 1-0, 40 moves
After spending a few minutes Rapport chose the rare 5…g6 in a well-known position in the Semi-Slav, and managed to equalize rather comfortably after that. But as the players approached time-trouble, Rapport started to go wrong, and found himself in an unpleasant endgame. With Dominguez having drawn against Aronian, a win would give Caruana tournament victory outright. A further mistake by Rapport then allowed Caruana to create a very strong passed c-pawn, which he eventually cashed in to decimate Black’s kingside, winning the game.
Caruana-Rapport: After 26.Rc4 Black's position was already extremely difficult, as White has Rb7 coming in addition to pushing the c-pawn.
Caruana repeats Firouzja's feat from last year -- winning the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, Sinquefield Cup, and Grand Chess Tour all in a row. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
Find full standings and results on grandchesstour.org. The closing ceremony for the 2023 Sinquefield Cup will take place Saturday, December 2nd, at 5:30 PM prior to the Strategy Across the Board Gala.
Written by IM Kostya Kavutskiy