Saturday night, Italian Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana finalized his first place standing in the Sinquefield Cup. Caruana established himself quickly in the tournament, working methodically through a seven-game winning streak. This streak was halted by an 8th round draw with the Norwegian reigning world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen.
By that time it was impossible to shake Caruana from his first place status. He brought home the first place prize of $100,000. Carlsen came in second and took home $75,000. Hikaru Nakamura, the American Grandmasters who lives in St. Louis, ended the tournament in last place.
Although many favored Carlsen for the win he was unfazed by his second place finish. As uschesschamps.com reported, he referred to Caruana’s success as “an amazing result.”
Earlier in the tournament Carlsen spoke with St. Louis Public Radio about his laid-back philosophy, “if you’re having a good experience, good results at the chess board, everything is easy.”
“I’m very pleased with my performance,” Caruana said during the tournament’s livestream after his final round. Caruana’s final game against Grandmaster Levon Aronian lasted over three hours and ended in a draw. Caruana was critical of his play at times throughout the tournament. “I’d rather not think about the ninth round,” he said.
Overall the Italian, who was born in the United States, remained proud of his historic level of play. “In terms of this tournament, it’s probably one of the best I’ve ever played,” he said.
Caruana’s confidence was earned. He finished three points higher than second place finisher Carlsen.