On Chess: Vachier-Lagrave Wins Second Sinquefield Cup Title
The No. 1 French chess player and World No. 10, grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, secured victory in the 2021 Sinquefield Cup, an elite classical round-robin tournament held Aug. 16-27 at the St. Louis Chess Club. Scoring 6.0/9 points and taking home the $90,000 first-place prize, Vachier-Lagrave is the first player in history to win the Sinquefield Cup twice, having also won the 2017 edition of the event.
Starting the tournament with a sudden win over Peter Svidler (Russia), Vachier-Lagrave went on to also score victories against Sam Shankland (USA), Dariusz Swiercz (USA) and Jeffery Xiong (USA), ending with four wins, one loss and four draws in the event. Other players kept pace with Vachier-Lagrave but were unable to catch him in the end, as he finished a half-point ahead of his nearest rivals Fabiano Caruana (USA), Wesley So (USA) and Leinier Dominguez (USA), who all tied for second with 5.5/9.
The one game that Vachier-Lagrave lost, to Dominguez, ended up winning the $5,000 brilliancy prize, awarded to Dominguez for the best-played game of the event.
Performing the best overall throughout the 2021 Grand Chess Tour, a series of five elite events (two classical and three rapid), was Wesley So (USA), who over the course of four events achieved more tour points than any other player.
For winning the 2021 tour, American Wesley So earned a bonus prize of $100,000, with $50,000 going to Vachier-Lagrave, who finished second overall, and $25,000 to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) for placing third.
Coming up next in elite chess will be the 2021 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX, taking place Sept. 7-10 at the St. Louis Chess Club. Chess9LX will feature 10 of the world’s best players, including legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov, competing in Fischer Random chess. Fans can tune in to uschesschamps.com for live coverage, standings and results from the event.
Kostya Kavutskiy is a professional chess player, writer, and streamer currently residing in Mountain View, California. You can follow Kostya at twitter.com/hellokostya.