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Magnus came, saw and conquered

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 16, 2013 - The results are in and the favorite won the Sinquefield cup in the chess tournament that brought four of the world's best players to St. Louis. St. Louis’ Hikaru Nakamura had the early lead, but Magnus Carlsen of Norway came away with the trophy and the  $70,000 first-place award.

Much of the buzz that led up to the tournament centered on the world's number 1 ranked player participating in a major U.S. tournament.

After the tournament had a day off Thursday, Carlsen got the win he needed against Gata Kamsky, and Nakamura took a defeat he couldn’t afford at the hands of Levon Aronian. Still, Nakamura finished second.

Even though he came in last, Kamsky said, “It’s been a great week, a lot of fun.”

All of the players, who participated in a Sunday afternoon press conference, praised the way the tournament was run. In addition to saying that it had “been very well organized across the board,” Nakamura said that “what the Sinquefields have done for chess in St. Louis. … is amazing.”

Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield are founders of both the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center and the tournament.

The public response was noted not only by Nakamura, but Aronian, who said, “I never expected to see so many come up to watch our games. It shows the support the game has from the city of St. Louis.”

Will Carlson return? He said that “if everything goes well (referring to his World Championship match with Viswanathan Anand in November), you’ll definitely see me here next year.”

And Rex Sinquefield said he was looking forward to “more in 2014” and maybe “a similar tournament set up for the women.

Carlsen, with a rating of 2862, ended with 4.5 points. Nakamura (2772) had 3.5; Aronian (2813) had 2.5 and Kamsky (2741) had 1.5.

Note: The Sinquefields are contributors to the St. Louis Beacon.

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.

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