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Magnus Carlsen Dominates Sinquefield Cup

The newest chess star: Magnus Carlsen – (Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org)

22-year old chess sensation from Norway, Magnus Carlsen, made it look easy at the first ever Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Missouri last weekend.  Looking to achieve a confidence boost ahead of his World Championship matchup versus India’s undisputed world champion, Viswanathan Anand in November, Carlsen achieved his goal.  Additionally, he collected a stunning $70,000 cash prize!

Magnus Carlsen is the top ranked chess player in the world, and has seen his current rating bump up to 2870, which is just 2 points shy of his personal best and world record mark of 2872.  Bringing as much excitement to competitive chess as the great Bobby Fischer did nearly 50 years ago, Carlsen has been a great new face to the sport and now looks to be on the brink of claiming his first chess World Championship.

After becoming the second youngest grandmaster ever at the age of 13, Carlsen has won more than his fair share of chess tournaments, leading to this astounding rating.  His aggressive and erratic play has made him a tough task to study for top competitors and has resulted in many fine victories.  Also, Carlsen possesses a very strong closing style, which has left other players bewildered while they drop crucial chess pieces late in the matches.

A great recap of the final tournament-clinching match at the Sinquefield Cup against 2nd ranked Levon Aronian of Armenia has a virtual display of the entire game, so you can see how the young Carlsen worked his magic to finish the tournament as the clear winner with a whole point advantage.  At times early in the match, Carlsen was aggressive, trading his queen for Aronian’s.  But later his patient shifting of his king invited Aronian to make several mistakes, of which Carlsen quickly capitalized upon to push ahead in his victorious effort.  Such a masterful duel has put Carlsen in fine form ahead of his World Championship challenge of Anand.

Looking ahead, one must suspect that Carlsen is the favorite for the World Championship of chess.  With an incredible rating, Carlsen has won 12 of his last 18 chess tournaments and has lost just 6 of his last 112 matches.  This is a youngster playing at the peak of his abilities, and one must assume that he is eager and ready to take the World Champion title.

Viswanathan Anand certainly will be no pushover, however.  The current number 6 chess player worldwide has been the undisputed World Champion since 2007, and he has more than 20 years of chess experience over his challenger.  However, as we have now discovered with so many incredible young chess players bursting onto the scene in recent years, age is of little importance in the grand game of chess.

All in all, the Sinquefield Cup was a wonderful success for chess fans and especially Magnus Carlsen.  Hopefully this new tournament will continue for many more prosperous years and continue to bring the best chess players together in America.  The nation has now been warmly introduced to chess’ newest star.  Let’s see how far Carlsen can go!

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