St. Louis Blitz and Rapid 2019 – GM Levon Aronian victorious

The tournament in St. Louis has now come to an end, and following the rapid part, the blitz part didn’t disappoint! Following below is a report on the final two days of the tournament.

 

St. Louis Blitz and Rapid 2019 – final standings

 

After a thrilling final two days, including 18 blitz games, GM Levon Aronian eventually came out on top, scoring 22/36 points.

The ultimate day panned out to be quite an exciting day for a chess fan! The leaderboard was tight all the way, and nobody ever ran away with it.

Although Aronian had actually secured first with a round to go, the battle for second would be a fierce one, with three players eventually claiming shared 2nd!

GM Yu, GM Ding and GM Vachier-Lagrave all scored 21,5 points. This means that both GM Yu and GM Ding had excellent blitz tournaments, as they were a few points behind the two leaders (Aronian and MVL) prior to the blitz part.

 

What happened to Magnus?

Well, to put it like this:

Everybody has a bad tournament once in a while, and this was Magnus’. He’s won eight straight tournaments leading up to this one, so he was pretty much bound to have a poor tournament now.

Additionally, in a rapid and blitz tournament – even if Magnus has been known to be a beast when it comes to shorter time controls – the margins for error are so small, and even the best players in the world can face a row of devastating results. It’s just so much easier to spot when it happens to the world champion:

All the rest of the field has had terrible tournaments before, but they almost go unnoticed because it’s human to have bad tournaments. Personally I don’t think the crowd sees it that way – or thinks about it that way – whenever it would happen to the world champion. Magnus is supposed to play out-of-this-world-chess every time!

Right…?

Well, it doesn’t really work like that, and like this tournament has proven: Even Magnus has bad tournaments.

 

The Grand Chess Tour standings

St. Louis Rapid and Blitz 2019 is the fourth tournament in the Grand Chess Tour 2019. So far Magnus has a considerable lead over his opponents, especially if you notice how he has played one tournament less than nr. 2 on the list, MVL.

The next GCT-tournament on the calendar starts in just a few days, being the Sinquefield Cup.

This is a classical tournament, so if you’re a Magnus fan, let’s hope he can find back to the winning path. He’s played stunning classical chess lately, so unless his confidence hasn’t taken too big of a hit from St. Louis, there’s a good chance we might see him back on top!

 

Until next time,

Joachim

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