It was not only about chess. I.ve looked forward to coming back to St. Louis and the Sinquefield Cup for some time, having had lots of good experiences during the visit last year. The people, excursions, sport activities, restaurants, the nearby park and even some sightseeing are fond memories. And it was no drawback that I won and gained confidence prior to the Chennai match.
The hospitable Sinquefields hosted a nice dinner yesterday and today we had signing and photo sessions, done interviews and of course the opening ceremony with the drawing of lots.
For once I.ll start with two black games against M. Vachier-Lagrave and H.Nakamura. The rest of the historically high-rating-field averaging above 2800 consists of L.Aronian, F.Caruana, V.Topalov and me.
The chess Olympics in Tromso wasn.t a great success for the Norwegian top team as lost a critical match against Croatia in the penultimate round. Until then we had had many good results merged with the occasional disappointing result. In the last round my teammates won 4-0 as expected, and it was enough for 29th place. In the past, being the best Scandinavian country was an ambitious goal. This time this achievement did not feel as much of a consolation.
I.d like to congratulate the Open group winners China, and the silver and bronze medalists from Hungary and India with their impressive results. Especially when considering that none of them were rated top three in advance and both China and India played without several of their highest rated players.
Hopefully the Olympics and the broad Norwegian media coverage contributed further to an (even) broader national chess interest.
The Sinquefield Cup will be covered live on TV2 starting tomorrow at 2 pm local time in St.Louis.
Magnus Carlsen, St.Louis, August 26th, 2014