Armenian GM Levon Aronian won the 3rd Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, scoring 6 points in 9 rounds. Four players - Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - tied for second place with 5 points each. Aronian had been the No 2 player in the world for a while, but recently dropped off the top-10 list. This fine victory will bring him right back into it. There were plenty of interesting games played in Saint Louis and I would like to show one of Aronian's wins:
So - Aronian
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6
3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 c5
5.d5 0-0 6.e4 d6
7.Nge2 a6 8.a4 Ba5!?
This is a very clever move - Black is threatening to play ...b5!
9.Bd2 exd5 10.cxd5 Nh5
Now one can clearly see the other idea behind 8...Ba5!? - as the d2-square is occupied, White can't play 11.g4.
11.g3 Nd7 12.Bg2 b5
This move is too ambitious; White should have played 13.0-0 instead.
13...b4 14.Nb1 (D)
Wesley So probably expected Black to play 14...Nhf6, but Aronian sacrificed a piece, seized the initiative and conducted his attack very energetically:
15.Kf1 Ne5! 16.Be1?! Qf6 17.gxh5 Nxf3 18.Bf2 Bg4 19.Qc1?! Nd4 20.Nxd4 cxd4 21.e5 dxe5 22.Nd2 Rac8 23.Qb1 b3 24.Nxb3 Bb6
Aronian missed a clever move in 25...Rc2!!, but still retained a winning advantage.
27.Be4 Qg5+ 28.Kf1 Qf4 0-1