Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian👍 All Earn Sinquefield Cup Titles🏆 As Playoff Nixed

  |   Chess

First there was a two-man playoff. Then a three-man playoff. Then, no playoff at all.

After a wild day at the 2018 Sinquefield Cup in which the gamesmanship didn't even end on the final move, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, and Fabiano Caruana are all co-champions.

That's the one thing they can agree on. After Aronian defeated Alexander Grischuk via a speculative but dynamic exchange sac, several hours later Carlsen outmaneuvered Hikaru Nakamura in an ending that had happened before. With Caruana drawing as black with ease against Wesley So, that left the three past winners all sitting on 5.5/9.

They would all get the same Grand Chess Tour points (a moot issue for the wildcard Carlsen), and all split the money evenly. As for the trophy and the title, the regulations stated that tiebreaks would determine the top two, with the third player left out.

That was the crux of the problem -- all three had the same mutual record (all draws vs. one another), the same number of wins (two), and the same number of wins as black (zero). As per rule 2.1.4, the fourth tiebreak was a drawing of lots, meaning complete chance.

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