Sinquefield Cup: Ding Liren stuns Magnus Carlsen, clinches title

The sensational Chinese, ranked third in the world, ends a 10-year unbeaten streak of World No. 1 Norwegian in playoffs.

File Photo: Magnus Carlsen was defeated in both blitz games.   -  Flickr.com/grandchesstour

Ding Liren shocked Magnus Carlsen 3-1 in the playoff for the Sinquefield Cup chess title here on Thursday.

A day after the two tied for the first prize at 6.5 points, following 11 rounds of classical time format, and returned to draw both games in rapid format, Ding Liren pulled off victories in both blitz games.

The sensational Chinese, ranked third in the world, ended a 10-year unbeaten streak of World No. 1 Norwegian in playoffs. Since 2007, Carlsen won all 10 playoffs to emerge as the winner.

But the streak was destined to end in the same tournament where it all started a decade ago.

In the first five-minute blitz clash, Carlsen was declared lost on time after 87 moves. In the next game, where Ding Liren needed only a draw with black pieces to prevail, Carlsen resigned after 40 moves, when facing a checkmate.

Ding Liren received USD 82,500 while Carlsen settled for USD 67,500.

Anand back in top-10

Viswanathan Anand, who remained unbeaten at six points for the joint third spot with six points, returned to the top-10 rankings. His impressive performance fetched him USD 35,000.

He gained 9.4 rating points and five spots to be ranked ninth, with a rating of 2765, in the world ranking list to be released on Sunday.

Final standings (with prize-money in U.S. dollars)
  • 1. Ding Liren (China, 82,500), 2. Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 67,500),
  • 3-4. Viswanathan Anand and Sergey Karjakin (Russia, 35,000 each),
  • 5-8. Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Fabiano Caruana (USA) and Anish Giri (Netherlands, 16,250 each),
  • 9-10. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) and Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 10,000 each),
  • 11-12. Wesley So (USA) and Levon Aronian (Armenia, 10,000 each).