If this keeps up, is anyone going to care about the world championship in a couple of months (assuming it happens)? Fabiano Caruana is putting on a spectacular, almost unique demonstration in the history of chess. Four rounds remain at the Sinquefield Cup, but Caruana's 6-0 score and three point lead over his closest pursuer (some guy named Magnus Carlsen) have the tournament all but over. The real drama is in seeing how far the streak can go, and if he can maintain the combination of perfect preparation and incredible form he has shown so far.
Today's victim was Veselin Topalov. Topalov played a new move with Black in a Taimanov Sicilian, but there was no opening surprise from the Bulgarian. Caruana replied immediately, and soon it was Topalov who was on his own. Some little inaccuracies led to a vulnerable position, and that vulnerability turned into collapse after 23...Nc6? 24.Bxe6! Black was unable to put up much resistance, and Caruana finished accurately and in style.
The other two games were drawn, but Carlsen had terrific winning chances against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, though maybe there was no clear way to win by force. Carlsen enjoyed a superior ending with opposite-colored bishops and an extra pawn, but the Frenchman's strong defense saved the day. In the other game Hikaru Nakamura briefly had good winning chances against Levon Aronian. Aronian's 26...d3 was inaccurate and probably would have cost him his d-pawn had Nakamura played 28.Be3 followed by Rb3. Instead the American played 28.Bd2, and Aronian's problems were over.
The games, with my notes, are here.
Tomorrow's pairings are Carlsen (3) - Nakamura (2), Vachier-Lagrave (2.5) - Caruana (6), Topalov (2.5) - Aronian (2).