Sinquefield Odds Update: Round 4

Not much change here, with just one decisive game. Aronian defeated So, and moved into a tie for first place, improving his odds of winning the Sinquefield Cup, but overall this chart still looks quite similar to yesterday:

Player Sinquefield Odds Grand Chess Tour Odds
Veselin Topalov 45.4% 81.8%
Magnus Carlsen 23.9% 7.3%
Levon Aronian 17.3% 0.5%
Anish Giri 7.6% 3.5%
Hikaru Nakamura 4.4% 4.7%
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 0.8% 0.1%
Alexander Grischuk 0.2% 2.0%
Wesley So 0.2% 0.0%
Viswanathan Anand 0.2% 0.0%
Fabiano Caruana 0.1% 0.2%

Why is Aronian still in third place, in terms of odds of winning the tournament, when he’s tied for the lead? Part of it is of course the fact that his rating is lower than other players near the top. There’s another component in play too though: schedule. Aronian’s 3/4 start is less impressive than Topalov’s because of who they played when. Topalov played the top three seeds (other than himself) in the first three rounds, while Aronian has not yet played any of them. In fact Levon has to survive a terrifying gauntlet in the final four rounds if he wants to hold onto his lead: Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand, and then Topalov. This remaining schedule, as much as his own rating, contributes to a lower expected score through the remaining rounds, and is a big part of the reason why Carlsen is considered more likely than him to win the event, despite having an extra half point deficit to overcome.


One thought on “Sinquefield Odds Update: Round 4

  1. The standings midway in the tournament is crazy: Fabiano/Anand at the bottom, Magnus/Naka are average (middle) and Levon/Topalov at the top!

    Probable explanation of Veselin superb performance is that he has jettisoned the self-imposed luggage in his brain brought by his ridiculous accusation (more appropriate: excuse for losing) against Kramnik. Over time, the chess world has forgiven him, and now his ‘free’ mind is showing Veselin’s true depth.

    On the other hand, Carlsen is not the magnificent Magnus we know. Carlsen even complains that sometimes he cannot foresee his opponent’s moves — looks like a rusty mind due to less tournament he now plays.

    In contrast, Wesley is playing overly risky and has dearly paid for it, He lost two games in similar fashion: waste a lot of opening knight and pawn moves (which leave the other major pieces undeveloped) and don’t castle (which leave the two rooks unconnected). I reckon he’s trying to become unpredictable and does this to lower-rated players (MVL and Levon) but clearly, he has overestimated his strength!


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