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St Louis in the US has become the unofficial global chess capital due to the billionaire and FT reader Rex Sinquefield, who hosts the annual Sinquefield Cup and other major events. St Louis 2014 was marked by world No2 Fabiano Caruana’s brilliant start of seven wins in a row, while Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, has won the Cup twice.

A special moment came in 2017, when the all-time No1 Garry Kasparov made a cameo reappearance to hold his own against the US top trio in an invitation speed contest.

Now there is the women’s Cairns Cup, derived from Jeanne Sinquefield’s maiden name, which is in its second year and can be watched free and live online from 7pm GMT daily until February 17.

The entry includes China’s reigning world champion Ju Wenjun and India’s world No3 Humpy Koneru, and yet to really take off as a must-watch event it needs to aim still higher. The retired but still legendary Judit Polgar, the current No1 and Oxford student Hou Yifan, and the rising star Aleksandra Goryachkina are the trio who could make the Cairns Cup a historic landmark.


Mariya Muzychuk v Humpy Koneru, Cairns Cup 2020. White played 1 R4xh5+ gxh5, and the commentator, former US No1 Yasser Seirawan, predicted 2 Rxh5+. Why was the grandmaster wrong, and can you find White’s better and winning choice? Click here for a link to the complete game.

Click here for solution

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