SAINT LOUIS — Armenian GM Levon Aronian has been crowned winner of the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz tournament. He won the title despite losing his last round game against former leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

The French grandmaster ended up sharing second place with Yu Yangyi and Ding Liren. World champion Magnus Carlsen finished in sixth place.

Right after his last game, Aronian said he was extremely happy with this victory.

“At this point I already don’t care if I blundered anything,” said Aronian. “The win just brings the relief. Before today I was thinking OK I am playing so badly, maybe I will have trouble catching up with Maxime. So the win is a great feel for me.”

Aronian had also won the rapid and blitz tournament in St. Louis two years ago, when the 13th world champion Garry Kasparov participated. Back then the winner’s total score was 24.5 points; this year 1.5 points fewer were enough.

Aronian won $37,000 and 13 Grand Chess Tour points, which put him in third place in the overall standings, behind Magnus Carlsen and Vachier-Lagrave.

Next Aronian will participate in the Sinquefield Cup tournament he won last year.

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