2010 Bilbao Masters: Kramnik draws first blood against Carlsen in round one.

10/9/2010 – If Carlsen's many fans had hoped to see a change of fortune after his less than dazzling Olympiad result, today was not that day. Vladimir Kramnik capitalized on the opportunities missed by his opponent to press home his accrued advantage with an attractive win. Shirov and Anand debated a Ruy Lopez Berlin where neither had any compelling new arguments. Round one report.

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Bilbao Masters 2010

The 2010 Masters Final takes place from October 9th to October 15th in Bilbao, Spain. It is a six-round double round-robin event.

Time control: 90 minutes/40 moves + 60 minutes + 10 seconds/move as of move 41.

Game start: 4:30 PM local time (3:30 PM GMT - 10:30 AM New York / 7:30 AM Pacific daylight).

Rest day: Tuesday, October 12th.

Round 1

Round 1: Saturday, 9th October 2010

Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand

If the the strongest tournament in history (as per Elo ratings) started with an exciting win, it wasn’t what Carlsen’s fans were hoping for. Indeed, after a very lackadaisical performance in the Olypiads, his worst since 2007, this tournament could be a chance to recover some of his rating points lost there. Unfortunately, his opponent had other plans, and imprecisions by Carlsen, missing several opportunities to equalize, coupled with strong play by Kramnik with a nice finish gave the Russian a perfect start with a first round win and over the top-rated player no less.


Kramnik off to a perfect start, while Carlsen is in serious need to regroup.

Kramnik,Vladimir (2780) - Carlsen,Magnus (2826) [E15]
Grand Slam Final Masters Bilbao ESP (1), 09.10.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 It has been a couple of years since Carlsen played the Queen's Indian. 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.dxc5 bxc5 8.0-0 Be7 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Rd1 Qb6 11.Bf4 Rd8 12.Rab1 h6 13.Qb5N Both players had been following Kramnik-Bacrot (Dortmund, 2009). Since Carlsen cannot have thought Kramnik had no planned improvement, perhaps he expected it to come later. 13.a3 a5 14.Qb5 Qxb5 15.cxb5 d5 16.Ne5 g5 17.Be3 Nbd7 18.Nc6 Bxc6 19.bxc6 Ne5 20.Na4 Nxc6 21.Bxc5 Bxc5 22.Nxc5 Rab8 23.e4 dxe4 24.Rxd8+ Rxd8 25.Nxe4 Nxe4 26.Bxe4 Nd4 27.Kg2 Nb3 28.Bc2 Rb8 29.Bxb3 Rxb3 30.Rc1 1/2-1/2 Kramnik,V (2759)-Bacrot,E (2721)/Dortmund 2009/CBM 131 13...Bc6 14.Qxb6 axb6 15.b3 Trying to snap up the pawn with 15.Bc7 Rc8 16.Bxb6? loses the bishop after 16...Ra6.








15...g5? If black wanted to boot the bishop from its strong outpost, he needed to play 15...d6 first, closing the diagonal and any option of Bc7 or Bxb8 as in the game. 16.a4 g5 17.Bc1 Ne4 and black is fine. 16.Bxb8! Kramnik could have swapped for the bishop of course with Bc7-Bd6, but his reasoning is clear. He wants to exchange the knight which could easily come to b4 and help support black's planned d5-break. White has no intention of letting that happen. 16...Raxb8 17.Ne5 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 Rbc8 18...d5 is not possible because of 19.Nc6 19.e4 d6 20.Nd3 Though the reasoning is quite sensible, wanting to support both f4 and b4, this imprecision might have let black out of the box. Instead 20.Nf3 would have kept black under lock and key. 20...g4 would be no worry after 21.Ne1 Nd7 22.f4! 20...Kf8?! This was Carlsen's chance to play 20...d5! and regain balance. If 21.e5 (21.exd5 exd5 is no problem.) 21...Ne8 21.h3 Nd7. Yet another chance to sneak in 21...d5! 22.exd5 exd5 and Black should be ok. 22.f4 Nb8 23.Na4 Nd7 24.Nf2 Ra8 25.Rd2 Ra5 26.Nc3 Nb8 27.Rbd1 Nc6 28.Nb5 gxf4 29.gxf4 d5?! Black has certainly wanted to play this for a long time, but missed a couple of good opportunityies to do so. Now however, it was not the time to play it. 29...Nd4 was better now. 30.Nxd4 cxd4 31.a4 (31.Rxd4 Rxa2 32.e5 Bh4 33.R1d2 Rxd2 34.Rxd2 Ke7 35.Ne4 d5) 30.exd5 exd5 31.cxd5 Rxb5 32.dxc6 Rc8 33.Ng4 Rxc6 34.Ne5 Re6 35.Kf3 Ra5?








A bad mistake. In the press conference, Kramnik said that after 35...Rb4 white would still be much better, but he saw no forced win. 36.Rg2! White is winning. 36...f6 37.Nc4 Ra7 38.f5 Rc6 39.a4 Rb7 40.Rg6 h5 41.Rdg1 Ke8.








42.Ne5! The strongest, and aesthetically pleasing as well. 42...Rc8 43.Rg8+ Bf8 44.Ng6 Rf7. If 44...Kf7 45.Nxf8 Rxf8 46.R8g7+ Ke8 47.Rxb7 45.Rd1. Black is almost in zugzwang and will lose his piece in a few moves. Rb8 46.Rd6 h4 47.Rh8 b5 48.axb5 Ra8 (48...Rxb5 49.Re6+ Kd8 50.Nxf8) 49.Re6+ Kd7 50.Ra6 Rxa6 (50...Rc8 51.Ra7+ Rc7 52.b6) 51.bxa6 1-0 [Click to replay]

Shirov faced Anand’s Ruy Lopez Berlin, a variation that came into fashion after Kramnik used it to wrest the world championship from Kasaparov. In spite of such credentials, the fact is that it is a fairly unassuming opening that leads to a quick queen exchange followed by a great deal of quiet maneuvering while each side tries to out-trick the other into hasty mistakes or long-term weaknesses. The game never really swung one way or the other, and while the endgame had a few tricky nuances, no real mistakes were made.


Shirov and Anand pursued a discussion on the Berlin with no great disagreements.

Shirov,Alexei (2749) - Anand,Viswanathan (2800) [C67]
Grand Slam Final Masters Bilbao ESP (1), 09.10.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.h3 h5 11.b3 Though b3 is not an unusual idea in the Berlin, it is normally played in the place of h3. 11...Be7 12.Bb2 Be6 13.Rad1 a5 14.a4 b6 15.Ne4 c5 16.c4 Rd8 17.Rxd8+ Kxd8 18.Rd1+ Kc8 19.Kf1 Rd8 The last major pieces come off, and the draw is clearly on the horizon. 20.Rxd8+ Kxd8 21.Ke2 Ke8 22.Kd3 Bd8 23.Bc1 f6 24.g4 hxg4 25.hxg4 Nd4 26.Nxd4 cxd4 27.exf6 gxf6 28.g5 c5 29.Nxf6+ Bxf6 30.gxf6 Bf5+ 31.Kd2 Bb1 32.Kd1 d3.








33.Kd2 33.Bf4 Bc2+ 34.Kd2 Bxb3 35.Bc7 Kf7 36.Kxd3 Bxa4 37.Bxb6 Kxf6 would be much the same as the game, albeit by a different move order. 33...Kf7 34.Kc3 Kxf6 35.Bf4 Ke6 36.Bc7 Ba2 37.Bxb6 Kd6 38.Bxa5 d2 39.Kxd2 Bxb3 40.Kd3 Bxa4 41.Ke4 1/2-1/2 [Click to replay]

Tomorrow's round features Carlsen-Anand and Kramnik-Shirov.

Pictures by official site

Bilbao system scores

Player
games
wins
draws 
losses
points
Vladimir Kramnik
1
1
0
0
3
Viswanathan Anand
1
0
1
0
1
Alexei Shirov
1
0
1
0
1
Magnus Carlsen
1
0
0
1
0

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Schedule

Round 1: Saturday, 9th October 2010

Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand

Round 2: Sunday, 10th October 2010

Magnus Carlsen 
 Viswanathan Anand
Vladimir Kramnik 
 Alexei Shirov

Round 3: Monday, 11th October 2010

Alexei Shirov 
 Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand 
 Vladimir Kramnik

Round 4: Wednesday, 13th October 2010

Magnus Carlsen 
 Vladimir Kramnik
Viswanathan Anand 
 Alexei Shirov

Round 5: Thursday, 14th October 2010

Magnus Carlsen 
 Alexei Shirov
Vladimir Kramnik 
 Viswanathan Anand

Round 6: Friday, 15th October 2010

Viswanathan Anand 
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexei Shirov 
 Vladimir Kramnik


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