Bilbao 03: Adams leads at halfway

10/10/2013 – Adams held Aronian to a draw today and retains his lead in the 6th Bilbao Masters. He has 5 points according to the Bilbao Scoring rules. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave rebounded from his second round loss by beating Mamedyarov. Aronian continues on his drawing streak and has three points, one less than MVL because of the 3-1-0 scoring, in which winning one and losing is more valuable than drawing two. Report at halfway.

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Four of the best chess players in the world: the Armenian Olympic champion Levon Aronian, the Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and the Englishman Michael Adams will be the contenders at the sixth Grand Slam Chess Masters final, one of the most prestigious tournaments of the world which will be held from the 7th to the 12th of October, 2013.

The tournament will be played under a double round-robin and ruled by the revolutionary regulations that distinguishes Bilbao form the other international tournaments. With the aim of guaranteeing an entertaining game every time, the Sophia Rules and Bilbao Rules will apply. According to these rules, the players can only agree on a draw under the supervision of the arbiter and a committee of masters; with the points of each game being scored the same as soccer - that is three points for a win, one for a tie and none for a loss.

Round 2

Round 2 – October 08, 17:00h
Adams, Michael 2753
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759 ½-½ Aronian, Levon 2795

Adams, Michael 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
Adams employed a variation that brought him little success against the 2...e6 Sicilian. The g3 setups are dangerous only against people that are not very well prepared, but MVL showed that he has good analysis and obtained a superior position from the opening. Probably retaking on c5 with the queen rather than with the rook would've led to a slight plus for Black, but instead the game became equal. Unfortunately for the Frenchman he started running out of time, to the point where he had only a few seconds to make many moves. This was too much for him and he ended up flagging.

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ Aronian, Levon
A simple showing of good preparation, Aronian forced a perpetual from the opening and Mamedyarov had no chances of winning this game whatsoever.

Round 3

Round 3 – October 09, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Aronian, Levon 2795
½-½
Adams, Michael 2753

The veteran Michael Adams leads the 6th Bilbao Masters Final after the third round, which marks the halfway point of the tournament. The draw against Levon Aronian this afternoon keeps him in first place with three rounds to go.

Adams "survived" today's opening and keeps the lead, one point ahead of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Adams, Michael
Aronian surprised his rival from the opening. The Englishman, with his usual quiet and classical style, was able to equalize the game and took the game towards a drawn endgame after some forceful tactics.

This Queen's Gambit Declined with a bishop on f4 has become popular in the recent past. White advances his queenside pawns quickly and sacrificed one of them to obtain a passed pawn on the seventh rank. The game revolved around this pawn, with White trying to distract Black's pieces from the blockade on c8 and Black trying to maintain it without incurring on any losses. Finally the game was drawn as Black was able to win this pawn but he lost his queenside in the process.

"I have drawn today because I survived Levon's opening" said Adams after the game, "I didn't play too well" countered Aronian, who mentioned he has not really played chess in the previous two games but instead he was simply relying on home preparation.

MVL watches with interest as Aronian tries to push with white

Mamedyarov banked on his opponent's time pressure to make it out of his difficulties, but it did not help him

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
The ex-Junior World Champion from France defeated the also ex-Junior World Champion from Azerbaijan, which allows MVL to take second place in the event. Vachier opted for a Meran variation of the Semi-Slav, eventually the game became assymetrical as White obtained a majority in the center but Black had a mobile queenside pawn structure. An important strategical element with a pin on the long diagonal was very dangerous to Mamedyarov, and it seems as if he underestimated the power that the queen on c3 was exerting.

MVL got again in strong time pressure, but this time he had just enough seconds on his clock to figure out the complications and he transposed into an easily won endgame where he was two pawns ahead.

The Azerbaijani is three points away from the leader, but in this scoring system that is only one win away

Replay games of rounds two and three

Standings

1. Michael Adams - 5pts

2. Maxime Vachier Lagraeve - 4pts

3. Levon Aronian - 3pts

4. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov - 2pts

The tournament uses Bilbao, or Soccer, Rules for scoring.

photos and information provided by Gerardo Fernandez Llana

Schedule

Round 1 – October 07, 17:00h
Aronian, Levon 2795
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Adams, Michael 2753
½-½
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Round 2 – October 08, 17:00h
Adams, Michael 2753
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759 ½-½ Aronian, Levon 2795
Round 3 – October 09, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Aronian, Levon 2795
½-½
Adams, Michael 2753
Round 4 – October 10, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Aronian, Levon 2795
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Adams, Michael 2753
Round 5 – October 11, 17:00h
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Adams, Michael 2753
Aronian, Levon 2795
Round 6 – October 12, 17:00h
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2742
Adams, Michael 2753
Aronian, Levon 2795
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2759

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

 


Topics Bilbao, Masters
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