Bilbao Masters – Carlsen takes first after blitz tiebreak

10/12/2011 – The signs were there, but nothing is written until it is over. The games were fairly sedate among the crosstable leaders with uneventful draws, though Anand came out swinging and avoided a last place finish by beating Vallejo. Top prize was decided by two blitz games, in which Carlsen concluded with a mating attack in the last game. Final report with pictures, video, and GM commentary.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!

More...

The first leg of the Grand Slam was staged in São Paulo, Ibirapuera Park, from September 25th to October 1st, the second leg takes place in Bilbao, Alhóndiga, from 5th to 11th October. Tournament system: double round robin with six players over ten rounds. Time control: 90 minutes/40 moves + 60 minutes + 10 seconds/move starting with the first move. Games begin at 16:00h local Spanish time (10 a.m. New York, 18:00h Moscow).

Round ten

Round 10: Tuesday, October 11, 16:30h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen 

The final round concluded what was ultimately a fantastic tournament, with great drama and chess throughout. WIth the top three players in the world, all sporting ratings of 2800 and more, it seemed as if it would be up to them to decide the top spots, and the rest could fight over the leftovers. Would it be Carlsen, the young number one, to add another feather to his peacock-looking cap? Anand, the World Champion for the last years, and only an inch behind the Norwegian? Perhaps Aronian, who had already won the Masters in the past, and having just broken through 2800, might reaffrim his rising star?

Instead, the player who led from the beginning to the end was none other than the brilliant Ukrainian, Vasily Ivanchuk, a notoriously hot-and-cold player, who can be as good as the greatest when he is inspired. To make things even more surprising, both the top seeds Anand and Carlsen managed to share last after the third round, when a mutual loss struck them simultaneously. The first sign the wind's direction was beginning to change was in the fifth round, when Carlsen faced the leader, and beat him in a shake-me-up game that not only brought Ivanchuk within shouting distance, but helped drum up some much needed confidence for Magnus.

The rise to rejoin Ivanchuk was not a straightforward affair either as a bit of luck (always useful) helped clinch an unexpected win in round eight, but the decisive moment was Carlsen's precipitous second win over Ivanchuk in round nine, giving him the shared lead, bringing us to the final round.


Hikaru Nakamura committed to not letting the previous day's stress affect him


Magnus Carlsen ready for the day


The Norwegian consults the arbiters on the tiebreak...


...and they show him the tournament regulations that cover it


Carlsen observes the game at a distance, since if Ivanchuk plays for the win, he will
be obliged to as well.

Unsurprisingly, the leaders preferred to not jeopardize their positions, and their games both ended in uneventful draws. The first to finish was Nakamura-Carlsen, and though Nakamura might have chosen a harder fight in other circumstances, after his shock time-loss the day before, no one can blame him for not pushing it here.

[Event "4th Final Masters"] [Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"] [Date "2011.10.11"] [Round "10"] [White "Nakamura, Hi"] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D59"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2823"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2011.09.26"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 b6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Qb3 Be6 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Bd3 c5 14. Qa3 Kf8 15. dxc5 bxc5 16. Bb5 Nd7 17. Bxd7 Bxd7 18. O-O a5 19. Rfd1 Be6 20. Rc3 a4 21. h3 Rab8 22. Rd2 Rb4 23. Rdc2 c4 24. b3 axb3 25. axb3 Rbb8 26. Qxe7+ Kxe7 27. bxc4 Rxc4 28. Nd2 Rxc3 29. Rxc3 d4 30. exd4 Rb4 31. Rd3 Kd6 32. Nf3 Bd5 33. Kh2 Be4 34. Ra3 f6 35. Ra6+ Ke7 36. Ra7+ Kf8 37. Rd7 Bc6 38. Rd6 Bxf3 39. gxf3 Ke7 40. Rd5 Ke6 41. Rd8 Ke7 42. Rd5 Ke6 43. Rd8 Ke7 1/2-1/2


Ivanchuk was his brilliant best for much of the tournament


Aronian was unable to generate any significant momentum

Ivanchuk and Aronian also drew after a calm game, essentially ensuring a tiebreak match between Vaily and Magnus after the end of the round.


The players analyze the game with Leontxo García


A bemused Ivanchuk looks at the game

[Event "4th Final Masters"] [Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"] [Date "2011.10.11"] [Round "10"] [White "Ivanchuk, V."] [Black "Aronian, L."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2765"] [BlackElo "2807"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2011.09.26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nf5 8. Nf3 O-O 9. d4 d5 10. g3 Re8 11. c3 Bf8 12. Rxe8 Qxe8 13. Bf4 Bd6 14. Bxd6 Nxd6 15. Nbd2 Be6 16. Qb3 Na5 17. Qa3 Nac4 18. Nxc4 Nxc4 19. Qb3 Qc6 20. Bg2 Re8 21. Re1 Bc8 22. Qc2 Rxe1+ 23. Nxe1 Qe8 24. Nf3 c6 25. Bf1 h6 26. Nd2 Nxd2 27. Qxd2 Bf5 28. f3 g5 29. Kf2 f6 30. Qe3 Qh5 31. Qe7 Qxh2+ 32. Bg2 Bh3 33. Qe8+ Kg7 34. Qe7+ Kg8 35. Qe8+ 1/2-1/2


Young spectators are taken by the games


Others prefer to just play

The only game to not end on a peacful note was Anand's game against Vallejo. After his own shock loss, though no clock to blame it on, Anand was actually last, just behind the Spaniard, and the only way to change this, was by beating him in the last game. Though far from perfect, Anand made a valiant effort and prevailed in their game


It was an irregular event for the World Champion, no doubt more focused on his title
defense against Gelfand.


In spite of arriving last, Vallejo will have had the singular privilege of beating all three
of the top-placed players, including world number one, Magnus Carlsen.


Anand and Vallejo discuss the game

[Event "Chess Masters Final 2011"] [Site "Bilbao/Spain"] [Date "2011.10.11"] [Round "10"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D10"] [WhiteElo "2817"] [BlackElo "2716"] [Annotator "Romain Edouard"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2011.??.??"] {My apologizes for commenting only this game today, but if there is something to say out of the other two, it is clearly too deep for me! Beside chess, I can only say that it is purely understandable for Ivanchuk not to take any risks since he's leading the tournament, and perfectly understandable for Nakamura as well, after what happened in round nine.} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 dxc4 4. e4 b5 5. a4 b4 6. Nce2 (6. Nb1 {was Aronian-Vallejo, in round 1 in Sao Paulo.}) 6... Ba6 {A rare but quite logical move.} (6... Nf6 {or}) (6... e6 { are the two main options played.}) 7. Nf3 e6 8. Ng3 c5 9. d5 $146 Be7 $6 {Not only strange, but also not so good.} (9... exd5 10. exd5 Nf6 {should be played. I suppose Anand had some cool idea prepared here, since he played very fast and the computer likes Black!}) 10. Bf4 exd5 11. Qxd5 $5 (11. exd5 {should also be good.}) 11... Qxd5 12. exd5 Nh6 (12... Nf6 13. Nf5 g6 14. Nxe7 Kxe7 15. d6+ Kd8 16. Ne5 {followed by 0-0-0 is definitely good for White.}) 13. O-O-O O-O 14. Bxh6 gxh6 15. Nf5 Bf6 (15... Bg5+ 16. Nxg5 hxg5 17. h4 $16) 16. Nxh6+ Kg7 17. Nf5+ Kg6 (17... Kh8 18. d6 $16) 18. g4 c3 19. bxc3 bxc3 {A logical move. Somehow Black needs the b-file in order to get some tactical possibilities. That's why, even not taking into account the fact 20.d6 seems to win easily, I cannot understand Anand's next move.} (19... Bxc3 20. Ne7+ Kg7 21. Bxa6 Nxa6 22. d6 $16) 20. Bxa6 $4 {Developing Black's knight, who will happily jump to b4, while the b8 squares will be free for the rooks.} (20. d6 { seems crushing, and I have no idea on what Black can do:} Bxf1 21. Rhxf1 Nd7 { (the only difference I see with Bxa6, but anyway, the knight is supposed to go to b4!)} 22. Ne7+ Kg7 23. g5 $18) 20... Nxa6 21. d6 h5 $2 {A weird move! Opening the lines in favour of White. Most probably Black were afraid of something after 21...Rab8. I guess Anand also saw something, since he took on a6. But I cannot see it myself!} (21... Rab8 $1 {just draws, for example:} 22. d7 Rb2 23. N3h4+ Kg5 24. f4+ Kxg4 25. Rhg1+ Kxf4 26. Rgf1+ Kg5 27. Rg1+ Kf4 $11 ) 22. Ne7+ Kh7 23. Rd5 Nb4 (23... Rfb8 {seems like the good choice again, but it seems White still wins, even though it is complicated:} 24. Rf5 (24. Rxh5+ Kg7 25. Nf5+ Kf8 26. g5 (26. Ng5 Bxg5+ 27. Rxg5 Rb2 {and Black will get a draw. }) 26... Bg7 27. Nxg7 (27. Rh7 $2 Rb2 $19) 27... Kxg7 28. Kc2 Rb2+ 29. Kxc3 Rab8 30. Nd2 Ra2 {with enough counterplay for a draw.}) (24. Nc6 hxg4 25. Nxb8 Rxb8 26. Ne1 Rb2 27. Nd3 Nb4 28. Nxb4 cxb4 29. Rg1 b3 30. Rxg4 Bg7 $11) 24... Bxe7 (24... Rb2 25. Nd5 {seems winning for White since no tactic is working.}) 25. dxe7 Nb4 26. gxh5 $1 Na2+ 27. Kc2 Rb2+ 28. Kd3 c2 29. Ng5+ $1 Kh6 (29... Kg8 30. h6 c1=R 31. Rxc1 Nxc1+ 32. Kc3 Rb6 33. h7+ Kh8 34. Rxf7 Na2+ 35. Kc4 Rb4+ 36. Kxc5 Rc8+ 37. Kd6 Rbb8 38. Ne6 Nc3 39. Nf4 $18) 30. Nxf7+ Kh7 31. Ng5+ Kh6 32. Rf8 $1 c1=Q 33. Rxc1 Nxc1+ 34. Kc4 Rbb8 35. Nf7+ Kg7 36. Nd8 $18) 24. Rxh5+ Kg7 25. Nf5+ Kg8 26. g5 Bd4 27. Rg1 (27. Rd1 $1 {seems stronger to me:} Na2+ $8 (27... Rfb8 28. Ne7+ Kf8 29. Nxd4 cxd4 30. Rxd4 $18) 28. Kb1 Rab8+ 29. Kxa2 Rb2+ 30. Ka3 Rfb8 31. N5xd4 cxd4 32. Nxd4 Rd2 33. Rc1 Rxd4 34. Rxc3 Rxd6 35. Rch3 $18) 27... Rab8 28. g6 Nd3+ $2 ({After} 28... fxg6 29. N5xd4 Nd3+ $1 30. Kc2 cxd4 $1 {White should be better, but it's not entirely clear. It looks like the game should carry on with} 31. Rxg6+ Kf7 32. Rhh6 Nb4+ 33. Kd1 d3 34. Ne5+ Ke8 35. f4 Rb7 36. Rg3 $16) 29. Kc2 Nf4 30. N3xd4 cxd4 31. Rh8+ Kxh8 32. g7+ Kg8 33. gxf8=Q+ (33. Ne7+ Kh7 34. gxf8=N+ $8 (34. gxf8=Q $2 Rb2+ 35. Kd1 $8 Rb1+ $11) 34... Rxf8 35. Rg4 Ne6 36. Nc6 $18 {Total domination! I don't know whether Anand failed to realize that Ne7+ matters, or whether he simply missed the knight promotion! I suppose the first option is much more probable.}) 33... Kxf8 34. Nxd4 Nd5 $6 (34... Rb2+ $8 35. Kxc3 Rb6 {and Black will recover a pawn, which is not entirely lost, though it should be.}) (34... Rb6 35. Rb1 $1 $18) 35. Nb5 $5 (35. Rb1 $18) 35... Rc8 36. Rg4 a5 37. Nc7 $1 Nxc7 38. Rc4 Ke8 39. dxc7 1-0

Tiebreak games

Time control: four minutes plus three seconds increment as of first move

The tiebreak to decide the top prize between Magnus Carlsen and Vasily Ivanchuk was set at a mini-match of two blitz games played at four minutes plus a three-second increment per move. In the event of a draw, a final armageddon game would decide it.


The first blitz went down to the last seconds

The first game was a complicated affair, and both players felt the tension, though neither was ever clearly won at any moment. It ended in a draw when they were down to the lst seconds, playing off their increments.


Eventually the result was clear...


...and the players shook hands.

[Event "4th Final Master Playoff"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2011.10.11"] [Round "1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2823"] [BlackElo "2765"] [PlyCount "157"] [EventDate "2011.10.11"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. Qc2 Bb7 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Qxc3 d6 8. g3 Nbd7 9. Bg2 a5 10. b3 O-O 11. O-O Qb8 12. Re1 Re8 13. Bb2 Be4 14. Bf1 e5 15. Nd2 exd4 16. Qxd4 Bc6 17. e4 b5 18. cxb5 Bxb5 19. Bg2 Ne5 20. Rad1 Nd3 21. Re3 Nxb2 22. Qxb2 Ng4 23. Rc3 Qb6 24. Nc4 Bxc4 25. Rxc4 Rab8 26. Rc3 Re7 27. Qc2 g6 28. h3 Nf6 29. Kh2 h5 30. f4 Qb5 31. Rd4 Qb6 32. Qd3 Rbe8 33. e5 dxe5 34. fxe5 Nh7 35. Rc6 Qa7 36. Qc4 Nf8 37. Ra6 Qb8 38. Ra8 Qb6 39. Ra6 Qb8 40. Bc6 Rxe5 41. Bxe8 Qxe8 42. Rd2 Ne6 43. Rf2 Qd7 44. Qc3 Nd4 45. Raf6 Rf5 46. R6xf5 Nxf5 47. Rd2 Qe7 48. Rf2 Qxa3 49. g4 Qd6+ 50. Kg2 Nh4+ 51. Kg1 hxg4 52. hxg4 Qd1+ 53. Kh2 Qxg4 54. Qg3 Qxg3+ 55. Kxg3 Nf5+ 56. Kf4 Nd4 57. Rb2 Ne6+ 58. Ke5 Kg7 59. Ra2 g5 60. Rxa5 Kg6 61. Ra8 Kg7 62. b4 Nf4 63. Kf5 Ne6 64. Rc8 g4 65. Kxg4 Kf6 66. Kf3 Ke5 67. Ke3 Kd5 68. Kd3 f5 69. Rh8 Nf4+ 70. Ke3 Ke5 71. b5 Ne6 72. Kd3 Kd5 73. Kc3 Kc5 74. Re8 Nf4 75. Re5+ Nd5+ 76. Kd3 c6 77. bxc6 Kxc6 78. Rxf5 Kd6 79. Ke4 1/2-1/2


Magnus displays his deep concerns prior to the start of the second and last blitz


Leontxo and his colleague note it


Even participants such as Aronian were reduced to mere spectators for the final showdown

In the second game, Carlsen managed to create threats to Ivanchuk's king, and after a bit of back and forth play, due to the very little time left at this stage (each had less than a minute), Magnus's attack gained momentum, and the Ukrainian finally resigned with the engines declaring it a mate in eight.


In the end, Carlsen built a mating attack to take the title


The displays made sure no one missed a thing

[Event "4th Final Master Playoff"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2011.10.11"] [Round "2"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2765"] [BlackElo "2823"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2011.10.11"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Be3 Qe7 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. Bxc5 Qxc5 8. Nc3 O-O 9. O-O Rb8 10. Qd2 Qe7 11. b3 c5 12. h3 d6 13. Nh2 Nh5 14. Nd5 Qd8 15. Rae1 Be6 16. Nc3 f5 17. exf5 Bxf5 18. f3 Bg6 19. Rf2 Qh4 20. Nd5 Rf7 21. Qc3 c6 22. Ne3 Nf4 23. Qd2 Rbf8 24. Nd1 h5 25. Nc3 Bf5 26. Ne2 Ne6 27. Qe3 Rf6 28. Kh1 Rg6 29. Rg1 Nc7 30. Rgf1 Nd5 31. Qd2 Rgf6 32. Nc3 Nf4 33. Ne4 Rg6 34. Rg1 Qd8 35. Nf1 Qe7 36. Nfg3 d5 37. Nxf5 Rxf5 38. Nc3 Qh4 39. Kh2 Qg3+ 0-1


Carlsen gives a small interview after it is over

A fantastic comeback for Magnus Carlsen, confirming once again that he is never to be counted out, and his two decisive victories over tournament leader Ivanchuk, showcased his incredible fighting spirit once again.


The tournament volunteers and staff


The president of the Spanish Chess Federation and the Chief Arbiter


Ivanchuk receives a little green man as his trophy


A proud Magnus Carlsen with his Basque beret and trophy


A video report of the final round courtesy of liveteleshows & Vijay Kumar

Pictures by Pascal Simon 



Final standings with Bilbao scoring

Final standings with traditional scoring

Schedule and results

Round 1: Monday, September 26, 15:00h
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Round 2: Tuesday, September 27, 15:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Round 3: Wednesday, September 28, 15:00h
Viswanathan Anand 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Francisco Vallejo 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 4: Friday, September 30, 15:00h
Levon Aronian 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Francisco Vallejo 
0-1
 Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Games Report
Round 5: Saturday, October 1, 15:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Games Report
Round 6: Thursday, October 6, 16:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Round 7: Friday, October 7, 16:00h
Francisco Vallejo 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen 
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Round 8: Saturday, October 8, 16:30h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Round 9: Monday, October 10, 16:30h
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Francisco Vallejo 
1-0
 Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Viswanathan Anand
Round 10: Tuesday, October 11, 16:30h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen 

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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Copyright ChessBase


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register