Bilbao Masters: Girschuk beats Aronian

9/6/2009 – The II Grand Slam Final Chess Master 2009 has begun, in Bilbao, Spain. In the first round a well-prepared Alexei Shirov played an Anti-Moscow and drew in 24 moves with black against Sergey Karjakin. Top seed Levon Aronian was smoothly outplayed by Russian GM Alexander Grischuk. There is a special scoring system in place, which sees Grischuk in the lead with three points. Illustrated report.

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The II Grand Slam Final Chess Masters 2009 is being held in Bilbao from September 6th to September 12th, on the same stage that hosted the 2008 Bilbao Masters Final. The great glass cube in the Bilbao Plaza Nueva (central square) make it possible for a tournament of such prestige to be played outdoors. The four players competing in the Bilbao Final of the "Grand Slam" circuit are Sergey Karjakin, the winner of Wijk ann Zee, Alexander Grischuk, winner of Ciudad de Linares, Alexei Shirov, winner in Sofia, and Levon Aronian, second-place winner of Nanking – since Veselin Topalov, the winner of Nanking, has refused the invitation to play the Final.

The games start at 17:00h CEST (= 19:00h Moscow, 16:00h London, 11 a.m. New York), with a rate of play of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 extra seconds per move from move number 41. The “Sofia Rule” is enforced, which means that players are not allowed to agree a draw without arbiter's permission. In case both players request it, the arbiter will make his decision after consulting with a technical assistant. The final standings will be determined according to the following criteria: players get three points for winning a match, one point for drawing and zero points for losing (the “Bilbao’s Rule”). The full schedule and results are given below.


Round 1: Sunday, 6th September 2009
Sergey Karjakin 
1-1
 Alexei Shirov
Alexander Grischuk 
3-0
 Levon Aronian


he Mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna, executes the first move in Grischuk-Aronian


The round one game is under way in the Plaza Nueva "aquarium"

Grischuk,A (2733) - Aronian,L (2773) [D43]
2nd Grand Slam Masters Bilbao ESP (1), 06.09.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.Bxg4 Rg8 13.Nxd7 Qxd7 14.Bf3 0-0-0 15.Qd2

15...Rxg3!? An exchange sacrifice designed to gain the initiative and degrade White's minor pieces. But Grischuk knows his way around this Anti-Moscow variation, which he generally plays extremely well. 16.fxg3 e5 17.0-0-0 Qxd4 18.g4 Nd7 19.Qxd4 exd4 20.Rxd4 Bg7 21.Rdd1 Rg8 22.g5 Ne5 23.gxh6 Bxh6+ 24.Kb1 b4 25.Ne2 c5 26.Rd6 Bg7 27.Rhd1 Kc7 28.Nf4 Rh8 29.h5 Bc6 30.R6d2 Bh6

Now things are looking really quite bad for Black, and Grischuk makes no mistakes while bringing home the bacon. 31.Nd5+ Kb8 32.Rf2 Ba4 33.Rdf1 Nd3 34.Re2 Ne5 35.Rh1 a5 36.Rf2 Bd7 37.Be2 Be6 38.Nf4 Bc8 39.Rd1 Bb7 40.Nd5 Re8 41.Rf6 Re6 42.Rdf1 Bg7 43.R6f5 Nd3 44.Rxf7 Bd4 45.Rd7 Re8 46.Rff7 Bc6 47.Rde7 Rd8 48.b3 Ne5 49.Rf5 cxb3 50.Rfxe5 bxa2+ 51.Kxa2 Rf8 52.R5e6 1-0. [Click to replay]



Shirov vs Karjakin, with the public able to watch at close range

The oldest player, Alexei Shirov surprised the youngest, Sergey Karjakin, by playing the Dragon, something rarely seen from him in recent years. The draw came after just 24 moves, when a repetition was clearly intended.

Karjakin,Sergey (2722) - Shirov,A (2730) [B78]
2nd Grand Slam Masters Bilbao ESP (1), 06.09.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.exd5 a5 16.a3 Kg8 17.Rhe1 Rc5 18.g4 b4 19.axb4 axb4 20.Qxb4 Qa8

Shirov has sacrificed a pawn and now dares Karjakin to take the second one (with 21.Rxe7. The Ukrainian decides the risk against an obviously well-prepared opponent is too great and politely declines. 21.Kd2 Rb8 22.Ra1 Rxd5+ 23.Ke3 Re5+ 24.Kd2 draw. [Click to replay]


Playing in the sound-proof glass cabin in Bilbao


Levon Aronian fretting after his move 44...Bd4


Alexander Grischuk ponders his response to this move

'
Levon Aronian and Alexander Grischuk in the press conference


In the lead after round: Russian GM Alexander Grischuk

Standings

Player
games
wins
draws
losses
points
Alexander Grischuk 
1
1
0
0
3
Sergei Karjakin
1
0
1
0
1
Alexei Shirov
1
0
1
0
1
Levón Aronián
1
0
0
1
0

Scoring System:
3 - Points per win
1 - Point per draw
0 - Point per loss

Schedule and results

Round 1: Sunday, 6th September 2009
Sergey Karjakin 
1-1
 Alexei Shirov
Alexander Grischuk 
3-0
 Levon Aronian
Round 2: Monday, 7th September 2009
Levon Aronian 
 Sergey Karjakin
Alexander Grischuk 
 Alexei Shirov
Games – Report
Round 3: Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Sergey Karjakin 
 Alexander Grischuk
Alexei Shirov 
 Levon Aronian
Games – Report
Round 4: Thursday, 10 September 2009
Alexei Shirov 
 Sergey Karjakin
Levon Aronian 
 Alexander Grischuk
Games – Report
Round 5: Friday, 11 September 2009
Alexander Grischuk 
 
 Sergey Karjakin
Levon Aronian 
 
 Alexei Shirov
Games – Report
Round 6: Saturday, 12 September 2009
Sergey Karjakin 
 
 Levon Aronian
Alexei Shirov 
 
 Alexander Grischuk
Games – Report

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 the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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