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Bilbao R10: Topalov wins Bilbao, leads in live rankings

9/16/2008 – Veselin Topalov won his final game in Bilbao against Vassily Ivanchuk in fine style, securing first place by a big margin and advancing to number one in the world in the unofficial live rankings. Teimour Radjabov beat Levon Aronian with the black pieces, putting Magnus Carlsen in second place according to the Bilbao system. Anand was a shocking last. Big pictorial report.
 

Grand Slam Chess Final Masters Bilbao

The Chess Grand Slam Final is being staged in Bilbao, Spain, from September 1st to 13th 2008. It is a six-player double round robin event, one of the strongest in the history of the game (at least by Elo average, 2775.6, making it a category 22 tournament). Games start at 17:00h local time (CEST). The scoring system in this tournament is different and experimental. Players get three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for losing a game. For rating purposes the traditional 1-½-0 system will be used. The prize fund for the event is 400,000 Euros, with the winner receiving €150,000, the second place €70,000, etc. with the 6th player getting €30,000. The sums are unprecedented for an event like this. Only World Championships have exceeded the amount.

Round ten report

We apologise for the delay in bringing you this full report. It was caused by a fairly protracted return from Bilbao to Hamburg and a computer virus that struck our otherwise so well-protected system. Some lessons we learnt: don't keep flying Air France just because it is convenient and cheap; and don't let strange Spaniards stick USB sticks into your computer.

Round 10: Saturday, 13th September 2008
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian 
0-1 
 Teimour Radjabov


Anand vs Carlsen and Ivanchuk vs Topalov – round ten is under way

Carlsen,M (2775) - Anand,V (2798) [D13]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (10), 13.09.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4 a6 7.Rc1 Bf5 8.Ne5 Rc8 9.f3. Magnus Carlsen is not willing to go for a draw against his buddy. This aggressive move signals his intention to try for the theoretical chance of catching the tournament leader Topalov. 9...g6 10.g4 Be6 11.e3. After 11.h4 Sargissian-Bacro 2006 ended in a 64-move victory for Black. 11...Bg7 12.h4 h5 13.g5 Nd7 14.Nxc6 Rxc6 15.Bd3 0-0 16.Kf2 Nb6 17.b3 Qd7 18.Qd2 Bf5 19.Bxf5 Qxf5 20.Ne2 Rfc8. Now there is a permanent threat of ...Rc2, which Carlsen has to counter by exchanging off all the rooks. 21.Rxc6 Rxc6 22.Rc1 Nd7 23.Kg2 e5 24.Rxc6 bxc6 25.dxe5 Nxe5 26.Nd4 Qc8 27.Ne2 Qf5 28.Nd4 Qc8 29.Ne2

and draw agreed in an objectively equal position.


Spotted in the audience: Anand's wife Aruna (not the lady in the shades!)



The final game: Vassily Ivanchuk facing Veselin Topalov in round ten


High drama: Magnus Carlsen kibitzes while Ivanchuk suffers against Topalov

Topalov,V (2777) - Ivanchuk,V (2781) [D47]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (10), 13.09.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.a3 Bd6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qc2 h6 12.e4 e5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.h3 a6 16.Be3 c5 17.Bxc5 Re8 18.Rad1 Qc7 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.exd5 Bxb2 21.d6 Qc6 22.f3 Rec8 23.Bh7+ Kh8 24.Be4 Qxc5+ 25.Qxc5 Rxc5 26.Bxb7 Rd8 27.Rfe1 Be5 28.d7 a5 29.f4 Bc7 30.Bd5 Kh7 31.Bxf7 Rf5 32.Ba2 Rxf4 33.Bb1+ Kg8 34.Bg6 Bb6+ 35.Kh1 Bc5

Until now Topalov has been playing this game with his trademark precision – every move the best in the position. Now comes a clear inaccuracy: 36.Rc1? Our chess program, which has agreed with every white move so far, wants to play 36.Rd3+– in the diagram position. It tells us that Topalov has probably thrown away the win with the text move. 36...Bf8 (to counter the threat Re8+ and mate). 37.Red1? Bxa3? Black has an interesting alternative: 37...Rc4!? Waiting in the hotel lobby for a car pickup to the airport the next day we showed this move to Ivanchuk, who fell into a brooding silence. "Yes, maybe it draws," he conceded, moaning softly. After this brief moment of inattention Topalov returns to precision play to take home the full point. 38.Rc8 Rff8 39.Be8! Be7 40.Re1 Bg5 41.g3! The Bulgarian GM must have seen this important point when he played his 39th move (or earlier). 41...a4 42.h4 Bf6 43.Re6 1-0. With this game Veselin Topalov won the tournament by a margin of four Bilbao and 1.5 traditional points, displaying an overall performance of 2874, and catapulting himself to the top of the Live Rating list (see below).


Superb precision play by Veselin Topalov



The start of the critical game that determined the outcome of the tournament

Aronian,L (2737) - Radjabov,T (2744) [A15]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (10), 13.09.2008
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 c6 6.e4 d6 7.h3 e5 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.d3 Re8 10.Rb1 h6 11.Be3 a5 12.d4 exd4 13.Nxd4 Nc5 14.Qc2 a4 15.Rfe1 Nfd7 16.f4 Qa5 17.Bf2 Qb4 18.Bf1 Nb6 19.Red1 Nbd7 20.Re1 Nb6 21.Red1 Nbd7 22.Kh2 Nf6 23.Re1 Bd7 24.b3 axb3 25.axb3 Nh5 26.Red1 f5 27.Bg2 Bf6 28.Nde2 fxe4 29.Be1 Nd3 30.Nxe4 Nxe1 31.Rxe1 Bf5 32.g4 Bxe4 33.Bxe4 Ng7 34.Bxg6 Re3 35.Rg1 Ra3 36.Rg3 Re7 37.Rg2 Re3 38.Bh7+ Kf7 39.Qg6+ Ke7 40.Bg8 Ne8 41.Ng3 Kd8 42.Qxh6 Qc3 43.Nf5 Rf3 44.Re2 Qd3

Aronian has been playing a good, attacking game and has had clear winning chances. A lot rests on the outcome of this encounter: if he wins, Radjabov is relegated to last place, sparing Vishy Anand the humiliation of this slot. If he loses Magnus Carlsen advances to second place ahead of the Armenian. Levon goes for the second option: 45.Reb2?? Gasps of disbelief in the circle of spectators, especially since this move was played after a long, deliberate ponder. Was there some incredibly deep trick that White had found? No, it was a simple, lose-immediately blunder. 45...Bxb2 46.Rxb2 Ra1. Threatening 47...Qf1 and mate to follow. 47.Qh4+ Kc8 48.Rg2 Qd1 49.Ng3 Rf2 0-1. The one-move threat of ...Qg1 mate cannot be meaningfully parried. Levon emerged from this game and greeted us with a smile and a jest. It is extraordinary how well he takes it, how gracious he is in defeat.

Anatomy of a blunder


Aronian ponders for ages over his 45th move, while Radjabov paces the playing area


Levon Aronian: thinking, thinking, thinking...


Radjabov joins him in pondering what is essentially a lost position for Black


At last Aronian makes his move, 45.Reb2?? Radjabov doesn't understand what is going on


After 45...Bxb2 46.Rxb2 Teimour knows that the 1-0 has been transformed to 0-1


Closeup: Levon stares in disbelief at what he has done...


While Teimour cannot believe that the game has suddenly turned his way


Aronian's second Gabriel Sargissian is dismayed by this unexpected turn of events


Manuel León Hoyos, second of Vassily Ivanchuk, Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov watch the final moves of the game of Aronian-Radjabov in round ten.


The Carlsen clan: Signe, 11, Ingrid, 14, and father Henrik, 44


Special guest and commentator Boris Spassky with his wife Marina


Ladies, ladies: organisers Maite Lopez. Pilar Molina, Anand wife and manager Aruna


Pilar and Maite (actually María Teresa), who look after the players and visitors


Would you believe it? Former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov gets an autograph from Magnus Carlsen


Ingrid and Signe Carlsen get Spanish lessons at breakfast from a Bilbao University student


Boris Spassky is interviewed by a Spanish journalist in the hotel lobby (translator: Pilar)


Late at night: Lev Aronian and his second Gabriel Sargissian in the Sheraton elevator

Photos by Frederic Friedel in Bilbao


The prize giving


Veselin Topalov receives a special Basque beret from the Mayor of Bilbao


Topalov in his first prize hat


The cash prize is a cool 150,000 Euros = US $212,000


Magnus Carlsen picks up 70,000 Euros (US $99,000) for his second place


And he is awarded a metal-and-glass trophy


Levon Aronian receives €60,000 (US $85,000) for his third place


Anand with his 30,000 Euro "consolation" prize (that's over US $42,000)


The players line up with their trophies for a final press photo

Prize-giving photos by Nadja Woisin

Bilbao scores

Player
games
wins
draws 
losses
points
Veselin Topalov
10
4
5
1
17
Magnus Carlsen
10
3
4
3
13
Levon Aronian
10
3
4
3
13
Vassily Ivanchuk
10
2
6
2
12
Teimur Radjabov
10
1
7
2
10
Vishy Anand
10
0
8
2
8

Traditional scores (for rating purposes)

In the unofficial Live Ratings Veselin Topalov is now in first place in the world, ahead of Alexander Morozevich, Magnus Carlsen and Vassily Ivanchuk. Vishy Anand has dropped to fifth place, seven points behind the leader. Eleven points behind Anand is Vladimir Kramnik, and fifteen points behind him Levon Aronian.

# Player
Live rating
diff.
games
events
born
01 Veselin Topalov
2790.6
+13.6
10
1
1975
02 Alex. Morozevich
2787.0
-1
9
1
1977
03 Magnus Carlsen
2786.1
+11.1
31
3
1990
04 Vassily Ivanchuk
2785.6
+4.6
50
5
1969
05 Vishy Anand
2783.2
-14.8
10
1
1969
06 Vladimir Kramnik
2771.9
-16.1
16
2
1975
07 Levon Aronian
2756.8
+19.8
23
2
1982
08 Teimour Radjabov
2751.5
+7.5
23
2
1987
09 Peter Leko
2746.6
+5.6
16
2
1979
10 Wang Yue
2735.5
+31.5
23
2
1987


Video reports and interviews by Europe Echecs

These reports are being produced by Vijay Kumar for the French chess magazine Europe Echecs


Schedule and results

Round 1: Tuesday, 2nd September 2008
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 2: Wednesday, 3rd September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Round 3: Thursday, 4th September 2008
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
 0-1
 Veselin Topalov
Round 4: Friday, 5th September 2008
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Vishy Anand
Round 5: Saturday, 6th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Round 6: Monday, 8th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0 
 Levon Aronian
Round 7: Tuesday, 9th September 2008
Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Round 8: Wednesday, 10th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Vishy Anand 
0-1
 Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 9: Friday, 12th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Round 10: Saturday, 13th September 2008
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian 
0-1 
 Teimour Radjabov

Links

The games are being 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.

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