São Paulo Rd4 – Fabiano Caruana storms to 3.5/4

by Albert Silver
9/29/2012 – The round saw Fabiano Caruana extend his lead even further with an even more incredible 3.5/4 and a lofty 2785 Elo on the Live Ratings lists. Karjakin was unable to get anything against Anand, while most dramatic game of the day, was Carlsen against Aronian, in which Magnus committed an atrocious blunder that Levon missed. Albert Silver brings the report with numerous pictures.

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São Paulo / Bilbao Grand Slam Final

Round 4: Friday, September 28, 15:00h
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Sergey Karjakin 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand

Round four

Report and pictures by Albert Silver


This is one of the many views to be seen within the huge and lovely Ibirapuera Park

Blue sky. This was my first thought upon greeting the day. After miserable cold, and dreary grey skies, here was a chance to take some pictures of this beautiful park. To be honest, the day was still quite chill, but the appearance of the sun made it much more bearable.


The park is inhabited by flocks of black swans


The ever friendly Cathy and Ian Rogers, covering the event for their part of the world


Schools schedule regular field trips to the park for cultural activities
as there are also several museums and exhibits to be found within.


The visits included seeing the elite chess tournament. The newest generation, all aged
between five and seven, came equipped with smartphones, digital cameras and tablets
to take pictures and share on social networks.

The round saw the continuing surprise leader, Italian Fabiano Caruana, extend his lead even further with an even more incredible 3.5/4 and a lofty 2785 Elo on the Live Ratings lists.


A determined Fabiano Caruana came ready for battle

It is true that one could almost say it was expected of him, as he was white against the lowest rated player in the field, but to presume a win against a player rated 2700 would be kind of mad. Paco chose to challenge Caruana with the French Defense, and Fabiano opted for the Advance variation. It was a dangerous choice for the Spaniard as a single imprecision was all it took to reach a lost position. While the Italian missed the surgical win, he did get his due.


Fans came for autographs


Visiting spectators watch the players through the glass panes

[Event "5th Final Masters"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2012.09.28"] [Round "4"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C02"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2697"] [PlyCount "47"] [EventDate "2012.09.24"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. a3 Nh6 7. b4 cxd4 8. cxd4 Nf5 9. Be3 Bd7 10. Bd3 Nxe3 11. fxe3 g6 12. Nc3 Nxb4 13. axb4 Bxb4 14. O-O Bxc3 15. Rc1 Rc8 $2 {A decisive mistake.} (15... Bb4 {was preferable. If} 16. Ng5 Be7 17. Nxf7 O-O $1 {with a balanced position.}) 16. Ng5 O-O 17. Qg4 Bd2 18. Qh3 h5 19. Rxc8 $2 {An error as White had a clear-cut path to the goal.} (19. Rcd1 {was the move.} Qb4 20. g4 $1 {with a decisive attack.}) 19... Bxc8 20. Qf3 Qd8 $2 (20... Qc7 {was forced, but that is easy to say with an engine to consult.} 21. Bxg6 Bxe3+ $1 (21... fxg6 22. Qxf8#) 22. Qxe3 fxg6 23. Rf6 Qc2 $1 $11) 21. Nxf7 $1 Bxe3+ 22. Kh1 $1 Qh4 23. Bxg6 Bg5 24. Bh7+ 1-0


Magnus Carlsen steals a glance to see what Anand and Karjakin open with


Sergey Karjakin focused on the starting struggle

Karjakin seemed to get a potentially menacing position against Anand, but the world champion kept things under tight control and a draw was agreed.


Magnus Carlsen has been having trouble keeping the pressure to the end

The final, and most dramatic game of the day, was Magnus Carlsen against Levon Aronian, the world number one against the world number two. At first it seemed as if the game would be a quiet grind between the two, but the Armenian showed he had other plans and promptly began lining up his heavy pieces as if ready to start the assault. While impressive looking on the surface, White’s positions was perfectly solid, and there was no reason to get overly concerned… except that Magnus then gave Levon his dream chance in time trouble and found himself staring at a mating line. To his infinite relief, Aronian missed it, and the game then steered toward calmer waters.


Carlsen reveals to Aronian the missed win

However, as he mentioned in the press conference after it was over, though a person should be able to put this sort of thing behind him, the truth is that he was shaking in his boots for the remainder. As someone who saw him after this dance with disaster, I can only say that he would make a fine poker player.


In spite of the nerve-wracking revelation, Aronian was always ready to pose for pictures
or sign an autograph.

[Event "5th Final Masters"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2012.09.28"] [Round "4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2843"] [BlackElo "2816"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2012.09.24"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Be6 7. O-O Bd6 8. b3 Nd7 9. Nc4 Bxc4 10. bxc4 O-O 11. Rb1 b6 12. g3 f5 13. exf5 Rxf5 14. Qe2 Nc5 15. Be3 Ne6 16. Nd2 Qf6 17. Qg4 Rf8 18. Ne4 Qf7 19. a4 h5 20. Qe2 Be7 21. a5 Qg6 22. axb6 axb6 23. Kh1 Rf3 24. Rbe1 Bb4 25. Ra1 Qg4 26. Qd1 Qh3 27. Bf4 $4 { Amazing! In a bit of time trouble, Carlsen blunders and the game is now in Aronian's hands. In fact had he seen the move, the Live Ratings might look awfully crowded at the top spot with only a whisker to separate the two.} Bc3 $4 {With even less time than Magnus, Levon chooses to play quickly and 'solidly' and misses his golden opportunity.} ({Black had the crushing} 27... R8xf4 28. gxf4 (28. Ra8+ Bf8) 28... Nxf4 29. Ra8+ {In a flash, the Armenian had seen this and then} Kh7 {(or Kf7)} ({Instead he simply missed that after} 29... Bf8 {White is getting mated.}) 30. Ng5+) 28. Qxf3 Bxa1 29. Qg2 Qf5 30. Bd2 Bd4 31. h3 Bc5 32. Bc3 Be7 33. Re1 b5 34. Kg1 b4 35. Bb2 Bd6 36. h4 Be7 37. Kh2 Ra8 38. Ra1 Rxa1 39. Bxa1 Nc5 40. Nd2 Bf6 41. Bb2 b3 42. Nxb3 Nxb3 43. cxb3 Qxd3 44. Qxc6 Qc2 45. Qe8+ Kh7 46. Qxh5+ Kg8 47. Qe8+ Kh7 48. Qh5+ 1/2-1/2

Photos by Albert Silver and official site

Traditional crosstable after four rounds

Bilbao crosstable after four rounds

Playchess commentary schedule

Date
Round
Commentator
29.09.2012
round 05
Trent
08.10.2012
round 06
D‘Costa
09.10.2012
round 07
King
10.10.2012
round 08
King
11.10.2012
rest day
12.10.2012
round 09
King
13.10.2012
round 10
D'Costa

Schedule and results

Round 1: Monday, September 24, 15:00h
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Sergey Karjakin
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 2: Tuesday, September 25, 15:00h
Francisco Vallejo 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Sergey Karjakin 
0-1
 Fabiano Caruana
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Round 3: Wednesday, September 26, 15:00h
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin
Round 4: Friday, September 28, 15:00h
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Sergey Karjakin 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Round 5: Saturday, September 29, 15:00h
Francisco Vallejo 
   Sergey Karjakin
Viswanathan Anand 
   Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
   Fabiano Caruana

São Paulo partners


 

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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