Bilbao Final: Anand first, Aronian second

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/20/2014 – The last round of the tournament in the Grand Slam Final in Bilbao finished with two pretty positional wins by the White pieces. Aronian took out Anand after a couple of inaccuracies by the Indian left his king too weak in a major piece endgame. Vallejo's intrepid c-pawn lunged all the way to c6 where it squashed Ponomariov's position. Last round report.

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2014 Bilbao Masters Final

This super-GM double round robin tournament is being played September 14th until September 20th, 2014.

The players – Levon Aronian (Armenia), Viswanathan Anand (India), Rulsan Ponomariov (Ukraine) and Francisco "Paco" Vallejo Pons (Spain).

The tournament is being held alongisde the European Club Cup, which we will have reports for separately. The average rating of this event is 2754, making it a category 21.

The event is being scored in the "soccer" format: three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss.

Round Six

Round 06 –September 20, 2014
Aronian, Levon 2804
Anand, Vishy 2785
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717

Spectators gather to watch the final game

The last round of the tournament saw two games in which White was able to exploit their positional advantage. In Aronian-Anand a tiny slip by the Indian player caused him to be slightly worse, and although he was close to equality he started slipping near time pressure until eventually his position could not be held any more.

Vallejo Pons (above) won his first game of the event by squashing Ponomariov's position. The Ukrainian had trouble deciding what to do with a sacrificial pawn on c5, and leaving it alone was not the correct solution. That pawn when all the way to c6, clamping down Black's position and the Spaniard cleaned up without difficulties.

Anand still had a strong showing and he won the tournament, but because of this loss he falls to number six in the live rating list. Currently Places 3-6 are only 8 points away:

Last update: 20 September 2014, 17:38 GMT

Name Rating 
2 1
3 3
4 2
5 1
6 1
7 4
9 2
10 2

Information taken from and updated just after the ECC and Bilbao rounds finished today

Aronian goes back to fourth, trying to get back to 2800.
He had a much needed good performance in Bilbao.

The players trying to remember the Ramirez-Cornette game

Photos by Manu de Alba from Bilbao's Facebook site

Round Six Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games



Round 01 – September 14, 2014
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Aronian, Levon 2804
Anand, Vishy 2785
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717
Round 02 –September 15, 2014
Aronian, Levon 2804
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Anand, Vishy 2785
Round 03 –September 16, 2014
Anand, Vishy 2785
Aronian, Levon 2804
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Round 04 –September 18, 2014
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717
Aronian, Levon 2804
Anand, Vishy 2785
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Round 05 –September 19, 2014
Aronian, Levon 2804
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717
Anand, Vishy 2785
Round 06 –September 20, 2014
Aronian, Levon 2804
Anand, Vishy 2785
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server 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.


Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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VVI VVI 9/23/2014 04:34
Sharpnova should learn the "abc of chess" and meanwhile should be kicked out from future blogging.
chess_fan1 chess_fan1 9/22/2014 12:27
@sharpnova : And why is an insult that Anand is the Challenger to Carlsen?...... You must be somebody who knows nothing of Chess to loose talk a Former World Champ (who has the respect of even the present world Champ - Carlsen states "To be honest I've learnt a lot from him (Anand) in the past, both playing against him and especially while training with him ") who has legitimately won the right to challenge Carlsen.
sharpnova sharpnova 9/22/2014 07:41
@Michael Ogunnira

Not really. Top two distance themselves.

The distance between #2 and #3 is bigger than the difference between #6 and #7.

It's an insult to the chess world that Anand is participating in this world championship match.

Obviously it should be Caruana. And to be honest, I think Caruana might be the strongest in the world right now.

I won't discuss this further.
Michael Ogunnira Michael Ogunnira 9/22/2014 01:52
Here is what October 2014 Rating list will look like

1 Carlsen 2863

2 Caruana 2844

3 Topalov 2800

4 Aronian 2798

5 Grischuk 2797

6 Anand 2792

All the Top 6 players in the world will have their Live Ratings round-up. Possibly first time such rating gain will occur. Numbers 2, 3, 4, & 5 are the luckiest earning additional 0.4 and 0.5 points in the process.

What a drastic change at the top - in just 1 month.

World No 7 is far behind at 2768. Top 6 players seem to distance themselves from the rest of the world.
Sanchito Banerje Sanchito Banerje 9/21/2014 11:52
nice win by Anand . would have been nice to see him end on a solid note .. but a win is a win i guess .. now full steam ahead to the WCs!