Bilbao Masters 02: Time Pressure Reigns

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/16/2014 – Today's games might have gone differently in the main stage at Bilbao had the players managed their time differently. Especially unlucky was Vallejo Pons who blundered the game against Anand "basically in one move". Aronian kept the pressure up against Ponomariov, who had a respite of only one move. He missed his chance, again in time pressure, and it looks like a two horse race.

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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 Two

Round 02 –September 15, 2014
Aronian, Levon 2804
Ponomariov, Ruslan 2717
Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2712
Anand, Vishy 2785

Two hard fought games finished in a strange way as time trouble got to the players. Anand seemed to outplay Vallejo and had the better position, but White's fortress seemed difficult to crack while his passed pawn on c7 was a real nuisance. In a few moves, however, the Spaniard destroyed his own position and it was all over quicker than anyone could have predicted.

The Spaniard resigns after blundering before move 40

And off to analysis with Spanish commentator Leontxo Garcia

Aronian always held a strong advantage against Ponomariov, and although the game was unclear both players made mistakes in time pressure. First Aronian gave away his advantage to a perpetual, but Ponomariov misse it and it was the Ukrainian's turn to err. Aronian did not forgive and wins his first game of the event.

Aronian tries to keeps pace, and is only 2 points behind Anand

Ponomariov is, unfortunately, 0-2 with the
King's Indian Defense and 0-2 in the tournament

Photos by Manu de Alba from Bilbao's Facebook site

Round Two 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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