Bilbao Masters: Girschuk strikes again, beats Shirov

9/8/2009 – Alexander Grischuk, fresh from victory in the Moscow Blitz tournament, is on a rampage in the Grand Slam Final in Bilbao. The Russian grandmaster won his second game, this time with fine endgame play against Alexei Shirov. Meanwhile Levon Aronian struck out against an ill-prepared Sergey Karjakin to put three Bilbao points behind his name. Round two report.

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The II Grand Slam Final Chess Masters 2009

The II Grand Slam Final Chess Masters 2009 is being held in Bilbao from September 6th to September 12th, in a sound-proof glass cube in the Bilbao Plaza Nueva (central square). The four players competing: 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. 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. The prize fund is 110,000 Euros. The full schedule and results of the tournament are given below.


Round 2: Monday, 7th September 2009
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Sergey Karjakin
Alexander Grischuk 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov

Aronian-Karjakin was a rare Rubinstein Variation of the Nimzo Indian which the 19-year-old Ukrainian thoroughly mishandled.

Aronian,L (2773) - Karjakin,Sergey (2722) [E55]
2nd Grand Slam Masters Bilbao ESP (2), 07.09.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 d5 7.0-0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.Qe2 b6 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.exd4 Bb7 12.d5 Bxc3 13.dxe6 Bxf3 14.gxf3 fxe6 15.bxc3 Qc7 16.Ba3 Nc5 17.Rd4 Kh8 18.Re1 Rac8 19.Qe5 Qf7 20.Bc1 Nd5 [Fritz prefers 20...Qg6+ 21.Qg5 Qc2=] 21.Bxd5 exd5 22.Qxd5 Qxf3 23.Qxf3 Rxf3

24.Re7! White offers a pawn in return for the seventh-rank. 24...Rxc3? Once again our resident electronic grandmaster advocates leaving the pawn untouched and defending with 24...Kg8. 25.Be3 Ra3 26.Rg4 h5

27.Rg5! (27.Rgxg7 Rg8 would lead to a very drawish position) 27...h4. Fritz gives the amusing line 27...Rd8 28.Rxh5+ Kg8 29.Rg5 Kh8 30.Rgxg7 Rg8 31.Bd4 Rxg7+ 32.Rxg7 Rd3 33.Bb2 Rd2 (the rook will hound the bishop) 34.Bc3 Rd3 35.Rg3+ Kh7 36.Rxd3 Nxd3 with good drawing chances. 28.Bd4 Kh7 29.Rgxg7+. Just for the record: 29.Rexg7+ was mate in nine: 29...Kh6 30.Rg4 Rh3 31.R7g6+ Kh7 32.R6g5 Kh6 33.Bg7+ Kh7 34.Bf8 Rg3+ 35.fxg3 Rc6 36.Rxh4+ Rh6 37.Rxh6#. 29...Kh6 30.Bb2

... and young Sergey Karjakin resigned, leaving the big glass cube, which was designed for at least four boards, looking empty with just one game in progress. 1-0. [Click to replay]


Alexander Grischuk kibitzes in the game Karjakin vs Aronian


The "long game" of the day saw Alexander Grischuk turn a Semi-Slav Meran into an endgame with a small advantage, which he then masterfully converted into a full point – against endgame artist Alexei Shirov!

Grischuk,A (2733) - Shirov,A (2730) [D47]
2nd Grand Slam Masters Bilbao ESP (2), 07.09.2009
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.e4 b4 10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5 12.0-0 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Be7 14.Re1 0-0 15.Qg4 Re8 16.Bb5 Kh8 17.Bd2 a6 18.Bc6 Qc7 19.Rac1 Nxe5 20.Bxb7 Nxg4 21.Rxc7 Nxc7 22.Bxa8 Rxa8 23.Nc6 Nd5 24.Nxe7 Nxe7 25.Bxb4

White has a long-range piece and can try something with his queenside majority, but the position certainly looks drawish, especially with a man like Shirov defending. 25...Nd5 26.Bd2 Rc8 27.Rc1 Rxc1+ 28.Bxc1 Ne5 29.Nc5 Nb4 30.b3 Nxa2 31.Bb2 Nc6 32.Nxa6 Kg8 33.Kf1 f6 34.Ke2 Nab4 35.Nxb4 Nxb4 36.Ke3 Kf7 37.Kd4 Nc2+ 38.Kc5 Ne1 39.Kc6 Nxg2 40.b4 Nf4 41.b5 Nd5 42.Kd6 Kg6 43.Bd4 Kg5

Alexander Grischuk has played the position extremely well (replay it and study his technique!). Now he goes in for the final kill: 44.b6 Nxb6 45.Bxb6 e5 46.Ke6 e4 47.Kf7 f5 48.Kxg7 h5 49.Kf7 f4 50.Ke6 Kg4 51.Ke5 Kf3 52.h4!

...and Black is lost, as Alexei Shirov can easily work out in his mind: 52...e3 53.fxe3 fxe3 54.Kf5 e2 55.Ba5 Kg3 56.Kg5. 1-0. [Click to replay]


Alexander Grischuk in the clear lead in Bilbao


Alexei Shirov cannot hear the commentators in the background, outside the glass cabin

Pictures by Manu de Alba for the official website

Video report from Bilbao:

Standings after two rounds

Player
wins
draws
losses
points
Alexander Grischuk 
2
0
0
6
Levon Aronian
1
0
1
3
Sergey Karjakin
0
1
1
1
Alexei Shirov
0
1
1
1
 
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 
1-0
 Sergey Karjakin
Alexander Grischuk 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
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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