Bilbao R4: Topalov topples Anand, Carlsen #1 in the world

9/5/2008 – When was the last time we saw Anand resign a game in just 25 moves? It happened, in round four of the Chess Grand Slam Final in Spain against Veselin Topalov. Levon Aronian defeated Vassily Ivanchuk and Magnus Carlsen, still ailing from his Moscow bug, defeated Teimour Radjabov. Topalov leads in Bilbao, but Carlsen is now number one in the world live rankings. Full pictorial report.

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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 four report

Round 4: Friday, 5th September 2008
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Vishy Anand


Vishy Anand and Veselin Topalov at the start of their round four game


In the "aquarium" Vassily Ivanchuk takes a keen interest in the key game


Magnus Carlsen stops by to check things out


Anand looks pensive one move after Topalov's novelty

Topalov,V (2777) - Anand,V (2798) [E15]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (4), 05.09.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.d5 exd5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rd1 Qc8 11.a3 Nf6

12.Bg5N. The new move. 12.Nc3 d5 13.Bg5 d4 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Ne4 was played in Rodshtein,M (2517) - Pashikian,A (2527), Yerevan 2006, where White on in 34 moves, and 12.Nc3 d5 13.Bg5 Nbd7 14.e4 d4 15.e5 in the receint Kramnik-Leko, Tal Memorial, 2008, which ended in a 28-move draw. We are told that Topalov's novelty was found by Spanish GM Paco Vallejo Pons, who used to work with Anand.

12...d5 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Nc3 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Na6 16.Nh4 g6 17.Bxd5 Bxd5 18.Rxd5 0-0 19.Rad1 Nc7 20.Rd7 Ne6 21.Qe4 Qe8 22.Nf3 c4 23.Qh4 Nc5 24.Re7 25.Rf1

And now if 25...Qc6 26.Ng5 h5 27.Nxf7 Rxf7 28.Rxf7 Kxf7 29.Qxd8+–. 1-0. The entire game was played by Topalov with the utmost precision. He probably had most of it on his Fritz or Rybka computer screen in his home preparation (both programs reproduce every white move after the novelty). Excellent preparation once again by former FIDE world champion Topalov, a painful defeat for the current champion Vishy Anand.


Victorious: Veselin Topalov, the battling Bulgar


The most exciting game of the day, next to the Topalov-Anand shocker, was the battle royale between the two youngest players: Magnus Carlsen, 17, and Teimour Radjabov, 21. The latter played the "Chinese Dragon" against Carlsen and looked okay after the opening – even to the extent of having winning chances.


Alone against a bottle of orange juice: Teimour Radjabov in his explosive game...


...against Magnus Carlsen, who does not let a virus from Moscow daunt his fighting spirit

Carlsen,M (2775) - Radjabov,T (2744) [B78]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (4), 05.09.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rb8 11.Bb3 Na5 12.Kb1 b5 13.h4 Nc4 14.Bxc4 bxc4 15.Ka1 h5 16.Rb1 Qa5 17.Bh6 Bxh6 18.Qxh6 Rb6

19.g4. Magnus said this was a serious oversight and that he had missed the strength of the black defence: 19...hxg4 20.Qe3 Rfb8 21.h5 g5 (our materialistic chess engines prefer 21...Nxh5 22.fxg4 Bxg4 23.Rh4 Bd7 etc.). 22.fxg4 Nxg4 23.Qd2 f6 24.Nf3 Ra6 25.Rhg1 Rb4 26.a3 Be6

27.e5! Black can still defend, but it requires an inordinate amout of calculation and the players are drifting into time trouble. 27...dxe5? The computer says Black must find 27...Kh8 in order to survive. 28.Nxg5! Bf5 (28...fxg5 29.Qxg5+ Kf8 30.h6 wins for White). 22.fxg4 Nxg4 23.Qd2 f6 24.Nf3 Ra6 25.Rhg1 Rb4 26.a3 Be6 27.e5 dxe5 28.Nxg5 Bf5 29.Nge4 Kh7 30.Qe2 Nh6 31.Rg3 Be6

Here White had 32.Qg2, winning instantly. 32.Rg6 Nf5? 32...Bf5 would have allowed Black to last longer. Now Carlsen finishes him oft with ruthless tactical shots. 33.Qg4 Nh4 34.Ng5+ fxg5 35.Qxg5 Nxg6 36.Qxg6+ Kh8 37.Rg1 and it is mate in ten. 1-0. Beautiful fighting spirit displayed by both players.


Spotted: Henrik Carlsen, worrying at the back of the crowd


Boris Radjabov (and two young Spanish fans) follow the game



Levon Aronian, set to win his round four game against Vassily Ivanchuk

Aronian,L (2737) - Ivanchuk,V (2781) [D27]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (4), 05.09.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 e6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 a6 7.a4 Nc6 8.Qe2 Qc7 9.Rd1 Be7 10.dxc5 0-0 11.b3 Ne4 12.Ba3 Rd8 13.Rxd8+ Qxd8 14.Qc2 Nxc5 15.Nbd2 Nd7 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.Rd1 Nf6 18.Ne4 Nd5 19.Bxd5 exd5 20.Nc3 Be6 21.h3 h6 22.Qb1 Nb4 23.Ne2 Rc8 24.Nf4 Qc5 25.Nd4 Bd7 26.g4 a5 27.Kg2 b6 28.Kg1 Qd6 29.Qb2 Rc5 30.Nf3 Qe7 31.Nd4 Qe5 32.Qe2 Qe7 33.Qf3 Qe5 34.Nfe2 Kf8 35.Nf4 Kg8 36.Nfe2 Kf8 37.Kg2 Kg8 38.Nf4 Rc3 39.Qg3 Rc5 40.h4 g6 41.Kh2 Qc7 42.g5 h5 43.Nfe2 Kf8 44.Qxc7 Rxc7 45.Kg2 Ke7 46.Kf1 Bg4 47.f3 Bd7 48.Ke1 Rc8 49.Kd2 Rc7 50.Nc3 Rc5 51.Rf1 Bc8 52.f4 Ba6 53.Rf3

Aronian did well in the opening, Ivanchuk fought back and gained an approximately equal position at the time control. Then inaccuracies started to creep in and now Black is on the defensive. 53...Nd3? We said on the defensive – how about 53...Rc8 instead? 54.Ncb5 Nb4 55.f5 Nc6 56.fxg6 fxg6 57.Rf6 Bxb5 58.Nxb5 Ne5 59.Nd4 Kd7. Now White picks off two pawns. 60.Rxb6 Rc8 61.Rb5 Kd6 62.Rxa5 Rf8 63.Ra6+ Kd7 64.Rf6 Rxf6 65.gxf6. With passers on both wings the rest is simple. 65...Ke8 66.a5 Kf7 67.a6 Nd7 68.a7 Nb6 69.Kc3 Kxf6 70.Kb4 1-0.


17:45:25h: Vassily Ivanchuk during his round four game against Aronian

All pictures by Nadja Woisin in Bilbao

Bilbao scores

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

Traditional scores (for rating purposes)

Magnus Carlsen number one on Live Ratings

With his round four victory in Bilbao, and assisted by Anand's loss to Topalov, Magnus Carlsen climbs to the number one position in the world – on the Live Rating List that ranks all players over 2700 on a daily basis. Here are the standings on September 5, 2008, at 21:37 CET

# Player
live rtg
change
games
events
born
01 Magnus Carlsen
2791.3
+16.3
25
3
1990
02 Vishy Anand
2790.9
-7.1
4
1
1969
03 Alexander Morozevich
2787.0
-1
9
1
1977
04 Veselin Topalov
2786.2
+9.2
4
1
1975
05 Vassily Ivanchuk
2781.8
+0.8
44
5
1969
06 Vladimir Kramnik
2771.9
-16.1
16
2
1975
07 Levon Aronian
2754.1
+17.1
17
2
1982
08 Teimour Radjabov
2749.5
+5.5
17
2
1987
09 Peter Leko
2746.6
+5.6
16
2
1979
10 Wang Yue
2735.5
+31.5
23
2
1987

Note that Magnus is just 0.4 points ahead of Vishy Anand, and that the top four players are a maximum of five points apart. Things are getting close at these rarefied altitudes, and will certainly look different at the end of the tournament. But we take time to congratulate the 17-year-old Norwegian on this unique achievement. Magnus, you rock, boy!


The world's number one at the age of 17: Magnus Carlsen, the Mozart of Chess


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 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
 
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
 
 Levon Aronian
Games – Report
Round 6: Monday, 8th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
 
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
 
 Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen 
 
 Levon Aronian
Games – Report
Round 7: Tuesday, 9th September 2008
Magnus Carlsen 
 
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
 
 Vishy Anand
Games – Report
Round 8: Wednesday, 10th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
 
 Teimour Radjabov
Vishy Anand 
 
 Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov 
 
 Magnus Carlsen
Games – Report
Round 9: Friday, 12th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
 
 Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov 
 
 Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 10: Saturday, 13th September 2008
Veselin Topalov 
 
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
 
 Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian 
 
 Teimour Radjabov
Games – Report

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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