Bilbao R7: Ivanchuk and Aronian defeat Carlsen and Topalov

9/9/2008 – Both top players in this event suffered shock losses on Tuesday. Magnus Carlsen blamed his downfall in a very sharp game against Vassily Ivanchuk on a single move in the opening. Levon Aronian recovered from his two losses with a miracle cure which he revealed after his convincing victory against Veselin Topalov. Radjabov-Anand ended in an interesting 29-move draw. Round seven 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 seven report

Round 7: Tuesday, 9th September 2008
Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Vishy Anand


Before a critical game – but who are all the people waiting in the background?


They are soccer personalities and an organiser, all cermonially starting the clock

Actually they are Fermin Palomares, vice president of the Athletic Club in Bilbao, Ladies' soccer star Erika Vázquez Morales, Enrique Guzman of the Sheraton Hotel Bilbao, one of the sponsors, soccer star Aitor Ocio, Bilbao chess organiser Juan Carlos Fernández.


Let the game begin: tournament leader Magnus Carlsen vs Ukranian GM Vassily Ivanchuk


The spectators in the Town Square can watch the action up close

Carlsen,M (2775) - Ivanchuk,V (2781) [D37]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (7), 09.09.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.a3 Qa5 10.0-0-0 Be7 11.h4 Rd8 12.Nd2 a6

13.Be2? The question mark is by Carlsen, who put the blame for the loss squarely on this move. 13...b5 14.cxd5 exd5 15.g4 Be6 16.Nb3 Qb6 17.g5 Ne4 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Rxd8+ Nxd8 20.Kb1 Rc8 21.Qd1 Nc6 22.h5 a5 23.g6 a4 24.Nd2 b4

25.gxf7+? This is where we would say things took a bad turn for the Norwegian. 25...Bxf7 26.Nc4 Qb7 27.Qxa4 bxa3 28.Nxa3 Bxa3 29.Qxa3 Nb4 30.b3 Nd3 31.Bxd3 exd3 32.Rc1 d2 0-1. A very sharp and interesting game.


Top Arminian GM Levon Aronian at the start of a dramatic game against...


... former FIDE world champion and local hero Veselin Topalov

Levon Aronian, who has had two losses in this tournament, has a secret weapon to recover psychologically in such situations. He revealed it in the press conference: read Kafka! (Warning: do not try this at home in crisis situations without expert assistance). In any case the top Armenian GM bounced back with a convincing win over Veselin Topalov.

Aronian,L (2737) - Topalov,V (2777) [E36]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (7), 09.09.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 0-0 7.Nf3 dxc4 8.Qxc4 b6 9.g3 Ba6 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.Bg2 c5 12.b4 Rc8 13.Qa4 Bb7 14.dxc5 bxc5 15.0-0 a6 16.Rd1 Nd5 17.Bg5 Qe8 18.Bd2 N5b6 19.Qc2 Nf6 20.bxc5 Be4 21.Qb3 Na4 22.Bb4 a5 23.Bxa5 Nxc5 24.Qb2 Na4 25.Qd4 Qb5 26.Bb4 Rfe8 27.Qe5 Qb7 28.Rac1 h6 29.h3 Bd5 30.Qa1 Ne4 31.Rxc8 Rxc8 32.Rc1 Rxc1+ 33.Qxc1 Qa7 34.Qc8+ Kh7 35.e3 Nxg3 36.Nd4 Ne4 37.Qc2 f5 38.Nxe6 Bxe6 39.Bxe4 Qf7 40.Bg2 Nb6 41.Qc5 Nd5 42.Qf8 Qh5 43.Qd6 Bf7 44.Qe5 Nf6 45.f3 Qg6 46.a4 f4 47.exf4 Qb1+ 48.Qe1 Qa2 49.a5 Bg6 50.Bf1 Nd5 51.Bd2 Qa4 52.a6 Nxf4 53.Bxf4 Qxf4 54.a7 Qa4 55.Qf2 Qa1 56.Kh2 Qa4 57.Bc4 Qa5 58.Qa2 1-0.


The start of Teimour Radjabov vs Vishy Anand


Teimour, the former chess prodigy from Baku, deep in thought

Radjabov,T (2744) - Anand,V (2798) [B46]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (7), 09.09.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f4 Bb4 8.Bd3 e5 9.fxe5 Nxe5 10.0-0 d6 11.h3 Bxc3 12.bxc3 h6 13.Bf2 Nh7 14.Nf5 0-0 15.Kh1 Bxf5 16.exf5 Rc8 17.Rb1 Qe7 18.Qd2 Nf6 19.Bd4 Rfe8 20.a4 Qd7 21.a5 Re7 22.Qf2 Qa4

Switch on your chess engines, gentlemen, and you will see: the position is 0.0000 and a dead draw. Mysteriously there is nothing either side can do to progress. Radjabov and Anand convinced themselves of this with the next moves: 23.Ra1 Qc6 24.Qg3 Qd5 25.Qh4 Rce8 26.Qg3 Kf8 27.Qh4 Kg8 28.Qg3 Kf8 29.Qh4 ½-½.

All pictures by Nadja Woisin in Bilbao

Bilbao scores

Player
games
wins
draws 
losses
points
Magnus Carlsen
7
3
2
2
11
Veselin Topalov
7
2
4
1
10
Levon Aronian
7
2
3
2
9
Vassily Ivanchuk
7
1
5
1
8
Vishy Anand
7
0
6
1
6
Teimur Radjabov
7
0
6
1
6

Traditional scores (for rating purposes)

In the Live Ratings, which at the urging of some of our readers we stress are completely unofficial and in some metaphysical way quite unfair, Magnus Carlsen remains in first place, but his lead over Vishy Anand has dwindled to 1.6 points. Ivanchuk has overtaken Topalov in this list and is now in fourth place (behind Alexander Morozevich, who you will have noticed is not playing in this tournament).


Video reports and interviews by Europe Echecs

These reports are being produced by Vijay Kumar for the French chess magazine Europe Echecs


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 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Round 6: Monday, 8th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0 
 Levon Aronian
Round 7: Tuesday, 9th September 2008
Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
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

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