Bilbao R8: Topalov beats Carlsen, Aronian beats Anand

9/11/2008 – And the amazing Vassily Ivanchuk won his game against Teimour Radjabov after a terrible time scramble – and advanced to number one in the Live Rankings. Vishy Anand spoilt a perfectly good game with a blunder immediately after the time control and lost after a 75-move struggle to survive. Veselin Topalov defeated Magnus Carlsen's Sicilian Dragon in 48 moves. Full illustrated 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 eight report

Round 8: Wednesday, 10th September 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Vishy Anand 
0-1
 Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen


Magnus Carlsen at the start of his round eight game


Veselin Topalov in a game for the leadership in this tournament


Topalov is not afraid of Carlsen's Sicilian Dragon


The public can watch the action through the fully sound-proof glass walls


As seen from outside the glass cabin: Veselin Topalov during the game

Topalov,V (2777) - Carlsen,M (2775) [B78]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (8), 10.09.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.Kb1 a6 13.h4 h5 14.g4 hxg4 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Rdg1 Rc5 17.Bh6 Kh7 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.f4 Nc4 20.Bxc4 Rxc4 21.f5 e5 22.Nde2 Rh8 23.b3

Here the Norwegian GM had a choice of playing for a draw with 23...Rc8 or going for more with 23...Rc6. After Black had lost Lev Aronian commented: "Maybe it is too much even for Magnus to play for a win in every single game!" 24.Rxg4 Nf6 25.Rgg1 Rxh1 26.Rxh1 Ng4 27.Ng3 Kg8 28.Nd5 Rc5 29.Ne3 Nxe3 30.Qxe3 Qf6 31.Qh6 Qg7 32.Qg5 f6 33.Qd2 Rc6 34.Kb2 gxf5 35.Qa5 Qe7 36.Qd5+ Be6 37.Qd1 Qg7 38.exf5 Bf7 39.Ne4 Kf8 40.Nxd6

Black is in deep trouble already, but one move before the time control he really jumps into the fire: 40...Ke7? (40...Bg8 would have put up token resistance) 41.Nxb7. Threatening mate in one. 41...Qg8. Good enough, but there was something more spectacular: 42...Rh7! with overwhelming tactical continuations in every line. 42.Qd2 Rb6 43.Rd1 Qc8 44.Nd6 (44.Nd8 is stronger) Qd7 45.Nxf7 Qxd2 46.Rxd2 Kxf7 47.c4 Ke7 48.Kc3 1-0.


In the Bilbao sunshine: Henrik Carlsen watching his son's game



Vassily Ivanchuk at the start of his round eight game


Behind the glass wall: GM Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan

Ivanchuk,V (2781) - Radjabov,T (2744) [B45]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (8), 10.09.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.a3 d6 7.Be2 Be7 8.Be3 Bd7 9.f4 0-0 10.0-0 a6 11.Qe1 Rc8 12.Rd1 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Bc6 14.Qg3 Qc7 15.Kh1 Rfd8 16.Bd3 b5 17.Rde1 Qb7 18.b4 Rc7 19.Re3 g6 20.Qh3 Rdc8 21.Nd1 Nh5 22.c3 Bd7 23.e5 Bc6 24.f5 dxe5 25.Bxe5 exf5 26.Bxf5 Bg5 27.Bxc8 Rxc8 28.Ree1 Rd8 29.Qg4

21-year-old Azeri Teimour Radjabov has come out of the opening well enough, but now he embarks on an unfortunate plan. Both players are in time touble, with Vassily Ivanchuk having to execute the last sixteen moves before the time control (at move 40) in just one minute. 29...Bh6 30.Bd4 Bg7 31.Ne3 Bd7 32.Qh4 Rc8 33.Bxg7 Nxg7 34.Qe7 f5

Black is already lost, but White must make the time control in a complicated position. 35.Ng4 Bc6 36.Nh6+ Kh8 37.Nf7+ Kg8 38.Qxb7 Bxb7 39.Nd6 Rc7 40.Nxb7 Rxb7. Deep breaths, am I still winning? Yes you are, Vassily. 41.Rf3 Kf7 42.Rd1 Ne6 43.Re3 Ng5 44.Rd6 Ra7 45.Red3 Ke7 46.Kg1 Ne4 47.Rc6 a5 48.h3 axb4 49.cxb4 1-0.


Anand,V (2798) - Aronian,L (2737) [C45]
Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (8), 10.09.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 Qf6 6.Qf3 bxc6 7.Nd2 d6 8.Nb3 Bb6 9.a4 a5 10.Bd2 Qxf3 11.gxf3 Ne7 12.Rg1 0-0 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.fxe3 c5 15.0-0-0 Bb7 16.Bb5 Bc6 17.e5 Rfd8 18.exd6 cxd6 19.Bxc6 Nxc6 20.Nd2 d5 21.Nb3 c4 22.Nd4 Nb4 23.Nb5 g6 24.Rg4 Rdc8 25.e4 h5 26.Rf4 dxe4 27.Rxe4 Rc5 28.f4 Ra6 29.Rd8+ Kg7 30.Rd7 Rd5 31.Rc7 Na2+ 32.Kb1 Nb4 33.Nd4 Rf6 34.Rxc4 Rg5 35.b3 Rg4 36.Ne2 Rh4 37.Rc5 Rxh2 38.Rxa5 h4 39.Rg5 Rf2 40.Rxb4 Rxe2

White has seen an endgame advantage dissolve. Now, one move after the time control, he gets himself into real trouble: 41.f5? h3 42.Rh4 h2 43.Kb2 Rc6 44.fxg6 fxg6 45.Ka3 Rcxc2 46.Rg3 Ra2+ 47.Kb4 Re4+ 48.Rxe4 h1Q

White is lost, isn't he? World Champion Vishy Anand decides to put up stubborn risistance and test his Armenian opponent's strategic abilities. 49.Reg4 Qb7+ 50.Ka5 Qd5+ 51.Kb4 Qd6+ 52.Kb5 Qb8+ 53.Ka5 Rf2 54.Rxg6+ Kf7 55.Rg7+ Ke6 56.R7g6+ Kd5 57.R6g5+ Kd4 58.b4 Rf4 59.Rg1 Rf3 60.Rc5 Qa8+ 61.Kb5 Rf6 62.Rd1+ Ke3 63.a5 Qe8+ 64.Kc4 Qa4 65.Rd3+ Ke2 66.Re5+ Kf1 67.Red5 Qc2+ 68.Rc3 Rf4+ 69.Rd4 Qa2+ 70.Kc5 Rf5+ 71.Kb6 Qe6+ 72.Kb7 Rb5+ 73.Kc7 Qe7+ 74.Kc6 Qb7+ 75.Kd6 Rh5.

Our chess engines tell us that it is now a forced mate in something like 12 moves. 0-1.


Anand struggling to defend a lost endgame

All pictures by Frederic Friedel in Bilbao

Bilbao scores

Player
games
wins
draws 
losses
points
Veselin Topalov
8
3
4
1
13
Levon Aronian
8
3
3
2
12
Magnus Carlsen
8
3
2
2
11
Vassily Ivanchuk
8
2
5
1
11
Vishy Anand
8
0
6
2
6
Teimur Radjabov
8
0
6
2
6

Traditional scores (for rating purposes)

In the unofficial Live Ratings Vassily Ivanchuk is now in first place in the world, ahead of Alexander Morozevich, Magnus Carlsen and Veselin Topalov. Vishy Anand has dropped to fifth place, seven points behind the leader. Twelve points behind Anand is Vladmir Kramnik, and ten points behind him Levon Aronian.


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 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Vishy Anand 
0-1
 Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
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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