Bilbao, Rd. 9: Carlsen beats Giri and wins tournament

by André Schulz
7/22/2016 – Before Bilbao 2016 Magnus Carlsen had never won a game with classical time-control against Anish Giri. But in round nine of the "Masters" in Bilbao he finally did. This win must have been particularly sweet because it helped Carlsen to win the tournament with one round to go. Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin drew and so did Wei Yi and Wesley So. Before the last round Carlsen now has 16.0/9 and is full five points ahead of Nakamura.

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Anish Giri has always been a difficult opponent for Carlsen and before Bilbao the Dutch number one was one of the few players against whom Carlsen had a negative score in games with classical time-control. In the past Carlsen had lost one game against Giri and drew all the others. But in round nine of the "Masters" the World Champion finally won.

Carlsen had White and his opening choice of 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4!? did not show much aggression but in the middlegame he clearly indicated that he was willing and ready to mate Black's king. In the end Carlsen did not mate Giri but he put him under constant pressure which finally proved to be too much. One inaccuracy cost Giri material, another cost him the game.

The beginning of the end of a series


Results of round nine

  Title Name Country ELO Res. Title Name Country ELO
1 GM Hikaru Nakamura
2787 1 - 1 GM Sergey Karjakin
2 GM Magnus Carlsen
2851 3 - 0 GM Anish Giri
3 GM Yi Wei
2694 1 - 1 GM Wesley So

Games - Rounds 1 to 9


Standings after nine rounds

  Title Name Country ELO 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts. TB
1 GM Magnus Carlsen
2851   01 31 31 13 16.0 / 9  
2 GM Hikaru Nakamura
2787 31   11 11 11 11.0 / 9  
3 GM Yi Wei
2694 01 11   11 13 10.0 / 9 42.00
4 GM Wesley So
2775 11 11   11 13 10.0 / 9 38.00
5 GM Sergey Karjakin
2779 01 11 11   11 8.0 / 9  
6 GM Anish Giri
2790 10 10 10 11   6.0 / 9  

Tournament page...

Topics: Bilbao Masters

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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Petrosianic Petrosianic 7/27/2016 11:52
<X iLeon aka DMG 7/23/2016 12:14
Great! Magnus broke "the giri curse"! Believe it or not, I had a premonition it would happen in this tournament>

Well, you were wrong. There's no reason to think the Curse is "over", just because it overslept one day. You'll see for yourself the next time Carlsen doesn't win against Giri.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 7/24/2016 12:41

And all this is the result, because carlsen wanted to beat his sister, hehe
scoobeedo scoobeedo 7/24/2016 11:07
Thank you Chessbase that you changed the chess board.

Now is it much better to replay the games with the chance to switch the board.

I am very suprised how fast you acted after I asked you for this change.

You are great people ...

- - -

Ok, lets go to the next improvement.

Please change the editor for the comments. It is very difficult to edit text.

If I leave the editor area and come back and want to sdkip back with the arrow keys, it is not possible.This editor show other very uncomfortable behaviour.

Replace the editor.
libyantiger libyantiger 7/23/2016 12:32
still i cant see any one who will win carlsen ..championship match is long one cant have "luck-calrsen blunder" every have to be equivalent to carslens strenght and then hope for luck
CostaMaison3 CostaMaison3 7/23/2016 11:49
Giri is participating in every strong tournament during the last 3 years. However, he won none. Anyway if he won one tournament amongst too many then it must not be considered as an achievement.

Giri remind me of Peter Leko who was known for his sold play.
bojan_zivkovic bojan_zivkovic 7/23/2016 10:56
This is complete domination by Carlsen. What to say about others? Wei very good so far considering the strength of the field. Naka and So showed nothing special here. Karjakin and Giri modest and poor respectively. Right now Carlsen is untouchable, maybe MVL or Caruana can play against him on equal terms. Others not. In a few years time I hope Wei will be really serious title contender. He has five years to become the youngest ever world champion.
semprun semprun 7/23/2016 09:07
Traditional score, with number of wins a tie breaker, if wanted , a lot better. This football thing is awful
Igor Freiberger Igor Freiberger 7/23/2016 01:46
Except for Carlsen's games and two Giri's defeats, ALL other results were drawn. This says a lot about why Carlsen is two steps ahead of everyone. His understanding of middle game is clearly better than his nearest rivals.
oputu oputu 7/23/2016 12:57
@ Quater paters; clearly you dont follow soccer. lol
Quarter Patzer Quarter Patzer 7/23/2016 12:14
Herr Schulz,
Doesn't the results table look a little bit odd to you? According to the classical scoring system, 1 point for victory, half a point for a draw and 0 points for defeat would yield a maximum number of points equal to the number of rounds played. Applying the so-called Bilbao system, with 3 points for win, 1 point for draw and 0 points for a loss, the maximum number of points should be 3 x number of rounds played, so I was expecting to see Carlsen's score, for example, to be more like 16/27 rather than 16/9... And if keeping the Bilbao score, why have a 16.0, or any decimal for that matter, since 3 x wins + 1 x draw would give always an integer as a result? Just saying...
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 7/23/2016 12:14
Great! Magnus broke "the giri curse"! Believe it or not, I had a premonition it would happen in this tournament right after Magnus lost to Naka. I know most chess players prefer cold logic - I don't like to be confined by it - but for me it was a kinda give summat to get summat else. Mystical! Shoot me! :)
sayros87 sayros87 7/22/2016 10:42
very soon Giri will go back where he belongs- out of top 10
He should learn how to play for a win , i really wonder why was he invited to this tournament in the first place.
siggefurst siggefurst 7/22/2016 10:23
44.Qd8! What a move! But the final analysis looks very "hard" - isn't 46.Ng5+ a lot simpler (after 45...Qxe5)?