Bilbao: Wei Yi cracks Berlin Wall

by André Schulz
7/20/2016 – After five rounds and the end of the first cycle the players in the Bilbao "Masters" took a break. The organisers used the free day to entertain the public with a game of living chess, in which "Europe" played against the "World" with children acting as pieces. But in round six it was back to serious business. Hikaru Nakamura drew against Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So drew against Sergey Karjakin but Wei Yi managed to crack Anish Giri's Berlin Wall.

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One big question after the free day was whether Magnus Carlsen, who played with Black against Hikaru Nakamura would go all out to take revenge for his first round loss against the US-American. But he did not. In a Catalan Nakamura left the World Champion not much room to get creative and after a couple of exchanges after 32 moves the players found themselves in a dead-drawn endgame with opposite-colored bishops and split the point. 

The game of the day was Wei Yi vs Anish Giri. Against Wei Yi' 1.e4 Giri defended with the Berlin Defense which eventually ended in an endgame knight against bishop with White having a pawn majority on the kingside. At one point Giri put his bishop to a2 but later he somehow seemed to "forget" it there. Wei Yi used the position of the wayward bishop to win his first game and score a "big point".


In the game between Wesley So and Sergey Karjakin the Russian sacrificed a bishop to annihilate the pawn-shield protecting So's king, giving Karjakin a couple of pawns and attacking chances. But he later missed a promising continuation and allowed So to neutralize all threats by sacrificing an exchange in return. In the end this entertaining game had no winner.

Results of round six

  Title Name Country ELO Res. Title Name Country ELO
1 GM Wei Yi
2694 3 - 0 GM Anish Giri
2 GM Hikaru Nakamura
2787 1 - 1 GM Magnus Carlsen
3 GM Wesley So
2775 1 - 1 GM Sergey Karjakin

Games - Rounds 1 to 6


Standings after six rounds

. Title Name Nation Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts. TB
1 GM Magnus Carlsen
2851   01 3 11 / 6  
2 GM Hikaru Nakamura
2787 31   1 8 / 6  
3 GM Wei Yi
2694   13 1 1 7 / 6  
4 GM Anish Giri
2790 10   5 / 6 7.75
5 GM Sergey Karjakin
2779 1   11 5 / 6 7.00
6 GM Wesley So
2775 1 11   5 / 6 7.00

On the rest day the participants of the "Masters" played a game "Europe against the World" in the Theatro Campos Eliseos. Carlsen, Karjakin and Giri represented Europe, Nakamura, Wei Yi and So used their chess skills for "the World". The players moved in turn and children incorporated the pieces to stage a game of living chess on a big board.


After the game the minister for youth and sport of the city of Bilbao,
Oihane Agirregoitia, presented trophies to the players.


Tournament schedule

Round Day Time
Opening ceremony 12.July 16:00
1. round 13.July 16:00
2. round 14.July 16:00
3. round 15.July 16:00
4. round 16.July 16:00
5. round 17.July 16:00
Free day 18.July  
6. round 19.July 16:00
7. round 20.July 16:00
8. round 21.July 16:00
9. round 22.July 16:00
10. round 23.July 15:00
Closing ceremony... 23.July  

Photos: Tournament page...

Topics: Bilbao Masters

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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bojan_zivkovic bojan_zivkovic 7/20/2016 09:35
After 7th round Wei sole on third place, only point behind Nakamura. So far so good for youngster - great to see him in 2700+ zone again. I hope to see him in 2800+ in forthcoming years making him a major contender for world title - maybe even before 2020 who knows. Playing in elite tournaments is priceless for such young player, his self-confidence gets a big boost making him stronger. Good decision from Bilbao organizers to bring Wei here and give him a chance to taste elite event again - by many experts future of chess belongs to young Chinese. Of course Carlsen will have something to say about it.
vladivaclav vladivaclav 7/20/2016 10:11 gut feeling tells me it will not be the first scalp wei takes in this tournament
allanbeard allanbeard 7/20/2016 07:25
After 31...g5?? White had instead 32 c4+!! winning. (A computer line, not original to me). 32...Kd4 33 e6!! and if then 34 Kh4!! (not 34 Kf4?=) wins. If instead 32...K36 then we get the game continuation without Black being able to play 32...c4.
psilocybin psilocybin 7/20/2016 04:18
... and he has pretty good aim
Truffaut Truffaut 7/20/2016 03:58
Only one question mark for 32. ...Ke6?

I don't think "Wei Yi cracks Berlin Wall" really describes what happened. It was more like "Giri blunders drawn game."
CostaMaison3 CostaMaison3 7/20/2016 03:44
Giri always aims for a draw