São Paulo Masters – Nakamura, Carlsen win, Nakamura in second place

by Albert Silver
10/3/2011 – Magnus Carlsen defeated Vassily Ivanchuk in a French Defence in a line used successfully in 1997 by Morozevich. US GM Hikaru Nakamura, who we can feel must have a new trainer, played the English against Paco Vallejo. He beat the luckless Spaniard (–4, +1) and has now taken second place in this event. Find out the secret side of Carlsen in the large illustrated report by Albert Silver.

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The first leg of the Grand Slam is being staged in São Paulo, Ibirapuera Park, from September 25th to October 1st, the second leg is in Bilbao, Alhóndiga, from 5th to 11th October. Tournament sytem: double round robin with six players over ten rounds. Time control: 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 10 seconds/move starting with the 1st move. Game start: 15:00h local São Paulo time (2 p.m. New York, 20:00 h Europe).

Round five

By Albert Silver

Round 5: Saturday, October 1, 15:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Games Report


Before the games started, the usual platoon of photographers and media was there

In a sense, the game between Ivanchuk and Carlsen was almost more awaited than the first round between Anand and Carlsen. The reason is that while the game between the world's top two players might have great expectations for who they are, here there was added drama because Ivanchuk was on a fantastic run, outracing and outpacing his 2800+ colleagues, while Carlsen was the last and most prominent opponent in this leg. Would Magnus be able to prevent the Ukrainian from running away with the tournament?


Magnus Carlsen ready to fight the good fight


The game between Carlsen and Ivanchuk gets underway with an avid audience


It was a hot sunny day in São Paulo, with the thermometer registering temperatures
as high as 38 C. (100 F.) though not for the players.

[Event "4th Final Masters"] [Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"] [Date "2011.10.01"] [Round "5"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2765"] [BlackElo "2823"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2011.09.26"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 8. a3 O-O 9. Qd2 b6 10. g3 (10. Bd3 f6 11. exf6 Nxf6 12. Bb5 Qc7 13. Bxc6 Qxc6 14. Ne5 Qe8 15. Qe2 Nd7 16. Nxd7 Bxd7 17. O-O Qg6 18. a4 c4 19. Rf3 a6 20. a5 b5 21. Nd1 b4 22. Nf2 Bb5 23. Rg3 Qf5 24. Qg4 Rf7 25. Qd1 c3 26. Ng4 Kh8 27. Ne5 Rff8 28. b3 Bf6 29. Ng4 Be8 30. Nxf6 gxf6 31. Qg4 Bg6 32. Qxf5 Bxf5 33. Ra2 h5 34. Bf2 Kh7 35. Re3 Rf7 36. Bh4 Rg8 37. g3 Be4 38. Re2 Kg6 39. Ra4 Rb7 40. h3 Re8 41. Ra1 e5 42. fxe5 fxe5 43. dxe5 Rxe5 44. Rf1 Rf5 45. Rxf5 Bxf5 46. Bd8 d4 47. g4 hxg4 48. hxg4 Bxc2 49. Rxc2 d3 {0-1 (49) Macieja,B (2470)-Morozevich,A (2590)/St Petersburg 1997/CBM 062}) 10... Kh8 11. h4 f6 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Bh3 Bd7 14. Rd1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 e5 16. Nxc6 Bxc6 17. fxe5 d4 18. exf6 Bxf6 19. O-O dxc3 20. Qxd8 Raxd8 21. Rxd8 Rxd8 22. b3 {From here on the Norwegian GM proceeds to outplay the tournament leader in this double-bishops ending. Typical Carlsen.} Re8 23. Bf2 Be4 24. Re1 Re7 25. Rc1 h5 26. Bg2 Bf5 27. Bf3 g6 28. a4 Kh7 29. b4 g5 30. a5 g4 31. axb6 axb6 32. Bc6 Re2 33. Bxb6 Be5 34. b5 Kg7 35. Ba5 Rxc2 36. Rxc2 Bxc2 37. Kf2 $2 (37. b6 {would have probably held the position.}) 37... Bd3 38. Ke3 Bg6 39. Be4 $2 ({Once again White could have tried to defend with} 39. b6) 39... c2 40. Bd2 Bxg3 41. Bxg6 Kxg6 42. Kd3 Bf2 43. Kxc2 g3 44. Bf4 g2 45. Bh2 Kf5 {Nicely played by the amazing Magnus. A game to study.} 0-1


Magnus Carlsen signs an autograph for his young fan, Katherine
Vescovi, a budding prodigy who plays blindfold games against her
father, GM Vescovi, everyday on her way to school and back.

After the game, Magnus came down the corridor to the stage, bombarded by autograph requests and pictures, and looking as serious as always. In fact, considering the stoic look he carries when he comes to the board, with an air of nigh indifference, even after the game's tension has been released, one might easily be inclined to believe that this statuesque demeanor is his natural state. Well, it is not.

After his fantastic victory over the tournament leader, he left the board as concentrated-looking as usual and entered the small private player's area. Not noticing anyone else around, and thinking he was alone, he suddenly bent over, pumping his fist like crazy, saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!"


Aronian and Anand focus before the game is started


The inaugural move is played by a young fan with Juan Carlos Garcia, director of the
Grand Slam Masters, and Davy D'israel, co-organizer of the São Paulo leg.

Anand played an early 6.d3 in a Ruy Lopez against Aronian, and while this might seem unambitious to some, bear in mind Aronian's likely choice would have been a Marshall, his usual weapon when he wants to secure a draw. It isn't that the Armenian never wins with it, but mostly it leads to lines that are literally 30 moves deep, and analyzed well into the phase of simplifications.


The formalities having been respected, time for action


A view of the players from outside the glass box, referred by them as the 'fish bowl'

[Event "4th Final Masters"] [Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"] [Date "2011.10.01"] [Round "5"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2817"] [BlackElo "2807"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2011.09.26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 b4 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. Ba2 c5 11. c3 Rb8 12. Nc4 O-O 13. Nxa5 Qxa5 14. Bd2 bxc3 15. Bxc3 Qd8 16. Nd2 Be6 17. Nc4 Qc8 18. Qf3 Bg4 19. Qe3 Be6 20. Qe2 Rd8 21. a5 Qc6 22. Nb6 Rb7 23. Bxe6 fxe6 24. Rac1 Qe8 25. b4 cxb4 26. Bxb4 d5 27. Bc3 Bd6 28. f4 dxe4 29. fxe5 exd3 30. Qe3 Nd5 31. Nxd5 exd5 32. Qxd3 Bc5+ 33. Bd4 Qb5 34. Rc3 Qxd3 35. Rxd3 Bxd4+ 36. Rxd4 Rb5 37. Rc1 Rxa5 38. e6 Rb5 39. Rc6 a5 40. h3 h6 41. Ra6 Rb7 1/2-1/2


Aronian had wanted to punish Anand's intrepidity but admitted he had probably
overestimated his position.

In the post-game press conference, Levon commented that after Vishy's 28.f4 he had wanted to punish him for endangering his king, and probably overestimated his own position at this point. Despite the potentially risky look the endgame gave, he did not feel he was ever in any real danger.


On his way out, the World Champion's name was repeated like a magic word by the
children, "Anand! Anand! Anand!"

The last game to finish was between Hikaru Nakamura and Franciso Vallejo Pons, and the gloves were taken off as both players played with gusto.


Hikaru Nakamura broke into a smile before the game's start, showing good spirits

Paco turned out to be the more "enterprising" of the two, as he sacrificed a piece to generate threats against Nakamura's king, preferring this than to finding himself being on the defensor's side. Despite genuine threats that required careful play by the American, Hikaru found his way out of the jungle, and was able to convert his material advantage.


After that, he recovered his concentration, evident from the hard game he won

[Event "4th Final Masters"] [Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"] [Date "2011.10.01"] [Round "5"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A25"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2716"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2011.09.26"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 Bc5 4. Bg2 a6 5. e3 d6 6. Nge2 Nge7 7. b3 Ba7 8. Bb2 Rb8 9. d3 Bf5 10. Qd2 Qd7 11. h3 O-O 12. f4 $146 ({Predecessor:} 12. Rc1 h6 13. Nd5 Nd8 14. d4 c6 15. Ndc3 Qc7 16. O-O Ne6 17. d5 Nc5 18. e4 Bh7 19. b4 Nd7 20. c5 cxd5 21. exd5 Nf6 22. Na4 Rfd8 23. Rfd1 Be4 24. Bxe4 Nxe4 25. Qe3 Qd7 26. Qxe4 Qxa4 27. cxd6 Ng6 28. Nc3 Qd7 29. Qg4 Bd4 30. Qxd7 Rxd7 31. Na4 Bxb2 32. Nxb2 Rxd6 33. Nc4 Rd7 34. Nb6 Rd6 35. Nc4 Rd7 36. Ne3 Ne7 37. Rc2 Rbd8 38. Rcd2 f6 39. Kg2 Kf7 40. Kf3 Rc8 41. Ke4 b5 {Moreno Ruiz,J (2459)-Anton Guijarro,D (2302)/Madrid 2010/CBM 135 Extra/1-0 (64)}) 12... Be6 13. d4 Nf5 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. O-O-O exd4 16. exd4 Ne7 17. g4 f5 18. g5 Bf7 19. Ng3 a5 20. h4 a4 21. Nxa4 Bxc4 22. bxc4 c5 23. Nc3 Rb4 24. Qd3 cxd4 25. Nb5 d5 26. Nxa7 c5 27. cxd5 Qxa7 28. a3 Rb6 29. Qc4 Nc8 $2 ({Black has fought back, temporarily investing two minor pieces in his queenside attack. He had good chances of holding the position with} 29... Qb7 30. d6+ Nd5) 30. d6+ Kh8 31. d7 (31. Qxc5 {would have finished off the opponent more quickly.}) 31... Qxd7 32. Rh2 Qb7 33. Rc2 Rb5 34. Nxf5 Rxf5 35. Rxd4 Rf8 36. Rdd2 Ne7 37. h5 Nf5 38. h6 Rxb2 39. hxg7+ Kxg7 40. Qc3+ Nd4 41. Rxb2 Qd5 42. Qh3 Re8 43. Rb6 Kg8 44. Kb2 Qf7 45. Qh6 Qxf4 46. Rh2 Re7 47. g6 Qxh6 48. Rxh6 Re2+ 49. Kc3 hxg6 50. Rhxg6+ Kf7 51. Rbf6+ Ke7 52. Ra6 Ne6 53. a4 Kd7 54. a5 Nc7 55. Ra7 Re7 56. a6 Ke8 57. Rb7 Kf7 58. Rc6 Nd5+ 59. Kc4 {A wonderfully tactical game that deserves further analysis.} 1-0

In the post-mortem, Nakamura explained that although he was delighted to have won, it is always very unpleasant to find yourself defending such a position, and would much have preferred to be the attacker in the game. In compensation, he took clear second in both the traditional and Bilbao scoring system, and is also the only undefeated player thus far.

Gallery of pictures


A view of the lake in Ibirapuera Park


One could follow the games on the overhead screens, with video transmission of the
players in the fourth and right-most screen.


In the center is FM Luiz Loureiro, who provided dynamic commentary with a
wealth of anecdotes and information for the audience.


The audience was unsure which direction to position their chairs and some pointed
to the screens, while others toward the stage.


GM Milos gave a simul as the day's side-event


Many children participated, boys and girls alike


Though some preferred to set up their own chess fun


The event could never have flowed without the diligent work of the arbiters Marius van
Riemsdijk, Blas Pingas, and Chief Arbiter Herman Claudius van Riemsdijk.


Your reporter

Pictures by Albert Silver

Bilbao system scores after five rounds

Traditional crosstable after five rounds

Schedule and results

Round 1: Monday, September 26, 15:00h
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Round 2: Tuesday, September 27, 15:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Round 3: Wednesday, September 28, 15:00h
Viswanathan Anand 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Francisco Vallejo 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 4: Friday, September 30, 15:00h
Levon Aronian 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Francisco Vallejo 
0-1
 Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Games Report
Round 5: Saturday, October 1, 15:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Games Report
Round 6: Thursday, October 6, 17:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen 
   Viswanathan Anand
Francisco Vallejo 
   Levon Aronian
GamesReport
Round 7: Friday, October 7, 17:00h
Francisco Vallejo 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
   Magnus Carlsen 
Viswanathan Anand 
   Hikaru Nakamura
GamesReport
Round 8: Saturday, October 8, 17:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Viswanathan Anand
Hikaru Nakamura 
   Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen 
   Francisco Vallejo
GamesReport
Round 9: Monday, October 10, 17:00h
Magnus Carlsen 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Francisco Vallejo 
   Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian 
   Viswanathan Anand
GamesReport
Round 10: Tuesday, October 11, 16:00h
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand 
   Francisco Vallejo
Hikaru Nakamura 
   Magnus Carlsen 
GamesReport

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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