São Paulo Rd3 – Enthralling draws on all boards

by Albert Silver
9/27/2012 – It might sound like an attempt at irony, but despite three peaceful results, the games were anything but. Aronian found himself in trouble against Paco in a volcanic position, but somehow no win could be found. Caruana had the best chances to score but could not convert against Anand, and Carlsen pressured Karjakin to no avail. Report with games and many pictures by Albert Silver.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

São Paulo / Bilbao Grand Slam Final

Round 3: Wednesday, September 26, 15:00h
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin

Round three

Report and pictures by Albert Silver


The commentators Gilberto Milos and Susan Polgar alongside organizer Davy D'Israel


Chief Arbiter Herman Claudius van Riemsdijk speaks with Susan Polgar before the round.
Herman has also been posting pictures of his own, including pictures of the author,
on his Facebook.

It was quite a remarkable round, and the first thing of note was the switch in the weather. It bears remembering that while the players are in a climate-controlled glass box, the spectators and commentators are outside, only protected from rain or other. The temperatures dropped significantly to a very cool 11 C. (53 degrees Fahrenheit) and everyone was covered up.


The temperature might drop, but this will not stop children...


...nor affect the spirits of young visitors.

If one were to stop and glance at the results, seeing three draws, one might also think the heat of the battles had also chilled but nothing could be further from the truth. All three games were enthralling in their own way, and the only peaceful aspect was the split point.


Levon Aronian looked relaxed

The most fire-branded game was unquestionably Levon Aronian against Francisco Vallejo-Pons, which seemed tantalizingly close to a win for… Paco! Great credit must be given to the world number two for keeping his sangfroid under duress. No criticism can be made of Paco though, for not scoring the point, since although the engines do credit him with a healthy advantage throughout most of the game, they too did not show any clear path to victory.


When Milos mentioned the old habit of players from yesteryear who often used to stare
at their opponents, Paco quipped, "Yes, but we are too ugly to stare at."

[Event "5th Final Masters"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2012.09.26"] [Round "3"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D39"] [WhiteElo "2816"] [BlackElo "2697"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2012.09.24"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "3"] [EventCountry "ESP"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. Bg5 Bb4 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 c5 8. e3 cxd4 9. exd4 Qd5 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Nd2 Nc6 12. Rb1 Rg8 13. Qc2 f5 14. Nxc4 b6 15. Ne3 Qd6 16. Bb5 Kf8 17. Nc4 Qc7 18. f3 Ne7 19. Ne5 f6 20. Nd3 a6 21. Ba4 Nd5 22. c4 Ne3 {This move looks crushing really, but the engines say it is not. Black is better, but nothing is decided yet.} 23. Qd2 Nxc4 24. Qb4+ Kf7 25. Rc1 b5 26. Bb3 Rxg2 27. Bxc4 bxc4 28. Rxc4 Qb8 29. Kf1 Ra2 {Both players have played the game with great precision, and nothing clearly decisive has come of it. While the engines find nothing within a reasonable time, perhaps a deeper analysis will uncover a forcing line. In any case, it will no doubt make a great analytic exercise.} 30. Rg1 $1 {Keeping a cool head to the end, Aronian plays the best move. It may seem to invite Qxh2, but there is a nifty little refutation.} Ra1+ (30... Qxh2 $4 {leads to mate, but can you see it? Let's put it this way: it is NOT obvious.} 31. Ne5+ $3 {#This beautiful move is in fact a fatal interference, cutting off the queen from protecting against Rc7+.} ({ It is not} 31. Rg7+ $2 {which just leads to a draw by repetition.} Kxg7 32. Qe7+ Kg6 33. Qe8+ {etc.}) 31... fxe5 32. Rc7+ Bd7 33. Rxd7+ Ke8 34. Qe7#) 31. Kg2 Ra2+ 32. Kf1 Ra1+ 33. Kg2 Ra2+ {A draw, but the spectators had nothing to complain about after so much excitement.} 1/2-1/2


Fabiano Caruana started the round in good spirits


Vishy Anand was his usual collected self

The next game that seemed headed to a win was Fabiano Caruana against Vishy Anand, after the latter unwisely dropped a pawn giving the Italian a golden opportunity to storm to an incredible 3-0 (or 9-0 using the Bilbao scoring). The world champion dug very deep and managed to simplify the position to a bad endgame where precise play by Fabiano might yield his dream result. Instead a possibly less than ideal continuation led to the right piece combination, but weakened pawn structure, and this ended up being enough for Anand to hold.


A despondent Caruana in the post-mortem mulls over the possible missed opportunity

[Event "5th Final Masters"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2012.09.26"] [Round "3"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2780"] [PlyCount "139"] [EventDate "2012.09.24"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "3"] [EventCountry "ESP"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nc6 6. Nc3 g6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bg7 9. Nde2 Nf6 10. f3 O-O 11. O-O a6 12. a4 e6 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bh4 Rfd8 15. Rb1 Qc7 16. Kh1 Rd7 17. Rc1 Re8 18. Nd5 exd5 19. cxd5 Qb6 20. Bf2 Qxb2 21. dxc6 bxc6 22. Rxc6 Rdd8 23. Rxa6 Qb4 24. Rb6 Qc4 25. Nd4 Ra8 26. Nb5 Red8 27. Rxd6 Rxd6 28. Nxd6 Qxa4 29. Qxa4 Rxa4 30. Rd1 Nh7 {Ask any GM and they will tell you that if the bishops come off, the 4 vs. 3 endgame with rooks and knights is extremely ugly for the inferior side. However, this also means that White must try and keep his pawn structure intact to make the most of it. Something he fails to do.} 31. Ne8 Be5 32. Bg3 Bxg3 33. hxg3 Ng5 34. Rd8 h5 { Forced to protect against the obvious mate threat, but not a problem per se.} 35. Nf6+ Kg7 36. e5 {A very committal move since it basically means that of White does not make the most of his mate threats, his edge is mostly gone. After an eventual f4, the pawns will no longer work for him.} Ra1+ 37. Kh2 Ra2 38. Kg1 Ra1+ 39. Kf2 Ra2+ 40. Kf1 Ra1+ 41. Ke2 Ra2+ 42. Rd2 Ra5 43. Nd5 Ne6 44. Kf2 Rb5 45. f4 Rb3 46. Rd1 Rb2+ 47. Kg1 Ra2 48. Kh2 Ra4 49. Nf6 h4 50. Rf1 g5 { It looks risky, but Anand showed he had it under control.} ({The waiting move} 50... Rb4 {was a little less eventful.}) 51. f5 Nc5 52. Re1 Nd3 53. Re2 Ra5 54. gxh4 gxh4 55. Nd7 Nc5 56. Nxc5 Rxc5 57. Re4 Rc3 58. e6 fxe6 59. fxe6 Kf8 60. Rxh4 Re3 61. Rh8+ Kg7 62. Re8 Kf6 63. g3 Re4 64. Kg2 Re3 65. Kh3 Re4 66. g4 Re1 67. Rf8+ Kg7 68. Re8 Kf6 69. e7 Kg7 70. Kh4 1/2-1/2


Despite the cold, spectators milled around the glass box to watch the players up close


Magnus Carlsen focuses on the struggle ahead

The final game to end was Magnus Carlsen’s for the third straight time, this time against Sergey Karjakin. After getting a little worse, he steered himself to a nice endgame where a mistake by the Russian led to a difficult position with a boxed in bishop. It seemed as if Magnus was going to once more do his magic, but despite his attempts, he was unable to convert. In fact both players missed a very neat trick in the endgame, which can be seen in the notes.


Karjakin and Carlsen exchange notes after their game


Carlsen learns of the missed trick

[Event "5th Final Masters"] [Site "Bilbao ESP"] [Date "2012.09.26"] [Round "3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2843"] [BlackElo "2778"] [PlyCount "134"] [EventDate "2012.09.24"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "3"] [EventCountry "ESP"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Nbd2 d5 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Ne5 c5 9. dxc5 Qc7 10. Ndf3 bxc5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Qc2 Nc6 13. Nxc6 Qxc6 14. Bg5 f6 15. Bd2 Qb6 16. Rfe1 Rfd8 17. a3 Rab8 18. Rab1 Bf8 19. h4 Qb3 20. Qe4 Nb6 21. Bc3 Bb7 22. Qg4 e5 23. Nd2 Qf7 24. Bxb7 Rxb7 25. Nf1 Nc4 26. Red1 Rdb8 27. Qe4 Nd6 ({The point is that after} 27... Nxb2 28. Rxb2 Rxb2 29. Bxb2 Rxb2 30. Rd8 { White's infiltration equalizes the position.}) 28. Qc2 Qg6 29. Qxg6 hxg6 30. Nd2 Kf7 31. e3 Nb5 32. Ba5 Nd6 33. Rbc1 Rb5 {A serious mistake as this allows White to trade off his bishop for the knight leaving Black with a bad bishop.} 34. Bc7 R8b7 35. Bxd6 Bxd6 36. Nc4 Be7 37. e4 {fixing Black's pawns on the dark squares.} Ke6 38. Kg2 Rb8 39. Rd2 Rd8 40. Rxd8 Bxd8 41. Rd1 Be7 42. Rd3 Rb8 43. Kf3 Rb7 44. Ke2 Rb8 45. Kd2 f5 46. Rd5 $2 {#A non-obvious mistake that runs into nasty little tactic.} Rd8 ({Black could have played} 46... Rxb2+ $3 47. Nxb2 fxe4 $1 {and incredibly the rook is trapped!}) 47. Rxd8 Bxd8 48. Kd3 f4 49. Ke2 g5 50. gxf4 exf4 51. hxg5 Bxg5 52. Kf3 Bh4 53. a4 ({Another attempt to win might be} 53. Kg2 {(Milos)} Bf6 54. f3 Bd8 55. Kh3 {but after} g6 56. Kg4 g5 {there doesn't seem to be a way to progress.}) 53... a6 54. b3 g5 55. Na5 Ke5 56. Nc6+ Kd6 57. Na5 Ke5 58. Nc4+ Kd4 59. a5 Bxf2 60. Kxf2 Kxe4 61. Nd6+ Kd5 62. Ne8 Kc6 63. Nf6 Kb5 64. Ne4 g4 65. Ke2 Kxa5 66. Nxc5 Kb4 67. Nxa6+ Kxb3 1/2-1/2


The friendly arbiters who ensure a smooth competition: Marius van Riemsdijk, chief
arbiter Herman Claudius van Riemsdijk, and Joara Chaves.

Tomorrow is a free day.

Photos by Albert Silver and official site

Traditional crosstable after three rounds

Bilbao crosstable after three rounds

Playchess commentary schedule

Date
Round
Commentator
28.09.2012
round 04
Collins
29.09.2012
round 05
Trent
08.10.2012
round 06
D‘Costa
09.10.2012
round 07
King
10.10.2012
round 08
King
11.10.2012
rest day
12.10.2012
round 09
King
13.10.2012
round 10
D'Costa

Schedule and results

Round 1: Monday, September 24, 15:00h
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Sergey Karjakin
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 2: Tuesday, September 25, 15:00h
Francisco Vallejo 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Sergey Karjakin 
0-1
 Fabiano Caruana
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Round 3: Wednesday, September 26, 15:00h
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin
Round 4: Friday, September 28, 15:00h
Fabiano Caruana 
   Francisco Vallejo
Magnus Carlsen 
   Levon Aronian
Sergey Karjakin 
   Viswanathan Anand
Round 5: Saturday, September 29, 15:00h
Francisco Vallejo 
   Sergey Karjakin
Viswanathan Anand 
   Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
   Fabiano Caruana

São Paulo partners


 

Links

The games are being 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.

Copyright ChessBase



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.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register