The Bilbao half of the Grand Slam Final begins tomorrow

10/7/2012 – We have been through many days without a super-tournament, and some of you are probably suffering withdrawal. Not to worry: on Monday the top GMs will be at it again, Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Karjakin, Caruana, Vallejo. The second half of the Fifth Chess Masters Final will be held from October 8-13 in the Central Atrium of the Alhondiga Bilbao, Spain, in a soundproof glass box. Press release.

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

Press release

Bilbao becomes world chess capital holding the Fifth Masters Final of the Grand Slam starting on Monday

  • The first leg, held between September 24th and 29th, was held in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo. After this first half the Italian Fabiano Caruana arrives to Bilbao as a leader, with 11 points.

  • The games will be played in the Central Atrium of the Alhondiga Bilbao in a dramatic soundproof glass box with view to the public. This glass room measures 8 x 8m witdth, with a high of 3.5 m and weighs eight tons.

The mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna, the world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand, and Leontxo Garcia, the prestigious chess commentator, presented the second and final half of the Masters Chess Final, which will be held in Bilbao between October 8th and 13th in the Alhondiga.

The first half, of the tournament, which took place between September 24th and 29th was held in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo. After this first leg the Italian Fabiano Caruana is the leader with 11 points, 4 points more than Aronian, the No. 2 in the world rankings and five points more than Carlsen, No. One in the world rankings. In the middle of the table we can find the world champion Anand with five points, and the standing is closed by the Spanish Vallejo and Karjakin (fifth in the world ranking), both with three points, and at the bottom, without great chances to overcome this results.

Traditional crosstable after five rounds

Bilbao crosstable after five rounds

Despite the differences accumulated in the first phase of the Final, equality has defined the development of the tournament so far, since Aronian Anand and Caruana finished undefeated. In any case, the scoring system applied in the Chess Masters Final, the so-called "Bilbao rule" – which gives three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss – makes it possible for the differences in the standing not to be so extraordinary. In fact, in the last edition, the Ukrainian Vasily Ivanchuk left Sao Paulo three points ahead of his nearest rival, the American Nakamura, but the tournament had to be settled on the last day in a tie between himself and the World No. one, Magnus Carlsen, who finally achieved victory.

The games will begin at 17:00h in the Central Atrium of the Alhóndiga and will be played in a spectacular soundproof glass structure, open to public view. This glass room has a width of 8*8 metres, a height of 3.5 meters, and weighs eight tons. Games will start on Monday 8th and will last until October 13th, with a rest day on the 10th. The closing ceremony and awards will take place on October 13th, which is the reason why plays will start at 16.30h that day.

The Masters Final Grand Slam 2012 will be played by the league system, with a double round all against all. The winner of the tournament will be the player to score the most points. The scoring system is governed by the “Bilbao rule”, which has already begun to be applied in other international tournaments. The “Sofia rule” is also applied in each play, which states that only the referee has the power to determine if a game ends tie, avoiding pacts between players.


Leontxo Garcia, the mayor of Bilbao Iñaki Azkuna, World Champion, Viswanathan Anand

The development of each day can be followed from the “Agora”, a place for the analysis, comments and interviews, conducted by Leontxo García, with the collaboration of experts and society people from Bilbao. The giant screen situated above the Agora gives the chance to follow the games live. In a similar way the journalists can follow the tournament live from a press room equipped with the latest technology. The development of the games can also be followed in the official tournament website.

This Masters Finals Grand Slam continues the global expansion which started two years ago with the joint development of the tournament in both, Shanghai and Bilbao. After the success of last year's edition, the tournament has repeated the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, main financial center of Brasil and the tenth most populous metropolis in the world. The tournament aims to leak out the limits of the sports side itself and serve as a link between the two cities in order to develop common projects in sports, cultural, educational, recreational, economic and commercial areas. Specifically, a group of businessmen from Bizkaia flown to the Brazilian economic capital during the days the first half of the tournament took place, in order to meet with entrepreneurs from Sao Paulo. In addition to this trade mision, this year the tournament has given special encouragement to the transmission of chess values among the youngest participants. Threfore, the tournament has approached to the city´s public schools.

IV Friendship Grand Slam tournament of Bilbao

Alongside the professional competition the IV Friendship tournament will be held. In this tournament 25 teams of five players each will participate. In total it will bring together more than 150 people – contenders, technical teams, referees… The tournament is part of the Basque Circuit of Friendship tournaments that is played without any economic award. The host club invites guest clubs to lunch, and the invitees on the other hand return the courtesy inviting the host back to their own tournament.

Sponsors

Among the sponsors of this great sporting event, which makes Bilbao one of the world's chess capitals we can find Bilbao's City Council, The Provincial Council of Bizkaia “Diputacion Foral de Bizkaia”, Euskaltel and BBK. As collaborators we can find the Basque Government, CAF, CIE Automotive, GMSM, IDOM, IMBISA, OLABARRI, SACYR, TECUNI, VICONSA and VISCOFAN. Finally, as friends of this initiative, we have the commercial association of Bilbao, CARWAGEN, Ribera market, Melia Hotel and Yandiola Restaurant. We must also acknowledge the assistance of the following media: COPE, Onda Cero, Onda Vasca, Radio Popular, Radio 7, Tele 7, TeleBilbao, Deia and El Correo.



Player portraits

Fabiano Caruana – the kid from Fischer's neighborhood

If his name were Marco Polo instead of Fabiano, it would suit him very well. Born in Miami, Florida, of Italian parents, Fabiano Caruana learned chess at the age of five in Brooklyn, New York, where his parents had relocated, continuing to study under masters and grandmasters. At the age of twelve, he emigrated to Spain, then Hungary, and now resides in Lugano, Switzerland. He gained international attention when he became a grandmaster at age fourteen, beating the previous US record by Hikaru Nakamura, and setting the new one for Italy as well. Today he ranks as the top junior in the world, and is already in the world Top Ten.

His childhood draws a number of curious parallels to Josh Waitzkin’s, whose story inspired the book and film Searching for Bobby Fischer. For example, both lived in New York, both were discovered by trainer Bruce Pandolfini, and both played at the Marshall Club as well as outdoors at Washington Park. Unfortunately, in the US there is a great discrepancy between the importance given to chess in schools, and the scarce attention to chess as a professional activity. So much so that after making the difficult decision to give priority to their son’s tremendous talent, the Caruanas (Italian-American father and Italian mother) moved to Madrid, Spain, so that Fabio could train under Boris Zlotnik, who to this day acts as advisor and family friend.

Logically, while living in Spain, there was pressure from Italy for the boy to live there, given that he is the best player the country has seen in centuries, but they opted instead to move to Budapest to allow the blossoming talent to train under two grandmasters of very opposing styles, Alexander Chernin and Zoltan Ribli. Their work was then complemented by sporadic visits from former elite player, Alexander Beliavsky.

The criteria for choosing tournaments was clear– Fabiano gave priority to those that were part of the World Championship circuit, not because he thought he was already in a position to win them, but to grow in competitions where the majority of his rivals had their claws well-sharpened. Since the purpose was to learn, there were no draws devoid of fight or risk, and his path was just the opposite, costing him points but that he was convinced would yield its fruits.

And the seeds he planted grew, since while it seemed for many years that Caruana was a great tactician who lacked strategic knowledge, this view has already been swept into the past. One does not reach the eighth place on the overall list by accident with glaring holes in one’s armory. One need only look at the five most important performances by the Italian this year– winner of Reggio Emilio, second at the Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee Festival, tied with Carlsen and Radjabov behind Aronian, first at the super open in Reykjavik, second at the Tal Memorial in Moscow, behind Carlsen, and finally winner at Dortmund. While very few have such an impressive résumé, almost all those who do will be present in Sao Paulo and Bilbao.

Fabiano Caruana received a special invitation from the Grand Slam organizers to play in the Masters Final because of his spectacular results over the last months.

Schedule and results

São Paulo Grand Slam Final
Round 1: Monday, September 24, 15h
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Sergey Karjakin
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 2: Tuesday, September 25, 15h
Francisco Vallejo 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Sergey Karjakin 
0-1
 Fabiano Caruana
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Round 3: Wednesday, September 26, 15h
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin
Round 4: Friday, September 28, 15h
Fabiano Caruana 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Sergey Karjakin 
½-½
 Viswanathan Anand
Round 5: Saturday, September 29, 15h
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Sergey Karjakin
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Bilbao Grand Slam Final
Round 6: Monday, October 8, 17h
Francisco Vallejo 
   Viswanathan Anand
Sergey Karjakin 
   Magnus Carlsen
Fabiano Caruana 
   Levon Aronian
Round 7: Tuesday, October 9, 17h
Magnus Carlsen 
   Francisco Vallejo
Fabiano Caruana 
   Sergey Karjakin
Levon Aronian 
   Viswanathan Anand
Round 8: Wednesday, October 11, 17h
Francisco Vallejo 
   Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand 
   Fabiano Caruana
Sergey Karjakin 
   Magnus Carlsen
Round 9: Friday, October 12, 17h
Sergey Karjakin 
   Francisco Vallejo
Magnus Carlsen 
   Viswanathan Anand
Fabiano Caruana 
   Levon Aronian
Round 10: Saturday, October 13, 16:30h
Francisco Vallejo 
   Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian 
   Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand 
   Sergey Karjakin

Note: there are errors in the Bilbao pairings. We will update the tables
as soon as the organisers have sent us a corrected version.


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


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


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register