XXII Ciudad de León Masters: Carlsen knocks out Wang Yue

by ChessBase
6/6/2009 – After a draw in the first of four rapid chess games Chinese GM Wang Yue dealt Magnus Carlsen a blow by winning game two. But the young Norwegian came back immediately with a 23-move win in game three. The fourth game was drawn, so that a blitz tiebreak was necessary. It was won by Magnus in the final, sixth game. Playchess is broadcasting all games live. Day two report.

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XXII Ciudad de León Masters

June 4th to 8th Friday to Sunday in León, Spain

The participants of the XXII Ciudad de Leon Masters Chess Tournament, one of the most prestigious classics in the international chess calendar, are Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) defending champion (Leon 2008 winner); Magnus Carlsen, (Norway), at the age of 18 the world number three ranked player; Alexander Morozevich (Russia), currently number eight in the world; and the new sensation, Wang Yue (China), 21 years old, number 14 in the current rankings and the all-time strongest Asian grandmaster after Vishy Anand.

The time controls are 20 minutes per player for the whole game, plus ten seconds increment after each move. Each match is played to the best of four games, and tie-breaks, if required, are five minute blitz games, to be played immediately after the regular games. The venue is the Auditorium of the Concert Hall.

The games are being broadcast live on Playchess.

Day two – Carlsen vs Wang Yue

It is seldom that the looser deserved so much applause as the very tough Wang Yue did today, after he lost the tie-break to Magnus Carlsen, the "Mozart of Chess". The Norwegian will face Vassily Ivanchuk in the final (Sunday, 16.30, www.advancedchessleon.com).

The first game made clear why Wang Yue is called “the Rock of the East”. Two of his moves (the 33rd and 47th) looked like clear mistakes, but actually he was convinced the position was a technical draw, as the game demonstrated.

Press chief Leontxo Garcia announces the start of the match Carlsen vs Wang Yue

The players prepare for game one

Deputy Sports Minister of León, José María López Benito, makes the ceremonial first move

The second game was much sharper. Wang Yue played more aggressively, and it was a very nice fight. Unfortunately for him, Carlsen made a mistake on the 24th move, when the position was still playable for black. After that Wang Yue played very forcefully, until victory was his.

The second game, which was won by Wang Yue, on the big screen in the theatre

Another sensation came in the third game. Wang Yue didn’t know the game Ivanchuk-Anand, Leon’s final in 2008, where the World Champion was already lost after the 16th move. Wang fell into the same trap. Carlsen of course knew the game: “The Leon tournament is important every year, and is good to follow it carefully, just in case you can get some good ideas.”

In the third game Magnus took revenge, beating his opponent in just 23 moves

With a level score, the Chinese GM started biting his finger nails, and the Norwegian prodigy ordered four Cokes at once. The fourth game was a normal draw, and the same result was signed after the first tiebreak game (five minutes + three seconds per move).

It was in the second game when the stamina and the nervous tension played a decisive role. “I was more tired than my opponent, and that’s basically why I lost”, said Wang Yue. “Anything could happen. The smallest details were going to be decisive, and we can say I was lucky somehow”, replied Carlsen.

About the final against Ivanchuk, the Scandinavian said: “Obviously, he has more experience, and has already beaten me in rapid games. But I normally improve my performance day by day in this kind of tournaments, once I get used to the time control. I hope that will happen tomorrow as well”.

 Magnus Carlsen
 Wang Yue 

Wang Yue at the press conference after his loss to the young Norwegian GM

Magnus Carlsen in a much more cheerful mood

The two analyse their games together

All pictures by Nadja Woisin

Vassily Ivanchuk, who knocked Alexander Morozevich out on Friday, held a lecture
this moning, together with GM Miguel Illescas and press chief Leontxo Garcia.

Remaining schedule

  • June 7th (Sunday): 16.30h final at the Leon Auditorium
  • 8th (Monday): 14.30h closing ceremony and prize giving; 17.30h simultaneous exhibition at the University Hall.


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 the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.



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