XXII León Masters: Carlsen beats Ivanchuk in final

6/7/2009 – Once again it was a real cliff-hanger: the first two rapid chess games were drawn, then Vassily Ivanchuk won and took the lead, after which Magnus Carlsen equalised. A blitz decider was required. The first two games were drawn, in the final Armageddon game Carlsen won by trapping Ivanchuk's knight. So the 18-year-old Norwegian, number three in the world, once again shows his class.

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

The games were broadcast live on Playchess.

Day three – Carlsen beats Ivanchuk


Waiting for the final to begin: Magnus chats with his father Henrik Carlsen...


... while Vassily Ivanchuk paces the floor behind the stage


At last it can begin: Natalia Rodriguez Picallo, councilor of the Municipality of Leon Sports, makes the first move in the Ivanchuk vs Carlsen final. Behind her are chief organiser Marcelino Sión and Spanish Chess Federation President Javier Ochoa de Echagüen.


The first moves of the final are played


Vassily Ivanchuk, currently one of the most active top grandmasters in the world


Magnus Carlsen in a typical thinking pose


Maybe it is the secret of top-level chess: both players use very similar thinking postures

Carlsen,M (2770) - Ivanchuk,V (2746) [A70]
XXII Rapid KO Leon ESP (3.1), 07.06.2009

The final position of the final Armageddon blitz game (White has to win): Carlsen has trapped Ivanchuk's knight

 
Nat.
Rtng.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Tot.
Perf
 Magnus Carlsen
NOR
2770
½
½
0
1
½
½
1
4.0
2796
 Vassily Ivanchuk 
UKR
2746
½
½
1
0
½
½
0
3.0
2720


After the match the press conference with Leontxo Garcia


Magnus is grilled by Leontxo on what happened in the games...


...while Vassily Ivanchuk wants to know what the computer thinks of some key positions

Photos by Nadja Woisin and Leontxo Garcia

Links

The games were 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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