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4th Final Masters 2011 (3)

Carlsen and Anand share last after losses in 3rd round of Final Masters

Vassily Ivanchuk earned a great win against World Champion Viswanathan Anand who made him work for it Photo &copyl;

Vassily Ivanchuk earned a great win against World Champion Viswanathan Anand who made him work for it Photo ©l; |

4th Final Masters Round 3 report. Magnus Carlsen suffered a shocking loss when he overlooked a simple tactic after blowing a winning position against Francisco Vallejo Pons. As I said at the start of the event "The time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves then 60 minutes and 10 seconds per move for the rest seems calculated to produce more decisive, if not necessarily better, games." Carlsen drifted into time pressure but on twitter he said it was unnecessary for him to do so. World Champion and world number 2 Viswanathan Anand lost a complicated struggle on the white side of a Schliemann Ruy Lopez to the mercurial Vassily Ivanchuk who ground him down in a complex ending where Anand found many resources but Ivanchuk showed great skill and patience. Anand's challenger Boris Gelfand (to Jakovenko) and Women's World Champion Hou Yifan (to Stefanova) also lost today in the European Club Cup to add to this day of surprises. Hikaru Nakamura made no apology for playing so solidly as black against Levon Aronian to hold the draw. Ivanchuk 7pts, Aronian 5pts, Nakamura and Vallejo 3pts, Carlsen and Anand 2pts. Rest Day Thurs. Rd4 Fri 30th Sept: 19:00 BST. Aronian-Ivanchuk, Vallejo-Anand and Carlsen-Nakamura.

Francisco Vallejo Pons 1-0 Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen dropped a whole piece after being frustrated by Francisco Vallejo Pons in a game where he worked hard to build up a winning position with black. However he had to be accurate and once he missed his best chance he needed to settle for a draw but presumably on the assumption he ought to be winning he missed something very simple and lost with the horrible 30.... Qd5?

Magnus Carlsen blundered a piece away against Francisco Vallejo Pons

Magnus Carlsen blundered a piece away against Francisco Vallejo Pons. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Magnus Carlsen wanted to add to Francisco Vallejo Pons misery and showed this intention from the very start with the choice of 1...g6. It is very hard to beat a 2700+ player with the black pieces if he has the intention of just drawing. Carlsen quickly equalised and had the nicer position to play in the middlegame tieing white up. To give Vallejo credit he worked hard to stay in the game and when Carlsen played 26...Qxe4?! (I suppose it is possible this already set up the losing error) instead of 26...Rd3 he should have been satisfied with the draw. Instead Carlsen overlooked something trivial and dropped a piece and had to resign a few moves later. Vallejo was threatened with being the whipping boy in the event, but now he has scored a win he will be hopeful he can avoid that fate.

Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2716) - Carlsen,Magnus (2823) [A04]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (3.1), 28.09.2011

1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Qe2 0-0 6.0-0 Bg4 7.Rd1 Nc6 8.Bb5 Nd7 9.c3 e5 10.Bxc6

[10.d5 Ne7 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 f5 13.Bg5 Nc5 14.Nd2 a6 15.Be2 h6 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.b4 Nd7 18.Qg3 Kh7 19.c4 Bf6 20.Qd3 Bg5 1/2-1/2 Kovacevic,V (2480)-Jansa,V/Sombor 1976/EXT 2003]

10...bxc6 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 exd4 13.cxd4 c5 14.Be3 Rb8 15.Qe2 Rb4 16.a3 Rb3 17.Ra2 Qb8 18.Qc2 a5 19.dxc5 Nxc5 20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.Qxc5 Rd8 22.Nc3 Rxd1+ 23.Nxd1 Qd8 24.Ra1 Qd2 25.Rc1 Qe1+ 26.Kh2

Magnus Carlsen


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 26.Kh2


[26...Rd3 Kasparov: "I know I'm just an old retired player, but wasn't 26..Rd3 winning immediately in Vallejo-Carlsen?" quote on Mig's Twitter Feed. 27.Ne3 (27.Qxc7 actually looks tougher 27...h5 (27...Rxd1 28.Qb8+ Bf8 29.Rc8 Qxf2 30.Rxf8+ Kg7 31.Rd8 Rg1 32.Rg8+ Kh6 33.Qf8+ Kh5 34.Rxg6 hxg6 35.Qh8+) ) 27...Qxf2 28.Ng4 Qg3+]

27.Qc2 Be5+ 28.g3 Rd3

Black has drifted and white is about level now.

29.Ne3 h5 30.Nc4 Qd5?

Magnus Carlsen


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 30...Qd5?

Well, to unnecessarily drift into time trouble and lose a winning position in a few moves is of course outrageous.

MagnusCarlsen on Twitter

To quote Larsen about a Fischer loss to him. "I don't know what Fischer overlooked but it must have been something very simple."

[30...Bc3; 30...Bg7 both admitting he isn't better is the right idea.]

31.Nxe5 Rd2 32.Qc5

Maybe Magnus didn't see this protects e5 and f2.

32...Qxc5 33.Rxc5 Rxf2+ 34.Kg1 Rxb2 35.Rxc7 Rb3 36.Kg2 Rxa3 37.Nxf7 a4 38.Ra7 Ra1 39.Ne5 g5 40.g4 hxg4 41.hxg4 a3 42.Nf3 1-0

Viswanathan Anand 0-1 Vassily Ivanchuk

Vassily Ivanchuk took the lead with a fine win over Viswanathan Anand

Vassily Ivanchuk took the lead with a fine win over Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

The battle between Viswanathan Anand and Vassily Ivanchuk was a tremendously complicated Ruy Lopez Schliemann where Anand suddenly found himself in terrible trouble with his queen. Anand found a way to continue and produced counterplay against Ivanchuk's king but could not avoid the loss in the end.

Anand,Viswanathan (2817) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2765) [C63]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (3.3), 28.09.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Bg5 d6 9.Nd5 Kh8 10.c3 Ne7 11.Nxf6 gxf6 12.Be3 Bxe3 13.fxe3 Ng6 14.Nd2 c6 15.Bd3 Be6 16.Rf2 Qb6 17.Nf1 Rf7 18.Qh5 Rg8 19.Re1 d5 20.Ng3 d4 21.exd4 exd4 22.e5 dxc3 23.Bxg6 Rxg6 24.bxc3 Bg4

Vassily Ivanchuk


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 24...Bg4. Suddenly the white queen is in trouble and black's pieces pressurise f2.

25.Qh4 fxe5 26.Ne4 Be6 27.Kh1 Rxf2 28.Nxf2 Qb2 29.Rd1 Qe2 30.h3 h6 31.Kh2 Qe3 32.Rd8+ Kh7 33.Rb8 Rg7 34.Rf8 Qg5 35.Qe4+ Qg6 36.g4 Bxa2 37.Qxe5 Qe6 38.Qf4 Rf7 39.Rxf7+ Qxf7 40.Qe4+ Kg7 41.Nd3 Qc7+ 42.Ne5 Qd6 43.Kg3 a5 44.Qf4 a4 45.g5 hxg5 46.Qxg5+ Kf8 47.c4 c5 48.Qf5+ Ke7 49.Kg2

Vassily Ivanchuk


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 49.Kg2

49.... Bb3 50. Qe4 b6 51. Ng4+ Qe6 52. Qb7+ Kf8 53. Qb8+ Kg7 54. Qc7+ Kg6 55. Qf4 Bc2 56. Qh6+ Kf7 57. Qf4+ Kg7 58. Qc1 Be4+ 59. Kg3 Qd6+ 60. Kh4 Qe7+ 61. Kg3 Qd6+ 62. Kh4 Kf7 63. Qb2 Bf5 64. Qf2 Kg6 65. Qa2 Bxg4 66. hxg4 Qd8+ 67. Kg3 Qd3+ 68. Kh4 a3 69. Qa1 Kf7 0-1

Ivanchuk and Anand were both very short of time but according to reports on ICC Anand touched his king and resigned because he realised any king moves loses instantly.

Levon Aronian draw Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura played ultra-solid as black against Levon Aronian

Hikaru Nakamura played ultra-solid as black against Levon Aronian Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Levon Aronian pressurised Hikaru Nakamura on the white side of a Schlechter Gruenfeld but the opening is very solid and the game ended in a draw.

Sometimes it is good to play like Kamsky. After all, most people think he is better than me anyway! :) Time to enjoy the rest day.

GMHikaru on Twitter

Note there are three points for a win and one for a draw.

4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao (BRA/ESP), 26 ix-11 x 2011 cat. XXII (2780)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2765 * * . . ½ . 1 . . . 1 . 7 3035
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2807 . . * * ½ . 1 . ½ . . . 5 2889
3. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2753 ½ . ½ . * * . . ½ . . . 3 2796
4. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2716 0 . 0 . . . * * 1 . . . 3 2673
5. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2823 . . ½ . . . 0 . * * ½ . 2 2655
6. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 0 . . . ½ . . . ½ . * * 2 2655
Round 1 (September 26, 2011)
Aronian, Levon - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 53 D10 Slav Defence
Nakamura, Hikaru - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 28 A40 Unusual Replies to 1.d4
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 28 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Round 2 (September 27, 2011)
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 37 A20 English Opening
Nakamura, Hikaru - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 38 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit
Carlsen, Magnus - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 56 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Round 3 (September 28, 2011)
Aronian, Levon - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 46 D94 Gruenfeld Closed
Anand, Viswanathan - Ivanchuk, Vassily 0-1 69 C63 Ruy Lopez Schliemann
Vallejo Pons, Francisco - Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 42 A04 Dutch System

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