Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

4th Final Masters 2011 (9)

Carlsen catches Ivanchuk in Bilbao, Nakamura suffers self-inflicted loss

Vallejo signs for his point, Nakamura starts to realise he shouldn't have gone for that orange juice. Photo ©

Vallejo signs for his point, Nakamura starts to realise he shouldn't have gone for that orange juice. Photo © |

The 9th round of the 4th Final Masters in Bilbao saw all the games finish decisively. Magnus Carlsen won an exciting game against Vassily Ivanchuk. Carlsen worked very hard to create an advantage against Ivanchuk but the latter had no need to play anything so complex in the first place. Carlsen got his rook to the 7th but this wasn't decisive and in fact he missed Ivanchuk's fine defence. However the resulting position saw Ivanchuk have a difficult defense with only a couple of minutes on the clock and he eventually dropped a piece. Levon Aronian was glad to play a fine game of chess after his loss to Nakamura. He sacrificed a pawn for the initiative against World Champion Viswanathan Anand who has been disappointingly quiet. Anand eventually missed his way and is now in last place. This is because Francisco Vallejo Pons was truly gifted another win, this time by Hikaru Nakamura. Nakamura became confused on move 40 in a favourable position and even though he should have been able to work out he needed to play another move went for an orange juice and lost on time for his most "painful ever" loss. Rd9 Standings: 1st= Carlsen, Ivanchuk 14pts, 3rd= Nakamura, Aronian 11, 5th Vallejo Pons 10 and Anand 9 Final round 10 pairings: Ivanchuk-Aronian, Anand-Vallejo and Nakamura-Carlsen. Play-off if required 2 blitz games 4 mins + 3 seconds per move. Final Armageddon 5m to 4m sudden death games with black having draw odds will also be played if necessary.

Magnus Carlsen 1-0 Vassily Ivanchuk

Magnus Carlsen beat Vassily Ivanchuk

Magnus Carlsen beat Vassily Ivanchuk. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Magnus Carlsen defeated Vassily Ivanchuk in the penultimate round to catch him on 14 points. There will be a blitz playoff between them if still tied after the final round. Carlsen would have been looking for complications and Ivanchuk didn't avoid them. It is hard to be, on the one hand critical of the extremely dull chess from some of the leading players when they're looking for just a draw and on the other criticise Ivanchuk for playing interesting chess in such a situation but what he did wasn't in his own interest.

Carlsen got a serious initiative against Ivanchuk but couldn't land the decisive blow. Even after 17.Rxd7 there wasn't anything clear for him and Ivanchuk found the compulsary but strong 21... Qxf5! which was a resource that had been overlooked by Carlsen. In Carlsen's own words he was fortunate he had 23.Nh6+. By move 29 Carlsen had about 15 minutes left, Ivanchuk about 2 minutes. It seems Carlsen may have actually been better now, certainly Ivanchuk continued to play very reasonably but his position just got harder and harder to play and eventually he dropped a piece to a two move combination.

Thrilled to have won an exciting game and join Ivanchuk in the lead! Last round should be interesting.

Magnus Carlsen's Twitter Page

Magnus Carlsen beat Vassily Ivanchuk

Magnus Carlsen taking Vassily Ivanchuk's bishop which he now sees is en-prise. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Carlsen,Magnus (2823) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2765) [E21]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (9.3), 10.10.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 b6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3 Ne4 8.Qc2 f5 9.g3 Nf6 10.Bh3

[10.Bg2 0-1 Rossen,C (2168)-Hansen,S (2552)/Copenhagen DEN 2004/The Week in Chess 508 (81)]

10...0-0 11.0-0 a5 12.Rd1 Qe8 13.d5 Na6 14.Bf4 exd5 15.Bxf5 dxc4 16.Ng5 Qh5

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 17.Rxd7


Already black's position is thoroughly unpleasant but there really isn't anything concrete.

17...Kh8 18.Re7 Nd5 19.Bg4 Qg6 20.Nf7+ Kg8 21.Bf5 Qxf5!

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 21...Qxf5!

Carlsen was big enough to admit he didn't see this queen sacrifice and is very lucky not to be just losing here.

22.Qxf5 Nxe7 23.Nh6+!

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 23.Nh6+

This move rescues things for Carlsen. The position is roughly dynamically equal but even as the game goes you'd rather be white in this position any day.

23...gxh6 24.Qg4+ Ng6 25.Bxh6 Rf7 26.Rd1 Re8 27.h4 Nc5 28.h5 Bc8 29.Qxc4 Ne5

Black had about two minutes for the rest of the game now.

30.Qh4 Nc6 31.Rd5 Ne6 32.Qc4 Ncd8?

Vassily Ivanchuk


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 32...Ncd8?

It is here the Ivanchuk missed that this move unprotects the bishop.

[32...Ne7 33.Re5 Nf5 34.Rxf5 Rxf5 35.Qg4+ Ng5 36.Bxg5 Rxf2 37.Qc4+ Rf7]

33.Qg4+! Ng7 34.Qxc8 1-0

Vallejo signs for his point, Nakamura starts to realise he shouldn't have gone for that orange juice

Vallejo signs for his point, Nakamura starts to realise he shouldn't have gone for that orange juice. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Vallejo 1-0 Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura got the complex position he wanted against Franciso Vallejo Pons even if he as worse. A nice tactical sequence at first equalised and then he got the better of it by move 40. But sadly for Nakamura, in spite of it being Vallejo in time trouble it was Nakamura who didn't play a move 40.

Nakamura donated three points to Vallejo with an act of real stupidity, as I'm sure he will come to acknowledge. The time control in this event has had a huge effect on the results and here and Nakamura confused himself on move 40. He should have been able to work out from the state of Vallejo's clock and his own that he hadn't passed time control. Instead he asked the arbiter if they had passed time control and thought he saw him nod and proceeded to go and get an orange juice. When he came back to the board he had lost on time. He had put the arbiter in a difficult position as it isn't the arbiter's job to tell the players this fact. Also the electronic demonstration boards weren't in view of the players as they often are. A totally self-inflicted blow by Nakamura whose appeal was immediately rejected. I'm sure he'll chalk it down to experience by tomorrow. He's also not going to get much sympathy from the average player who face this problem themselves almost every game without electronic clocks, boards or arbiters. The most sickening thing for Nakamura is that after Carlsen's win he had a decent chance of catching him as the final position was a lot better for him.

I've lost many chessgames and I've won my fair share too, but none have been this painful ever. Thankfully there are other things in life.

Nakamura's Twitter Page

Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2716) - Nakamura,Hikaru (2753) [E94]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (9.1), 10.10.2011

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.Be3 e5 8.0-0 Re8 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.b4 c6 11.c5 Nh5

[11...Qe7 12.Nd2 Nf8 13.Nc4 Rd8 14.Qa4 Ne6 15.Nb6 axb6 16.Qxa8 Nd4 17.Qa7 bxc5 18.Qxc5 Qc7 19.Bg5 b6 20.Qc4 Be6 21.Qa6 b5 22.Rfc1 h6 23.Bxf6 Bxf6 24.Bf1 Bg5 25.Nxb5 Qd7 26.Nxd4 Qxd4 27.Re1 Bd2 28.Rad1 Qc3 29.Re3 Qxe3 30.fxe3 Bxe3+ 31.Kh1 Rxd1 32.h3 Rc1 33.Kh2 Rc2 34.a4 Bf4+ 35.Kh1 Rc1 36.a5 Bc4 37.Qxc4 Rxc4 38.Bxc4 Kf8 39.g3 Bd2 40.a6 Be3 41.Kg2 Ke7 42.Kf3 Bb6 43.Ke2 Ba7 44.h4 g5 45.h5 Bb6 46.Kf3 Ba7 47.Bb3 Bb6 48.Ke2 c5 49.b5 c4 50.Bxc4 Ba7 51.Kd3 Bb6 52.Bb3 Ba7 53.Bd5 Kd6 54.Bxf7 Bb6 55.Kc4 Ba7 56.Kb4 Bb6 57.Bb3 Kc7 58.Bd1 1/2-1/2 Markos,J (2555)-McNab,C (2474)/Edinburgh SCO 2009/The Week in Chess 768]

12.Nd2 Nf4 13.Nc4 Nxe2+ 14.Qxe2 Qe7 15.Rab1 Nf8 16.Nd6 Rd8 17.Na4 Ne6 18.Nb2 b5 19.a4 a6 20.Ra1 Rb8 21.axb5 axb5 22.Ra3 Nf4 23.Qd2 Be6 24.g3 Nh5 25.Rfa1 Nf6 26.Bg5 Qf8 27.Bxf6 Bxf6 28.Nd3 Be7 29.Nxe5 Bxd6!

Hikaru Nakamura


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 29...Bxd6!


Black has equalised. I presume he missed the following rather remarkable combination from Nakamura.

[30.Nxc6 Bxc5 31.Nxd8 Rxd8 32.Rd3 Rxd3 33.Qxd3 Bc4 34.Qf3 Bxb4]

30...Rxd6 31.Qc3 Rbd8 32.h4 Qe8 33.Ra6 f6 34.Nf3 Bg4 35.Qb3+ Kh8 36.Nh2 Qxe4 37.Nxg4 Qxg4 38.Qf7 Qf3 39.Rf1 Rd1 40.Ra1

Hikaru Nakamura


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 40.Ra1

and here Nakamura went to get refreshments on the assuption he had made time control and lost on time. He has an advantage.


Levon Aronian 1-0 Viswanathan Anand

Levon Aronian was glad to play a proper game today "Today I was in good shape, mentally and physically." he said in an interview with Macauley Peterson for ChessFM which will no doubt appear on this linked page along with some other interesting reports already there. World Champion Viswanathan Anand is increasingly giving the impression that he has lost interest in winning tournaments, he has won so many, and that he his priority is very much his match against Boris Gelfand next year. This may be unfair but he has been terribly disappointing in this tournament and relegated to the basement after Vallejo's lucky win combined with this loss.

Levon A

Aronian,Levon (2807) - Anand,Viswanathan (2817) [D37]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (9.2), 10.10.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bxc4 Nxe4 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qa4+ Nc6 9.Bg5

[9.Ne5 1-0 Halkias,S (2580)-Fressinet,L (2670)/Rijeka CRO 2010/The Week in Chess 801 (52)]

9...Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.d5 exd5 12.Rfe1+ Be6 13.Bxd5 0-0 14.Bxe6 fxe6 15.Rad1 Qe8 16.Ne4 Qe7 17.Qb3

White has sufficient for the pawn and an initiative.

17...Rab8 18.Nxf6+ Rxf6 19.Ng5 Qb4 20.Qc2 Rg6 21.Re4 Qa5 22.h4 Re8 23.Rd7

Viswanathan Anand


Levon Aronian

Position after 23.Rd7

23...h6? 24.b4 Qf5?

24...Qb5 but white is on top.

25.Rxe6 1-0

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. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2823 * * 1 1 ½ . ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 14 2853
2. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2765 0 0 * * ½ 1 1 . 1 0 1 ½ 14 2823
3. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2753 ½ . ½ 0 * * ½ 1 1 0 ½ ½ 11 2781
4. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2807 ½ ½ 0 . ½ 0 * * 1 ½ ½ 1 11 2775
5. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2716 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 ½ * * 0 . 10 2710
6. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 . * * 9 2736

Round 1 (September 26, 2011)
Nakamura, Hikaru - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 28 A40 Unusual Replies to 1.d4
Aronian, Levon - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 53 D10 Slav Defence
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 28 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Round 2 (September 27, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 56 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 37 A20 English Opening
Nakamura, Hikaru - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 38 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit
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
Round 4 (September 30, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 43 D55 Queens Gambit Old Lasker Variation
Aronian, Levon - Ivanchuk, Vassily 0-1 38 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Vallejo Pons, Francisco - Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 57 A04 Dutch System
Round 5 (October 1, 2011)
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Carlsen, Magnus 0-1 45 C11 French Defence
Nakamura, Hikaru - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 59 A25 English Sicilian Attack
Anand, Viswanathan - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 41 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Round 6 (October 6, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 49 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 39 B43 Sicilian Paulsen
Vallejo Pons, Francisco - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 39 D02 Queen's Pawn Game
Round 7 (October 7, 2011)
Aronian, Levon - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 50 D55 Queens Gambit Old Lasker Variation
Anand, Viswanathan - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 36 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Vallejo Pons, Francisco - Ivanchuk, Vassily 1-0 47 A15 English counter King's Fianchetto
Round 8 (October 8, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 46 D12 Slav Defence
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 58 E12 Queens Indian Petrosian
Nakamura, Hikaru - Aronian, Levon 1-0 79 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
Round 9 (October 10, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Ivanchuk, Vassily 1-0 34 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3
Aronian, Levon - Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 25 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Vallejo Pons, Francisco - Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 40 E91 King's Indian Classical

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