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4th Final Masters 2011 (5)

Carlsen drags Ivanchuk back towards the field as Final Masters heads to Bilbao

Perhaps tiredness is finally catching up with Ivanchuk as he was nowhere near his best against Carlsen in Round 5. Photo ©

Perhaps tiredness is finally catching up with Ivanchuk as he was nowhere near his best against Carlsen in Round 5. Photo © |

The 4th Final Masters has reached the half-way stage, a break and a move to Bilbao. Magnus Carlsen defeated Vassily Ivanchuk with black in an interesting French Defence but there were a number of strange decisions from Ivanchuk and it was more his loss rather than Carlsen's win. It wouldn't surprise me if Ivanchuk's recent heavy schedule with the World Cup isn't catching up on him a bit. Perhaps the break comes at an ideal time for him as his general form is obviously excellent. Hikaru Nakamura eventually defeated Franciso Vallejo Pons to move to 2nd place. Vallejo will be hoping the break will allow him to regain his confidence a bit. He is being targeted, getting into time trouble and his confidence looks low, he could easily have no points or at most one given Carlsen's gift to him. Viswanathan Anand against Levon Aronian was a draw not without its interesting moments. Ivanchuk 10pts, Nakamura 7pts, Anand, Carlsen, Aronian 6pts and Vallejo 3pts Round 6 Thu 6th Oct in Bilbao Ivanchuk-Nakamura, Carlsen-Anand and Vallejo-Aronian.

Ivanchuk 0-1 Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen scored his first win of the event in defeating the run-away leader Vassily Ivanchuk on the black side of a Classical French Defence. 8.a3 isn't a novelty from Ivanchuk but it certainly isn't critical. 15...e5 was neatly done by Carlsen and equalised for him. 22.b3? was a bad idea from Ivanchuk but he got back into the game and 37.b6 still looks drawn but both players were in time pressure. After 37.Kf2? Carlsen was precise in converting his advantage to a win.

Vassily Ivanchuk against Magnus Carlsen

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

Beat Ivanchuk today, now anything is possible in Bilbao! Not a great game by any means, but I could not care less about that right now.

Magnus Carlsen on Twitter

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2765) - Carlsen,Magnus (2823) [C11]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (5.2), 01.10.2011

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Be7 8.a3

A rather strange move from Ivanchuk which hasn't been played at the highest level before.

[8.Be2 1/2-1/2 Kamsky,G (2745)-Morozevich,A (2610)/Amsterdam NED 1996 (60)]


[8...b6 1-0 Hernandez,Z-Vilarino,L/Bento Goncalves 2000/EXT 2001 (65); 8...a6 9.Bd3 b5 10.f5 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Bc5 13.Bxc5 Nxc5 14.0-0 Qg5 15.Rf3 Nxd3 16.Qxd3 0-0 17.Raf1 Bb7 18.Rg3 Qh4 19.Rh3 Qg4 20.fxe6 g6 21.exf7+ Kg7 22.Qe3 h5 23.Rg3 d4 24.Qd3 Qe6 25.Rf6 1-0 Diaz Caramazana,J-Haines,K/Asturias 1993/EXT 2005; 8...a6 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Bxc5 Nxc5 11.b4]


[9.dxc5 1/2-1/2 Sepp,Y (1967)-Dolskiy,V (1929)/Dmitrov 2011/CB32_2011 (80)]


[9...a6 1/2-1/2 Padurariu,V-Stojanovic,N/Rimavska Sobota 1996/EXT 1997 (50)]

10.g3 Kh8 11.h4 f6 12.exf6 Nxf6 13.Bh3 Bd7 14.Rd1 cxd4 15.Nxd4 e5

Magnus Carlsen


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 15...e5

It seems to be very nicely calculated counter-play.

16.Nxc6 Bxc6 17.fxe5 d4 18.exf6 Bxf6 19.0-0 dxc3 20.Qxd8 Raxd8 21.Rxd8 Rxd8 22.b3?

Magnus Carlsen


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 22.b3?

Why? 22.bxc3 Bxc3 23.Rf7 Be5 is about equal. Ivanchuk just makes problems for himself.

22...Re8 23.Bf2 Be4 24.Re1 Re7 25.Rc1 h5 26.Bg2 Bf5 27.Bf3 g6 28.a4 Kh7 29.b4 g5 30.a5 g4 31.axb6 axb6 32.Bc6 Re2 33.Bxb6

White has succeded in creating some counter-play. The rest of the moves up to move 40 were played very fast as both players were in time trouble.

33...Be5 34.b5 Kg7 35.Ba5 Rxc2 36.Rxc2 Bxc2 37.Kf2?

Magnus Carlsen


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 37.Kf2?

The losing error in time pressure.

37.b6 Bd3 38.Kg2 c2 39.Bd2 Kf6 40.b7 and it is hard to see white winning.

37...Bd3 38.Ke3 Bg6 39.Be4 c2 40.Bd2 Bxg3

This wins although it has to be accurately calculated especially as black has the wrong coloured bishop for the rooks pawn.

41.Bxg6 Kxg6 42.Kd3 Bf2 43.Kxc2 g3 44.Bf4 g2 45.Bh2 Kf5

Black will drive his king into h3.


Nakamura 1-0 Vallejo

Hikaru Nakamura got over the line against Francisco Vallejo Pons in a lively game where the Spaniard was again in trouble early on. Vallejo sacrificed a piece but never had quite enough for it. Probably an attempt to change the course of the tournament for himself. Nakamura could have probably finished the game earlier but eventually he found a very safe way to return the piece for comfortable and advantageous play after which he converted the position with few problems.

Hikaru Nakamura against Francisco Vallejo Pons

Hikaru Nakamura against Francisco Vallejo Pons. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Nakamura,Hikaru (2753) - Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2716) [A25]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (5.1), 01.10.2011

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 Bc5 4.Bg2 a6 5.e3 d6 6.Nge2 Nge7 7.b3 Ba7 8.Bb2 Rb8

[8...0-0 9.d3 Be6 10.Nd5 Qd7 11.Qd2 Nd8 12.d4 f6 13.0-0 Nxd5 14.cxd5 Bh3 15.e4 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Nf7 17.f3 f5 18.h3 Rae8 19.Rae1 h6 20.dxe5 dxe5 21.g4 fxe4 22.fxe4 h5 23.gxh5 Qe7 24.Ng3 Qh4 25.Qe2 Nh6 26.Rxf8+ Rxf8 27.Rf1 Rxf1 28.Qxf1 Qg5 29.Bc1 Qe7 30.Bxh6 gxh6 31.Qf5 Be3 32.Qg6+ Kf8 33.Kf3 Bf4 34.Nf5 Qg5 35.h4 Qxg6 36.hxg6 h5 37.d6 cxd6 38.Nxd6 Kg7 39.Nxb7 Bd2 40.Nd6 Kxg6 41.Ke2 Bb4 42.Nf5 Kf6 43.Kd3 Be1 44.Kc4 Ke6 45.b4 Kd7 46.Kc5 Kc7 47.a3 Kb7 48.Kd5 Bc3 49.Ng7 Kb6 50.Nxh5 Be1 51.Nf6 Bxh4 52.Nd7+ Kb5 53.Nxe5 a5 54.Nd3 axb4 55.axb4 Be7 56.e5 Bh4 57.Kd6 Kc4 58.e6 1-0 Ermenkov,E (2431)-Kizov,A (2397)/Sunny Beach BUL 2010/The Week in Chess 826]

9.d3 Bf5 10.Qd2 Qd7 11.h3 0-0 12.f4 Be6 13.d4 Nf5 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.0-0-0 exd4 16.exd4 Ne7 17.g4 f5 18.g5 Bf7 19.Ng3 a5 20.h4 a4 21.Nxa4 Bxc4?!

Francisco Vallejo Pons


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 21...Bxc4. The whole idea is ill-conceived.

22.bxc4 c5 23.Nc3 Rb4 24.Qd3 cxd4 25.Nb5


25...d5 26.Nxa7 c5

[26...Rxc4+ 27.Kb1 c5 28.Rc1]

27.cxd5 Qxa7 28.a3 Rb6 29.Qc4 Nc8 30.d6+ Kh8 31.d7

[31.Qxc5 is winning but Nakamura takes things direct to an ending.]

31...Qxd7 32.Rh2 Qb7 33.Rc2 Rb5 34.Nxf5

Francisco Vallejo Pons


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 34.Nxf5 liquidating into a winning ending.

The idea is to return the piece with a killing position.

34...Rxf5 35.Rxd4 Rf8 36.Rdd2 Ne7 37.h5 Nf5 38.h6 Rxb2 39.hxg7+ Kxg7 40.Qc3+ Nd4 41.Rxb2 Qd5 42.Qh3 Re8 43.Rb6

Black's king is wide open and white's is safe.

43...Kg8 44.Kb2 Qf7 45.Qh6 Qxf4 46.Rh2 Re7 47.g6 Qxh6 48.Rxh6 Re2+ 49.Kc3 hxg6 50.Rhxg6+ Kf7 51.Rbf6+ Ke7 52.Ra6 Ne6 53.a4 Kd7 54.a5 Nc7 55.Ra7 Re7 56.a6 Ke8 57.Rb7 Kf7 58.Rc6 Nd5+ 59.Kc4 1-0

Anand draw Aronian

Viswanathan Anand didn't end up with very much against Levon Aronian out of the opening and even ended up a pawn down in a totally drawn Rook and Pawn ending later.

Viswanathan Anand against Levon Aronian

Viswanathan Anand against Levon Aronian Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Anand,Viswanathan (2817) - Aronian,Levon (2807) [C84]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (5.3), 01.10.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 b4 9.Nbd2 Na5 10.Ba2 c5 11.c3 Rb8 12.Nc4 0-0 13.Nxa5 Qxa5 14.Bd2 bxc3 15.Bxc3 Qd8 16.Nd2 Be6 17.Nc4 Qc8 18.Qf3 Bg4 19.Qe3 Be6 20.Qe2 Rd8 21.a5 Qc6 22.Nb6 Rb7 23.Bxe6 fxe6 24.Rac1 Qe8 25.b4 cxb4 26.Bxb4 d5 27.Bc3 Bd6 28.f4 dxe4 29.fxe5 exd3 30.Qe3 Nd5 31.Nxd5 exd5 32.Qxd3 Bc5+ 33.Bd4 Qb5 34.Rc3 Qxd3 35.Rxd3 Bxd4+ 36.Rxd4 Rb5 37.Rc1 Rxa5 38.e6 Rb5 39.Rc6 a5 40.h3 h6 41.Ra6 Rb7 1/2-1/2

Levon Aronian


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 41.Rb7

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 . 0 . 1 . 1 . 1 . 10 2932
2. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2753 ½ . * * ½ . ½ . ½ . 1 . 7 2857
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2823 1 . ½ . * * ½ . ½ . 0 . 6 2771
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 0 . ½ . ½ . * * ½ . 1 . 6 2772
5. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2807 0 . ½ . ½ . ½ . * * 1 . 6 2774
6. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2716 0 . 0 . 1 . 0 . 0 . * * 3 2553
Round 1 (September 26, 2011)
Nakamura, Hikaru - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 28 A40 Unusual Replies to 1.d4
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 28 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Aronian, Levon - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 53 D10 Slav Defence
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)
Anand, Viswanathan - Ivanchuk, Vassily 0-1 69 C63 Ruy Lopez Schliemann
Aronian, Levon - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 46 D94 Gruenfeld Closed
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

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