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4th Final Masters 2011 (2)

Ivanchuk beats Vallejo in fascinating day two of the 4th Final Masters

Leontxo Garcia in conversation with World Champion Anand. Apparently he thinks the Moscow Variation he chose today is a draw but he forgot his analysis. Photo ©

Leontxo Garcia in conversation with World Champion Anand. Apparently he thinks the Moscow Variation he chose today is a draw but he forgot his analysis. Photo © |

The 2nd round of the 4th Final Masters in Sao Paulo saw three very rich struggles. Vassily Ivanchuk joined Levon Aronian on 4 points when he beat bottom seed Francisco Vallejo Pons. Ivanchuk gradually got the better of a manoeuvring game that started as an English. Vallejo's position deteriorated fast before he lost his queen on move 37. Hikarua Nakamura took on Viswanathan Anand in a sharp Moscow Variation side-line. Anand confessed that he forgot his analysis and Hikarua claims a missed win with 25.Bc6 but as it was Anand's counter-play was just in time to save the day. Levon Aronian just managed to hold on against Magnus Carlsen in a game where the Norwegian continuous set problems from a quiet, old, variation of the Ruy Lopez with a fascinating middle-game and unusual rook ending. Rd3 Wed 7pm UK time: Anand-Ivanchuk; Aronian-Nakamura; Vallejo-Carlsen.

Magnus Carlsen against Levon Aronian

Magnus Carlsen looked to have a very threatening position against Levon Aronian. He avoided the Marshall Gambit to the Ruy Lopez instead playing a very old line and a technically very rich game resulted in a draw.

Not really satisfied with my play today, but Aronian nevertheless had to work a bit for a draw, which he secured convincingly!/MagnusCarlsen

Carlsen,Magnus (2823) - Aronian,Levon (2807) [C84]
4th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (2.2), 27.09.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 d6 7.c3 0-0 8.Nbd2 b5 9.Bc2 d5 10.Re1 dxe4 11.dxe4 Be6

Carlsen avoids the Marshall Gambit and they play a quiet positional Ruy Lopez instead.

[11...Bc5 12.h3 Qe7 13.Nf1 Be6 14.Be3 Rad8 15.Qc1 Nh5 16.Bxc5 Qxc5 17.Qe3 1/2-1/2 Gramignani,R (2030) -Parvin,T/Yerevan ARM 1996]

12.h3 Nd7 13.Nf1 Nc5 14.Ne3 Qxd1 15.Rxd1 f6 16.Nd5 Bd6 17.Be3 Nb7 18.b4

White clearly has a little something.

18...Ne7 19.a4 c6 20.Nb6 Rab8 21.Nd2 c5 22.axb5 axb5 23.c4 cxb4 24.cxb5 Bc5 25.Bb3 Bxb3 26.Nxb3 Bxe3 27.fxe3 Na5 28.Rxa5 Rxb6 29.Rd7 Nc8

Levon Aronian


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 29...Nc8

What a really interesting position. White has the easier play and surely must be slightly better but it does seem like black has sufficient play at the moment.

30.Nc5 h5 31.Rd3 Re8

Avoiding the fork on d7.

32.Na4 Rb8 33.Rb3 Nb6 34.Rxb4 Rec8 35.Nxb6 Rxb6 36.Ra6 Rc1+ 37.Kf2 Rc2+ 38.Kg3 Rxa6 39.bxa6 Ra2 40.Rb6

Levon Aronian


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 40.Rb6

This is a very difficult ending.


Black clearly doesn't fear allowing the pawn to get to a7.

41.Rb7+ Kg6 42.a7 Kh6 43.Kh2 g6 44.Kg1 Kg5 45.Rh7 f5 46.g3 Kf6 47.Kf1 fxe4 48.Ke1 Ke6 49.Rg7 Kd5 50.g4 hxg4 51.hxg4 Kc4 52.Rd7 g5 53.Kd1 Kc3 54.Ke1 Kc4 55.Kd1 Kc3 56.Ke1 1/2

Vassily Ivanchuk beat Francisco Vallejo Pons

Vassily Ivanchuk against Francisco Vallejo Pons

Vassily Ivanchuk against Francisco Vallejo Pons. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

The bottom rated player Francisco Vallejo Pons started with two games with the black pieces, which is hard. and with two losses. It already looks like this might be a very long tournament for him. Today Vallejo was set a series of problems on the black side of an amorphous English by Vassily Ivanchuk and was gradually outplayed. His position was tricky for some time before his 33...bxc5 (33...b5 is a grovel) led to a speedy disintegration of his position. 36...Bxh4 was desperate and capturing it is probably good for white but 37.g4! traps the queen for immediate resignation.

Francisco Vallejo Pons


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 36...Bxh4? In a pretty unpleasant position Vallejo gets desperate.


Trapping the Queen.

Hikaru Nakamura draw Viswanathan Anand

Hikaru Nakamura and Viswanathan Anand

Hikaru Nakamura and Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters Website

Hikaru Nakamura and Viswanathan Anand drew a very sharp Moscow Variation. 13...Bxc6 from Anand seems new and Nakamura definitely got some kind of pull. It seems Anand is quite confident that this variation is a draw for black but in this case he forgot his analysis "It is better to be in a completely unfamiliar situation than to only remember 99%" was what he said afterwards according to the official press release. Later Nakamura claimed a win with 25.Bc6 on Twitter. Anand's defensive idea of Ra8 which was just in time to stop white's rook making a decisive intervention was in itself quite a remarkable idea. Nakamura opened up Anand's King but he had no more than perpetual check.

Clearly Nakamura was not happy with his play.

So disgusted in my inability to play good chess. Perhaps I'll actually remember how to play chess someday soon!

Thanks, but missing 25.Bc6 which is completely winning is horrible and I'll have nightmares about it for a while.

Time to forget about yesterday and move onto a new day and a new opponent in round 3 of the Grand Slam Final

GMHikaru Twitter Account

Viswanathan Anand


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 24...Bxe5

25.Bc6 was being claimed as a win several hours after the game by Hikaru Nakamura via Twitter

25. Bxe5 Qxe5 26. Bc6 Kf6 27. Bxd7 Qxb2 28. Rf1 c3 29. Qc7 Ra8

Viswanathan Anand


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 29...Ra8

30. Bxe6

30. f4 Ra1 31. fxg5+ Kg6 32. Bxb5 looks like the way if there is a win

30... fxe6 31. f4 Ra1 32. fxg5+ Kxg5 33. Qg7+ Kh5 34. Qf7+ Kg5 35. Qf6+ Kh5 36. Qf7+ Kg5 37. Qg7+ Kh5 38. Qf7+ 1/2-1/2

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. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2807 * * . . ½ . . . . . 1 . 4 2962
2. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2765 . . * * . . ½ . . . 1 . 4 2927
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2823 ½ . . . * * . . ½ . . . 2 2812
4. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2753 . . ½ . . . * * ½ . . . 2 2791
5. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . . . . ½ . ½ . * * . . 2 2788
6. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2716 0 . 0 . . . . . . . * * 0
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
Carlsen, Magnus - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 56 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Nakamura, Hikaru - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 38 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit

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