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5th Final Masters Sao Paulo Bilbao 2012 (8)

5th Final Masters Round 8 games all drawn

Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana remained in the lead of the 5th Final Masters after all three games of Round 8 were drawn. Magnus Carlsen surprised his opponent Sergey Karjakin with an unsual Winawer French Defence. Karjakin couldn't find anything and traded queens off after which he only expected a draw. Viswanathan Anand looked to have an advantage against Caruana but the World Champion has been lacklustre for some time now and today was no different. The game of the day was the draw between Francisco Vallejo Pons and Levon Aronian. Aronian played provocatively in order to try and win with black but was then forced to find some very precise defensive moves to survive the nasty attack he had allowed. Caruana and Carlsen 13 points. Aronian 10.

Levon Aronian admitted to playing some mediocre moves out of the opening against Francisco Vallejo Pons. Aronian was looking for complications in order to get back into contention for first place and implied he was relying on his opponent not going for it and after 18.g4 understood it was unpleasant. Finding some only moves such as 29...Rh8! he survived and even had the easier of it on the run up to first time control.

Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2697) - Aronian,Levon (2816) [B06]
5th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (8), 11.10.2012

1.e4 g6 2.d4 c6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bc4 d6 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 e6 10.Bg5 Nbd7

[10...h6 11.Bh4 Nbd7 12.Rad1 g5 13.Bg3 d5 14.Bd6 Re8 15.e5 Nh7 16.Ne2 Nhf8 17.c3 f6 18.exf6 Nxf6 19.Bh2 N6d7 20.Ng3 Qf6 21.Qe2 Ng6 22.Nh5 Qf7 23.f4 Nxf4 24.Bxf4 gxf4 25.Rxf4 Bf6 26.Rdf1 1-0 Petronic,J (2389)-Altanoch,G (2295)/Tianjin CHN 2001/The Week in Chess 353]

11.Rad1 Qc7 12.Qf4 a6 13.Ne2 Kh8 14.c3 Ng8 15.Qd2 Rae8 16.Be3 Ndf6 17.f3 Rd8 18.g4

Levon Aronian


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 18.g4

"After he played g4 it looks unpleasant." - Aronian who admitted to playing some mediocre moves. Aronian wasn't sure Vallejo would be so aggressive and was presumably trying to find a way to complicate in order to win against the tail-ender.

18...b5 19.Ng3 Nd7 20.h4 a5 21.h5 a4 22.Bc2 e5 23.Kg2

[23.g5 exd4 24.cxd4]

23...exd4 24.cxd4 c5 25.Rh1 cxd4 26.hxg6 fxg6 27.Rxh7+

Levon Aronian


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 27.Rxh7+ looks natural and is surely killing?

27...Kxh7 28.Rh1+ Nh6 29.Bxh6 Rh8!!

Levon Aronian


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 29...Rh8!

The only defence. "I didn't really have the time to be afraid. I was kind of happy here I wasn't getting mated immediately." - Aronian.


Played after 5 minutes thought.

[30.Bg5+ Recovering the material was obviously an option.]

30...Nxe5 31.Be4!?

Both players had around 5 minutes left here.

31...d5 32.Bxg6+!?

Now the move d6d5 has been played Nxg6 is impossible.


Forced but sufficient.

33.Bf5 Rd6 34.Bxg7 Qxg7

Levon Aronian


Francisco Vallejo Pons

Position after 34...Qxg7

Actually black's position is probably easier to play now.

35.Nh5 Nc4 36.Be6+ Rxe6 37.Nxg7 Nxd2 38.Nxe6 Rxh1 39.Kxh1 Nxf3 40.Kg2 Ne5 41.Nxd4 Nxg4 42.Nxb5 Ne3+ 43.Kf3 Nc4 44.Nc3 Nxb2 45.Nxd5 Kf7 46.Ke4 Ke6 47.Ne3 a3 48.Kd4 Kd6 49.Nc2 Na4 50.Nxa3 Kc6 51.Nc4 Kb5 52.a3 Kc6 53.Ne5+ Kb5 54.Nc4 Kc6 55.Ne5+ Kb5 56.Nc4 1/2-1/2

Magnus Carlsen played an unsual variation of the French Defence. "I think I played slightly unusual way, with Ndu7 and Nf6 but it's not so easy for white to do much." Carlsen and added "This was my 5th game with the French Defence in the tournament and the first draw." Sergey Karjakin probably just wants the tournament to end and whilst it looked like he should get something he though after 25 moves he had nothing anymore "25.Qb4 and it's just a draw" - Karjakin.

Viswanathan Anand played an unsual variation of the Gruenfeld Defence as white against Fabiano Caruana but his lacklustre play continued and he hardly looked like taking advantage of a threatening looking position out of the opening and the game drifted to a draw.

5th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao (BRA/ESP), 24 ix-13 x 2012 cat. XXII (2781)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2773 * * 1 0 ½ . ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 . 13 2884
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2843 0 1 * * ½ . ½ . ½ ½ 1 1 13 2856
3. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2816 ½ . ½ . * * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 10 2808
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2780 ½ ½ ½ . ½ ½ * * ½ . ½ ½ 8 2774
5. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2778 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ . * * ½ . 6 2705
6. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2697 0 . 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ . * * 5 2662
Round 8 (October 11, 2012)
Anand, Viswanathan - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 45 D70 Gruenfeld Defence
Karjakin, Sergey - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 35 C19 French Winawer
Vallejo Pons, Francisco - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 56 B06 Modern Defence

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