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5th Final Masters 2012 (1)

Aronian and Caruana win in first round of 5th Final Masters

Fabiano Caruana emerged on top against Magnus Carlsen in a titanic struggle. Photo © Albert Silver.

Fabiano Caruana emerged on top against Magnus Carlsen in a titanic struggle. Photo © Albert Silver. | http://www.theweekinchess.com

Levon Aronian won a sharp Queen's Indian after Sergey Karjakin didn't follow through with his attacking ideas. Magnus Carlsen pressed long and hard against Fabiano Caruana but overdid it getting himself into major time trouble at the end which Caruana exploited with a nasty exchange sacrifice which might not have been totally sound but was extremely practical. World Champion Viswanathan Anand drew an interesting struggle against Vallejo Pons.

Levon Aronian won a sharp struggle in a Queen's Indian against an ambitious Sergey Karjakin to score the first win of the event in only 2 and a half hours. Karjakin saw but did not play 23...Nd3 with enough compensation for sacrifice material. His passive 23...Nd7 proved not to be in the spirit of the position and he lost quickly.

Levon Aronian at the start of Round 1

Levon Aronian at the start of Round 1. Photo © Albert Silver.

Aronian,L (2816) - Karjakin,Sergey (2778) [E15]
5th Final Masters Bilbao ESP (1), 24.09.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Bg2 c6 9.e4

[9.0-0 0-1 Boer,A-Dondergoor,E/Groningen NED 1994 (51)]

9...d5 10.exd5 cxd5 11.Ne5 Nfd7 12.0-0 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.Re1 dxc4

Black is forced to sacrifice to maintain the balance but it is sound.

15.Bxa8 Qxa8 16.Bh6 Rd8 17.Qg4 Bf8 18.Rad1 Nc5 19.bxc4 Bb7 20.Rxd8 Qxd8 21.Rd1 Qc7 22.Bf4 Qc6 23.f3

Sergey Karjakin

_____bk_
pb___ppp
_pq_p___
__n_P___
__P__BQ_
__N__PP_
P______P
___R__K_

Levon Aronian

Position after 23.f3

23...Nd7

[23...Nd3! Having come this far Karjakin has to continue going forward and this piece sacrifice was at least equal for him.eg 24.Rxd3 Qxc4 25.Rd8 Qxc3 26.Kf2 Qc7 27.Qh4 Qc6 28.Qe7 Qxf3+ 29.Ke1 Qc3+ 30.Kf2 Qf3+ 31.Ke1 Qe4+ 32.Kd2 Qg2+]

24.Ne4 Qa4

Already there isn't much to be done.

25.Rxd7! Bxe4 26.Rd8 Bg6 27.Bg5 Qa3 28.Qd4 h6 29.Qd6 Kh7 30.Qxf8 1-0

Fabiano Caruana against Magnus Carlsen was a fluctuating struggle with time trouble playing a major part. Caruana probably missed a good opportunity (16.Bxg6) against Carlsen's French after which the initiative passed to Carlsen. However Carlsen was having to work hard and this cost him key clock time. Carlsen felt he started to mess things up with 31...Nxe3. The game then entered a lenthy manoeuvring phase where Carlsen had the intiative but not really an advantage and repetition seemed likely at any moment. Carlsen was almost down to his 10 second increment when played very riskily 76.Kh2!? Caruana sacrificed the exchange, which might have led to a loss but Carlsen had to find some pretty amazing ideas (81...Rb3+) instead Caruana won quickly. A fighting game from both players!

Magnus Carlsen

________
________
____R___
___p___p
_rpPbPpB
______P_
__PK___k
________

Fabiano Caruana

Position after 78...Be4

79. Rxe4!

This might not be sound but with Carlsen almost down to the increment this proves to be a very strong practical try

79...dxe4 80. f5 Kg2?

80... Rb1 Is the right idea.

81. Ke3 Rb2

Now white is winning! 81... Rb3+! is an amazing idea that maybe even still wins for white.

82. d5 Rxc2 83. d6 c3 84. d7 Rd2 85. d8=Q Rxd8 86. Bxd8 h4 87. gxh4 g3 88. f6 c2 89. Kd2 e3+ 90. Kxc2 e2 91. Ba5 1-0

Viswanathan Anand played his first game since his World Championship match against Gelfand in Moscow. He didn't get an advantage as white in a QGD Ragozin out of the opening. Later he did get a little something which won Vallajo's Queen but the position was just equal,

5th Final Masters Bilbao ESP (ESP), 24 ix-13 x 2012 cat. XXII (2781)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2816 * * . . . . . . . . 1 . 1
2. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2773 . . * * . . . . 1 . . . 1
3. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2780 . . . . * * ½ . . . . . ½ 2697
4. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2697 . . . . ½ . * * . . . . ½ 2780
5. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2843 . . 0 . . . . . * * . . 0
6. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2778 0 . . . . . . . . . * * 0

Round 1 (September 24, 2012)
Aronian, Levon - Karjakin, Sergey 1-0 30 E15 Queens Indian
Caruana, Fabiano - Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 91 C19 French Winawer
Anand, Viswanathan - Vallejo Pons, Francisco ½-½ 59 D38 QGD Ragozin

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