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5th Final Masters Sao Paulo Bilbao 2012 (7)

Carlsen catches Caruana after 7 rounds of 5th Final Masters

Magnus Carlsen caught leader Fabiano Caruana after beating Vallejo in Round 7. Photo ©

Magnus Carlsen caught leader Fabiano Caruana after beating Vallejo in Round 7. Photo © |

Magnus Carlsen's aggression paid off eventually as he defeated Francisco Vallejo Pons in an Exchange French Winawer, his 2nd French sideline in two days. Carlsen knew that he needed to beat bottom seeded Vallejo with white to give him a good chance of winning the event and eventually managed this. Aronian couldn't find a way past Anand's solid Ragozin and Caruana drew and interesting Berlin vs Karjakin. Carlsen, Caruana 12 points, Aronian 9 points, Anand with all draws 7 points.

Magnus Carlsen defeated tail-ender Francisco Vallejo Pons in an Exchange Winawer French Defence and caught the leader Fabiano Caruana. Carlsen clearly came to the board determined to win and he just kept the complications going against Vallejo. Vallejo was doing fine for a while even though he was clearly reacting and in particular 16...Qb6 might have asked some serious questions. As it was both players were down to 15 minutes for the last dozen or so moves and Carlsen's aggression paid off with a winning position at move 40.

Magnus Carlsen against Francisco Vallejo Pons

Magnus Carlsen against Francisco Vallejo Pons. Photo © Bilbao Final Masters.

Carlsen,Magnus (2843) - Vallejo Pons,Francisco (2697) [C15]
5th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (7), 09.10.2012

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Nge2 Bg4 7.0-0 0-0 8.f3 Bh5 9.Nf4 Bg6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Ne2

[11.Bg5 c6 12.Ne2 Nbd7 13.c3 Bd6 14.Qe1 Re8 15.Qh4 Qc7 16.Rad1 b6 17.f4 Ne4 18.f5 Bxh2+ 19.Kh1 Bg3 20.Qg4 Nf2+ 21.Rxf2 Bxf2 22.fxg6 f6 23.Bf4 Qd8 24.Qf3 Bxd4 25.Nxd4 Rc8 26.Nf5 Ne5 27.Qh3 1-0 Dukaczewski,P (2290)-Kolasin,J (2023)/Olomouc CZE 2011/The Week in Chess 875]


[11...Bd6 12.Bg5 c6 13.c3 Qc7 14.g3 Nbd7 15.Qd2 Rae8 16.Kg2 Nh7 17.Be3 Re7 18.Rae1 Rfe8 19.Bf2 Ndf8 20.Nc1 Nf6 21.Rxe7 Rxe7 22.Re1 Nh5 23.Rxe7 Qxe7 24.Ne2 Ne6 25.Be3 Qc7 26.b3 Qa5 27.a4 a6 28.c4 Bb4 29.Qc2 Nf6 30.Bg1 Qc7 31.Nc3 Qd7 32.cxd5 Nxd5 33.Nxd5 Qxd5 34.h4 Be7 35.Qc3 Bf6 36.Bf2 1/2-1/2 Lau,R (2495)-Thoennessen,R (2105)/ Uebach 1996/EXT 2004]


[12.c4 c6 13.Qb3 Qe7 14.Bg5 dxc4 15.Bxc4 Nbd7 16.Nf4 Nf8 17.Bxf7+ Qxf7 18.Qxb4 N6h7 19.Nh3 Ne6 20.Be3 Rad8 21.Rad1 Rd5 22.Rd2 Red8 23.Rfd1 a6 24.Qc4 g5 25.Nf2 Nf6 26.Ne4 Ne8 27.Qe2 Nf4 28.Qf2 Nc7 29.Qg3 Nce6 30.Qg4 Nxd4 31.Nxg5 Rxg5 32.Qxg5 Nh3+ 33.gxh3 Nxf3+ 34.Kh1 Rxd2 0-1 McNab,C (2200)-Kilgour,D (2200)/Chester 1979/MCD]

12...Be7 13.Ng3 Nbd7 14.f4!?

Francisco Vallejo Pons


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 14.f4

A very sharp way of playing.


This looks strong but Carlsen keeps things complicated.

15.Qf3 c6 16.h4 Ndf8

[16...Qb6 It would have been interesting to see what Carlsen would have tried against this.]

17.Rae1 Qc7 18.Bxe7 Rxe7 19.Re5 f6

Probably a concession.


20.Rxe7 Qxe7 21.h5 gxh5 22.Qxh5

[22.Nf5 Qf7 23.Qg3]

22...Qf7 23.Qg4 g6 24.Nf5 Kh8 25.Nh4 f5 26.Qh3 Qe6 27.Kf2


27...Re8 28.Nf3 Re7

[28...Qe3+ 29.Kg3 Qe7 30.Re1 Ne6 31.Rh1]

29.Ne5 Nd7 30.Rh1 Nxe5 31.dxe5

Both players were down to their last 15 minutes white seems to be winning here.


Francisco Vallejo Pons


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 31...c5


[32.g4! fxg4 33.Qh4 c4 34.Bxg6 Qxg6 wins.]

32...c4 33.bxc4 dxc4 34.Be2 g5 35.g3 Qb6+ 36.Kg2

Francisco Vallejo Pons


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 36.Kg2


[36...Qc6+ 37.Kf1 gxf4 38.gxf4 Qe4]

37.Kf1 Rf7

Loses directly.

[37...Qe4 38.Qh6 Rg7 also wins.]

38.Qh5 Qxg3 39.Qxf7 Qxf4+ 40.Kg2 Qe4+ 41.Bf3 Qxc2+ 42.Kg3 f4+ 1-0

Levon Aronian made no headway against Viswanathan Anand's Ragozin Defence which is very well prepared indeed.

Fabiano Caruana and Sergey Karjakin drew a complex Ruy Lopez Berlin in 40 moves which was not without interest.

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 . 1 ½ 1 . 12 2892
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2843 0 1 * * ½ . ½ . ½ . 1 1 12 2861
3. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2816 ½ . ½ . * * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ . 9 2825
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2780 ½ . ½ . ½ ½ * * ½ . ½ ½ 7 2774
5. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2778 0 ½ ½ . 0 ½ ½ . * * ½ . 5 2683
6. Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2697 0 . 0 0 ½ . ½ ½ ½ . * * 4 2643

Round 7 (October 9, 2012)
Caruana, Fabiano - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 40 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Carlsen, Magnus - Vallejo Pons, Francisco 1-0 42 C15 French Winawer
Aronian, Levon - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 33 D38 QGD Ragozin

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