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Bilbao Masters Final 2010 (1)

Kramnik leads as he defeats Carlsen in Round 1

Kramnik took an early lead by defeating Carlsen seen here on screen. Photo ©

Kramnik took an early lead by defeating Carlsen seen here on screen. Photo © |

Kramnik Defeats Carlsen on the First Day and Leads

Shirov as white draws against Anand

Magnus Carlsen's bad form from the Olympiad continues as he is ground down by Vladimir Kramnik in Round 1. Pictures and report from the Official Round 1 bulletin. Some additional photos by Fred Lucas.

Shirov and Anand just as they finish. Kramnik and Carlsen continue in the background. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

Results of the first day of the 3rd Grand Slam Ches Masters Final. Bilbao, Saturday October 9:

Shírov (Spain) - Anand (India). Draw. 41 moves, 2 hours 35 minutes of play.

Kramnik (Russia) - Carlsen (Norway). 3-0. 45 moves, 3 hours 10 minutes of play.

Kramnik in Round 1. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

The Grand Slam Chess Masters Final kicked off today, Saturday, in Bilbao, at the Alhondiga, where the four grandmasters starred in the first round of the tournament, playing in a glass room, in full view of the public.

Alexei Shirov against Viswanathan Anand. Photo © 2010

The Ruy Lopez Berlin Variation was used in the first game between Shirov and Anand. This is characterised by a rapid exchange of queens and allows for a a game of maneuvers based on the the pair of black knights, athough with certain coordination problems. Anand was able to weaken the queen's side and slowly activate his disjointed army. However, after the f6 breakthrough, the game got tricky and Shirov was able to make enough counterplay to force Anand to look for a draw.

Vladimir Kramnik defeated Magnus Carlsen to take the lead. Photo © 2010

The second game was between Kramnik and Carlsen, and featured a queen's indian defense that rapidly brought about an antisymmetric pawn structure. While Kramnik pressed strongly on the semi-open d-file, Carlsen regrouped his pawns in a compact structure. Kramnik paid attention to the weaknesses and initiated active play on both sides of the board. In middle-game, Carlsen tried to break free by using a tactic with a ...d5 breakthrough, but this led to a very intense game, which Kramnik played with elegance and good technique, walking away with victory and the three points, putting him at the head of the standings at the end of the round.

Round 1 games. Kramnik-Carlsen and Shirov-Anand. Photo © 2010

Grand Slam Final Masters Bilbao (ESP), 2010.10.09 - 2010.09.15
Name Ti FED Elo + = - Pts Gms
Kramnik, Vladimir GM RUS 2780 1 0 0 3 1
Anand, Viswanathan GM IND 2800 0 1 0 1 1
Shirov, Alexei GM ESP 2749 0 1 0 1 1
Carlsen, Magnus GM NOR 2826 0 0 1 0 1

The playing area and screens. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

The points system of the Grand Slam Masters Final is 3 points for each win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss, a system known as the "Bilbao rules".

The pairings for Round 2 on Sunday, are: Carlsen-Anand and Kramnik-Shírov.

The course of all the games through the moves made by the players may be followed on the official website of the Final,, as well as commentary on these games by Bilbao's International Master, Santiago Gonzalez de la Torre.

Post game press conference. Photo © 2010

Magnus Carlsen in front of the Guggenheim museum. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

Official Press Release Bilbao, October 9, 2010

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