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Bilbao Masters Final 2010 (4)

Kramnik remains in the lead after both drawn in round 4

Anand and Shirov discuss their draw in a sharp MacCutcheon French. Photo © Fred Lucas:

Anand and Shirov discuss their draw in a sharp MacCutcheon French. Photo © Fred Lucas: | http://www.fredlucas.eu/

Magnus Carlsen achieved nothing with white against Vladimir k'ramnik and indeed had to struggle to draw. Viswanathan Anand seemed on the verge of something as white in an ultra-sharp MacCutcheon French but Shirov's counter-play proved sufficient for perpetual check. Below is the text and photos from the official press release. Fred Lucas now has a nice gallery of photos from Bilbao at: http://fredlucas.nl/gallery/bb/

Alexei Shirov. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010 http://www.fredlucas.eu/.

Kramnik and Anand keep the top two spots

Results of day four of the 3rd Grand Slam Masters Final. Bilbao, Wednesday, October 12th:

Anand (India) - Shirov (Spain). 1-1. 38 moves, 2 hours 55 minutes of play.

Carlsen (Norway) - Kramnik (Russia). 1-1. 73 moves, 5 hours of play.

Anand against Shirov with Kramnik looking on. Photo © 2010 http://www.bilbaofinalmasters.com.

Day four of the Grand Slam Chess Masters Final taking place in Bilbao has ended once more with both games drawn. Kramnik stays in the lead with 8 points, followed by Anand with 6. Shirov and Carlsen have 3 and 2 points respectively and are running out of options.

The end of Anand - Shirov. Draw by perpetual check. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010 http://www.fredlucas.eu/.

In the first match current World Champion, Viswanathan Anand, went up against Alexei Shirov. This time Shirov chose a secondary opening-- the MacCutcheon variation of the French Defence. Anand accepted the challenge and played a critical variation, leaving black on the verge of a collapse. This forced Shirov to spend much time and effort calculating all possibilities, after which he came up with some interesting counterplay. Shirov finally found counter-play that was effective enough against the black king to give perpetual check, which sealed the draw.

Anand watching Carlsen against Kramnik looking on. Photo © 2010 http://www.bilbaofinalmasters.com.

In the other game, Magnus Carlsen, playing as white, faced tournament leader Vladimir Kramnik. The game started off with an English Opening, with Magnus choosing a quiet variation, the one known as the reverse Sicilian, where he was hoping to apply nagging pressure on the queen's side. Kramnik, a reputed specialist on this variation with both colours, completely froze Carlsen's initiative on the queen's side, leaving himself with the initiative in the centre and on the king's side. The game became simplified, but Kramnik knew how to keep the pressure on and transformed the position into an endgame of two rooks and a bishop against two rooks and a knight which gave him an advantage. Magnus held on and fought valiantly in a rook endgame to finally achieve a draw.

Another tough day for Carlsen, he really needed to beat Kramnik with white but in fact struggled to a draw. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010 http://www.fredlucas.eu/.

Grand Slam Final Masters Bilbao (ESP), 2010.10.09 - 2010.09.15
Round 4 Standings:
Name Ti FED Elo + = - Pts Gms
Kramnik, Vladimir GM RUS 2780 2 2 0 8 4
Anand, Viswanathan GM IND 2800 1 3 0 6 4
Shirov, Alexei GM ESP 2749 0 3 1 3 4
Carlsen, Magnus GM NOR 2826 0 2 2 2 4

Anand and Shirov discuss their game. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010 http://www.fredlucas.eu/.

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 Thursday 14th on the fifth of the tournament's six days are: Carlsen-Shirov and Kramnik-Anand.

Anand and Kramnik on the move. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010 http://www.fredlucas.eu/.

Press Release Bilbao, October 11, 2010

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