Chess24 Jan Gustafsson on Alpha Zero

Bilbao Masters Final 2010 (3)

Kramnik still leads at the half way stage

Kramnik leads at the half way point going into the rest day. Photo ©

Kramnik leads at the half way point going into the rest day. Photo © |

Alexei Shirov and Magnus Carlsen fought out a marathon draw in 174 moves. A sharp middlegame settled into an endgame where a queen seemed to balance three pieces. There were plenty of options to keep the game going and eventually the 50 move rule came into operation. Vladimir Kramnik drew after improving on previous theory to show a position thought to be favourable for white was in fact very drawish. Text and photos from the official bulletin. Rest day on Tuesday. Added photos by Fred Lucas.

Fred Lucas now has a nice gallery of photos from Bilbao at:

Anand and Kramnik had to claim a draw through the arbiter. The position was just dead drawn so this was accepted. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

Both games drawn in Round 3

Shirov and Carlsen drew a marathon game lasting 5 hours 40 minutes. Anand and Kramnik also drew, in less than an hour and a half

Magnus Carlsen stretching in what turned out to be a long day. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

Results of the third day of the 3rd Grand Slam Chess Masters Final. Bilbao, Monday October 11:

Anand (India) - Kramnik (Russia) -. 1-1. 34 moves, 1 hour 20 minutes of play.

Shirov (Spain) - Carlsen (Norway). 1-1. 175 moves, 5 hours 40 minutes of play.

Players arriving at the venue. Photo © 2010

Today, day three, we have reached the mid-point of the Masters of Grand Slam Chess. Today saw both the shortest and longest games of the tournament so far. Anand and Kramnik drew in barely an hour and 20 minutes, ensuring that they would remain in the top two spots on the leader-board. On the other board, Shirov and Carlsen fought long and hard in a game lasting 5 hours and 40 minute game, although the result in both instances was the same, a draw.

Viswanathan Anand Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

In the first game current world champion Viswanathan Anand went up against Russia's Vladimir Kramnik. The game went along by way of a Catalan opening. Black was able to get some interesting activity for his minor pieces in exchange for an inferior pawn structure. Kramnik used this activity to exchange the majority of his available pieces and enter an ending previously thought to be an advantage to white. Nevertheless, Kramnik's analysis was very profound and he showed that black could easily achieve a draw. This result changes the state of the current theory.

Alexei Shirov drew against Magnus Carlsen in a marathon game. Photo © 2010

In the other game, Magnus Carlsen, current world number one, faced off with the black pieces against Alexei Shirov. Magnus chose to repeat the Breyer variation of the Ruy-Lopez opening, which Shirov used recently against Baramidze in February. In the middle-game, Alexei forced an interesting tactical sequence where both sides exchanged blows left and right. Throughout this transition, no less than four different types of unbalanced exchanges of material were produced as material was returned by both players, from a rook for two minor pieces, a rook for a minor piece, two rooks for three minor pieces and finally, a queen against three minor pieces. In the end, Shirov's queen was able to generate enough counter-play against Carlsen's King to force him to accept a draw, since his three pieces were unable to hold her off, despite attempting to do so for more than 170 moves.

Magnus Carlsen returning to the board. Photo © Fred Lucas 2010

Grand Slam Final Masters Bilbao (ESP), 2010.10.09 - 2010.09.15
Name Ti FED Elo + = - Pts Gms
Kramnik, Vladimir GM RUS 2780 2 1 0 7 3
Anand, Viswanathan GM IND 2800 1 2 0 5 3
Shirov, Alexei GM ESP 2749 0 2 1 2 3
Carlsen, Magnus GM NOR 2826 0 1 2 1 3

Alexei Shirov and his daughter who has accompanied him to the event. 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".

Tuesday, is the tournament rest day there and will be no games. The pairings for Wednesday 13th October are: Carlsen-Kramnik and Anand-Shirov.

Press Release: Bilbao, October 11, 2010

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