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Bilbao Masters Final 2010 (6)

Kramnik wins the 3rd Bilbao Masters 2010

Vladimir Kramnik wins the 3rd Bilbao Masters. Photo ©

Vladimir Kramnik wins the 3rd Bilbao Masters. Photo © |

Vladimir Kramnik won the 3rd Bilbao Masters. Two early wins from Kramnik were enough for him to take first place from Viswanathan Anand who won one game. Magnus Carlsen took 3rd place and Alexei Shirov finished 4th.

Winner Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © Fred Lucas. Photo © 2010

His draw against Shirov proved enough as the game between Anand and Carlsen also ended in a draw.

Results of the sixth and final day of the 3rd Grand Slam Chess Masters. Bilbao, Friday, October 15th:

Shirov (Spain) - Kramnik (Russia) 1-1. 34 moves, 2 hours of play

Anand (India) - Carlsen (Norway) 1-1. 50 moves, 4 hours of play

Grand Slam Final Masters Bilbao (ESP), 2010.10.09 - 2010.09.15
Name Ti FED Elo + = - Pts Gms
Kramnik, Vladimir GM RUS 2780 2 4 0 10 6
Anand, Viswanathan GM IND 2800 1 5 0 8 6
Carlsen, Magnus GM NOR 2826 1 3 2 6 6
Shirov, Alexei GM ESP 2749 0 4 2 4 6

Vladimir Kramnik has emerged the Champion of the 3rd Grand Slam Chess Masters Final played in Bilbao from October 9th to 15th. He now joins 2008 winner Veselin Topalov and last year's winner Levon Aronian on the list of winners of this tournament.

Alexei Shirov against Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © 2010

In the first game, tournament leader Vladimir Kramnik should have defended the black pieces agaist Alexei Shirov, a rival who usually chokes. The game followed the same course as the one they played in the preliminary round in Shanghai, a quick f3 variation of the Nizmo-Indian defence. On this occasion, Kramnik departed from the previous game, opting for a calmer variation. The game developed around the weakness of the c5 black pawn, which Kramnik decided to resolve by sacrificing it in exchange for some counterplay in the open files on the queen's side. This counterplay resulted in the recovery of the pawn after a tactical sequence, leading to an endgame very limited in material. In the end a draw was inevitable, especially for black, as confirmed by Vladimir after the game.

Viswanathan Anand against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © 2010

In the other game, current World Champion Viswanathan Anand played with white against Magnus Carlsen, with the top spot in the world ranking, according to the ELO rating system, up for grabs. Anand needed both victory for himself and also for Kramnik to draw or lose in order to catch up to or surpass the tournament leader. Magnus repeated the variation he played two days ago against Shirov. Anand prepared a quick f5 advance, a scheme which prevented the counterplay which had been so successful for Magnus in his last game. The game entered a style of play typical of Ruy Lopez, where white has a significant spatial advantage and black looks for counterplay before his spatial disadvantage does him in. Magnus was able to make headway on the white king's side, while Anand advanced on the queen's side. At the most critical point of the game, both players made the most of their advantages. At this moment of strike and counterstrike, Carlsen found a path to obtaining perpetual check. The game ended in a draw and Kramnik brilliantly walked away the winner.

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

Bilbao, 10th October 15th 2010

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