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9th Bilbao Masters Final 2016 (5)

Carlsen winning run stopped by Giri in Bilbao Round 5

Giri and Carlsen discuss their draw. Photo ©

Giri and Carlsen discuss their draw. Photo © |

Magnus Carlsen leads the Bilbao Masters at the half way stage by 3pts, or one win in the scoring system in use. Carlsen played Anish Giri with black and almost managed to score his first win against an opponent that has proved difficult for him. After losing to Nakamura in the first round Carlsen had won three games in a row in fine style.

Carlsen lost his first classical game against Giri and the rest have been drawn. Giri reminds Carlsen of this plus score frequently and one senses Carlsen is getting a little frustrated he can't put this issue behind him with a win.

Today Carlsen surprised Giri with the Queen's Gambit Accepted and according to Giri he was "outplayed" in the sense that he equalised rather quickly. Carlsen then put the pressure on and on the run up to first time control got a very favourable, possibly winning position. Carlsen felt that his move 40 was probably the mistake that cost him the win (40.Nf6 seems to be the slower winning try) as after both players saw the line of play that led to a draw once they had more time.

The remaining two games were also drawn with Nakamura taking the draw by repetition offered to him by Sergey Karjakin early on and Wesley So not making a great deal of impact against Wei Yi's Petroff Defence.

There is a rest day on Monday 18th July followed by the second half of the tournament with colours reversed from the first.

Round 5 standings: Carlsen 10pts/15, Nakamura 7pts, Giri 5pts, Karjakin, So, Wei Yi 4pts

Round 6 pairings Tuesday 19th July 3pm UK time: So-Karjakin, Wei Yi-Giri, Nakamura-Carlsen.

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