Reports | September 28, 2011 4:06

Masters Final R2: Ivanchuk beats Vallejo

Masters Final R2: Ivanchuk beats Vallejo

Vassily Ivanchuk beat Francisco Vallejo in the second round of the Grand Slam Masters Final on Tuesday. The Ukrainian joined Levon Aronian in the lead: both players have 4 points out of 2 games.

Event 4th Grand Slam Masters Final  | PGN via TWIC
Dates September 25th - October 11th, 2011
Location Sao Paulo, Brazil & Bilbao, Spain
System 6-player double round robin
Players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Vallejo
Time control 90 minutes for the first 40 moves plus 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 seconds increment per move from move number 41
Prizes Undisclosed
Notes Players are not allowed to agree to a draw without the arbiter’s permission. In case both players request it to him, the arbiter will make his decision after consulting with the technical assistant. The football scoring system is used: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss.

Round 2

The second round of the Grand Slam Masters Final was a great one, with three very entertaining games and in the end only one decisive result. Vassily Ivanchuk outplayed Paco Vallejo from an English opening, the way Mikhail Marin advocates playing with White in his masterpiece series about this opening published by Quality Chess. Vallejo probably just picked the wrong plan right after the opening and got his dark-squared bishop trapped and completely out of play. On top of that he was left with an isolated pawn on e5 which was nicely blocked by a white knight on e4, and attacked by a bishop on b2. Just horrible.

Sao Paulo, 2011



With lot number one, Hikaru Nakamura could enjoy another game with the white pieces. He faced Vishy Anand and in the morning he had tweeted:

Any day is a good day when you have the chance to play against a World Champion!

However, the day ended in a bitter disappointment for the American, who felt that he had missed a win. It's really wonderful to have a top class player tweeting about his experience during events, even if things don't go as he wants to. With his usual feel for drama, he first sent into the world:

So disgusted in my inability to play good chess. Perhaps I'll actually remember how to play chess someday soon!

and eight hours later he replied to a fan:

@MarkSCB Thanks, but missing 25.Bc6 which is completely winning is horrible and I'll have nightmares about it for a while.

Sao Paulo, 2011



Another top player who regularly sends updates on Twitter is Magnus Carlsen, or rather '@MagnusCarlsen'. This is what he wrote after his draw against Levon Aronian:

Not really satisfied with my play today, but Aronian nevertheless had to work a bit for a draw, which he secured convincingly enough

Sao Paulo, 2011



Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 1 26.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 6 06.10.11 16:00 CET
Nakamura ½-½ Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk - Nakamura
Anand ½-½ Carlsen   Carlsen - Anand
Aronian 1-0 Vallejo   Vallejo - Aronian
Round 2 27.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 7 07.10.11 16:00 CET
Ivanchuk 1-0 Vallejo   Vallejo - Ivanchuk
Carlsen ½-½ Aronian   Aronian - Carlsen
Nakamura ½-½ Anand   Anand - Nakamura
Round 3 28.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 8 08.10.11 16:00 CET
Anand - Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk - Anand
Aronian - Nakamura   Nakamura - Aronian
Vallejo - Carlsen   Carlsen - Vallejo
Round 4 30.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 9 10.10.11 16:00 CET
Aronian - Ivanchuk   Carlsen - Ivanchuk
Vallejo - Anand   Vallejo - Nakamura
Carlsen - Nakamura   Aronian - Anand
Round 5 01.10.11 20:00 CET   Round 10 11.10.11 16:00 CET
Ivanchuk - Carlsen   Ivanchuk - Aronian
Nakamura - Vallejo   Anand - Vallejo
Anand - Aronian   Nakamura - Carlsen

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 2 Standings (football)

1-2  Levon Aronian
       Vassily Ivanchuk 4
3-5  Anand, Carlsen, Nakamura 2
6  Vallejo 0

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 2 Standings (classical)

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Jay's picture

Nakamura v/s Anand - a sharp game; Ivanchuck v/s Vallejo - Only after 18 moves they realize that 'x' moves are also valid....interesting opening; Carlsen v/s Aronian somewhere down the line both missed chances of winning.

Mpho's picture

This is going to be a long tournament for Vallejo

jmd85146's picture

It would be great if Chucky would end up winning this event. But i'm afraid he won't

Hughbertie's picture
Septimus's picture

"spic??"- Maybe you should take your racist crap to another forum? If anything, morons like you don't belong in civilized society.

Sarunas's picture

Chucky -Vallejo is a great symphony by White to listen to, whereas Naka -Anand is a masterpiece that only a World Champion can kindly grant to thirsty chess fans.Without his contribution it couldn't come about. The best San Paolo Ibureira game so far!

Wallace's picture

Everyone +2 except Vallejo?

RealityCheck's picture

Shd we expect more from the Sponsors' pick? Allowing Paco to participate in this very high level tournament is akin to a Corporate welfare program for players who'll never make it on their own to the very top. At least he'll earn a few pesos for getting kicked around. Poor guy.

Thomas's picture

At this occasion, Vallejo wasn't first pick of the sponsor - apparently he was only invited after five top10 players (the five other ones a few months ago, i.e. excluding Svidler) declined. Whom should they have invited rather than Vallejo? Basically the entire rest of the world top and subtop plays concurrently at the European Club Cup.

redivivo's picture

Vallejo had a very bad start but was black in both games and he won't lose many with white. In Linares 2003 he drew both his games against Kasparov, and in 2003-04 he drew all four games against Kramnik. He's a better player now than he was then.

Septimus's picture

Pons is a good player. Bad starts happen. Lets see how he finishes.

redivivo's picture

Vallejo has played Linares six times and only once was he clear last (but won against Topalov). In his latest start in 2010 he finished ahead of Gelfand on tiebreak. So he's not a weak player.

Stephen's picture

If Aronian beats Naka today will he overtake Anand in the live list ? (Assuming that Vishy draws with Chucky)

PircAlert's picture

Nakamura has reasons to be disgusted with his play for not seeing a move like 25.Bc6. If you aspire to become a world champion in this day and age, you can't miss such moves. But I think he is a bit ambitious when he judges the resulting position within a few minutes after the game that it is winning for him. The move may not be something completely unanticipated by Anand. Had he played on in that position against Anand, he would have more disgusted with himself for not winning a possible K+Q+B+2P vs K+Q+4P?? May be Hikaru can show us how it is winning? ;-)

Here is my line.

25.Bc6 Kf6 26.Rxd7 Rxd7 27.Bxd7 Bxb2 (! if the resulting end game position is a draw) 28.Be8 Qe7 29.Qxb5 Bd4 30.Qxc4 (not forced though) 30...Bxf2 31.Bxf2 Qxe8 32.Qe4 Kg7 33.Bd4+ f6. This is one line with K+Q+B+2P vs K+Q+4P with pawns on the same side and I don't know if there is a win for white here.

Septimus's picture

I agree with your assessment. I don't see how Bc6 is totally winning?

Morley's picture

I think Vallejo will turn around and have a decent tournament. Starting off with two Black games against this level of competition would be a nightmare for anyone. A great tournament so far!

Chessvibes, I am loving the redesign. Keep up the awesome work! This is definitely my favorite chess website :-)

Septimus's picture

Take a look at Ivanchuk-Pons at move 6. Looks like some kind of a reversed Sicilian (Dragon?). Why did Pons not play a normal Nf6 here?

Rini Luyks's picture

Aha, Vallejo-Carlsen 1-0!!
Maybe some change of opinions!?

fen's picture

Not that I enjoy watching Vallejo-Pons getting pushed around, but he didn't win so much as Carlson lost. Magnus blundered big-time today.

fen's picture

*Carlsen. Jeepers, sorry about the spelling. A edit function would be nice.

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