Masters Final R6: Ivanchuk beats Nakamura, increases lead
After declining his opponent's offer to postpone their game (because of the Sao Paulo robbery) Vassily Ivanchuk defeated Hikaru Nakamura on Thursday in Bilbao, Spain. The Ukrainian scored 13/6 and increased his lead to 6 points, the same as two full wins. As the other two games ended in draws, the second place is now shared by Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen who have 7 points. Local hero Francisco Vallejo is three points behind this group.
|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|
|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.|
Games round 6
The Ivanchuk saga of this year's Grand Slam Masters Final took a new and positive course on Thursday: only arriving in Bilbao a day before, without his wife, without his favourite pocket chess set and probably with a considerable jet lag, Vassily Ivanchuk was still the only player who scored a win the 6th round. In yet another crazy time scramble, his opponent Hikaru Nakamura committed a big blunder and would later tweet:
Not upset about losing today's game, but if time controls leading to these absurd blunders are more important than quality...
It's true that the time control in the Masters Final is quicker than usual: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, plus 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 seconds increment per move from move number 41. Especially that last part is relevant because in the FIDE time control there's 30 seconds increment from move one. The players have only one and a half hours to reach move 40, which explains the sometimes quite big mistakes that occur every year.
It must be said that Ivanchuk had Nakamura on the ropes earlier in the game:
A 6-point lead for Ivanchuk, with 4 rounds to go
The return game between the world's highest rated player and the World Champion ended in a draw, like the first one. Carlsen and Anand played an old variation of the Nimzo-Indian that was also seen in a 2009 blitz game between Carlsen and Nakamura. A queenless middlegame was reached at move 19 where the only difference was a doubled f-pawn for Black, which wasn't enough to cause much trouble.
Another draw between the world's top players
At the opening ceremony Francisco Vallejo declared that he's intending to do better than in the first half, and he already fulfilled his promise. Where he was outplayed by Aronian last week, the Spaniard had the best chances this time, especially in the opening phase. An irregular move order led to a Queen's Gambit Accepted and no doubt Vallejo will look at the first 15 moves some more, because somehow it seems like White had an advantage somewhere.
Commentator Leontxo Garcia with Paco Vallejo and Levon Aronian
Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Schedule & results
|Round 1||26.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 6||06.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 2||27.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 7||07.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 3||28.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 8||08.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 4||30.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 9||10.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 5||01.10.11||20:00 CET||Round 10||11.10.11||16:00 CET|
Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 6 Standings (football)
1 Vassily Ivanchuk 13
2-5 Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian,
Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen 7
6 Francisco Vallejo 4
Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 6 Standings (classical)
The glass cube in the Alhondiga Bilbao during the 6th round...
...with commentary taking place right next to it.
On Thursday Levon Aronian turned 29 (photo Macauley Peterson)
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