Sao Paulo R1: Aronian beats Karjakin, Caruana beats Carlsen
The fifth Grand Slam Masters Final started with a bang. In Sao Paulo, Brazil world's number one Magnus Carlsen immediately suffered a loss against Fabiano Caruana. Levon Aronian won against Sergey Karjakin while Vishy Anand and Paco Vallejo drew their first game.
Caruana beats Carlsen in round 1 | Photos by Albert Silver courtesy of the official website
The tournament is still called "Grand Slam Masters Final", although there doesn't seem to be much left of the "Grand Slam" concept. Events like Linares or Mtel Master have disappeared from the chess calendar, and so has the Kings' Tournament in Romania (although the organizers told us that this will take place this autumn in Bucharest). But even without a strong connection with other tournaments, the annual tournament in Sao Paulo and Bilbao obviously has plenty of raison d'être. With five players from the world's top 10 it's simply one of the major chess events in 2012.
Vishy Anand playing his first official game after successfully defending his title against Boris Gelfand in May
Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and Francisco "Paco" Vallejo Pons play a double round robin, so ten rounds in total. The first five are played in Sao Paulo, the last five in Bilbao. Traditionally the cooperation between two cities stimulates business interaction for the sponsors involved.
In fact several traditions are kept alive at this event. The players are again playing inside a glass cube, with a light and dark squared floor, located in the Ibirapuera Park so that the chess fans can watch the action from different angles. To stimulate fighting chess they cannot offer a draw directly to their opponent, and the "football" scoring system is used.
For the first round GM Ian Rogers (l.) joined GM Gilberto Milos in the commentary
Monday's first round saw two decisive results. World's number one Magnus Carlsen immediately suffered a loss against Fabiano Caruana. Levon Aronian won against Sergey Karjakin while Vishy Anand and Paco Vallejo drew their first game. This means that after one round Aronian and Caruana are on 3 points, Anand and Vallejo on 1 and Carlsen and Karjakin on 0.
Levon Aronian used a piece of opening preparation that he had been wanting to use for a while already. His victim was Sergey Karjakin, who miscalculated and had to resign at move 30.
Please note that this game and its theoretical importance will will be analyzed in full in the next ChessVibes Openings.
Levon Aronian: strong preparation, strong finish
Magnus Carlsen played the French Winawer against Fabiano Caruana, and as always the Norwegian tried hard to win the game. It seems that indeed he could have won at one point, but he missed his chance and a move later he threw away the draw as well.
Carlsen starts with a loss against Caruana
The game between Vishy Anand and Paco Vallejo was quite interesting too. In a Ragozin the Spaniard started an original plan which involved pushing both his a- and h-pawns. He then castled queenside, while the World Champion kept his king in the centre and started play on the queenside. After some exchanges Anand seemed to be creating some threats against the enemy king, but with a positional queen sac Vallejo reached a fortress.
Anand shakes hands with Sao Paulo organizer Davy D'Israel, who stands next to Bilbao organizer Juan Carlos Fernandez
Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Schedule & results
|Round 1||24.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 6||08.10.12||16:00 CET|
|Round 2||25.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 7||09.10.12||16:00 CET|
|Round 3||26.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 8||10.10.12||16:00 CET|
|Round 4||28.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 9||12.10.12||16:00 CET|
|Round 5||29.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 10||13.10.12||16:00 CET|
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