Reports | September 28, 2012 23:32

Caruana extends lead even further in Sao Paulo

With yet another win Fabiano Caruana extended his lead at the Grand Slam Masters Final in Sao Paulo to four points. On Friday the Italian defeated Paco Vallejo with the white pieces, while both Carlsen-Aronian and Karjakin-Anand ended in draws. On Saturday the fifth and last round will be played in Sao Paulo; then the players will travel to Bilbao, Spain to play the second half of the tournament.

Fabiano Caruana | Photos by Albert Silver courtesy of the official website

Event 5th Grand Slam Masters Final | PGN via TWIC
Dates September 24-29, 2012
Location Sao Paulo, Brazil & Bilbao, Spain
System 6-player round robin
Players Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand, Sergey Karjakin, Fabiano Caruana, Paco Vallejo
Rate of play

90 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 60 minutes for the remaining moves with a 10-second increment

Extra 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.

Did Fabiano Caruana just focus on chess while preparing for the Masters Final or did he also study a bit of black magic? For the second time in this tournament the Italian got his opponent to blunder away a drawn position:

PGN string

Or maybe it was something in the air. Also in the game between the world's number one and two on rating, a tactic was missed by both players:

PGN string

At the press conference Aronian said he only realized after the game, but Carlsen spotted the mistake right after he played 27.Bf4. The Norwegian didn't really need to put up a pokerface because Aronian played 27...Bc3 quickly, to avoid timetrouble later. He had about 11 minutes for 13 moves. Aronian:

I wanted to play fast. I thought it was a decent game and I didn't want to spoil it in timetrouble.


I was shaking for the rest of the game.

Vishy Anand played his fourth draw, against Sergey Karjakin.

PGN string


Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Schedule & results

Round 1 24.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 6 08.10.12 16:00 CET
Anand ½-½ Vallejo   Vallejo - Anand
Aronian 1-0 Karjakin   Karjakin - Aronian
Caruana 1-0 Carlsen   Carlsen - Caruana
Round 2 25.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 7 09.10.12 16:00 CET
Vallejo 0-1 Carlsen   Carlsen - Vallejo
Karjakin 0-1 Caruana   Caruana - Karjakin
Anand ½-½ Aronian   Aronian - Anand
Round 3 26.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 8 10.10.12 16:00 CET
Aronian ½-½ Vallejo   Vallejo - Aronian
Caruana ½-½ Anand   Anand - Caruana
Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin - Carlsen
Round 4 28.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 9 12.10.12 16:00 CET
Caruana 1-0 Vallejo   Karjakin - Vallejo
Carlsen ½-½ Aronian   Carlsen - Anand
Karjakin ½-½ Anand   Caruana - Aronian
Round 5 29.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 10 13.10.12 16:00 CET
Vallejo - Karjakin   Vallejo - Caruana
Anand - Carlsen   Aronian - Carlsen
Aronian - Caruana   Anand - Karjakin

Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 4 standings (football)

1. Caruana,F   10
2. Aronian,L   6
3. Carlsen,M   5
4. Anand,V   4
5-6. Vallejo,F   2
5-6. Karjakin,S   2 

Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 4 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.


Daniel's picture

Avanti Fabiano!

eric's picture

Is he working with Kasparov? :)

chill's picture

Hope carlsen will grind the "so called" world champion in the last round

TomTom's picture

Kasparov was the last real CHAMPION.

Anonymous's picture

You are way out in left Field with that comment your ignorante of chess history has been exposed. Run Tom run.@Tom Tom

hrgud's picture

TomTom ...
How do you know that, will you give any further comment, or shall I just belive you - and trust that you are the only one so far to look into the future?

Anonymous's picture

You've been sleeping for twelve long years. Time to wake up princess

mig's picture

Yeah lets hope he doesn't chicken out this time too.

NN's picture

And who are you to speak in such a derogatory manner about the World Champion?

Xenyatta's picture

Caruana seems to be poised to vault into 5th place in the Rankings. His potential seems to be close to Carlsen's at this point. The last year has been very impressive, and it cannot be said that he has reached his first plateau. Fabiano is the youngest player in the Top 15, by about a couple of years. (Giri just cracked the Top 20, at 2730).
Not so bold prediction: Caruana will break 2800 within the next 12 Months.

Anonymous2's picture

Caruana is a boss. :D

Anonymous's picture

So what really happened in the Carlsen - Aronian game? Did Aronian really have the game after 27 Bf4?

Anonymous's picture


Anonymous's picture

Its a forced mate

Eirik's picture

It's a forced mate only if Carlsen recaptures on f4. Otherwise it drops a bishop. But it loses on the spot, yes.

S3's picture

So Aronian will beat Caruana I suppose.

Anonymous's picture

Wanna bet ?

Thomas's picture

On Caruana-Vallejo: This time Caruana went all in against the French, against Carlsen he had stopped halfway. But now he had no choice - I wonder if 12.Nc3!? (rather than first 12.0-0) was an oversight or a deliberate double pawn sacrifice.

Later Vallejo blundered badly: what on earth was the idea behind 20.-Qd8? rather than 20.-Qc7 when engines see nothing better than perpetual check for white? So far Carlsen and Caruana won against Vallejo, Anand and Aronian didn't - but I think this can at least in part attributed to which Vallejo was showing up ... .

Anonymous's picture

I don't understand why they let Vallejo play in this tournament in the first place. There should be a sixth top (ten) player. No disrespect towards Vallejo but this is not his league.

Anonymous's picture

Local players have a two-fold function, the first is obvious. The second reason is that it is good to help separate the top players whom otherwise may draw against each other for every round which would be pretty boring chess tournament and no one would fund it in the future.

AK's picture

Add Kramnik instead of Vallejo and this becomes one of the greatest tournaments of all time.

Anonymous's picture

With Kramnik in the field, it sure would be ... So i can only imagine the amount of money involved in this tournament

giovlinn's picture

Carlsen seems a bit rusty to me. He hasn't played much lately.

Sun Tsu's picture

GM Bobby Fischer was the last real champion. Not Kasparov, Anand or Carlsen.

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