Reports | October 11, 2012 20:37

All games drawn in eighth round Masters Final

Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana continue to lead the Masters Final in Bilbao as all games in round 8 ended in draws. Levon Aronian was under big pressure with Black against Paco Vallejo and low on time as well, but still managed to hold the game.

Lots of cameras inside the "aquarium" in the Alhondiga in Bilbao | Photos © Manu de Alba courtesy of the official website

Event 5th Grand Slam Masters Final | PGN via TWIC
Dates October 8-13, 2012
Location 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.

Karjakin, Carlsen and Anand seen through the "B" logo on the glass

With three draws on Thursday, the Masters Final is heading for a very exciting finish. Carlsen and Caruana are still tied for first and there are just two rounds to go. Aronian is in third place with three points less, but on Friday he faces Caruana with Black and on Saturday Carlsen with White! The Armenian can play a very important role in the outcome of the tournament, but will he be strong enough to do so?

In today's game the double Olympic gold medal winner was on the verge of losing against rating tailender Vallejo. Well, at least that's what it looked like. If you followed the game with an engine running in the background, it might have seemed fine for Black all the time, but in practice, at the board, Aronian was defending like a lion.

PGN string

The start of Vallejo-Aronian with Carlsen watching...

Aronian:

I didn't really have the time to be afraid. I was just playing and I was kind of happy that I was not getting mated immediately. I think my position was alright but I was just playing some mediocre moves. After he played g4 it looks upleasant. I guess if you want to stay playing at a certain level you've got to be playing well when you're up against the wall!

The game between Anand and Caruana was very interesting as well. To start with, the Italian played the Grünfeld (one of his main openings against 1.d4) which meant he was "ready to meet World Championship preparation", as Grischuk put it last week. Anand went 3.f3, which he played more than once against Gelfand as well. Caruana's pawn sac 14...c5! will probably be studied in depth after this game.

PGN string

...and the world's numero uno is also interested in Anand-Caruana

Carlsen played the French against Karjakin and that wasn't the first time (and not the second either). However, he hadn't played 3...Bb4 against this opponent yet. It went well from Black's perspective because at move 18 he had already equalized. 

PGN string

Carlsen plays the French, watched by Kings' Tournament organizer Elisabeta Polihroniade and Masters Final organizer Juan Carlos Fernandez

Carlsen:

I played it in a slightly unusual way (Nd7, Nf6). It's not so easy for White to do much. By the way, it has to be said that this is the 5th game with the French in this tournament and the first draw for Black so I'm quite happy!

The two leaders Caruana and Carlsen

Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Schedule & results

Round 1 24.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 6 08.10.12 17:00 CET
Anand 1-1 Vallejo   Vallejo 1-1 Anand
Aronian 3-0 Karjakin   Karjakin 1-1 Aronian
Caruana 3-0 Carlsen   Carlsen 3-0 Caruana
Round 2 25.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 7 09.10.12 17:00 CET
Vallejo 0-3 Carlsen   Carlsen 3-0 Vallejo
Karjakin 0-3 Caruana   Caruana 1-1 Karjakin
Anand 1-1 Aronian   Aronian 1-1 Anand
Round 3 26.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 8 11.10.12 17:00 CET
Aronian 1-1 Vallejo   Vallejo 1-1 Aronian
Caruana 1-1 Anand   Anand 1-1 Caruana
Carlsen 1-1 Karjakin   Karjakin 1-1 Carlsen
Round 4 28.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 9 12.10.12 17:00 CET
Caruana 3-0 Vallejo   Karjakin - Vallejo
Carlsen 1-1 Aronian   Carlsen - Anand
Karjakin 1-1 Anand   Caruana - Aronian
Round 5 29.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 10 13.10.12 16:30 CET
Vallejo 1-1 Karjakin   Vallejo - Caruana
Anand 1-1 Carlsen   Aronian - Carlsen
Aronian 1-1 Caruana   Anand - Karjakin

Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 8 standings (football)

 

Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 8 standings (classical)

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

Chess.com

Comments

Septimus's picture

I liked Anand's game today. Is 0-0-0 well known in this position? Looks like he came out blasting.

S3's picture

yes it is well known amongst chess players

Septimus's picture

How would you know that?

Anonymous's picture

Mr S3 is right since he knows what he says.

Duncan's picture

Carlsen just beat Anand in 9th round (only 30 moves). Rating now 2848 which I believe is only 9 ELO short of Kasparov's record.

Morley's picture

One thing is for sure, Vallejo plays some exciting lines. I was really surprised at how much time Aronian took; he is known for playing pretty quickly.

Anonymous's picture

It seems to me Aronian's play is marginal and it is him who wanted to get out of the theory. I wonder if there is a forced win for Vallejo somehere.

After Anand's long castle, I thought the result of the game is more close to being decisive than a draw. I am surprised about all the liqudaiton.

arkan's picture

I really hope Carlsen - Anand will be fireworks tommorow!

hakapika's picture

It has not been for a long time, - they are too polite with each other. A silent draw will be normal.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen is just the first of the new generation of players, making the old warhorses nervous before they retire, but the young guns will catch up and pass him soon enough.

Anonymous's picture

Which young guns?

hakapika's picture

Key match tomorrow: If Caruana wins against Vallejo, he will also win the tournament.

hakapika's picture

Correction: That match is saturday

hakapika's picture

Correction: That match is saturday

john's picture

Anand will win remaining two matches

RealityCheck's picture

+6

RealityCheck's picture

+6

Thomas's picture

"Aronian ... seems to follow Carlsen's strategy of avoiding theory ..."
This 'seems' too much credit for Carlsen - I rather think Aronian was copying Aronian (and maybe also Kramnik): It wasn't the first time that he plays provocatively against relatively weak opponents because the tournament situation may ask for it. He used the Pirc/Modern before twice against Howell (and - 0/2 - in two Amber 2006 blindfold games against Grischuk and van Wely). But today's game reminds me most of his Czech Benoni against l'Ami, Corus 2011:
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1604597

S3's picture

Obviously. I just don't get why Kramnik and Aronian (and many others) think those Pirc-ish systems are the way to go when they want to win with black. It's relatively simple to play against and they got dubious positions with black several times. Carlsen too has lost games to weaker opponents with g6 sidelines.
The game was fun though.

Thomas's picture

It isn't that easy to play against the Pirc (at least not when I have white in my amateur games :) ), and the stronger player can sometimes afford a dubious position and still get the upper hand.

At least given circumstances, Kramnik's score with the Pirc isn't too bad:
- +2-1 in classical games (wins against Smeets and Galkin, loss against Naiditsch)
- +5=1-3 at the 2010 World Blitz Championship against partly stronger opponents (it includes a win against Nakamura, the draw was against Carlsen).
For him it was worth a (or several) tries, at least when a draw is almost as bad as a loss.

Bronkenstein's picture

The idea of playing pirc/modern in such casces should be that white is less likely to get early exchanges/simplification or force play into some drawish lines than he would be in, say, 1.e4 e5.

Anthony Migchels's picture

Poor Vishy...........
This must be the longest non winning streak ever by a world champion, hahaha

MW's picture

I greatly respect Anand, but I honestly think he is starting to fade out and the evidence for this is starting to mount. I think he'll be lucky to hang on as champ for another cycle even if the challenger is not Aronian or Carlsen.

Alfonso's picture

Between games 28th and 48th of the 1984/5 match against Kasparov, Karpov won zero games and lost three( +0, =18, -3). Is this the longest non-winning streak (21 games) for a world chess champion? (Karpov then played at Amsterdam 85, but I don't know the results round by round, so perhaps he added some more games)

nathan's picture

Nakamura loses again in european team, and is now behind Kamsky in the live ratings

john's picture

why r u concerned about naka so much. He will bounce back. he is one tough guy

Anonymous's picture

Because Naka has a big mouth...

Chris's picture

what about you?

john's picture

Chess junta is biased against, just because he chose to express his opinion on twiter and chose to be frank.

Anonymous's picture

by frank you mean unnecessarily arrogant?

Anonymous's picture

not as big as his

Anonymous's picture

I think the solution for GM draws is to have the arbiters adjucate upon draw offers. So the players are like, "Hey, we just drew this game." And the arbiters looks at the board and says, "Hmmmm.. Nope. I will let black win the point. You got doubled pawns."

Thomas's picture

So for you, Carlsen has lost against Karjakin?

Truth's picture

A new cognomen for Anand, the cartoonist.

Duncan's picture

9th Round: Carlsen 1 - Anand 0, only 30 moves.
Carlsen ELO now 2848

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen for 2900!

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