Carlsen, Caruana, Karjakin win in penultimate round Masters Final
In a spectacular 9th round of the Masters Final in Bilbao all games were won by the white player. Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana are still tied for first after they won against Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian respectively. Sergey Karjakin beat Paco Vallejo. In tomorrow's last round, which starts half an hour earlier, the pairings are Vallejo - Caruana, Aronian - Carlsen and Anand - Karjakin.
The organizers of the Masters Final in Sao Paulo and Bilbao are not taking one, not two but three separate measures to stimulate "attractive" and "fighting" chess, whatever that may be. There's the Corsica/Sofia rule against early draw offers, there's the 3-1-0 (football) scoring system and, last but not least, there's the fast time control. At this tournament the rate of play is 90 minutes for the ﬁrst 40 moves and then 60 minutes for the remaining moves with a 10-second increment. This means that the players have basically half an hour less than they're used to, to reach 40.
Lots and lots of spectators | Photo thanks to David Kaufmann, who has many more on his blog
Today and earlier in the tournament we saw what this can lead to. Some players tend to take more risks (Aronian) and others tend to make decisive mistakes in timetrouble (Vallejo). The two "Cs" have coped with the circumstances the best, and are still tied for first going into the last round. Carlsen won against Anand and Caruana defeated Aronian. Karjakin moved to 4th place by beating Vallejo.
The game between the world's highest rated player and the World Champion was a relatively short affair. Anand said:
Sometimes you lose control because of one mistake and sometimes it's very hard to repair the damage.
Anand suffers his first loss after eight draws
The Indian referred to his 17th move. At that point Black was still doing fine.
Incidentally, this result means that Carlsen is now one win away from breaking Garry Kasparov's rating record of 2851. In the live ratings the Norwegian now has 2848 and a win against Aronian yields 4.7 points.
Carlsen vs Anand, 1-0 in 30
Caruana kept pace. The Italian, who is two years younger than Carlsen, won a good game against Aronian. The Armenian played a remarkable piece sacrifice.
Fabiano Caruana, still joint first with Carlsen
Commentator Leontxo Garcia asked the players if it would be a good advice to chess fans "to analyse the game at home deeply". Aronian replied:
I guess it would be a good exercise for myself! I tend to sacrifice and lose games because of that!
Poor Vallejo played another good game, and spoilt it in timetrouble again. In a Winawer French the grandmaster from Menorca managed to become more dangerous on the queenside than Karjakin was on the kingside. In a winning position, a strange queen manoeuvre was the introduction to a wrong plan, executed in serious timetrouble.
Sergey Karjakin wins his first game
A visibly disappointed, not to say devastated, Vallejo said:
I was totally winning but I played very badly at the end. Chess is about winning and losing and I lost.
Francisco "Paco" Vallejo Pons
Karjakin, about the complications in the middlegame:
The position is completely crazy, we are both risking.
It's difficult to do anything about timetrouble errors. It's the fastest tournament of the year but the tempo doesn't seem to suit me well.
Carlsen or Caruana, who will it be?
Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Schedule & results
|Round 1||24.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 6||08.10.12||17:00 CET|
|Round 2||25.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 7||09.10.12||17:00 CET|
|Round 3||26.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 8||11.10.12||17:00 CET|
|Round 4||28.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 9||12.10.12||17:00 CET|
|Round 5||29.09.12||20:00 CET||Round 10||13.10.12||16:30 CET|
Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 9 standings (football)
Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 9 standings (classical)
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