Reports | October 07, 2012 13:32

Caruana to defend 4-point lead in Bilbao Masters Final's second half

Leontxo Garcia, Iñaki Azkuna, Viswanathan Anand

Tomorrow the 6th round of the Masters Final will be played in Bilbao, Spain. It is the first of five rounds that form the second half of the tournament, and Fabiano Caruana (Italy) is defending a four-point lead. The first half took place September 25-29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Journalist/commentator Leontxo Garcia, Bilbao mayor Iñaki Azkuna and World Champion Viswanathan Anand at the opening of the Bilbao Masters Final on Saturday morning

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.

As the press release nicely put it, in the coming week Bilbao will become the "world chess capital" as the location of the Masters Final's second half. After a break of eight days, the players will start the 6th round tomorrow at 17:00 CET. Fabiano Caruana is leading the tournament with 11 points out of 5, followed by Levon Aronian (7 points), Magnus Carlsen (6 points), Viswanathan Anand (5 points) and Francisco Vallejo Pons & Sergey Karjakin (3 points).

The Bilbao leg was officially opened on Saturday morning in the Arab Hall of the City Hall of Bilbao, in the presence of the mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna, World Champion Viswanathan Anand and journalist/commentator Leontxo Garcia

Like in previous years the games will be played in the Central Atrium of the Alhondiga Bilbao, in a soundproofed glass box with view to the public. This glass room measures 8x8m witdh, with a high of 3,5m and weighs 8 tons. The games will start on Monday, September 8th and will last until Saturday, September 13th, with a rest day on Wednesday the 10th. The Bilbao leg has its own official website and you can find the live games here.

Below you can refresh your memory with the Sao Paulo results and the current standings:

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 - Anand
Aronian 3-0 Karjakin   Karjakin - Aronian
Caruana 3-0 Carlsen   Carlsen - Caruana
Round 2 25.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 7 09.10.12 17:00 CET
Vallejo 0-3 Carlsen   Carlsen - Vallejo
Karjakin 0-3 Caruana   Caruana - Karjakin
Anand 1-1 Aronian   Aronian - Anand
Round 3 26.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 8 10.10.12 17:00 CET
Aronian 1-1 Vallejo   Vallejo - Aronian
Caruana 1-1 Anand   Anand - Caruana
Carlsen 1-1 Karjakin   Karjakin - 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 5 standings (football)


Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 5 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.


PeterV's picture

I see forward to it. First day: Carlsen-Caruana. Yippee!

columbo's picture

11 points out of 15 ... not 5 ... cheers

columbo's picture

Carlsen / Caruana seems to be very important match. If Carlsen wins, not only Caruana will collapse, but it will be difficult to stop Magnus. If Caruana wins, the journey is over, if he manages to draw, it will be difficult to stop the Italian from winning the tournament

redivivo's picture

Caruana winning this should make him the favourite to get the Chess Oscar for 2012, unless the Russians just decided to discontinue it after Carlsen started winning every year. He ought to have won the vote for 2011 but it was never held as far as I know. Once upon a time the Chess Oscar winner used to be announced around April but now they just seem to have stopped the whole thing?!

columbo's picture

agreed ! Caruana surely would deserve the oscar for 2012 if he wins this tournament

Anonymous's picture

will the official website and game/commentary video livestream at least reach some minimal standard for the bilbao leg?

Enderjeta's picture

I completely agree. The interface messes up on my MAC and PC. I don't mind not having commentary in English, whatevs, but for all that glitz of 4! different options not a one of them really worked. Very strange.

Somebody's picture

If Carlsens beats Caruana tomorrow, Caruana may have psychological problems finishing the tournament. He may have problems finishing in any case, actually. He collapsed at the end of Tal, and my impression is he's never had the strongest nerves.

Anonymous's picture

What a baseless assessment of Tal and Caruana, without giving credit to Aronian's slippery f7 attack in the final round. Nerves? Get real. Fabiano is nicknamed "Rocky" Caruana for a reason.

Bob's picture

I wouldn't say it was a "4-point lead", that makes it sound like he is 4 points clear of the rest of the field.

PeterV's picture

He is! (Football standings.)

Bob's picture

Oh, ok. Can't get used to this

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Aingle Pack's picture

Most boring format. I mean, a tournament break of 10 days! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Anonymous's picture

Agreed, that's really strange. World capital of chess? Let's hope the organizers will at least provide games and commentary video live stream in a worthy format, unlike the joke during the first half in sao paulo...

Thomas's picture

The idea seems to be to give the players more time to recover from jetlag. I wonder what they did in the meantime - for example, did Karjakin hang around in Spain for a week, or did he travel from Sao Paulo to Bilbao via Moscow?

mishanp's picture

He wrote on his blog that he'd spent some time in Paris with his friends. Either he really, really likes his new jacket or there was an element of pleasing his new sponsor in his photos from the trip :)

Anonymous's picture

lol :-)

valg321's picture

he looks like a walking billboard, its sad actually

frozone's picture

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Septimus's picture

Anand will will all his remaining games.

PP (nl)'s picture

More likely he will draw them all...

Septimus's picture

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chill's picture

My prediction "Anand will draw 3 games and lose two games". My last predictions were that Topalov and gelfand will win the World champion.

sen's picture

Based on past performance on ur predictions,it should be anand with two wins and 3 wiill be great if it happens.

giovlinn's picture

Even IF Caruana loses which I doubt, I think it will be a draw, he will not lose "collapse".

foo's picture

will Vishy win at least one game?

chill's picture

vishy is the new Leko

foo's picture

yeah. unfortunately it has come down to that now. sad.

Rini Luyks's picture

no live games again, what a disgrace...

Rini Luyks's picture

no live games again, what a disgrace...

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