Reports | October 07, 2011 20:26

Masters Final R7: Vallejo beats Ivanchuk

Masters Final R7: Vallejo beats Ivanchuk

In the 7th round tournament leader Vassily Ivanchuk suffered a surprising loss at the Grand Slam Masters Final against tail-ender Francisco Vallejo. Both Anand-Nakamura and Aronian-Carlsen ended in a draw, and so Ivanchuk is now still five points ahead of Anand, Aronian, Carlsen and Nakamura.

Event 4th Grand Slam Masters Final  | PGN via TWIC
Dates September 25th - October 11th, 2011
Location Sao Paulo, Brazil & Bilbao, Spain
System 6-player double round robin
Players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Vallejo
Time control 90 minutes for the first 40 moves plus 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 seconds increment per move from move number 41
Prizes Undisclosed
Notes 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.

Round 7

At first sight the result '1-0' between Vallejo and Ivanchuk is a huge surprise: the Spaniard, who was declared 'too weak for this field' after a few rounds in Sao Paulo, winning against the legendary Ukrainian, who seems to be in such a good shape. However, in reality Vallejo is simply a very strong player too, and he just underperformed thus far. Also statistically speaking a win for him was likely to come, and we all know that we never know which Ivanchuk will be sitting behind the board.

On Friday it wasn't the super-Ivanchuk that we've seen before. In a position that's not too hard to draw he started playing inaccurately and eventually he lost a rook ending which might have been drawn as well.

PGN string

At the Bilbao opening ceremony some players said that especially this year they liked the football scoring system, because even with Ivanchuk having such a big lead, 'anything can happen'. On Friday the system was helping the leader who lost, since his 6-point lead only dropped to 5 points. This was because both Aronian-Carsen and Anand-Nakamura ended in a draw and these four players, all in second place, 'only' gained a point. For Ivanchuk, Vallejo was the best player to lose to in the second leg!

Nakamura didn't have any problems achieving the draw. He tweeted:

Thanks to Kramnik I was able to just play something silly like the Berlin and draw against the World Champion relatively effortlessly.

PGN string

The game between Aronian and Carlsen was not as spectacular as their first-round game in last month's Botvinnik Memorial, but not bad either:

PGN string

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 1 26.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 6 06.10.11 16:00 CET
Nakamura ½-½ Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk 1-0 Nakamura
Anand ½-½ Carlsen   Carlsen ½-½ Anand
Aronian 1-0 Vallejo   Vallejo ½-½ Aronian
Round 2 27.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 7 07.10.11 16:00 CET
Ivanchuk 1-0 Vallejo   Vallejo 1-0 Ivanchuk
Carlsen ½-½ Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Carlsen
Nakamura ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Nakamura
Round 3 28.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 8 08.10.11 16:00 CET
Anand 0-1 Ivanchuk   Ivanchuk - Anand
Aronian ½-½ Nakamura   Nakamura - Aronian
Vallejo 1-0 Carlsen   Carlsen - Vallejo
Round 4 30.09.11 20:00 CET   Round 9 10.10.11 16:00 CET
Aronian 0-1 Ivanchuk   Carlsen - Ivanchuk
Vallejo 0-1 Anand   Vallejo - Nakamura
Carlsen ½-½ Nakamura   Aronian - Anand
Round 5 01.10.11 20:00 CET   Round 10 11.10.11 16:00 CET
Ivanchuk 0-1 Carlsen   Ivanchuk - Aronian
Nakamura 1-0 Vallejo   Anand - Vallejo
Anand ½-½ Aronian   Nakamura - Carlsen

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 7 Standings (football)

1  Vassily Ivanchuk 13
2-5  Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian,
Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen 8
6  Francisco Vallejo 7

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 7 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.


Anonymous's picture

Typical Ivanchuk.

Nima's picture

Got to take the good with the bad.

Chess Fan's picture

Means that Aronian and Anand are in danger and he is in danger from Magnus again ;-)

gonzo's picture
Bartleby's picture

Typical Gruenfeld. Black blocks and eliminates the passed d pawn, but it takes him some time. Vallejo used this time well to find active roles for all his pieces. Probably Ivanchuk could have defended the rook endgame better, but Vallejo's choice of endgame maximized the pressure. The outside passed pawn is a horrible thing to defend against when you don't have enough time to calculate all those races precisely, and have to play by feel instead.

vosuram's picture

Dear Peter,
could you please comment how much the "football" scoring coincides with ELO calculation?

Peter Doggers's picture

Ehm, no. :-) For now all I can say is: please never write it with three capitals. It was the professor's surname.

Knallo's picture

Unless, of course, by some surprising coincidence, the Electric Light Orchestra is meant!
Thank you, Peter, "ELO" gets on my nerves, too.

Arne Moll's picture

Spellng matters are almost never straightforward, and this is another example. I myself always learned it is common practice to write 'ELO' when referring to the rating system, to distinguish between the system itself and the name of its inventor, and it still seems like a good idea. See e.g.


Peter Doggers's picture

That's the weirdest thing I've heard in a while, writing things in capitals to distinguish from a person.

redivivo's picture

It's not ELO or AMPÉRE or ANGSTROM etc, it's Elo, Ampére and Angstrom etc.

Anonymous's picture

True except it's Ampère

Anonymous's picture

Then is should be Éló too :)

misja's picture

Élő to be precise

ebutaljib's picture

How many Élő did Élő have?

redivivo's picture

I don't know but they say his égő was inflated

Knallo's picture

If "common practice" is our guide, we must all learn to write "definately".

AlvaroFrota's picture

Ivanchuk was very tired, that is all.

Gerhard's picture

That can be true

PP (NL)'s picture

Good for the tournament, bad for our hero... :-)

guest01's picture

Seems to me Anand is not putting his 100 % in the games

Rama G's picture

Yeah, Anand seems to save his best opening preparation for matches.

Chess Fan's picture

I am sure that Anand is taking his games seriously and trying to win 100% though he may not reveal his preparation. His 1.e4 is a case and point towards that argument.
The problem is not with Anand trying 100% as to the high level and quality of his opposition, and hence not always a 1-0 result in his favor. This is a shark tank of super talents as we know and anyone could lose to anyone else in this group, World Champion or not.

Chess Fan's picture

Hi Peter,

Happy birthday on October 9th and continued best wishes for your website. Just saw your "About the Author" and as I thought, you are a typical Dutch guy. Also a decent 2285 elo.

Best wishes from Canada. It is "Happy Thanksgiving" here on October 10. So seems appropriate that I say "thanks" on behalf of all chess fans on your birthday for your website, work, and your personal touch and interaction with the chess fans. :-)

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks a lot for this really nice comment. Indeed my birthday is on the 9th so that's tomorrow (at least for me). Later today I'll fly to Bilbao and I'll celebrate with a cocktail in Jaime's bar at twelve!

Chess Fan's picture

My best wishes to you and your family.
Please "do not change" with respect to yourself and your website. That is a true compliment I can think of giving to you right now. And once again, happy birthday.
Enjoy Bilbao. We chess fans will be there with all of you in spirit and following the news on your website, enjoying the world class competition.

Anonymous's picture

2285? Well hopefully he can round that up to 2300 and then have another reason to celebrate! :)

columbo's picture


jmd85146's picture

3 more draws and Chucky wins the tournament !

foo's picture

chucky going down to Anand today

Chess Fan's picture

Very possible, or the other way around! With Chucky, on his day, even a World Champion is in danger.
I would bet on the former. Let us see. I see a draw less likely with these two geniuses.

foo's picture

off topic. Vijay Kumar's chess videos have the most ridiculous annoying f...... music.

Saji's picture

Vijaykumar Chess videos is the most beautiful in the world.

Anonymous's picture

It is a cultural thing.
Maybe that you have made your displeasure known, he might change the music. It is after all, trial and error, lots of times.
We are not all Steve Jobs,...or...Chucky ;-)

saheed saibu's picture

happy birthday peter,

Septimus's picture

Did Anand receive bonus points for playing the Spanish?

Septimus's picture

Peter's birthday? Happy b'day dude! Drive safe or let somebody else drive if you are getting trashed. :)

Latest articles