Masters Final R9: Carlsen beats Ivanchuk in dramatic round
Magnus Carlsen beat Vassily Ivanchuk in the 9th round of the Grand Slam Masters FInal in Bilbao, Spain. The Norwegian now shares the lead with the Ukrainian, with one round to go. Levon Aronian defeated Vishy Anand but the biggest drama was seen in Vallejo-Nakamura: in a better position the American lost on time - but that wasn't the whole story (see below).
|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|
|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.|
A nice and sunny Monday in Bilbao saw the most dramatic, and also most exciting round of the tournament thus far. Magnus Carlsen caught Vassily Ivanchuk in the standings with a victory in a direct encounter, Levon Aronian beat World Champion Vishy Anand in just 25 moves and Hikaru Nakamura lost on time against Francisco Vallejo, filed an official protest and saw it rejected by the Appeals Committee. All that in just one round!
In chronological order, Levon Aronian's victory against Vishy Anand came first and it was an incredibly smooth one. The Armenian grandmaster gained the initiative right from the opening - a rare line from the Queen's Gambit Accepted.
Afterwards Aronian said:
I'm very happy to recover from the tournament by winning today. I think I was playing terribly the whole tournament and maybe only today I was concentrating. Maybe on the first day and today I was showing some kind of chess. It's a strong tournament and everybody is playing very good chess so I think this tournament everybody can win.
Levon Aronian beats Vishy Anand with remarkable ease - the World Champion is now in last place
Magnus Carlsen did what he had to do: beat Vassily Ivanchuk and close the gap of three points. In a Nimzo-Indian that also had some Dutch Defence tendencies, Carlsen tried the original bishop development move Bf1-h3. Already at move 14, Ivanchuk went for a line in which he must have missed something.
Ivanchuk realizes that Carlsen is going to take the bishop on c8 with his queen, and resigns
It was great to see that Ivanchuk, after losing such an important game, entered the stage anyway to please the spectators. To the question what went wrong, Chuky mentioned a small anecdote:
Some scientist needs to explain to spectators Einstein's relativity theory. Before his explanation, he says: 'I have to suffer a lot explaining something I don't understand myself.' This relates to my game: I didn't understand anything!
Before that, Carlsen had explained in detail what could have happened in this game. But while he was doing this, the third and last game of the round saw a very unexpected turn of events. Hikaru Nakamura had been worse for a while, but eventually got a nice advantage against Francisco Vallejo, who afterwards admitted that he had been outplayed when he got into timetrouble. But just as things went his way, Nakamura lost on time, at move 39.
Here's what happened. With about 25 seconds on the clock, Nakamura asked the arbiter if he had reached move 40 and according to Nakamura the arbiter had nodded. After getting a fresh glass of orange juice, to his horror he saw that the game had been declared lost. Here's what Vallejo told us:
What happened is he asked the arbiter: 'Is it move 40?' I didn't hear anything from the arbiter. Of course, he can't say anything obviously. Then he stood up and I realized it's not move 40. His clock went down and then he was claiming something like, the arbiter moved his head or something, something like that. I didn't see it and I didn't hear any sound. I'm not very happy to win like that. He had a clear advantage; I don't know if it's winning or not. To win that game is very lucky from my part.
Chief arbiter Anil Surender of Sweden stops the clock...
...and as soon as Nakamura returns with a fresh orange juice, he tells the American that he lost on time...
...to the surprise of Nakamura, who thought the arbiter had nodded 'yes' when he asked him if he had reached move 40
Nakamura still arguing with the arbiter, while Technical Director Juan Carlos Fernandez has entered the cube
Nakamura filing an official protest
Nakamura filed a protest and then stayed inside the glass cube for about half an hour, while the organizers were dealing with it. The Appeals Committee, consisting only of Technical Director Juan Carlos Fernandez, eventually rejected the protest on the basis that witnesses hadn't noticed the arbiter clearly nodding, and on the fact that an arbiter isn't allowed to say anything about the moves anyway. After hearing this, Nakamura left the playing hall with his father, (quite understandably) not in the mood to give signatures or talk to the press. Later he would tweet:
I've lost many chessgames and I've won my fair share too, but none have been this painful ever. Thankfully there are other things in life.
Tomorrow everything will be decided. There are many scenarios possible, and here are the tie-break rules provided by organizers:
RULES FOR CASES OF A FOUR-WAY TIE
If two players are tied for first place, there will be a tie-break in a lighting chess duel which will be played immediately after the last round. This duel will consist of two games, with 4 minutes per player and 3-second increments for each move made, alternating colours with the first to be decided by a draw. If there is still a tie a “sudden death” match will be played, with white having 5 minutes and black 4, black winning in the case of a draw. The colours of this match will be decided by draw. If the number of players tied for the top spot is more than two, what is outlined in point 3 below will be applied to determine which two players will play in the duel.
RULES FOR THE CASE OF A TIE AMONG FOUR PLAYERS
The traditional points system will be applied. Win: 1 point, draw: 0.5 points and loss: 0 points. From the resulting placings, it will then be observed if the third and fourth places are tied with first and second. If this is so the scores of the worst player in the tournament are eliminated, and this is done until the tie is broken.
Photos: Manu de Alba
Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Schedule & results
|Round 1||26.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 6||06.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 2||27.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 7||07.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 3||28.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 8||08.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 4||30.09.11||20:00 CET||Round 9||10.10.11||16:00 CET|
|Round 5||01.10.11||20:00 CET||Round 10||11.10.11||16:00 CET|
Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 9 Standings (football)
1-2 Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk 14
3-4 Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian 11
5 Francisco Vallejo 10
6 Vishy Anand 9
Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 9 Standings (classical)
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