Reports | September 27, 2012 7:32

Three fighting draws in third round Sao Paulo

Many children watching the "aquarium" in Sao Paulo

Fabiano Caruana maintained his lead at the Grand Slam Masters Final in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On Wednesday all three games ended in draws, but not before a good fight was seen on all boards. Thursday is the first and only rest day in Sao Paulo. The fourth round starts at 15:00 local time (20:00 CET) on Friday.

Many children watching the "aquarium" in Sao Paulo | Photos by Albert Silver courtesy of the official website 

Event 5th Grand Slam Masters Final | PGN via TWIC
Dates September 24-29, 2012
Location Sao Paulo, Brazil & 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.


Children playing chess alongside the Sao Paulo venue

After six draws in London there was now also a round without decisive games in Sao Paulo. But, like in London, the games were in fact quite enjoyable and in two of them play continued way beyond move 60. As all the players added one point to their score, Fabiano Caruana maintained his two-point lead over Levon Aronian.

Chief Arbiter IM Herman van Riemsdijk and former World Champion GM Susan Polgar (who is doing commentary in Sao Paulo)

Aronian drew relatively quickly with Vallejo but the game was full of ideas and tactics. It seems that, for a change, Aronian's opening with White didn't really work out but his reaction to Vallejo's knight jumps was great.

PGN string

Levon Aronian: an unsuccessful opening but a strong follow-up

Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin, the two strongest players on the planet born in 1990, fought for 67 moves. In a 4.g3 Queen's Indian Karjakin allowed his structure to be weakened as he got active piece play in return. However, at some point the Muscovite decided to trade queens when the resulting ending turned out to be more comfortable for White, especially when Carlsen could exchange his bishop for Black's knight.

PGN string

One of Magnus Carlsen's sponsors is Verdens Gang (VG), a Norwegian tabloid newspaper

Vishy Anand was on the defensive side for most of his game against Fabiano Caruana. With 3.Bb5+ the tournament leader reminded Anand of an annoying loss against Sergey Tiviakov, a few weeks before the match against Boris Gelfand. This time the World Champion chose the more solid 3...Bd7 but still got under slight pressure. Allowing the standard trick 18.Nd5, Anand might have misalculated somewhere as he just lost a pawn. The Indian eventually defended the 4 vs 3 ending to a draw.

PGN string

World Champion Vishy Anand started with three draws 


Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Schedule & results

Round 1 24.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 6 08.10.12 16:00 CET
Anand ½-½ Vallejo   Vallejo - Anand
Aronian 1-0 Karjakin   Karjakin - Aronian
Caruana 1-0 Carlsen   Carlsen - Caruana
Round 2 25.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 7 09.10.12 16:00 CET
Vallejo 0-1 Carlsen   Carlsen - Vallejo
Karjakin 0-1 Caruana   Caruana - Karjakin
Anand ½-½ Aronian   Aronian - Anand
Round 3 26.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 8 10.10.12 16:00 CET
Aronian ½-½ Vallejo   Vallejo - Aronian
Caruana ½-½ Anand   Anand - Caruana
Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin - Carlsen
Round 4 28.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 9 12.10.12 16:00 CET
Caruana - Vallejo   Karjakin - Vallejo
Carlsen - Aronian   Carlsen - Anand
Karjakin - Anand   Caruana - Aronian
Round 5 29.09.12 20:00 CET   Round 10 13.10.12 16:00 CET
Vallejo - Karjakin   Vallejo - Caruana
Anand - Carlsen   Aronian - Carlsen
Aronian - Caruana   Anand - Karjakin

Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 3 standings (football)

1. Caruana,F   7
2. Aronian,L   5
3. Carlsen,M   4
4. Anand,V   3
5. Vallejo,F   2
6. Karjakin,S   1 

Grand Slam Masters Final 2012 | Round 3 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.


Jochem's picture

Karjakin missed (I guess) the funny 46...Rxb2+ 47.Nxb2 fxe4, and the rook is trapped.

bronkenstein's picture

It is very possible that they both saw that simple trick, but the verdict of the position in the end is not as clear as Chessvibes comment claims, with black´s pawn structure ruined. Anyway it is not so much simpler than the draw in the game.

Septimus's picture

Was 13...h6 really necessary in Anand's game? Why not try something like Nb4 followed by a5 ?

SanChess's picture

Is it possible to download the annotated games shown above?

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