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Bilbao Set For A Thrilling Finish!

  • SonofPearl
  • on 10/12/12, 11:46 AM.

Magnus Carlsen official website 2.jpgRecent Chess.com news articles about the Chess Masters Final in Bilbao have led to healthy debate in the comments about what it means to be the "best" player in the world.

Magnus Carlsen is ranked #1 on the FIDE rating list, but Vishy Anand still holds the title of World Chess Champion.

Today they clashed over the board in Bilbao and it was the Norwegian who came out on top, thereby inflicting Anand's first defeat of the competition.

But despite this win, Magnus still has a real fight on his hands to win the tournament after Fabiano Caruana defeated world #2 ranked Lev Aronian to keep pace at the top of the standings.

Carlsen and Caruana share first place going into the final round tomorrow.

In the other pairing, Paco Vallejo looked to have gained an advantage against Sergey Karjakin, but the poor Spaniard blundered as the time control approached and lost the game.

The pairings for the final round are Vallejo v Caruana, Aronian v Carlsen, and Anand v Karjakin.

The standings after 9 rounds (3-1-0 scoring)

# Name Fed Elo Pts
1 Caruana, Fabiano  ITA 2773 16
2 Carlsen, Magnus  NOR 2843 16
3 Aronian, Levon  ARM 2816 10
4 Karjakin, Sergey  RUS 2778 9
5 Anand, Viswanathan  IND 2780 8
6 Vallejo Pons, Francisco  ESP 2697 5

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Who's the Best? The world #1 and the World Champion face off in Bilbao.

Bilbao 2012 Round 9 Magnus Carlsen Vishy Anand.jpg

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If two players tie for first they will play a blitz match immediately after the last round finishes. They will play two games at the rate of 4 minutes plus 3 seconds increment, alternating colors. If this match is tied, they will play an Armageddon (sudden death) game where White will have 5 minutes and Black 4. In the case of a draw Black wins first place.

The final round on 13th October starts half an hour earlier at 16:30 local time (14:30 UTC).

The tournament uses the "Sofia" anti-draw rules, meaning that players can only draw by mutual agreement with the permission of the arbiter. The "Bilbao" scoring system (3-1-0) is also in use.

Games via TWIC. Photo from the Bilbao Masters official website.

10963 reads 69 comments
8 votes

Comments


  • 24 months ago

    kiter3

    What I really like about Magnus is the spirit and the willingness to win, all or nothing, which is really great. He is like O'Sullivan in Snooker. You only follow the tournament simply because Magnus is playing and you expect a lot from him. He is the type of Messi in soccer. He has not yet reached hid best. I think he is the greatest chess player ever. May be I am emotional, but as mentioned in other comments, time will prove that.

  • 24 months ago

    fabelhaft

    "Wait, was this tournament held for the title of the World Champion?! Did anyone tell the players this? I don't think so."

    I don't know of anyone who claims that this tournament is for the title of World Champion.

    "Before the Capablanca - Alekhine match there was the hugely strong New York tournament in 1924 and the chess world expected that it will show the true world champion. Guess who won? Lasker!"

    I think Lasker was the greatest player of those three, and that's why he could win such a tough and long tournament with a clear margin in spite of having passed 55. It had nothing to do with the World Championship though. By the way, the only reason Lasker finally lost a game against Alekhine was that he played into his late 60s, when that single loss came.   

    "A world title match and a regular tournament require two different approaches and two different mindsets. Who knows, maybe Anand has some secret opening lines that he doesn't want to reveal in such a meaningless, for him, tournament. He's older, so he needs to conserve energy."

    Anand just isn't as strong as he was a few years back, and there's no shame in that.

    "Some chess historians say that Rubinstein was the best player around 1912. Is anyone who claims that Carlsen is the "true" world champion willing to add Rubinstein on that list, too?" 

    Carlsen is the strongest player in the world but that has nothing to do with the World Championship, as is even more obvious in Rubinstein's case. Rubinstein never had enough money to buy a title match so his chances to win the title were non-existent, also because Janowski, Schlechter and Marshall were weaker than him (and thus preferable to give matches to). So if the strongest player always is the World Champion it doesn't matter how strong Rubinstein was, since he never could get a title match he must by default never have been the strongest player.

    "Appearances can be deceiving. Anyone who claims to be world champion must beat the holder, as Fischer or Kasparov have done. And Alekhine had to win the revenge match with Euwe to regain the right to hold the title. Carlsen, or anyone else, has to prove he has the nerves to fight a world title match. So far, the only thing he's done in this respect was to shy away from the Candidates matches."

    Carlsen hasn't claimed to be the World Champion, but he did complain about FIDE changing the cycle so it was decided in a knockout lottery. Anyone wishing there to be some connection between strongest player and World Champion ought to agree with him that minimatches decided in blitz aren't a good way to find out who the best player is.

    "Carlsen doesn't have any such scars so far, so he can look better, but wait until his first match"

    Carlsen lost a Candidates match against Aronian when he was 16 years old (3-3 in classical and 2-2 in rapid before Aronian won in blitz) but I don't think that left many scars. 

  • 24 months ago

    PrinceAAwe

    Magnus won the tie break against Caruana 2-0 Congrats Calrsen Well Played

  • 24 months ago

    waltervettivel

    Last game also ended in draw for Anand.Among the 6 players Anand finished in the 5'th position,not too bad.

  • 24 months ago

    Chess_Lover11

    Its realy gonna be thrilling end!

  • 24 months ago

    pawngenius

    In 5 years, Carlsen will surpass Kasparov's and Fischer's chess achievements.

  • 24 months ago

    tomlim

    who says Anand going to get away with draws again, nah just kidding. Best games in tournament so far, e4 wins all the way Tongue Out

  • 24 months ago

    nebunulpecal

    Wait, was this tournament held for the title of the World Champion?! Did anyone tell the players this? I don't think so.

    Before the Capablanca - Alekhine match there was the hugely strong New York tournament in 1924 and the chess world expected that it will show the true world champion. Guess who won? Lasker!   

    A world title match and a regular tournament require two different approaches and two different mindsets. Who knows, maybe Anand has some secret opening lines that he doesn't want to reveal in such a meaningless, for him, tournament. He's older, so he needs to conserve energy.

    Some chess historians say that Rubinstein was the best player around 1912. Is anyone who claims that Carlsen is the "true" world champion willing to add Rubinstein on that list, too? What about Bronstein or Korchnoi? 

    Appearances can be deceiving. Anyone who claims to be world champion must beat the holder, as Fischer or Kasparov have done. And Alekhine had to win the revenge match with Euwe to regain the right to hold the title. Carlsen, or anyone else, has to prove he has the nerves to fight a world title match. So far, the only thing he's done in this respect was to shy away from the Candidates matches.

    The psychological blows in a chess match leaves scars on the mind of a player. They're not visible, but they are. Anand, I bet, has a lot of these scars (matches with Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Gelfand) and his inner chess face must look like the one of a brutal warrior. Look what happened to Leko and Topalov after their matches or how long Anand needed to recover after his loss in 1995. Carlsen doesn't have any such scars so far, so he can look better, but wait until his first match.    

  • 24 months ago

    Jimmykay

    I think that the "who is better" discussions of players from the past is meaningless. As in science, players "stand on the shoulders of giants" to see farther. It is as silly to say that Einstein was a better physicist than Newton as it is to say that Carlsen is better than Fischer.

     

    OF COURSE if you could magically go back in time and bring Carlsen to play Fischer in his prime, Carlsen would CRUSH him. I think this is obvious.

    The discussion as to who was more of a "pioneer, innovator, better than his peers, etc." is a different topic altogether. Carlsen's name shouldn't even be mentioned in that conversation. At least not yet. Give it 20 years and we will see.

  • 24 months ago

    vanthao311

    Great!

  • 24 months ago

    MattBaron

    Caruana is stepping up!

  • 24 months ago

    melvinbluestone

    "But NimzoRoy is quite correct: in chess, as in boxing, you win the title by beating the guy who holds the title."     This is true enough. But I think tournaments like this, and other recent developments in the chess world (technological, mostly), may produce a change in the general concept of "best player in the world". The historic gravitas of the term "WCC" may be a thing of the past. The two or three year cycle required, while correct in it's intent, is too slow to be considered really accurate by the most of the chess public. Newer players are advancing so rapidly that the odds are by the time the arduous qualification process is complete, the guy they end up, and the champ himself, are no longer the strongest players. And accordingly, interest in the event wanes. I'm not saying they should do away with a WCC. I'm just saying world rankings have supplanted the current championship as the more accurate indication of "who's the best".

  • 24 months ago

    MattBaron

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 24 months ago

    ferdinandplebie

    pawn genius you are wrong.kasparov and fischer can not be over throned

  • 24 months ago

    fabelhaft

    Apparently Vallejo stated before the last round that he is retiring from competitive chess.

  • 24 months ago

    drumdaddy

    Whether it is Carlsen or Caruana, the winner of this tournament will have clearly earned it. Both are exciting to watch.

  • 24 months ago

    plutonia

    It seems Caruana will win this tournament!

    In the last round it's easier for Caruana to beat Vallejo, rather than for Carlsen to beat Aronian.

     

    I also find really interesting that the best two players are so much younger than the others. Perhaps we can expect both of them to improve, and becoming substantially stronger than everybody else.

     

    @ Sir_Rees: yes, thanks Caruana! (I'm Italian too).

  • 24 months ago

    PeaceRequiresAnarchy

    All three games were really interesting. I like it.

  • 24 months ago

    Estragon

    @novzki41 - Carlsen doesn't want FIDE to make it easy on him, but he insists the rules should not be changed arbitrarily in the middle of a cycle as was done twice before he withdrew from the last one.

    But NimzoRoy is quite correct:  in chess, as in boxing, you win the title by beating the guy who holds the title.  Ratings are guideposts which measure overall results - championship matches are scored the same as local tournaments. 

    The first Lasker-Steinitz Euwe-Alekhine, and Tal-Botvinnik matches, as well as Alekhine-Capablanca, were upsets according to conventional wisdom. 

    Before boarding the ship which would carry him to the match, Alekhine answered a reporter's questioning of his chances by saying, "I cannot conceive of any way I can win six games against Capablanca; but neither can I conceive of any way he could win six games against me."

  • 24 months ago

    fabelhaft

    Caruana has been good at taking advantage of imprecisions by his opponents here, first Carlsen missed both win and draw in their first game, then also Aronian missed a win in their first game, and Vallejo blundered into a loss in a position the engines considered equal (but that has happened in many games for Vallejo here). Then yesterday Aronian, in an equal position, plays a totally unsound piece sacrifice that gives him nothing but a dead lost game already a couple of moves later. But considering how much Caruana has been playing this year it's amazing that he can keep scoring these great results in every tournament.

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