Vallejo Lights Up Bilbao Round 8

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

Local hero Paco Vallejo is comfortably the lowest rated player at the Chess Final Masters, but he produced a thrilling rook sacrifice in round 8 against world #2 Lev Aronian. 

With both players running short of time in a complicated position, it looked like Vallejo might score his first win of the event, but Aronian found a way to survive.

After defeating the French defence in consecutive games, Magnus Carlsen played it himself against Sergey Karjakin and achieved a draw. Vishy Anand and Fabiano Caruana also drew their game, to leave the tournament standings unchanged.

The standings after 8 rounds (3-1-0 scoring)

# Name Fed Elo Pts
1 Caruana, Fabiano  ITA 2773 13
2 Carlsen, Magnus  NOR 2843 13
3 Aronian, Levon  ARM 2816 10
4 Anand, Viswanathan  IND 2780 8
5 Karjakin, Sergey  RUS 2778 6
6 Vallejo Pons, Francisco  ESP 2697 5


Paco Vallejo Pons and Lev Aronian played the game of the day

Bilbao 2012 Round 8 Lev Aronian Paco Vallejo.jpg




The Chess Masters Final is a 6-player double round-robin event which is held half in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and half in Bilbao, Spain.  The games in Bilbao start at 17:00 local time (15:00 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.

The Bilbao schedule

07-Oct Opening
08-Oct Round 6
09-Oct Round 7
10-Oct Rest Day
11-Oct Round 8
12-Oct Round 9
13-Oct Round 10


Games via TWIC. Photo from the official website.

6595 reads 32 comments
5 votes


  • 4 years ago


    Anand played for a draw, but played very well.

  • 4 years ago


    All them like to draw

  • 4 years ago


    I could understand Vallejo trying the rook sac against a lesser player, but against Aronian it was just plain foolhardy. Even I thought the capture on d4 was coming at move 26, and I don't know what I'm doing....... Maybe Paco caught whatever Nakamura's got..........

  • 4 years ago


    anand will win

  • 4 years ago


    ஊர் உலகம் என்ன வேணும் ஆனாலும் பேசட்டும். எங்களுக்கு எப்பொழுதும் நீங்கள் தான் ஹீரோ. சிறு வயதில் இருந்து நாங்கள் அனைவரும் 'ஆனந்தைப்போல் ஆகவேண்டும்' என்று தான் கனவு காண்கிறோம். இப்போ நீங்கள் 'டிரா' மட்டுமே பண்ணுவதால், அந்த கனவு மாறிவிடாது. ஒவ்வொருவர்க்கும் வாழ்க்கையில் ஏற்றம்-சரிவு இருக்கும். நீங்கள் மிகு விரைவில் வெற்றி பெற என் வாழ்த்துக்கள்.

  • 4 years ago


    wow, the french defense is getting its popularityCool

  • 4 years ago


    Caruana has a better chance of winning than  Magnus right now becuse he still hasent played Vallejo yet who hasnt been having such a great tournament so far and magnus still has Anand and Aronian left to play so he is probaby gonna draw both games...

  • 4 years ago


    I think Anand want to set a record in draws..;))

  • 4 years ago


    Nakamura lost today again and is now number #13 in the live rating list Tongue Out

    Kamsky won and is now #10 in the live rating list Smile

  • 4 years ago



    The variation that you mention is Houdini's variation with an evaluation of +1.08 which is has a definitely favorable endgame for white, the whole variation is as follows:

    26. Bxd4 Bxd4 27. Qxd4+ Ne528. Bd3 Qc5 29. Be2 b4 30. f4 Qxd4 

    31. Rxd4 Nc6 32. Rd2a3 33. bxa3 bxa3 34. Rc1 Nge7 35. Rc3 Nb4 

    36. Rxa3 Kg737. g5 Nec6 38. h6+ Kg8 

    @ IM pfren

    You are right with your comment, Vallejo should have avoided the rook sacrifice and play for the more lasting and sound variation starting with 26. Bxd4 Smile

  • 4 years ago


    I like Vallejo is the featured player in the article, played the most interesting, ambitious move of the round, etc, etc... And still didn't win his game. Far be it for me to judge by saying he played badly. After all, I'm not a >2700 player, it just seems to be indicative of a desperate attempt to feature him in an article SOMEWHERE in this tournament.

  • 4 years ago


    FM gauranga, white is not forced to take on g6, after cxd4 Bd4 Bd4 Qd4, Ne5 white can simply play Bd3 with a huge advantage, black might have to spend another tempo base on b5 hanging

  • 4 years ago


    Boring drawnand, retire from super gm tournaments and leave a better legacy.

  • 4 years ago


    Anand is facing two youngesters next, I get a feeling one of these games he will either win or lose; these guys are hungry. 

  • 4 years ago

    FM gauranga

  • 4 years ago


    Anand is certainly trying, it just doesn't happen all that much even in his white games. Now he has a dozen draws in a row and +2 -2 =33 in Tal Memorial/London/title match/Bilbao, the two wins coming against Short and Gelfand.

  • 4 years ago


    Good games.

  • 4 years ago


    Anand is drawing so much that it caused inflation in the Art Marked and drove several other painters to bankrupt.

  • 4 years ago


    IM is correct!

    Anand played interesting Gruenfeld today!

  • 4 years ago


    I pray that Anand has something in store with black against MC. I miss the intense fights between those two.

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