Aronian beats Wang Hao in round 1 Shanghai - VIDEO added

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
In ShanghaiLevon Aronian took an early lead at the Masters Final in Shanghai by beating local star Wang Hao in the first round. Vladimir Kramnik had Alexei Shirov on the ropes, but couldn't convert a long-lasting advantage. Round 1 video now available.

The first part of the 2010 Grand Slam Masters Final takes place 3-8 September in Shanghai, China. Rounds 1-3 are played at the Spanish Pavillion of the World Expo.

The second part, where Anand and Carlsen are seeded players, will be held October 9-15 in Bilbao, Spain. Both tournaments are 4-player double round-robins. ChessVibes will produce videos at both tournaments.

In Shanghai Aronian, Kramnik, Shirov and Wang Hao play. Like last year the rate of play is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 extra seconds per move from move number 41.

This Masters Final will also use again both the “Sofia Rule” and the “football” scoring system: players will get 3 points for winning a game, 1 point for drawing and 0 points for losing. Games start 14.30 local time which is 08.30 CET.

Games round 1

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Round 1 report

The first three rounds of this Masters Final take place at the Spanish pavillion at the World Expo. It's quite a walk from the entrance of the Expo - about 15 minutes - but the pavillion is, like the ones from almost all countries, recognizable from a distance because of its shape and colour. The Spanish one, designed by Benedetta Tagliabue, is about 6,000 square meters and looks wooden, or made of thatch, from the outside. The official description tells us the details:

The Spain Pavilion is designed to be a hand-weaved wicker basket structure supported by the steel framework inside. "The Basket," as some have dubbed the pavilion, is "dressed" in more than 8,000 wicker panels in brown, beige, and black. Wicker weaving is a tradition in both Spain and China and the pavilion is like a bridge connecting the two nations. The panels were handmade by craftsmen in Shandong Province, each one unique in design.


The playing hall is at the first floor of the pavillion, in a conference room part of a more general office-like floor. The tables are set on a small stage lifted about 30 centimeters from the floor, and there are two TVs, one on the left and on the right, showing the games. During the first round the organizers couldn't get one to work, but this was't a big problem because the about 30 chairs were almost all empty for most of the game.

At this first floor of the pavillion everything seems to be like at any other tournament, with standard problems like a bad internet connection during the first few hours in the press room. It's amazing how easy you can forget that you're, for heaven's sake, in the middle of a World Expo in Shanghai, when you're looking at live games on your computer in a small room! Or in my case, editing an opening ceremony video.

I'll give a few notes about the games just briefly, because like the Kings' Tournament in Bazna, you'll be able to watch the player's comments with diagrams in the videos - the round 1 video will be up tomorrow morning.


Wang Hao admitted that Aronian equalized easily, but he also thought that he was still a bit better at some point. At the end he blundered of course - 'I don't know what I was thinking.' Indeed because he had no problems Aronian decided to 'make the game interesting' with 18...Qd6, which was quite a risky move. Then with 19...Kh8 the Armenian got the move order wrong, because afterwards he much preferred 19...Rae8 first. In time trouble, which is easy to reach with this time control, Wang Hao played a number of inaccuracies but Black's position was easier to play.


Kramnik thought that Shirov's 18...Rac8 was inaccurate, which allowed a serious initiative thanks to a pawn sacrifice. This was much stronger than Shirov initially thought, and his reaction was very dangerous, but probably necessaray. Then 'every move was critical' but Kramnik couldn't find a clear win anywhere. Shirov thought it was probably a draw after the first time control.


Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Schedule & results
Grand Slam Masters Final | Shanghai | Schedule & results

Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Round 1 Standings (Football System)
Grand Slam Masters Final | Shanghai | Schedule & results

Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Round 1 Standings (Classical System)
Grand Slam Masters Final | Shanghai | Schedule & results


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