Bilbao: Aronian Beats Anand in Last Round, SOCAR Wins All Seven

Bilbao: Aronian Beats Anand in Last Round, SOCAR Wins All Seven

| 23 | Chess Event Coverage

Despite losing his last-round game to Levon Aronian on Saturday Viswanathan Anand finished in clear first place at the Masters Final. The Indian grandmaster won for the first time in Bilbao, having participated in four previous editions. Francisco Vallejo Pons defeated Ruslan Ponomariov to finish a disappointing tournament on a positive note.

Top seed SOCAR also won their seventh match today to clinch the European Club Cup most convincingly. Six games ended in draws, and it was Veselin Topalov who became the match winner by beating Peter Svidler on board one. Also in the women's section the winners, Batumi Chess Club "Nona", were victorious in all their matches.

Masters Final

An hour after the start of the European Club Cup, the four players for the Masters Final also arrived in the playing hall for their final round. Although the tournament was already decided, there was still another round to play and it included the top encounter between Aronian and Anand.

Levon Aronian arriving at the Euskalduna hall.
Anand repeated his choice of yesterday and played another Ragozin. It was Aronian who came up with the first new move, and he managed to keep an advantage out of the opening: a better pawn structure. With only rooks and queens on the board it was not easy to defend, and indeed with less time on the clock Anand started to make mistakes.

Also in the game between Vallejo and Ponomariov White kept a slight edge out of the opening. At some point the Ukrainian GM made the strange decision to remove his bishop from a central square and from that moment it didn't play a role in the game anymore. Vallejo centralized his pieces, built up the pressure and forced resignation on move 42.

2014 Masters Final | Pairings & Results

Round 1 13.09.14 15:00 CET   Round 4 17.09.14 15:00 CET
Vallejo 1-1 Aronian   Ponomariov 1-1 Aronian
Anand 3-0 Ponomariov   Anand 3-0 Vallejo
Round 2 14.09.14 15:00 CET   Round 5 18.09.14 15:00 CET
Aronian 3-0 Ponomariov   Aronian 1-1 Vallejo
Vallejo 0-3 Anand   Ponomariov 1-1 Anand
Round 3 15.09.14 15:00 CET   Round 6 19.09.14 15:00 CET
Anand 1-1 Aronian   Aronian 3-0 Anand
Ponomariov 3-0 Vallejo   Vallejo 3-0 Ponomariov

2014 Masters Final | Final Standings

# Name Fed Rtg Perf + = - Pts
1 Viswanathan Anand IND 2785 2894 3 2 1 11
2 Levon Aronian ARM 2800 2858 2 4 0 10
3-4 Ruslan Ponomariov UKR 2708 2647 1 2 3 5
3-4 Francisco Vallejo Pons ESP 2712 2649 1 2 3 5

Anand with the winner's trophy and wearing the traditional Basque txapela

European Club Cup: SOCAR wins all seven

Top seed SOCAR of Azerbaijan also won their seventh match today to clinch the European Club Cup most convincingly. Six games ended in draws, and it was Veselin Topalov who became the match winner by beating Peter Svidler on board one.

“I am very proud. We were clearly the best in this tournament. We were favorites before, but this year we won very convincingly,” said team captain Vladimir Tukmakov. “Everybody played well, without any exception.”

It was Veselin Topalov who secured both match points for SOCAR. The Bulgarian, who saw his rating climb back to 2800 in this event, defeated St Petersburg’s board one Peter Svidler in an ending with opposite-colored bishops, where a distant passed pawn was decisive.

Topalov’s win came after the games on boards 2-6 had ended in draws. A tie with St Petersburg would have been enough for SOCAR to clinch the gold medals. It was the second title for SOCAR, who also won the cup in 2012, but then only on tiebreak. This year there was no doubt who were the strongest team.

Team captain Vladimir Tukmakov also got a txapela!
Veselin Topalov got back to 2800 in Bilbao
Anish Giri is now world number seven.

Novy Bor, the winners of last year and fifth seeded in Bilbao, played another fine event. Apart from their loss to SOCAR, the Czech team won the other six matches to finish on twelve match points. In the last round, SHSM Nashe Nasledie was beaten 4.5-1.5, with wins for David Navara, Pentala Harikrishna and Krishnan Sasikiran.

Third seed Malakhite ended up winning the bronze medals thanks to a last-round victory over second seeded Obiettivo Risarcimento. Peter Leko and Alexei Shirov, who had their ups-and-downs in this event, beat French GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot respectively and a third win was scored by Igor Lysyj, over Kiril Georgiev.

At the prize giving, medals were also awarded for the best performances on individual boards. In the women’s section, the prizes went to Hou Yifan (board 1), Alexandra Kosteniuk (board 2), Anastasia Savina (board 3) and Marina Guseva (board 4).  In the open section, the prizes went to Fabiano Caruana (board 1), Veselin Topalov (board 2), Pentala Harikrishna (board 3), Anish Giri (board 4), Teimour Radjabov (board 5) and Mateusz Bartel (board 6).

In the women's section Batumi Chess Club "Nona" had already secured the gold medal in round six but they also finished their tournament with seven victories. SHSM Nashe Nasledie was beaten 2.5-1.5: Nana Dzagnidze beat Valentina Gunina, Bela Khotenashvili drew with Alexandra Kosteniuk, Salome Melia won against Olga Girya and SHSM's only win was scored by Alina Kashlinskaya versus Nino Batsiashvili.

Batumi congratulated by the (Georgian!) ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili.

2014 ECC | Open Section | Final Standings (Top 10)

Rk Team Fed MatPnt SB1_MG GamPnt Buc_G SB_GM
1 SOCAR Azerbaijan AZE 14 265.5 31 182.5 365
2 G-Team Novy Bor CZE 12 233 32 171 280
3 Malakhite RUS 11 197.5 25.5 174.5 263
4 Odlar Yourdu AZE 10 206.5 28 169.5 224
5 SG Solingen GER 10 181 27 161 223.5
6 SHSM Nashe Nasledie RUS 10 178 27.5 170 214
7 Minsk BLR 10 176.5 26 163.5 221
8 Ladya RUS 10 164 24 167.5 233.5
9 SPB RUS 9 203 25.5 178 216.5
10 Obiettivo Risarcimento ITA 9 191 26.5 170.5 202.5

2014 ECC | Women Section | Final Standings

Rk Team Fed MatPnt SB1_MG GamPnt SB_GM
1 Batumi Chess Club Nona GEO 14 108 20.5 183
2 Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo MNC 10 104 19 109
3 SHSM Nashe Nasledie RUS 9 97 18 100
4 Ugra RUS 8 83.5 17 75
5 SC Bad Konigshofen GER 7 84 16 61
6 Ladya RUS 6 83 15.5 48
7 Rishon Letzion ISR 2 16.5 4.5 3
8 Herzliya Chess Club ISR 0 0 1.5 0

Games via TWIC, which turned 20 this week!

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