Carlsen beats Ivanchuk in blitz play-off, wins 4th Masters Final

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

Magnus Carlsen won the 4th Grand Slam Masters Final in Bilbao, Spain after beating Vassily Ivanchuk 1.5-0.5 in a blitz play-off. The two had finished shared first after drawing their last-round games. On the final day, Vishy Anand beat Francisco Vallejo.

Event4th Grand Slam Masters Final  | PGN & Playoff via TWIC
DatesSeptember 25th - October 11th, 2011
LocationSao Paulo, Brazil & Bilbao, Spain
System6-player double round robin
PlayersCarlsen, Anand, Aronian, Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Vallejo
Time control90 minutes for the first 40 moves plus 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 seconds increment per move from move number 41
PrizesUndisclosed
NotesPlayers 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.

Round 10 + play-off games

A great tournament deserves a great finish, and a great winner. On Tuesday the Grand Slam Masters Final in Bilbao got all this, with an exciting playoff match that had to determine whether Vassily Ivanchuk or Magnus Carlsen would take away the first prize. Both players had drawn their games relatively quickly, against Levon Aronian and Hikaru Nakamura respectively. The first game that ended in the last round was Ivanchuk-Aronian:

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.09.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ivanchuk, V."]
[Black "Aronian, L."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2765"]
[BlackElo "2807"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nf5 8.
Nf3 O-O 9. d4 d5 10. g3 Re8 11. c3 (11. Nc3 Be6 12. Ne2 g5 13. c3 Ng7 14. Bg2
f6 15. Nd2 Qd7 16. Nf1 Bf8 {Baklan,V (2655)-Buhmann,R (2603)/Graz AUT 2010})
11... Bf8 12. Rxe8 Qxe8 13. Bf4 Bd6 14. Bxd6 Nxd6 15. Nbd2 Be6 16. Qb3 (16. Ng5
$5 {Aronian}) 16... Na5 17. Qa3 Nac4 18. Nxc4 Nxc4 19. Qb3 Qc6 20. Bg2 Re8 21.
Re1 Bc8 22. Qc2 Rxe1+ 23. Nxe1 Qe8 24. Nf3 c6 (24... Qe4 $6 25. Qc1 $1 Qe2 $2
26. Qg5 $1 {(Aronian)}) 25. Bf1 h6 26. Nd2 Nxd2 27. Qxd2 Bf5 28. f3 g5 29. Kf2
f6 30. Qe3 Qh5 31. Qe7 Qxh2+ 32. Bg2 Bh3 33. Qe8+ Kg7 34. Qe7+ Kg8 35. Qe8+
1/2-1/2

Levon Aronian after the game:

I think Vassily was trying to play safe. I thought the exchange of bishops would be OK for me but later I realized I didn't have good squares for my pieces. I think the critical point was 16.Qb3, I had the feeling 16.Ng5 was the best try. It's not specatular, but slighty better for White. Of course I wouldn't be honest if I would say I would be entirely satisfied. I'm happy yhat in the last two rounds I was able to play better. I think I know what I have to do and I'll try to work on it.

Quickly afterwards Nakamura and Carlsen also called it a day. The two had played the old main line of the Tartakowe QGD, with its most famous example the 6th match game Fischer-Spassky, Reykjavik 1972. Nakamura:

Magnus played well. Black's plan of a7-a5-a4 was strong. The ending is about equal.

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.09.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Nakamura, Hi"]
[Black "Carlsen, M."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D59"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2823"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 b6 8. cxd5
Nxd5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Qb3 (11. Rc1 Be6 12. Qa4 c5 13. Qa3 Rc8 14.
Bb5 a6 (14... Qb7 $1 15. dxc5 bxc5 16. Rxc5 Rxc5 17. Qxc5 Na6 {
Timman,J (2480)-Geller,E (2590)/Hilversum 1973}) 15. dxc5 bxc5 16. O-O Ra7 17.
Be2 Nd7 18. Nd4 Qf8 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. e4 d4 21. f4 {
Fischer,R (2785)-Spassky,B (2660)/Reykjavik 1972}) 11... Be6 12. Rc1 Rc8 13.
Bd3 c5 14. Qa3 Kf8 {Very logical.} 15. dxc5 (15. b3 a5 16. Ne5 Nd7 17. Nxd7+
Bxd7 18. O-O cxd4 19. Qxe7+ Kxe7 20. exd4 {
1/2-1/2 Magerramov,E-Kasparov,G/Leningrad 1977} Rxc1 21. Rxc1 Rc8 22. Rxc8 Bxc8
23. Kf1 Bd7 24. a3 Kf6 25. Ke2 Ke7 26. Ke3 b5 27. b4 axb4 28. axb4 g5 29. f4 {
Browne,W (2550)-Grefe,J (2470)/Oberlin 1975}) 15... bxc5 16. Bb5 (16. O-O c4
17. Qxe7+ Kxe7 18. Bb1 Nd7 19. e4 dxe4 20. Bxe4 Rab8 21. Rb1 Rb6 22. Nd4 Nc5 {
Werbeck,T-Holzke,F/Germany 1987/GER-chT2}) 16... Nd7 17. Bxd7 Bxd7 18. O-O a5
$1 (18... Be6 19. Rc3 Rc7 20. Rfc1 c4 21. Qxe7+ Kxe7 22. Nd4 Rb7 23. b3 cxb3
24. axb3 {"is something I wanted to avoid." (Carlsen)}) 19. Rfd1 Be6 20. Rc3 a4
{This plan of a5-a4 by Magnus was praised by Nakamura after the game, who
thought it might have been the equalizer.} 21. h3 Rab8 22. Rd2 Rb4 23. Rdc2 {
Threatening 24.Qxb4!} c4 24. b3 axb3 25. axb3 Rbb8 (25... Rxb3 $2 26. Qxb3 $1
cxb3 27. Rxc8+) 26. Qxe7+ Kxe7 27. bxc4 Rxc4 28. Nd2 (28. Ne5 $5 {Nakamura}
Rxc3 29. Rxc3 Kd6 $11) 28... Rxc3 29. Rxc3 d4 30. exd4 Rb4 31. Rd3 Kd6 32. Nf3
Bd5 33. Kh2 Be4 34. Ra3 f6 35. Ra6+ Ke7 36. Ra7+ Kf8 37. Rd7 Bc6 38. Rd6 Bxf3
39. gxf3 Ke7 40. Rd5 Ke6 41. Rd8 Ke7 42. Rd5 Ke6 43. Rd8 Ke7 1/2-1/2

About the incident in the penultimate round, Nakamura said:

It's already pretty well documented. That's chess: you play the game and things happen. But there's always tomorrow. You gotta move on, you can't really do much about what happened. Overall I'm pretty happy with how I played.

The third regular game in this round was Anand-Vallejo. It was a spectacular encounter, but not without mistakes.

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.09.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Anand, V."]
[Black "Vallejo Pons, F."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D10"]
[WhiteElo "2817"]
[BlackElo "2716"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 dxc4 4. e4 b5 5. a4 b4 6. Nce2 Ba6 7. Nf3 e6 8. Ng3 c5
9. d5 $5 (9. Be3 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Nd7 11. Nb5 Bxb5 12. axb5 Bc5 13. Bxc5 Nxc5 14.
Qc2 Nd7 15. Qd1 Nc5 16. Qc2 c3 17. bxc3 b3 18. Qb2 Nf6 19. Rd1 Qa5 20. Ra1 Qc7
21. Be2 {Dubov,D (2489)-Balogh,C (2601)/Aix-les-Bains FRA 2011}) 9... Be7 10.
Bf4 exd5 11. Qxd5 Qxd5 12. exd5 Nh6 (12... Nd7 {might have been more accurate.}
) 13. O-O-O O-O {This comes down to giving back a pawn.} 14. Bxh6 gxh6 15. Nf5
Bf6 ({Because} 15... Bg5+ 16. Nxg5 hxg5 17. h4 $1 {is very good for White.})
16. Nxh6+ Kg7 17. Nf5+ Kg6 18. g4 c3 19. bxc3 $6 {
Criticized by Anand after the game.} bxc3 20. Bxa6 $6 ({Better was} 20. d6 Bxf1
21. Rhxf1 {with a clear advantage.}) 20... Nxa6 21. d6 h5 $2 ({
Black should have played} 21... Rab8 $1 22. d7 Rb2 23. Rd6 (23. N3h4+ $5) 23...
Nb4 {and now} 24. Ne5+ $2 (24. Kd1 $1 {is the only move}) 24... Kg5 25. h4+ Kf4
{doesn't work for White, e.g.} 26. Nd3+ Nxd3+ 27. Rxd3 Rfb8 28. Rdd1 c2 $19)
22. Ne7+ Kh7 23. Rd5 {Now White is winning.} Nb4 24. Rxh5+ Kg7 25. Nf5+ Kg8 26.
g5 Bd4 27. Rg1 ({Also strong was} 27. Rd1 {with the idea} Rab8 28. Ne7+ Kg7 29.
Rxd4 $1) 27... Rab8 28. g6 Nd3+ 29. Kc2 Nf4 30. N3xd4 cxd4 31. Rh8+ $1 {
A nice way to finish things off.} Kxh8 32. g7+ Kg8 ({After} 32... Kh7 {
White promotes on f8 with a knight which also leads to a winning ending.}) 33.
gxf8=Q+ (33. Ne7+ Kh7 34. gxf8=N+ Rxf8 35. Rg4 Ne6 36. Nc6 {was another option.
}) 33... Kxf8 34. Nxd4 Nd5 $6 (34... Rb2+ $1 35. Kxc3 Rb6 $1 {
was the most tenacious.}) 35. Nb5 Rc8 36. Rg4 a5 37. Nc7 Nxc7 38. Rc4 Ke8 39.
dxc7 1-0

After the game we spoke to Anand, who said:

At some point I lost the thread completely. 19.bxc3 is one of these moves, yeah, I guess they say you cut your hand off before you make such a move. But OK, in this tournament this was not the worst game I played. That's probably the only consolation. I just played atrociously. I will try and do some work later; there's no point analyzing it already. About yesterday... some days your head just doesn't work. I more or less missed everything.

And so Ivanchuk and Carlsen had finished shared first, with 15 points out of 10 games. According to the regulations they had to play a 2-game blitz match with 4 minutes and 3 seconds increment on the clock (and if necessary an Armageddon game). This match started at 20.15 local time and was watched by hundreds of local spectators and in fact thousands more, as this playoff was broadcast live on Basque tv. It was a thrilling and memorable evening in the Alhondiga Bilbao!

In the first game at some point Carlsen won an exchange, but Ivanchuk defended well and escaped with a draw.

[Event "4th Final Master Playoff"]
[Site "Bilbao ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E21"]
[WhiteElo "2823"]
[BlackElo "2765"]
[PlyCount "157"]
[EventDate "2011.10.11"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. Qc2 Bb7 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Qxc3 d6 8. g3
Nbd7 9. Bg2 a5 10. b3 O-O 11. O-O Qb8 12. Re1 Re8 13. Bb2 Be4 14. Bf1 e5 15.
Nd2 exd4 16. Qxd4 Bc6 17. e4 b5 18. cxb5 Bxb5 19. Bg2 Ne5 20. Rad1 Nd3 21. Re3
Nxb2 22. Qxb2 Ng4 23. Rc3 Qb6 24. Nc4 Bxc4 25. Rxc4 Rab8 26. Rc3 Re7 27. Qc2 g6
28. h3 Nf6 29. Kh2 h5 30. f4 Qb5 31. Rd4 Qb6 32. Qd3 Rbe8 33. e5 dxe5 34. fxe5
Nh7 35. Rc6 Qa7 36. Qc4 Nf8 37. Ra6 Qb8 38. Ra8 Qb6 39. Ra6 Qb8 40. Bc6 Rxe5
41. Bxe8 Qxe8 42. Rd2 Ne6 43. Rf2 Qd7 44. Qc3 Nd4 45. Raf6 Rf5 46. R6xf5 Nxf5
47. Rd2 Qe7 48. Rf2 Qxa3 49. g4 Qd6+ 50. Kg2 Nh4+ 51. Kg1 hxg4 52. hxg4 Qd1+
53. Kh2 Qxg4 54. Qg3 Qxg3+ 55. Kxg3 Nf5+ 56. Kf4 Nd4 57. Rb2 Ne6+ 58. Ke5 Kg7
59. Ra2 g5 60. Rxa5 Kg6 61. Ra8 Kg7 62. b4 Nf4 63. Kf5 Ne6 64. Rc8 g4 65. Kxg4
Kf6 66. Kf3 Ke5 67. Ke3 Kd5 68. Kd3 f5 69. Rh8 Nf4+ 70. Ke3 Ke5 71. b5 Ne6 72.
Kd3 Kd5 73. Kc3 Kc5 74. Re8 Nf4 75. Re5+ Nd5+ 76. Kd3 c6 77. bxc6 Kxc6 78. Rxf5
Kd6 79. Ke4 1/2-1/2

In the second game Carlsen directed all his pieces towards his opponent's king. Ivanchuk could only defend, which was, in a way, more easy than finding the right way to attack. Therefore Ivanchuk had more time on the clock for most of the game. However, the position on the board was becoming just overwhelming for Black, and Ivanchuk had to resign at move 39, just before Black would cash on h3.

[Event "4th Final Master Playoff"]
[Site "Bilbao ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.11"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2765"]
[BlackElo "2823"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2011.10.11"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Be3 Qe7 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. Bxc5 Qxc5
8. Nc3 O-O 9. O-O Rb8 10. Qd2 Qe7 11. b3 c5 12. h3 d6 13. Nh2 Nh5 14. Nd5 Qd8
15. Rae1 Be6 16. Nc3 f5 17. exf5 Bxf5 18. f3 Bg6 19. Rf2 Qh4 20. Nd5 Rf7 21.
Qc3 c6 22. Ne3 Nf4 23. Qd2 Rbf8 24. Nd1 h5 25. Nc3 Bf5 26. Ne2 Ne6 27. Qe3 Rf6
28. Kh1 Rg6 29. Rg1 Nc7 30. Rgf1 Nd5 31. Qd2 Rgf6 32. Nc3 Nf4 33. Ne4 Rg6 34.
Rg1 Qd8 35. Nf1 Qe7 36. Nfg3 d5 37. Nxf5 Rxf5 38. Nc3 Qh4 39. Kh2 Qg3+ 0-1

Ivanchuk has just resigned after 39...Qg3+ - Carlsen is the winner of the tournament!

One could say that justice prevailed, because in the classical score Carlsen in fact already finished clear first in the tournament, and he also defeated Ivanchuk in both of their two mutual games. By the way, the playoff was not just about the title: in BIlbao the prizes (not disclosed, but similar to other big tournaments) are not shared.

Obviously the Norwegian was happy to add another big one to his growing list of tournament victories. To the organizers and the spectators he said:

Always happy to be in Bilbao. Normally I don't play well here but this time I did, so I'm happy!

Remarkably, at the closing ceremony one player was missing: Hikaru Nakamura. As it turned out, there had been some miscommunication between him and the organizers, and he simply didn't know it would be held at the venue. The American thought it would be at the hotel, where later that evening the players, journalists and others joined for a cocktail & pintxos party, which lasted until way after midnight. The fact that this (full) final report was posted a bit late on Wednesday, might have something to do with that... ;-)


 

Photos: Eva Zubero

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 126.09.1120:00 CET Round 606.10.1116:00 CET
Nakamura½-½Ivanchuk Ivanchuk1-0Nakamura
Anand½-½Carlsen Carlsen½-½Anand
Aronian1-0Vallejo Vallejo½-½Aronian
Round 227.09.1120:00 CET Round 707.10.1116:00 CET
Ivanchuk1-0Vallejo Vallejo1-0Ivanchuk
Carlsen½-½Aronian Aronian½-½Carlsen
Nakamura½-½Anand Anand½-½Nakamura
Round 328.09.1120:00 CET Round 808.10.1116:00 CET
Anand0-1Ivanchuk Ivanchuk½-½Anand
Aronian½-½Nakamura Nakamura1-0Aronian
Vallejo1-0Carlsen Carlsen1-0Vallejo
Round 430.09.1120:00 CET Round 910.10.1116:00 CET
Aronian0-1Ivanchuk Carlsen1-0Ivanchuk
Vallejo0-1Anand Vallejo1-0Nakamura
Carlsen½-½Nakamura Aronian1-0Anand
Round 501.10.1120:00 CET Round 1011.10.1116:00 CET
Ivanchuk0-1Carlsen Ivanchuk½-½Aronian
Nakamura1-0Vallejo Anand1-0Vallejo
Anand½-½Aronian Nakamura½-½Carlsen

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 10 Standings (football)

1-2  Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk 15
3-5  Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand 12
  6  Francisco Vallejo 10

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 10 Standings (classical)

 

 

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