Carlsen beats Shirov in round 5 Bilbao

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Two draws in third round BilbaoMagnus Carlsen on Thursday won his first game at the Bilbao Masters Final. The Norwegian beat Alexei Shirov in 65 moves in a Ruy Lopez. World Champion Viswanathan Anand easily drew with Black against tournament leader Vladimir Kramnik.

Tournament info

The 3rd Masters Final takes place 9-15 October in Bilbao, Spain. Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Alexei Shirov play a double round-robin with a rate of play of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and another 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 seconds increment from move 41. Again the so-called “Sofia rule” is enforced as well as the system of three points for each game won, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss. Each day the rounds will begin at 16:30 CET. More info here.


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Round 5 report

Today the tournament received a blitz visit from the newly re-elected FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who landed in Bilbao around lunch time and left for Sofia just after the 5th round started. (From there he'll be travelling to Plovdiv to be present at the opening ceremony of the European Club Cup.) At a press conference before the round, Ilyumzhinov declared that FIDE would try to cooperate more with the Grand Slam Chess Association, especially as far as the tight tournament calendar is concerned.

Andoni Madariaga, Kirsan Ilymzhinov and Javier Ochoa

Andoni Madariaga (Grand Slam Chess Association), Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE) and Javier Ochoa (Spanish Chess Federation)

The President then made the first move on both boards of the Bilbao Masters Final, a tournament that will be decided on the last day. The draw between Kramnik and Anand on Thursday leaves for tomorrow the decision of who will be 2009 Champion Levon Aronian's successor.

Anand, behind the black pieces, used a line he had looked at already for his match against Kramnik in 2008 in Bonn. "There we already found the slightly original solution of exchanging the bishop for the knight. What happens is that you have provoked f4 and after that White can only protect his e-pawn with pieces. With his pawn on f3 White's advantage would be enormous. White isn't in real danger of losing e4, but it's just that as soon as he goes g4, my counterplay will be based on this," said Anand.

Kramnik saw it coming, and just when Black was threatening to increase the pressure with ...a5 and ...b4 he went for 25.Bd5, which more or less led to a forced draw. This means that everything is still possible tomorrow: both Anand and Kramnik can finish sole first, and a blitz play-off is also still an option!


Carlsen continued his non-losing streak the best way possible, by scoring his first victory of the tournament. Against Shirov he played a fine Ruy Lopez about which even his opponent was full of praise. "This plan of Na7 was really interesting. I saw it but at first I didn't believe it. It was a fantastic idea of Magnus. In the game I lacked one tempo to consolidate my position," said Shirov.

Carlsen: "To be honest Na7 is not the kind of move you come up with without preparation. After that it's unclear but I'm not sure Black has a clear way to equalize after that." The Norwegian can still be critical of himself though, as he must have been able to win the game quicker.


If there isn't enough excitement already, we can add one more twist to tomorrow's round. As, among others, Kramnik told us, "they will be playing for the number one rating spot again," 'they' being Anand and Carlsen of course. If Carlsen wins the individual encounter, he'll be the world's highest rated player again.

It's only an academic discussion since both of them will be playing at the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing, China which has its first round next Wednesday already. (And, as we mentioned earlier, ChessVibes is travelling to China to cover that event as well!)

Games round 5

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule & results
Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule

Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Round 5 Standings (Football System)
Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule

Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Round 5 Standings (Classical System)
Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule


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