Grand Slam Masters Underway

Grand Slam Masters Underway

| 7 | Chess Event Coverage

grand-slam-logo.jpgThe 4th Grand Slam Final Masters got underway in São Paulo, Brazil today (preview here).

The first round pairings pitted world champion Vishy Anand against world #1 Magnus Carlsen, but it was not a game that will live long in the memory.

Carlsen opted to play solidly with the Berlin and had no trouble achieving a comfortable draw with the black pieces against the champion.

Elsewhere Hikaru Nakamura failed to unsettle Vassily Ivanchuk in another relatively brief and underwhelming game.

It was left to Lev Aronian to provide the excitement of the day in a wild clash with Vallejo Pons.  Aronian's sacrificial exploits left him with a small army of passed pawns which swept up the board to win the game.




So Lev Aronian takes the early lead in Bilbao, scoring three points for a win against tournament underdog Vallejo Pons.



The games in the São Paulo leg of the tournament start at 15:00 local time (18:00 UTC).  Games in the second leg in Bilbao are expected to start at 17:00 local time in Bilbao (15:00 UTC), apart from the last round which starts an hour earlier.

The so-called "Sofia-Rules" are in operation, meaning that players can only reach a draw by mutual agreement if they have the permission of the arbiter. The 3-1-0 soccer-style scoring system is also being used.  The time control is 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 60 minutes to a finish, with a 10 second increment after move 40.

If there is a tie for first place, there will be a pair of blitz games, followed by a sudden death game if needed, to produce a winner. Ties for lower places will be decided by mathematical tie-breaks, starting with scores under the traditional 1-½-0 system.

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