M-Tel R9: Carlsen takes a half-point lead

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

At the M-Tel Masters in Sofia, Carlsen will go into the final round leading with half a point, after beating Wang Yue today while Shirov drew his game against Dominguez. Topalov defeated Ivanchuk and now shares second place with Shirov.

The 5th M-Tel Masters takes place May 12-23 in a glass pavilion on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov in Sofia, Bulgaria. It's a six-player double round-robin with Carlsen, Dominguez, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Topalov and Wang Yue playing. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves and then another hour to finish the game. "Sofia rules" will again be used, so draw offers can be made only through the chief arbiter in the case of a threefold repetition, perpetual check or a theoretically draw position.

Round 9

Wang Yue didn't look too solid today against Carlsen. The Chinese grandmaster improved upon his black game against Anand in Nice, two months ago, and looked fine after the opening, but missed, or underestimated, White's 23.b4 which wins a pawn. Perhaps he expected Black to have a fortress on the dark squares, by keeping the rooks on a7 and a8, but in the game it didn't work out.The Norwegian grabbed sole lead in the standings as Shirov didn't win against Dominguez. He didn't really get close, as the Cuban was well prepared for his Archangelsk Ruy Lopez and got a nice endgame advantage. However, Shirov again showed he's in excellent shape in Sofia and defended it accurately to a draw.Ivanchuk went down even deeper by also losing his 'return game' Topalov. Virtually the Ukrainian's rating has dropped below 2700 - the story is getting more sad by the day.Tomorrow Carlsen defends his half a point lead with Black against Shirov, while Topalov needs to win with Black against Wang Yue to keep a chance for shared first, either with Carlsen or Shirov - with both is not possible anymore.This is what the tournament rules say about ties:

The final standing of the players will be determined according to points. In case of sharing of places - the following criteria will be decisive for the tie-break:
  • A greater number of wins.
  • The result of the direct mini-matches between contenders.
  • Berger.
  • A greater numbers of moves played.
  • A tie-break match will be played in case of a tie for the first place in the tournament between the first two players in the final standing (according to points, or the additional criteria). The match will consist of two games with a time-control of 15 minutes per player + 3 seconds added for every move played. In case of a tie, another match of two blitz-games will be played with a time-control of 5 minutes per player + 3 seconds for every move played. In case of another tied result ‚Äì there will be played a last "sudden-death" decisive game with a time-control 6 minutes for the whole game for the White-player and 4 minutes for the whole game for Black-player. The White-player will only need a victory in this game to win the tournament, whole the Black-player will win the tournament by just not losing that final decisive game. 

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