Masters Final R5: leader Ivanchuk loses to Carlsen, Nakamura beats Vallejo

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Vassily Ivanchuk lost his first game at the Masters Final on Saturday. The Ukrainian was defeated by Magnus Carlsen but still leads the tournament at half-time with 10/5. Hikaru Nakamura, who beat Vallejo in round 5, is now clear second with 7 points. The game between Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian ended in a draw.

Event4th Grand Slam Masters Final  | PGN 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
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 5

By now we start to feel sorry for Paco Vallejo. OK, the Spaniard might be too weak for this field, and only entered the tournament after Sergei Karjakin and Vladimir Kramnik declined invitations, but he's a fine player and on a good day he's a dangerous opponent to anyone. He proved this on Saturday with arguably the most creative chess shown in Sao Paulo thus far.

The Spaniard managed to come up with no less than three piece sacrifices in his game against Hikaru Nakamura! It was one knight retreat on move 29 that spoilt everything and then it was his opponent's turn to give a knight, take over the initiative and win a great game.

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.01"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A25"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2716"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 Bc5 4. Bg2 a6 5. e3 d6 6. Nge2 {Nakamura choses the
same set-up as Ivanchuk against the same opponent earlier in the tournament,
but here the game deviates.} (6. d3 Ba7 7. Rb1 Bf5 8. b4 Qc8 9. h3 Nge7 10.
Nge2 O-O 11. Qd2 h6 12. a3 Nd8 13. Bb2 f6 14. Rc1 c6 15. d4 Nf7 {Ivanchuk,V
(2765)-Vallejo Pons,F (2716)/Sao Paulo/BRA 2011}) 6... Nge7 7. b3 Ba7 8. Bb2
Rb8 9. d3 Bf5 10. Qd2 Qd7 11. h3 O-O 12. f4 $5 $146 (12. Rc1 h6 13. Nd5 Nd8 14.
d4 c6 15. Ndc3 Qc7 16. O-O Ne6 17. d5 Nc5 18. e4 Bh7 19. b4 Nd7 20. c5 {Moreno
Ruiz,J (2459)-Anton Guijarro,D (2302)/Madrid 2010}) 12... Be6 13. d4 Nf5 $5 {
A wonderful move and in fact not the only time we'll see a piece sac in this
game!} ({Perhaps Vallejo didn't want to bury his bishop, like against Ivanchuk,
with} 13... exd4 14. exd4 d5 15. c5 {but Black does have} b6 {so maybe it
wasn't such a bad idea.}) 14. Bxc6 ({Nakamura decides it's too dangerous to go
for} 14. d5 Nxe3 ({or even} 14... Bxe3 15. Qd3 Nb4 16. Qe4 exf4 17. dxe6 fxe6)
15. dxe6 (15. Be4 Bf5 $1 16. dxc6 bxc6 {with excellent compensation}) 15...
Nxg2+ 16. Kf1 Ne3+ 17. Qxe3 fxe6) 14... bxc6 15. O-O-O exd4 16. exd4 Ne7 17. g4
f5 18. g5 Bf7 19. Ng3 a5 20. h4 a4 $5 {A second, very creative idea of
Vallejo's.} 21. Nxa4 Bxc4 $5 22. bxc4 {This time Nakamura takes the piece.} c5
23. Nc3 Rb4 24. Qd3 ({The simple} 24. dxc5 $1 {was also strong:} Bxc5 (24...
Rfb8 25. Ba1) (24... Rxc4 25. cxd6) 25. Qe2 Rfb8 26. Ba3) 24... cxd4 25. Nb5 d5
$5 {The third piece sac but this one is only temporary.} 26. Nxa7 (26. Nxd4 $5
Rxc4+ 27. Kb1) 26... c5 27. cxd5 Qxa7 28. a3 Rb6 29. Qc4 Nc8 $2 ({Black should
have played} 29... Qb7 $1 30. d6+ Nd5 {and the position remains unclear.}) 30.
d6+ $1 Kh8 31. d7 $6 ({Strong was} 31. Qxc5 $1 Nxd6 32. Rhe1 $1 {followed by
33.Qxd4.}) 31... Qxd7 32. Rh2 Qb7 $2 ({Better was} 32... Nd6 $1 33. Qd5 Rfb8
34. Rc2 Qe7 {with some counterplay.}) 33. Rc2 Rb5 34. Nxf5 $1 {The fourth
piece sacrifice is White's first, but this one decides the game.} Rxf5 35. Rxd4
{The point.} Rf8 36. Rdd2 (36. Rd1) 36... Ne7 37. h5 Nf5 38. h6 $1 {This had
to be calculated accurately.} Rxb2 39. hxg7+ Kxg7 40. Qc3+ $1 ({Not} 40. Rxb2
$4 Qh1+ 41. Rd1 Qxd1+ 42. Kxd1 Ne3+ {and Black wins.}) 40... Nd4 41. Rxb2 Qd5
42. Qh3 Re8 43. Rb6 $1 {Another strong one.} Kg8 44. Kb2 Qf7 45. Qh6 Qxf4 46.
Rh2 Re7 47. g6 Qxh6 48. Rxh6 Re2+ 49. Kc3 hxg6 50. Rhxg6+ Kf7 51. Rbf6+ Ke7 52.
Ra6 Ne6 53. a4 Kd7 54. a5 Nc7 55. Ra7 Re7 56. a6 Ke8 57. Rb7 Kf7 58. Rc6 Nd5+
59. Kc4 1-0

Nakamura in a tweet:

A very tricky game against Vallejo, but I ended up on top. Now off to Bilbao for the second half of the tournament. I'm going to miss Brazil

Beating tournament leader Vassily Ivanchuk, Magnus Carlsen made sure that the second leg in Bilbao will be very exciting. Against 1.e4 the Norwegian chose the French Defence, an opening he had only played once before in a serious tournament game. That was in January 2010 in Wijk aan Zee, when he beat Sergey Karjakin with it, and he was again successful with it in the last round played in Sao Paulo.

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.01"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2765"]
[BlackElo "2823"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "90"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. e4 e6 {The French Defence is a rare choice for Carlsen. The only other
classical game in the database is Karjakin-Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee 2010. About
that game he wrote: "In my younger years I used to consider it at best a
second-rate opening, and I once even lost a bet with one of my friends, and as
a result had to play 1... e6 in all my games with Black in a Super-GM
tournament. Fortunately my friend was greedy, and took money instead. I
believe that both 1...c5 and 1...e5! are better choices, but since I
desperately wanted to win this game (I was trailing the leaders Kramnik and
Shirov by 1 point at this stage) I decided to try something new." He also won
this game.} 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 {The
4th most popular move in this position, after} (7... cxd4) (7... a6 {and}) (
7... Qb6) 8. a3 $5 {Almost never played here.} (8. Qd2 O-O 9. Be2 a6 10. O-O b5
11. Kh1 Qc7 12. a3 Bb7 13. Rad1 Rac8 14. Qe1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Bc5
17. Qh4 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 f6 {Karjakin,S (2720)-Carlsen,M (2810)/Wijk aan Zee 2010}
) 8... O-O 9. Qd2 b6 $146 (9... a6 10. Be2 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 f6 13.
exf6 Bxf6 14. O-O-O b5 15. g4 {Padurariu,V-Stojanovic,N/Rimavska Sobota 1996})
10. g3 Kh8 11. h4 f6 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Bh3 Bd7 14. Rd1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 e5 16.
Nxc6 (16. fxe5 $6 Nxe5 {would be very bad for White.}) 16... Bxc6 17. fxe5 d4 (
17... Nh5 $5 {was also interesting because} 18. Rg1 {can be answered by} Nxg3
$5) 18. exf6 Bxf6 19. O-O dxc3 20. Qxd8 Raxd8 21. Rxd8 Rxd8 22. b3 $6 {Within
a few moves it becomes clear that this favours Black.} (22. bxc3 {was safer and
} Bxc3 {is probably inaccurate because of} 23. Rf7) 22... Re8 $1 23. Bf2 ({
After} 23. Kf2 Be5 $1 {is annoying.}) (23. Re1 {loses a pawn after} Rxe3 24.
Rxe3 Bd4 25. Kf2 Be4 26. Ke2 Bxe3 27. Kxe3 Bxc2 28. Kd4 (28. b4 Be4 {is even
worse}) 28... Bxb3 29. Kxc3 {but White might be able to hold it.}) 23... Be4 (
23... Re2 24. Bf5 Kg8 25. Bd3 {and now} Rd2 {might be possible but the rook is
stuck for the moment.}) 24. Re1 Re7 25. Rc1 h5 26. Bg2 Bf5 27. Bf3 g6 28. a4
Kh7 29. b4 g5 30. a5 g4 31. axb6 axb6 (31... gxf3 32. bxa7 Be4 33. b5 {looks
like a positional draw.}) 32. Bc6 Re2 33. Bxb6 Be5 34. b5 Kg7 ({Another option
was} 34... Rxc2 35. Rxc2 Bxc2 36. Kg2 Bg6 37. Be3 c2 38. Bc1 Bd4 {but all
these endings are very difficult to assess. White might be able to hold it
with accurate play.}) 35. Ba5 Rxc2 36. Rxc2 Bxc2 37. Kf2 $6 {The start of the
wrong plan.} (37. b6 Bd3 38. Kg2 (38. b7 c2 39. Bd2 Bxg3) 38... c2 39. Bd2 Kf6
40. b7 {is a draw, e.g.} Ke7 41. Kf2 Kd8 42. Ba5+) 37... Bd3 38. Ke3 Bg6 39.
Be4 $2 ({White's last chance was} 39. b6 c2 40. Bd2 Bxg3 41. b7 Kf6 42. Bc1 Ke7
43. Bd2 {and it's not clear whether Black can win the ending despite being a
pawn up.}) 39... c2 {Now Black is clearly winning.} 40. Bd2 Bxg3 41. Bxg6 Kxg6
42. Kd3 Bf2 43. Kxc2 g3 44. Bf4 g2 45. Bh2 Kf5 0-1

Afterwards Carlsen tweeted:

Beat Ivanchuk today, now anything is possible in Bilbao! Not a great game by any means, but I could not care less about that right now.

Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian drew a Ruy Lopez, Anti-Marshall. It's interesting to see that thus far the World Champion stuck to his old, favourite first move: 1.e4. He met the Ruy Lopez three times.

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.01"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C84"]
[WhiteElo "2817"]
[BlackElo "2807"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a4 b4
9. Nbd2 Na5 10. Ba2 c5 11. c3 Rb8 $146 (11... bxc3 12. bxc3 O-O 13. Re1 h6 14.
d4 Qc7 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Nc4 Nxc4 17. Bxc4 Bb7 18. Qc2 {Lie,E (2428)-Bojkov,D
(2523)/Reykjavik 2008}) 12. Nc4 O-O 13. Nxa5 Qxa5 14. Bd2 bxc3 15. Bxc3 Qd8 16.
Nd2 Be6 17. Nc4 Qc8 18. Qf3 Bg4 19. Qe3 Be6 20. Qe2 Rd8 21. a5 Qc6 22. Nb6 Rb7
23. Bxe6 fxe6 24. Rac1 Qe8 25. b4 cxb4 26. Bxb4 d5 27. Bc3 Bd6 28. f4 dxe4 29.
fxe5 exd3 30. Qe3 Nd5 31. Nxd5 exd5 32. Qxd3 Bc5+ 33. Bd4 Qb5 34. Rc3 Qxd3 35.
Rxd3 Bxd4+ 36. Rxd4 Rb5 37. Rc1 Rxa5 38. e6 Rb5 39. Rc6 a5 40. h3 h6 41. Ra6
Rb7 1/2-1/2

And so the first, Brazilian half of the tournament is over. Indeed anything is possible in Bilbao, with Ivanchuk leading, followed by Nakamura who is 'only' three points behind, followed by Anand, Aronian and Carlsen who have one point less. The players have an early morning flight to Spain on Sunday so that they'll have a few days to get over a possible jet lag. The next round is scheduled for Thursday. (ChessVibes will join the tournament on Saturday for on-the-spot reports of the last three rounds!)

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Schedule & results

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

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 5 Standings (football)

1  Vassily Ivanchuk 10
2  Hikaru Nakamura 7
3-5  Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen 6
6  Francisco Vallejo 3

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 5 Standings (classical)


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