Masters Final R6: Ivanchuk beats Nakamura, increases lead

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

After declining his opponent's offer to postpone their game (because of the Sao Paulo robbery) Vassily Ivanchuk defeated Hikaru Nakamura on Thursday in Bilbao, Spain. The Ukrainian scored 13/6 and increased his lead to 6 points, the same as two full wins. As the other two games ended in draws, the second place is now shared by Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen who have 7 points. Local hero Francisco Vallejo is three points behind this group.

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
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.

Games round 6

The Ivanchuk saga of this year's Grand Slam Masters Final took a new and positive course on Thursday: only arriving in Bilbao a day before, without his wife, without his favourite pocket chess set and probably with a considerable jet lag, Vassily Ivanchuk was still the only player who scored a win the 6th round. In yet another crazy time scramble, his opponent Hikaru Nakamura committed a big blunder and would later tweet:

Not upset about losing today's game, but if time controls leading to these absurd blunders are more important than quality...

It's true that the time control in the Masters Final is quicker than usual: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, plus 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 seconds increment per move from move number 41. Especially that last part is relevant because in the FIDE time control there's 30 seconds increment from move one. The players have only one and a half hours to reach move 40, which explains the sometimes quite big mistakes that occur every year.

It must be said that Ivanchuk had Nakamura on the ropes earlier in the game:

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.06"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B43"]
[WhiteElo "2765"]
[BlackElo "2753"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. f4 Bb4 8. Nb3
$5 {New; at GM level previously} (8. O-O {and}) (8. Bd2 {had been played.})
8... Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 d6 (9... Qxc3+ 10. Bd2 Qc7 11. e5 Nd5 12. c4 Ne7 13. Bb4 {
gives White fantastic play.}) 10. Ba3 O-O (10... Qxc3+ 11. Qd2 Qxd2+ (11... Qc7
12. O-O-O $5) 12. Nxd2 d5 13. exd5 Nxd5 (13... exd5 14. O-O) 14. Nc4 {all give
good compensation.}) 11. Qd2 Rd8 12. O-O Nc6 13. Rf3 {Playing for a kingside
attack - not a strange strategy in the Sicilian!} b5 14. Rg3 Kh8 15. Rf1 Bb7
16. f5 Rg8 $1 {This is quite a safe set-up.} 17. Qg5 e5 (17... exf5 18. Rxf5
Qd8 {was the alternative.}) 18. Qh4 Ne7 $2 {A mistake.} (18... Nb8 $5 19. Rh3
Nbd7 20. Bc1 d5) 19. Rh3 (19. Bc1 $1 {threatening 20.Bg5 was also quite strong,
e.g.} d5 20. Rh3 Rgd8 {(to answer 21.Bg5 with 21...Neg8)} 21. g4 dxe4 22. g5
Nxf5 23. Rxf5 Bc8 24. Rxf6 (24. gxf6 Bxf5 25. fxg7+ Kg8 26. Bxe4 Rd1+ 27. Kf2
Qc4) 24... Bxh3 25. Qxe4 g6 26. Rc6 {looks better for White.}) 19... d5 {It's
necessary to create counterplay as quickly as possible.} 20. Nc5 $6 (20. Bc1
Rgd8 21. g4 {was again strong but}) (20. Rff3 $1 {probably the strongest. It
threatens a nice mate in three, starting with 21.Qxh7+. After} Rgc8 21. Bxe7
Qxe7 22. g4 h6 23. g5 Nh7 24. f6 Qf8 25. exd5 Bxd5 26. Rfg3 g6 27. Qxh6 Qxh6
28. Rxh6 Be6 29. Be4 Ra7 30. Bd5 {White is winning.}) 20... dxe4 21. Bxe4 Bd5
22. g4 h6 {Here both players had a few minutes each to reach move 40.} (22...
Qb6 $5 23. Rf2 $1 (23. g5 $2 Bxe4 24. gxf6 gxf6+) 23... Rgd8 24. Nd3 $5) 23. g5
Nh7 (23... Nxe4 $5 24. Nxe4 ({or even} 24. f6 Nxf6 25. Rxf6 Ng6 26. Rxg6 fxg6
27. gxh6) 24... Bxe4 25. Qxe4 {followed by 26.f6 looks dangerous for Black.})
24. f6 $1 Ng6 25. fxg7+ (25. Qg4 $5) 25... Rxg7 26. Qxh6 Rd8 27. Bxg6 fxg6 28.
Rf6 Qc8 29. Rh4 Bf7 $6 (29... Rdg8 {was necessary.}) 30. Nd3 (30. Ne4 $1 {
threatening 31.Bd6 was very strong.}) 30... Kg8 $6 ({Black should have tried}
30... Rxd3 $1 31. cxd3 Qxc3) 31. Bd6 $1 e4 $4 {A blunder.} ({Black should have
played} 31... Re8) 32. Be5 $1 {Killing. White threatens to remove his rook
from f6 to anywhere he likes.} Rd5 33. Rc6 Qf8 34. Bxg7 (34. Rc8 $1 {would
have forced instant resignation, but it doesn't really matter.}) 34... Qxg7 35.
Rxe4 Rxg5+ 36. Qxg5 Nxg5 37. Rc8+ Be8 38. Rcxe8+ Kh7 39. Rh4+ 1-0

A 6-point lead for Ivanchuk, with 4 rounds to go

The return game between the world's highest rated player and the World Champion ended in a draw, like the first one. Carlsen and Anand played an old variation of the Nimzo-Indian that was also seen in a 2009 blitz game between Carlsen and Nakamura. A queenless middlegame was reached at move 19 where the only difference was a doubled f-pawn for Black, which wasn't enough to cause much trouble.

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.06"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E21"]
[WhiteElo "2823"]
[BlackElo "2817"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "98"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. Qc2 Bb7 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. Qxc3 O-O 8.
Bg5 d6 9. Nd2 Nbd7 10. f3 h6 11. Bh4 Rc8 12. e4 c5 13. Bd3 d5 (13... Re8 14.
O-O Rc7 15. Rad1 Qc8 16. d5 e5 17. Rfe1 Nh5 18. Nf1 Nf8 19. Ne3 Ng6 20. Bf2 Qd8
{Carlsen,M (2801)-Nakamura,H (2715)/Oslo blitz 2009}) 14. exd5 exd5 15. O-O
dxc4 16. Bxc4 cxd4 17. Qxd4 Nc5 18. Bxf6 $146 (18. Qf2 g5 19. Bg3 Nd3 20. Bxd3
Qxd3 21. Be5 Nh5 22. Rac1 f6 23. Rc3 Qd7 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Bc3 Nf4 {
Macchiagodena,M (2368)-Kauppinen,M (2306)/ICCF email 2008}) 18... Qxf6 19. Qxf6
gxf6 20. Rfd1 Na4 21. Rab1 Rfd8 22. Bb5 Bc6 23. Be2 Bd5 24. Nf1 Be6 25. Ne3 f5
26. g3 Kg7 27. Kf2 Kf6 28. Ba6 Rb8 29. b4 Nc3 30. Rxd8 Rxd8 31. Rc1 Nd5 32. Ng2
Rd7 33. Rc2 Rc7 34. Ne3 Rxc2+ 35. Nxc2 f4 36. Nd4 Bd7 37. Ke2 fxg3 38. hxg3 Ne7
39. Ke3 Nf5+ 40. Nxf5 Kxf5 41. Kd4 Ke6 42. Bc4+ Ke7 43. f4 f6 44. Bd5 Kd6 45.
Bf3 Be6 46. Ba8 Bf5 47. Bf3 Be6 48. Ba8 Bf5 49. Bf3 Be6 1/2-1/2

Another draw between the world's top players

At the opening ceremony Francisco Vallejo declared that he's intending to do better than in the first half, and he already fulfilled his promise. Where he was outplayed by Aronian last week, the Spaniard had the best chances this time, especially in the opening phase. An irregular move order led to a Queen's Gambit Accepted and no doubt Vallejo will look at the first 15 moves some more, because somehow it seems like White had an advantage somewhere.

[Event "4th Final Masters"]
[Site "Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP"]
[Date "2011.10.06"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Vallejo Pons, Francisco"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "2716"]
[BlackElo "2807"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2011.09.26"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 c5 3. c4 dxc4 4. e4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 Bd7 6. Bxc4 Nc6 7. Qe3 e6 8.
O-O Qb8 $146 (8... Qc7 9. Nc3 Ne5 10. Be2 Nxf3+ 11. Qxf3 Bd6 12. Nb5 Bxb5 13.
Bxb5+ Kf8 14. Bd2 Bxh2+ 15. Kh1 Bd6 16. Rac1 Qe7 17. g3 g6 18. Rfd1 Qf6 19.
Bh6+ Ke7 20. Rc7+ Bxc7 21. Qa3+ {1-0 Ushenina,A (2486)-Krivec,J (2315)/
Ljubljana 2007}) 9. b3 Ne5 10. Bb2 Bd6 11. Nbd2 Nf6 12. Qg5 (12. Qc3 $5) 12...
Ng6 13. Bxf6 h6 14. Qa5 Bc7 15. Qc5 Bd6 16. Qa5 Bc7 17. Qh5 gxf6 18. Bb5 Bxb5
19. Qxb5+ Kf8 20. Rad1 Kg7 21. Nc4 h5 22. Rd7 a6 23. Qb4 b5 24. Nd6 Bxd6 25.
Rxd6 Qc7 26. Rfd1 Rad8 27. g3 h4 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Rxd8 Qxd8 30. Qd4 Qc8 31.
Nxh4 Nxh4 32. gxh4 Qc2 33. e5 fxe5 34. Qxe5+ Kh7 35. Qh5+ Kg7 36. Qg5+ Kh7 37.
Qh5+ Kg7 38. Qg5+ Kh7 39. Qh5+ 1/2-1/2

Commentator Leontxo Garcia with Paco Vallejo and Levon Aronian

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 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 6 Standings (football)

1  Vassily Ivanchuk 13
2-5  Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian,
Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen 7
6  Francisco Vallejo 4

Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 | Round 6 Standings (classical)

 

The glass cube in the Alhondiga Bilbao during the 6th round...

...with commentary taking place right next to it.

On Thursday Levon Aronian turned 29 (photo Macauley Peterson)

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