Two draws in rd 2 Shanghai - VIDEO added

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
In ShanghaiLevon Aronian felt that he might have been lucky today in Shanghai with his draw against Alexei Shirov, who went for a known piece sac in return for a dangerous kingside attack. In the second round of the Masters Final Vladimir Kramnik was slightly better against Wang Hao but the two also split the point. New video up!

Tournament info

The first part of the 2010 Grand Slam Masters Final takes place 3-8 September in Shanghai, China. Rounds 1-3 are played at the Spanish Pavillion of the World Expo. Aronian, Kramnik, Shirov and Wang Hao play for two qualification spots for part II.

The second part, where Anand and Carlsen are seeded players, will be held October 9-15 in Bilbao, Spain. Both tournaments are 4-player double round-robins. ChessVibes will produce videos at both tournaments.

Like at the first two editions the rate of play is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 extra seconds per move from move number 41.

This Masters Final will also use again both the “Sofia Rule” and the “football” scoring system: players will get 3 points for winning a game, 1 point for drawing and 0 points for losing. Games start 14.30 local time which is 08.30 CET.

Games round 2

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Round 2 report

In Shanghai the same time control is used as at the first to Masters FInal tournaments, but the players don't seem to get used to it and we don't blame them. Especially the start, with 90 minutes for 40 moves with no increment, is tough and Aronian said that after getting an interesting position there's often just not enough time to think.

In his game against Shirov this led to inaccuracies and even a 'blunder', as he called 26.Qf2, where he had planned 26.Ne2 of course, but then suddenly saw 26...Rg6+. In a position where he was 'too optimistic' he played 29.Kf3 instead of 29.Kf1 which allows a draw. In real time trouble, on move 40, the Armenian missed an instant draw with Ne6.


Shirov then missed the strong move 40...Be7, probably because he was distracted by Aronian's clock. For a moment the Spaniard thought his opponent had lost on time, because the clock suddenly showed 1:00 (a full hour) for Aronian, but this was because of the internal move counter which puts the machine on 1 hour plus 10 seconds increment as soon as it has been pressed 40 times.

Then another thing happened: when Aronian had written down all moves till 40, he stood up to freshen up, but the arbiter didn't want to allow him and pointed at the clock. This seemed very weird, as one should be allowed to go to the toilet even when one is to move. Shirov looked surprised, and even Wang Hao and Kramnik turned their heads. At some point Aronian just left.


However we're not a hundred per cent sure if the arbiter was wrong, since the players have to leave the playing hall and pass a corridor along the press room to visit the toilet, which might be something they need the arbiter's permission for. Any arbiter who reads this and knows more, please share in the comments!

Update: Perhaps one doesn't need to be an arbiter for this. It seems the arbiter was right! As pk mentions the comments, 12.2 of the Laws of Chess says:
Players are not allowed to leave the ‘playing venue’ without permission from the arbiter. The playing venue is defined as the playing area, rest rooms, refreshment area, area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter. The player having the move is not allowed to leave the playing area without permission of the arbiter.

However, we did contact international arbiter Geurt Gijssen, who also mentioned this article and added:

"This article needs to be followed unless the tournament rules specify otherwise. And, if the players pass the press room when going to the toilet, the organizers need to take measures to prevent this. For example put a person in the corridor who sees that there is no contact between the players and the people in the press room, and who can close the door of the press room when a player heads for the toilet."


Vladimir Kramnik admitted that his game with Wang Hao was less interesting than the other board, but theirs certainly was a real game too. The Russian improved upon Ponomariov-Mamedyarov, Dortmund last month, by playing Qd7-c6 one move earlier, and thought Black has no problems this way. In fact he was slightly better in the ending, but Wang Hao never felt in danger. "With this pawn structure and just a few pieces on the board it should be a draw," the Chinese GM said.


Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Schedule & results
Grand Slam Masters Final | Shanghai | Schedule & results

Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Round 2 Standings (Football System)
Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Round 2 Standings (Football System)

Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Round 2 Standings (Classical System)
Grand Slam Masters Final 2010 (Shanghai) | Round 2 Standings (Classical System)


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