Two draws in third round Bilbao

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Two draws in third round BilbaoVladimir Kramnik maintained the lead at the Bilbao Masters Final after drawing relatively quickly with Viswanathan Anand today. In a marathon game of 174 moves, Alexei Shirov and Magnus Carlsen drew as well. Tuesday is a rest day.

After 174 moves Shirov claims a draw based on the 50-move rule

Tournament info

The 3rd Masters Final takes place 9-15 October in Bilbao, Spain. Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Alexei Shirov play a double round-robin with a rate of play of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and another 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 seconds increment from move 41. Again the so-called “Sofia rule” is enforced as well as the system of three points for each game won, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss. Each day the rounds will begin at 16:30 CET. More info here.


iPhone/iPad users might want to watch the videos here.

Before round 3

Henrik Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Magnus Carlsen and organizer Juan Carlos Fernandez on their way to the venue before the third round

Round 3 report

This third round of the Bilbao Master Final will obviously be remembered for the heroic endgame of queen versus three minor pieces between Alexei Shirov and Magnus Carlsen, which lasted no less than 174 moves (not 175, as we reported before) and three score sheets, when it finally came to an end thanks to the fifty-move rule.

The question is of course whether the players broke a record at the elite level, and the answer should be yes, as far as classical chess is concerned. (That some people regard the time control in Bilbao as a form of rapid is another story.)

Here's a list of long games at top level: Miles-Panno, World Team Championship (Luzern) 1985, 154 moves Short-Salov, Linares 1990, 162 moves Piket-Lautier, Amber (rapid) 1995, 151 moves Ivanchuk-Leko, World Blitz Ch (Moscow) 2007, 215 moves McShane-Short, London 2009, 163 moves

After the game finished and the players left the playing hall, they were given a big applause by about fifty spectators who were still there, including Shirov's teen daughter. At the brief but cheerful press conference Carlsen admitted that he had wanted to try 'all the possible moves' because the day after would be a rest day anyway. Shirov said "I can't remember anything except for the last ten minutes or so."


But he, and his opponent, will surely return to the game to have a closer look, because what happened before the ending appeared was very interesting too. Shirov gave two minor pieces for a rook but got two passed pawns in return. Soon Carlsen gave back a knight for two pawns and eventually, with both queens still on the board, black had three minor pieces against two white rooks - quite a rare material imbalance. Perhaps Shirov could have avoided the long torture by playing a different move 40, but then we would never have witnessed the ending...


Long before that, Anand and Kramnik had drawn a quiet game that followed their homework right into an ending. Kramnik could us a piece of deep preparation which he had done for Grischuk at the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk. There he had analysed on this variation the whole night, since he wasn't playing, and his conclusion was that the ending should be a draw (though Grischuk lost this game, against Leko, anyway).


Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule & results
Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule

Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Round 3 Standings (Football System)
Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule

Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Round 3 Standings (Classical System)
Bilbao Masters Final 2010 | Schedule


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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