What didn't happen in round 8 in Bilbao?

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
The eighth round of the Bilbao Grand Slam was arguably the most spectacular so far - Topalov defeated Carlsen to take back the lead he lost a few days ago, Ivanchuk won against Radjabov despite the fact that he had to play 16 moves in just one minute (!) and Anand lost to Aronian after spoiling a better ending.

The 3-points-for-a-win system is not very likely to affect the playing style of the participants but the quick time control that's being applied here in Bilbao is certainly of influence. Because of a minor difference compared to the Classical Scheveningen positions ?¢‚Ǩ‚ÄúWhite's a-pawn being on a3 instead of a2 ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú both Radjabov and Ivanchuk invested a lot of time right from the opening. Just when the position started to become complicated, Radjabov was left with about two minutes and Ivanchuk with just one, for sixteen moves!

And while the 39-year-old Ukrainian is always moving, even when he is standing and looking at another board but all the more when he's in timetrouble, the Azeri sits behind his board like he's meditating, very calm and highly concentrated of course. And although he was warned by his opponent's growing record of blitz successes, Radjabov couldn't prevent making a few mistakes and ending up with a lost position, after the smoke had cleared. By then the players had continued bashing out their moves up to number 49, with both Carlsen and Anand watching.

ivanchuk_radjabov Ivanchuk and Radjabov giving a great show today, answered by the Bilbao chess fans with a big applause which they couldn't hear...

A bit later it was Carlsen who also resigned in a lost ending, against Topalov. The Bulgarian had gone for 1.e4, not afraid of meeting Carlsen's Dragon, which indeed came on the board. It was the Norwegian who played the theoretical novelty and he continued to play fast, obviously still in his preparation. But Topalov managed to get an advantage anyway, which soon grew into a winning attack.

People started to believe in Carlsen's chances again after Topalov missed a few clear wins, pointed out by the computer, but the Bulgarian proved that the human way was also good enough. A great minicomeback by Topalov, but another good fight by Carlsen too.

topalov_carlsen2 The top match Topalov-Carlsen, closely watched by spectators of different strengths

Everybody felt sorry for the world champion today, because the way he lost his game against Aronian was pretty horrible. Anand was actually allowed to leave the Plaza Nueva without attending the press conference ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú not totally acceptable, but totally understandable.

In timetrouble (not as bad as in Radjabov-Ivanchuk, but still) the Indian made one inaccuracy and one mistake, and saw a nice ending turn into a lost one.

anand_aronian Topalov watching Anand having a better ending against Aronian

Results Round 8 Ivanchuk - Radjabov 3-0 Anand - Aronian 0-3 Topalov - Carlsen 3-0


After today there's no difference between the "football system" and the "classical" system:


Tomorrow is a restday. Pairings Round 9, September 12: Ivanchuk - Aronian Radjabov - Carlsen Anand - Topalov

camera The ChessVibes video camera recording the final phase of Anand-Aronian...

anandresigns ...and the still camera just in time to catch the handshake

anand Viswanathan Anand, not showing his best form before the Big Match

aronian2 Levon Aronian, winning two in a row...

ivanchuk Vassily Ivanchuk who is, by the way, the current world's number one in the live ratings

topalov Topalov topping the standings again

ponomariov Ruslan Ponomariov arrived today and just visits the tournament for fun

henrik Magnus Carlsen's father Henrik speaking to the Bilbao crowd

Round-by-round videos including players' comments after the game:


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