• The norwegian has defeated the italian in the tiebreaker with a convincing 2-0 after the draw they both signed agains Aronian and Vallejo, respectively.
• Spanish Francisco Valleko has announced his retirement “indefinitely”, claiming fatigue and disappointed by his performance in the tournament.

Final standings
• Magnus Carlsen: 17 points (champion)
• Fabiano Caruana: 17 points.
• Levon Aronian: 11 points.
• Sergei Karjakin: 10 points
• Viswanathan Anand: 9 points.
• Francisco Vallejo: 6 points.

Results after 10th and final round
Vallejo (Spain) (w), Caruana (Italy) (b) 1-1 (duration: 21 m.; 18 plays)
Aronian (Armenia) (w)-Carlsen (Norway) (b) 1-1 (duration: 2 h. 42 m., 44 plays)
Anand (India) (w)-Karjakin (Russia) (b) 1-1 (duration: 1 h. 45 m., 45 plays)
Carlsen (Norway), Caruana (Italy) 2-0

Bilbao, October 13, 2012

The world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen won tonight in Bilbao the Chess Masters Final, which has been held in his second and final round in Bilbao, after the first phase which was played the last week of September in the brazilian city of Sao Paulo. Norwegian´s victory comes after a thrilling tie played against the italian Caruana. The tiebreaker, played as a fast play has ended up with an overwhelming victory by Carlsen.

The direct duel between the top two classified has taken place after the tie they have signed both agains Levon Aronian and Francisco Vallejo, somehow controversial those achieved by the italian against the spanish champion.

The background of the fast games played between them over the past years and since childhood, both in direct games and online, gave Carlsen as a clear favorite. In fact, tonight, in the Alhondiga Bilbao, the world No.1 has confirmed his superiority in this mode against the sub 20 champion.

In the first match of the tie they have played the spanish opening, berlinese variant, in which the italian player, who was playing white, has gained a slight advantage. The norwegian has given the game a fast timing in order to speed up his rival´s time. Caruana, forced to think and use the time, because he had to win since he was playing white, has falled in the trap of the No. 1, who in the troubled time has easily matched him and after it he has won.

In the second one, Caruana, probably psychologically hurt for not materializing his advantage in the first game, has raised the aggresive sicilian defense, varian Paulsen, but he has made a serious mistake in the 10th play, which has condemned him and made him surrender 7 plays later.

If chess is a strategy and mental strength game, the approach of the last day of the Final went far away from the board because of the physicological strategy used by Caruana by signing a tie game against Vallejo at the first chance the game has given him, without risking more and going for the win. This is a legal decision from the point of view of the reglament, but it is questionable from the perspective of the show for the disappointment of the hundreds of fans who have filled the central atrium of the Alhomdiga Bilbao.  With this tie, achieved by black pieces in 50 minutes and without trouble made Carlsen the only one who therefore bear all the pressure: if the norwegian lost against Aronian, this one with whites, the title was to Caruana, if Carlsen ended up tie, he and Caruana will go to the tiebreaker, and if he won the armenian, the champion would be the world No. 1. Caruana made a calculated and possibilistic bet, but disappointing for the specialists, who felt that either he win or loose the title of the Masters Finals in the end, the italian has been discredited with this decision.

With all the pressure on him , and with the disadvantage of playing with black pieces against the plympic champion, Aronian, Magnus Carlsen has mantained the temper and he has hold the attack from the armenian in order to force a tiebreaker against Caruana.

The game between Caruana and Vallejo has also left another impacting new: it has been the last one the spanish player will be playing for some indefinite time, because he announced his retirement on Friday night in Facebook, and yesteday he confirmed the new after this draw against Caruana. However, before leaving chess, the player from Mallorca will fullfil the professional liabilities to which he has already committed. 

“In order to play chess you must have hope, and I have lost it.” stated the player from Menorca. “I have been 20 years out of my hometown, since I was 10, and it is time to go back and rest. I don´t want to say that I will not play more, because other champions have retired and then they have come back some years after with excellent results. However, I need a break from chess and to start over some other vital projects. After that, we will see.” 

In addition to the fatigue the spanish champion carries within, currently in the world ranking in the number 50th, in his decision aparently they have acted as triggers the last games played in the Masters Final, in which after achieving clearly favorable positions, he lost both agains Carlsen and Karjakin.
The duel between italian and the spanish demoralized player, which has last 26 minutes, in which there have only been 18 plays, has started with the spanish opening by Vallejo. 

Caruana has raised the Zaitsev defense, characterized by a serie of plays in which the player with white (in this case Vallejo) could easily get a draw. Although in the first moment the spanish player has rejected this possibility in order to get the victory, however after an evaluation of the situation and the possibility the italian has given him of a tie, he has raised the triple repetition and so, the draw has made.

Even if the Masters Final 2012 outcoming has been exciting, it could hardly reach the levels of drama lived last edition in which the last round was reached with a reasonable prospect of a quadruple tie between Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Aronian and Nakamura, tied the first two with 14 points and the armenian and american tied also with 11 points. Finally, the development of the games of the final round ended up in a tiebreaker in the top of the standing between the norwegian and the ukrainian, which was finished with victory of Carlsen, after the dramatic fast played he played and won against Ivanchuk, due to the advantage the youth gave him against the veteranity and physical exhaystion of the ukrainian.

The first round of this 2012 edition of the Masters Final, which took place between September 24th and 29th, was held in the brazilian city of Sao Paulo. After this first round Fabiano Caruana got to Bilbao as the leader with 11 points, 4 more points than Aronian –second of the world- and 5 more than Carlsen, No. 1 of the world classification.

Despite the differences accumulated in the first phase of the Final, the young norwegian has risen the 5 points advantage he had regarding the italian revelation of the tournament. This equality in the final has been due to the strenght in Carlsen´s game during this week and to the particular score sstem applied in the Chess Masters Final, the so-called Bilbao rule –which gives 3 points for a win, one for a tie and zero for a losing game- which makes it posible to increase the competitiveness and excitement and gives chance for spectacular rollovers.

The development of each day could have been followed from the Agora, a room for the analysis, comments and interviews, directed by Leontxo García, with the collaboration of experts and knowing people from basque society. The huge screen of the Alhondiga, located in the Agora, has given the chance to follow the games in live. The direct develpment of the plays could have been followed through the tournament official website: 

In its last edition, this Masters Finals of the Grand Slan has continued with his global expansión which began two years ago with the joint dispute of the tournament in  Shanghai and Bilbao. After the success of last year, the tournament has repeated the brazilian city of Sao Paulo, the main financial center of Brazil and the tenth most populous metrolpois in the world.

Among the sponsorships of this sport event, which has made Bilbao, once more, one of the world´s chess capitals, we can find Bilbao´s city hall, the Diputación Foral de Bizkaia, and the companies BBK and Euskaltel. As collaborators we can find the basque government, CAF, CIE Automotive, GESCRAO, GMSM, IDOM, INBISA, OLABARRI, SACYR,  TECUNO,VICONSA and VISCOFAN. At last, as friends of this initiative we can find Bilbao´s commerce association, CARWAGEN, Ribera Market, Hotel Melia and Yandiola Restaurant.
The organization of the tournament wants to thank the collaboration of the communication media, specially the COPE, Onda Cero, Onda Vasca, Radio Nervión, Radio Popular, Radio 7, Tele 7, Tele Bilbao, Deia and El Correo.
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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