THE DRAW BETWEEN THE FAVORITES CARLSEN, CARUANA AND ARONIAN EXTEND THE SUSPENSE IN THE CHESS MASTERS FINAL
World No. 1 and the italian head the standings with 13 points, three more than the armenian.
World champion Anand already has very little chance after his eighth draw.
Results round 8
Vallejo (Spain) (w), Aronian (Armenia) (b) 1-1 (duration: 3 h 20 m., 56 plays)
Anand (India) (w), Caruana (Italy) (b) 1-1 (duration: 2 h. 59 m., 45 plays)
Karjakin (Russia) (w)-Carlsen (Norway) (b) 1-1 (duration: 1 h. 40 m.; 35 plays)
Ranking 8th round
Fabiano Caruana: 13 points.
Magnus Carlsen: 13 points.
Levon Aronian: 10 points.
Viswanathan Anand: 8 points.
Sergei Karjakin: 6 points
Francisco Vallejo: 5 points.
The development of the eighth round of the V Chess Masters Final which is taking place in its second and final round in Bilbao, seems to confirm the predictions that the winner of the tournament, one of the most prestigious in the world, will not be known until the last day of the tournament, which will be held this Saturday at Alhondiga Bilbao.
The current lead and world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen and the italian and revelation of the tournament, Fabiano Caruana, and with less options but still with some possibilities, the olympic champion Levon Aronian will fight for the title. The three players have ended up their games tie in today´s matches against Karjakin, Anand and Vallejo. Completely discarded at this point we can find Vallejo and Karjakin, while the world champion Anand has currently remote options as he will nee to win the two matches left while the first three players of the classification would have to loose in one of the two of the remaning matches.
After the eighth round the classification is headed ex aequo with 13 points by Carlsen and Caruana, three points ahead of Aronian who is in the third position with 10 points. After the armenian we can find Anand with 8 points and closing the standing Karjakin with 6 and Vallejo with 9.
With this classification, two of the clashes of tomorrow will be critical. On the one hand the one between Carlsen and Anand and on the other hand the one betwen Caruana and Aronian. From their outcome will depend if the classification is further tighten regarding the Final on Saturday or if some players are permanently discarded.
In the game between Carlsen and Karjakin, the shortest of the day, and in which the russian was playing white, it has raised the french defense “Winawere variant”. In this opnening the russian has staked his superior initiative on the queen side and his bishop pair against a best struture of pawn and space advantage on the king side that Carlsen has initially provided.
In the middle of the game Karjain has decideds not to risk and he has carried out some shunts in order to block completely the position. As a consequence and after the change of minor pieces the game has resulted in a towers ending with no possibility of progress for any of the players. In this situation they both have decided to finish the game tie through the triple repetition, avoiding then Sophia rule.
This particular rule which applies in Bilbao forces players to ask the referee for permission in order to arrange a tie game, unless a circumstance as the one referred above takes place.
In the other match which could have determined the future of the tournament in which they have played the world champion, Anand, and the revelation of the tournament, the italian-american Caruana, the indian has used “Grundfield” opening, very popular in the last few years and one of his favorite weapons in the recent world championship, in which he retained his title agains Bris Geifand.
The italian, who knew the preference of the world´s champion for this opening, was prepared for it, and he has realized a novelty on the move number eleventh, that is, until this day there was no constancy about this order in the movements. The innovative move horse f6 at that point of the game has permitted the italian player to neutralize anand attemps to achieve advantage, which has given him the opportunity to set a tie game even if playing with black pieces.
In the third play of the afternoon and the longest one in duration, the “Karo-Pic” defense raised by Aronian has wrecked due to the attack realized by the spanish champion Vallejo, who has sacrificed the tower in oreder to open the H column and launched to the black king with all his available forces. At this point, when Vallejo´s victory seemed to be secured, Aronian has found a very precise defense which has let him to save the gam. As a curiosity, in this moment, the powerful software modules which analyze the moves have not been able to determine, by the complexity of the situatio, if it was a path to the victory in this final moments of the game. The great play realized by the player form Menorca has given him the prize of getting a tie, and has given the armenian hope in order to achieve his second triumph in the Chess Masters Final, after the one achieved in 2009.
The games can be followed in live via the tournament official website www.bilbaomastersfinal.com. The broadcasts will resume in tomorrow´s sesión, penultimate session of the tournament.