■ The world No. 1 and the Italian lead the standing with 12 points, 3 over Aronian. Bilbao.

The No. 1 in the world ranking, Magnus Carlsen, has reached the leadership in the Chess Masters Final, which takes place in Bilbao in its second and final round, by winning this afternoon the play against the Spanish Francisco Vallejo. This victory, combined with the draw achieved by the previous leader, Caruana, leaves the classification, before the rest day, with a shared leadership between the Norwegian and the Italian-American. The tie between the world champion Anand and the Olympic champion Aronian alienate the latter from the top two classified and leave the Indian in the curious position of not having lost neither won any of the seven games played in the tournament, both in Bilbao and Sao Paulo, where the first round was held.

Taking into account the results of the seventh round, played in the Alhondiga Bilbao, the classification is led jointly by Carlesen and Caruana with 12 points each. They are followed by the Armenian Aronian with 9 points, with a difference of a victory among them. After him we can find Anand with 7 points, Karjakin with 5 and the player from Mallorca closes the classification with 4 points after his defeat against Carlsen.

In what looks like a replay of last year´s edition, Magnus Carlsen, coming from the very behind in the standings has traced up in the first two days of the Final in Bilbao the five points of disadvantage regarding Caruana that he brought from Brazil, and has already reached the leadership they both share before the rest day which will take place tomorrow. In this shift in the classification they have to do both, the combination of results of the Norwegian and Italian players and the scoring system applied in the Chess Masters Final, which awards the victory with 3 points, a tie with a single point and a defeat with a zero score.

In the main game of the day, Carlsen has raised the so-called “Winawere variant” of the french opening, an unusual option but popular among Spanish elite players and in the repertory of the spanish player. That is the reason why Vallejo has managed a coherent defense until the position has been opened due to trouble with time, allowing the Spanish to have different chances to equal or even win the world No. 1. However, troubled by the time, Valleko has carried out two inaccurate plays which have left him with no chance when the position was giving him the best perspectives. A couple of minutes after, the mistakes of the Spanish champion have led him to the defeat.

Even he was playing with white pieces, Caruana has missed his initial advantage position, ending up tie against the Russian Karjakin. The result has been motivated by the use of the extradionarily rocky “berlines variant” of the Spanish opening by the Russian, which is characterized by the fast shift of queens to dry the game. Without queens in the board. the Italian-American has not been able to generate enough danger in order to bother Karjakin and the game has ended up tie.

In what might be a record if it goes on reaching the same result, the world champion Anand achieved a draw again in his seventh play, in this case against the Olympic champion Aronian. Nevertheless, this time, and taking into account that he was playing against who is probably the best specialist playing with white pieces, the Indian has achieved a creditable draw. In order to get there, the match has run the “Ragotzin variant”, which is the same Vallejo used in Sao Paulo against Aronian. Equality has been the trend of this match and obviously it has ended up tie.

The games can be followed in live via the tournament official website The broadcasts will resume on Thursday after tomorrow´s rest day.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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