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Grand Slam Chess Final Tournament

Magnus Carlsen15(+3 -1 =6)[games]
Vasyl Ivanchuk15(+4 -3 =3)[games]
Levon Aronian12(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura12(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Viswanathan Anand12(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Francisco Vallejo Pons10(+3 -6 =1)[games] Chess Event Description
Grand Slam Chess Final (2011)

The 4th Grand Slam Chess Final was held in São Paulo, Brazil 26 September - 1 October (1st half) and Bilbao, Spain 6-11 October 2011 (2nd half). The tournament used the Sofia Rules, which forbids agreed draws before 30 moves, and the "Bilbao" scoring system of 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss (though for ratings purposes the traditional scoring method is used). (1) The organisers used the now familiar soundproofed glass box, the "Aquarium", to allow the spectators to get closer to the players. (2) Crosstable:

01 02 03 04 05 06 1 Carlsen ** 11 ½½ ½½ ½½ 01 6 15 2 Ivanchuk 00 ** ½1 1½ 1½ 10 5½ 15 3 Nakamura ½½ ½0 ** ½1 ½½ 10 5 12 4 Aronian ½½ 0½ ½0 ** ½1 1½ 5 12 5 Anand ½½ 0½ ½½ ½0 ** 11 5 12 6 Vallejo Pons 10 01 01 0½ 00 ** 3½ 10

Carlsen won the event after the tiebreak games Carlsen vs Ivanchuk, 2011 (1/2) and Ivanchuk vs Carlsen, 2011 (0-1).

Previous edition: Grand Slam Chess Final (2010). Next: Grand Slam Chess Final (2012)

(1) Wikipedia article: Bilbao Chess Masters Final, (2)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nakamura vs Ivanchuk ½-½282011Grand Slam Chess FinalE00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Aronian vs F Vallejo Pons 1-0532011Grand Slam Chess FinalD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
3. Anand vs Carlsen ½-½282011Grand Slam Chess FinalC67 Ruy Lopez
4. Carlsen vs Aronian ½-½562011Grand Slam Chess FinalC78 Ruy Lopez
5. Nakamura vs Anand ½-½382011Grand Slam Chess FinalD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Ivanchuk vs F Vallejo Pons 1-0372011Grand Slam Chess FinalA20 English
7. Anand vs Ivanchuk 0-1692011Grand Slam Chess FinalC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
8. F Vallejo Pons vs Carlsen 1-0422011Grand Slam Chess FinalA04 Reti Opening
9. Aronian vs Nakamura ½-½462011Grand Slam Chess FinalD94 Grunfeld
10. F Vallejo Pons vs Anand 0-1572011Grand Slam Chess FinalA04 Reti Opening
11. Carlsen vs Nakamura ½-½432011Grand Slam Chess FinalD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Aronian vs Ivanchuk 0-1382011Grand Slam Chess FinalD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Ivanchuk vs Carlsen 0-1452011Grand Slam Chess FinalC11 French
14. Nakamura vs F Vallejo Pons 1-0592011Grand Slam Chess FinalA25 English
15. Anand vs Aronian ½-½412011Grand Slam Chess FinalC78 Ruy Lopez
16. Ivanchuk vs Nakamura 1-0392011Grand Slam Chess FinalB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
17. Carlsen vs Anand ½-½492011Grand Slam Chess FinalE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
18. F Vallejo Pons vs Aronian ½-½392011Grand Slam Chess FinalD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
19. Anand vs Nakamura ½-½362011Grand Slam Chess FinalC67 Ruy Lopez
20. Aronian vs Carlsen ½-½502011Grand Slam Chess FinalD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. F Vallejo Pons vs Ivanchuk 1-0472011Grand Slam Chess FinalA15 English
22. Nakamura vs Aronian 1-0792011Grand Slam Chess FinalD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
23. Carlsen vs F Vallejo Pons 1-0462011Grand Slam Chess FinalD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. Ivanchuk vs Anand ½-½582011Grand Slam Chess FinalE12 Queen's Indian
25. Carlsen vs Ivanchuk 1-0342011Grand Slam Chess FinalE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 47 OF 47 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-12-11  frogbert: < it is probably the only meaningful basis for comparison>

but then there is the question: is it meaningful to make these comparisons to begin with? imho, no.

Oct-12-11  znsprdx: while I'm on a roll:)

<goodevans:"Until someone can come up with a scoring system that distinguishes between hard fought draws and dull safe draws">

The easiest way is NOT to reward White with an equivalent score as Black for the draw. For that matter this might even be applied with respect to wins. In single round robins or Swiss systems there could be further adjustments in terms of rating differences.

The justification is simple: Since the rules of Chess do not permit Black to reply to White's first check with a check in turn - which might be mate:)- then in terms of pure logic [having the first move odds]then a Black draw (or win) has to be worth more.

It is great to see that several posts support this concept- some of the ideas are even quite wild to say the least...

This certainly will remove the 'dull safe draw' problem - but isn't perhaps as satisfactory with respect to hard fought draws - as long the right to offer a draw is eliminated: positions must be played at least to the end of the maximum allowable time controls.

The natural synergy of the unfolding chess positions allows for unforeseen opportunities for attack or resources in defense.

Oct-12-11  frogbert: <I guess you will argue that today's decade is the strongest, and that Carlsen being top rated is the strongest player in history?>

i will argue that it's virtually impossible to make these comparisons, and that the typical debate (whether about "strongest player" or "strongest decade") only presents anecdotal evidence at best. the typical arguments are shallow and cherrypicked.

i've said elsewhere that professional chess has changed a lot over the last 3-4 decades, making even a comparison of 1990-95 with 2006-2011 a near-impossible undertaking.

and finally, it's probably better to ask rather than assume what my view on something is, vbd! :o)

Oct-12-11  znsprdx: @frogbert: < it is probably the only meaningful basis for comparison>: for those who wish to make the comparison - because it is a fundamental part of the human story....

Personally I would actually argue that we are far from evolving in many areas of greater significance that Chess (hard to imagine for we fanatics)- but that is a whole other matter....

Oct-12-11  Akavall: <I'm reminded of a silly cold war joke>

What about this:

Your country only qualified for the Euro Cup; my country advanced to play-offs!

A bit misleading isn't it.

Oct-12-11  Kanatahodets: <frogbert: <I guess you will argue that today's decade is the strongest, and that Carlsen being top rated is the strongest player in history?> i will argue that it's virtually impossible to make these comparisons, and that the typical debate (whether about "strongest player" or "strongest decade") only presents anecdotal evidence at best. the typical arguments are shallow and cherrypicked.

i've said elsewhere that professional chess has changed a lot over the last 3-4 decades, making even a comparison of 1990-95 with 2006-2011 a near-impossible undertaking.> 100% agree: it resembles our childish arguments; who is stronger lion or tiger. Even this simple argument is not easy to resolve; there are many conditions.

Oct-12-11  s4life: <Kanatahodets: it resembles our childish arguments; who is stronger lion or tiger. >

The tiger of course... it is known:)

Oct-12-11  vanytchouck: <Sem: Why do so many chess fans give this big, darkish, burly man the diminutive nickname 'Chuky'? He doesn't look it.> The worst is that is based on a false pronunciation of his name.

For the russian and ukrainians, it's "chookie" with "ch" like in "church" and "ookie" like in "rookie".

Oct-12-11  Bobwhoosta: <vanytchouck>

Hard to argue whether false or simply different. It's like when Ukranians and Russians try to say English words, they invariably have an accent and say some things differently than we do. Is this wrong, or simply Russian?

Oct-12-11  Everett: <frogbert>
I think you are right in that Kramnik, Anand, Aronian and Carlsen all distinguish themselves as being very complete and solid players, with high-level endgames. Perhaps the Moro-Topalov-Shirov-Tal types are not to be found at a high-level anymore, or that this style simply proves too inconsistent to cause the top four too many problems, until Anand and Kramnik at some point slow down due to age. Who knows when...

Still, I feel part of Shirovs match victory over Kramnik back in the late 90's had to do with styles, and Shirov was just irrational enough to throw Kramnik off his game, while Kasparov was slowly losing his tremendous volatility. Or not, maybe I'm just fishing.

You mention the time control, how tough it makes things... This is why those with outstanding endgames, with power and insight in "simple" positions will rise to the top and stay there. With little time left, these players will be able to squeeze out wins and hold draws more often.

Oct-12-11  Everett: <s4life: <Kanatahodets: it resembles our childish arguments; who is stronger lion or tiger. > The tiger of course... it is known:)>

Which kind of tiger? ;-/

Oct-12-11  Everett: <folchal: Everett--<off topic>--I'm new here and would like to have an exchange with you about Seirawan's recommended openings and defenses at the end of Winning Chess Openings. I would have sent a message, but I don't see such a tool on this site.>

If you see this, let's swing it over to the Seirawan page. In short, he recommends the King's Indian from both sides (which is a Pirc vs e4), which is also suggested by Bronstein and Dvoretsky as good beginner's openings. This is not a bad entry point, but it is only part of an immense world of systems and set-ups... See you over at Seirawan's shack.

Oct-12-11  Wyatt Gwyon: So who won the tournament?
Oct-12-11  SimonWebbsTiger: @<Wyatt>

there was a tie break blitz match between Magnus and Chucky, which Carlsen won.

Oct-13-11  maelith: I agree with Visayandoctor , 1990s was probably the strongest decade in the history of chess. The top players in the 1990s like Anand, Ivanchuk, Krammnik, Kamsky, Topalov are still in the top 10 in world chess ranking today(even though they are no longer the player they used to be). Gelfand who is in the same era is even the new challenger of Anand in world chess championship.
Oct-13-11  SimonWebbsTiger: a cute Diaz cartoon on Bilbao
Oct-13-11  cbpatzer: Levon Aronian in interview here says he wants to play defensive chess and is in transfer phase.
Oct-13-11  WiseWizard: Wow the conditions in this tournament really sucked. That glass cube is full of people walking around making noise. They had like 6 camera men. What purpose did all those people serve? All you need is one camera man and the arbiter. It's surrounded by people too. Very distracting. A gdamn disgrace actually. In the middle they had to stop for 5 days and fly to a different continent and on top of that short time controls and this 3 point for a win bullsh**. Respect the art!
Oct-13-11  siamesedream: <Magnus Carlsen`s Blog

Sao Paulo & Bilbao 2011 Chess Masters Final Victor

Evidently there was a lot of nerve in the last round Tuesday. I was reasonably happy to avoid too much risk especially as co-leader Ivanchuk did not seem to play as ambitiously as earlier in the tournament. We both drew our opponents in about 2,5 hours. While we waiting for the tie-break games to start (to be broadcast live on local TV), Anand won against Vallejo to climb to shared 3rd � 5th with Nakamura (3rd on tie-break) and Aronian (4th). In the first blitz play-off game against Ivanchuk I was white and enjoyed a pleasant position in the middle game. It looked very promising at one point but I lost the thread and the ending resulted in a logical draw. In the second game Ivanchuk played an unusual variation in the opening and continued to play very quickly but too passively. I managed to build up a king side attack and still had some time left on the clock. After some reshuffling of pieces and a few inaccuracies from Ivanchuk the attack went through! My first Grand Slam Final victory! (I placed 2nd in 2008 and 3rd last year.) I have thoroughly enjoyed the stay in Brazil (one week in Rio and one in Sao Paulo) and in Bilbao. My heartfelt thanks to the Sao Paulo and Bilbao organizers for a great category 22 event staged in fantastic cities! Today I'm off to Stockholm for a TV show (Skavlan) and Saturday I'm giving a simul in Ålgård outside Stavanger on the Norwegian west-coast. My next big tournament is Tal Memorial in Moscow starting November 16th. Magnus Carlsen, October 13th, 2011

2011-10-13 11:10:24>

Oct-14-11  nimh: Since 1990-s included Kasparov in his peak, I also consider the probability of that decade being the strongest ever is very high. But yet I don't think Anand and Kramnik were weaker in 2000s than a decade earlier.
Oct-15-11  ex0duz: As far as i know, no one has passed Kasparovs rating yet or his reign as champ.. tourney after tourney. It's all Kasparov! He's chess living legend. He's Garry fcking Kasparov. Enough said?
Oct-15-11  sevenseaman: I echo < ex0duz>'s sentiments very sincerely. I do not think we will see a stronger champion in our life time. He is a colossus, there are no parallels.
Oct-20-11  Everett: Chess clocks during Morphy's era? Didn't he play quicker than everyone else anyway?

And scoring should not be changed, but I am all for Sofia rules.

Dec-05-12  Conrad93: Carlsen should have won this.

His score alone is just much better.

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  Tabanus: Time flies, doesn't it.
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