Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Carlsen Snatches Win At Bilbao

12 October 2011, Kuala Lumpur - Carlsen manages to snatch the win from Ivanchuk during the play-offs of the Sao Paulo-Bilbao Masters. Both Carlsen and Ivanchuk scored 15 points from their double round robin games.

ICC recent newsletter reported that Vassily Ivanchuk may have been the Samba King in the first leg of the Grand Slam Final in Sao Paulo, but it was World No.1 Magnus Carlsen who single handedly stopped the Ukrainian from one of his best tournament performances ever, as he dominated the second leg in Bilbao to snatch the title from the Ukrainian after an exciting playoff between the two.

The omens started to look bad for Ivanchuk after a second crushing defeat at the hands of Carlsen in the penultimate round that left both tied for the lead going into the final round. And when both drew their final round games, the odds firmly moved to Carlsen for the speed playoff to decide the title, which he duly won with ease after a crushing win in game two.

Carlsen's overall performance gained the Norwegian more Elo points to extend his lead over Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian at the top of the unofficial live rating list. World Champion Anand almost had the indignity of finishing in last place, but his tournament was salvaged somewhat in the final round by beating Francisco Vallejo to climb out of the cellar.

Spare a thought though for Hikaru Nakamura, who can only reflect on how costly his mea culpa of inexplicably failing to make the time-control in the penultimate round against Vallejo. Had he won against Vallejo, Nakamura would have been sharing the lead in the final round with Carlsen & Ivanchuk. Not only that, it would also have seen him overtake Sergey Karjakin in the top 10 world rankings.

( results table from Internet Chess Club Periodic Newsletter)

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