Before Bilbao 2016 Magnus Carlsen had never won a game with classical time-control against Anish Giri. But in round nine of the “Masters” in Bilbao he finally did. This win must have been particularly sweet because it helped Carlsen to win the tournament with one round to go. Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin drew and so did Wei Yi and Wesley So. Before the last round Carlsen now has 16.0/9 and is full five points ahead of Nakamura.
Nakamura stays unbeaten as he drew his game against Wei Yi. Karjakin failed to even his score against Carlsen as their game ended in a draw as well.
The defending champion of the tournament, GM Wesley So, finally bags home his first win in this event over his nemesis, Anish Giri, in the eighth round of Bilbao Masters Final 2016.
The game opened with the classic Giuoco Piano. Eventually, they found themselves maneuvering the game with four-knights play leading towards the endgame, until strategic play led Wesley So to be up by a clear pawn by move 46. Anish Giri found himself trapped in a mating net and resigned after white’s 57th move. See diagram of the game below:
And thus, here, Giri cannot stop the mate by the next move in either 58. Rg7+ or 58. Nh4+.Replay»
Because of that win, Wesley So is now number 8 in the live ratings ranking, overtaking Anand and Karjakin:
Bilbao Round 7 saw no change in the relative scores as all the games were drawn. Magnus Carlsen had slight pressure throughout against Wei Yi without ever being objectively much better. Careful calculation saw Wei Yi hold the draw. Hikaru Nakamura looked like he was getting somewhere against Wesley So but in the end the game petered out to a draw. Anish Giri had very little advantage against Sergey Karjakin and they traded to a draw.