Magnus Carlsen wins Bilbao Masters Final 2016

It was a quiet 10th and final round for Bilbao Masters Final 2016 as the players drew all their three games. Magnus Carlsen was already the clear winner even before the final round started, and the participants were all seemed satisfied with their ranking, thus the draws in Round 10.

Hikaru Nakamura was undefeated during the entire tournament, and with one win against Carlsen in the very first round, he settled for second place.

Wesley So and Wei Yi shared third place. Check out the final ranking below:

Bilbao Masters Final 2016 Final Ranking

PosNameFedRtgPts
1Carlsen, MagnusNOR285517
2Nakamura, HikaruUSA278712
3Wei, YiCHN269611
4So, WesleyUSA277011
5Karjakin, SergeyRUS27739
6Giri, AnishNED27857

Check out the feature video from Bilbao Chess below:

Carlsen Finally Defeats Giri in a Classical Game in Round 9 Bilbao Masters Final 2016

With one round to go, Bilbao 2016 already saw a winner, as Magnus Carlsen now leads by 5 points against the second placer, Hikaru Nakamura.

Chessbase reports:

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.

Bilbao Masters Final 2016 Ranking After Round 9

PosNameFedRtgPts
1Carlsen, MagnusNOR285516
2Nakamura, HikaruUSA278711
3Wei, YiCHN269610
4So, WesleyUSA277010
5Karjakin, SergeyRUS27738
6Giri, AnishNED27856

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Wesley So Beats Anish Giri in Round 8 Bilbao Masters Final 2016

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:

Black to move after 57. Kf4

Black to move after 57. Kf4

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:

Live Ratings Top Ten Ranking as of July 22, 2016

More Draws in Round 7 of Bilbao Masters Final 2016

Chess fans, and sports fans in general, call for blood during games in order to spice things up. But that was not the case in Round 7 of Bilbao Chess, when all six players settled for draws.

The Week in Chess:

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.

As such, we see no movement in the ranking:

Wei Yi Wins in Round 6 of Bilbao Masters Final 2016

Wei Yi beat Anish Giri when the latter blundered in an endgame with 31…g5 which left his bishop cut off and unable to stop white’s passed pawn.

The Week in Chess

Furthermore, it wasn’t yet payback time for Magnus Carlsen as he just drew his game against Hikaru Nakamura.

Lastly, the defending champion of the tournament, Wesley So, settled for another draw with Sergey Karjakin, and is thus now running last in the ranking (see table below).

Bilbao Masters Final 2016 Ranking after Round 6

#NameCountryRtgPts
1Magnus CarlsenNorway285511
2Hikaru NakamuraUnited States27878
3Wei YiChina26967
4Anish GiriNetherlands27855
5Sergey KarjakinRussia27735
6Wesley SoUnited States27705

Replay all the games so far »

Photo credit: Bilbao Chess.

Carlsen-Karjakin R3 Bilbao Game Analyzed

How would you know that an innocent-looking move like 20… Rc4 would prove to be a disaster for black?

That is what GM Valentin Iotov explains in the video analysis that follow:

Now tell me, will this type of game dominate the World Championship in November?

Check out all the games played so far in Bilbao Masters Final 2016.

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All Draws in Round 5 of Bilbao Masters Final 2016

They were heavily fought matches, but draws nonetheless. All three games. Chessbase writes:

Like it or not, Magnus Carlsen is the player who provides the greatest entertainment in Bilbao. In round five he played with Black against Anish Giri and managed to create winning chances from an equal position. However, Giri’s tenacious defense allowed him to draw. Sergey Karjakin and Hikaru Nakamura played an old line of the Queen’s Gambit Declined and after an improvement by White Black quickly forced a draw. Wesley So tried hard to win against Wei Yi but had no success. After five of ten rounds Carlsen leads with 10.0/15.

So far, Anish Giri still holds the upper hand against Magnus Carlsen in their classical games one-on-one match-up as their Round 5 game came to a draw after 62 moves. According to TWIC:

Magnus Carlsen keeps winning in Bilbao Masters Final 2016 Round 4

After four rounds and twelve games in Bilbao Masters Final 2016, four of the games were decided (not drawn), all of which involved World Champion Magnus Carlsen, with 3 wins and 1 loss.

After the loss to Hikaru Nakamura in the opening round, Carlsen came back with a vengeance and won all of his next three games, the latest victim is the defending champion Wesley So.

That is the quality of games that Carlsen is showing in this year’s edition of Bilbao Chess. So high that someone actually tweeted his title should be CG (i.e., Chess God) instead of GM. Thus, he now is way ahead of the pack:

Bilbao Masters Final 2016 Standings after Round 4

#NameCountryRtgPts
1Magnus CarlsenNorway28559
2Hikaru NakamuraUnited States27876
3Anish GiriNetherlands27854
4Wesley SoUnited States27703
5Sergey KarjakinRussia27733
6Wei YiChina26963

Check out the Round 4 game between Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So below: