Bilbao Chess Masters Final

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Bilbao Chess Masters Final
GenreDouble round robin chess tournament
FrequencyAnnual
Location(s)Bilbao, Spain
Inaugurated2008
Most recent2016
Websitehttp://www.bilbaomastersfinal.com/en
Bilbao Chess Masters Final 2008. Glass-enclosed playing venue on the Plaza Nueva, Bilbao.

The Bilbao Chess Masters Final (previously called the Grand Slam Chess Final) is an annual chess tournament which between 2008-12 brought together the strongest players from the previous year's "Grand Slam" events. Series organisers Grand Slam Chess Association (GSCA) became defunct in 2012 due to the demise of the Grand Slam hosts and scheduling problems but the Bilbao Masters has continued as an annual invitational event.

Grand Slam Chess Association[edit]

Negotiations between the organisers of major tournaments M-Tel Masters, Tata Steel Chess Tournament (under the name Corus) and Linares began in March 2006, seeking to create a cycle of tournaments to raise the popularity of chess and attract increased sponsorship for major events.[1] Several rounds of talks took place over the next 14 months.

The GSCA was established on 17 January 2007 and the first edition of the series for 2008 announced in May, with Mexico City added to the list and Bilbao confirmed as Masters Final hosts.[2] Due to problems raising funding for the tournament, it was announced on 16 May 2008 that Mexico City was cancelled.[3]

On 16 March 2009, the members of the GSCA Presidential Board was published, confirming the addition of Pearl Spring in Nanjing, China as Grand Slam hosts as well as interest from San Luis, Argentina and London.[4] The M-Tel Masters was held for the last time during this series.

During the 2010 series, marking the last edition of Linares due to financial problems and the cancellation of M-Tel Masters due to the World Chess Championship, held in Sofia that year, it was agreed that Kings Tournament held in Medias, Romania would join the 2011 edition.[5]

At the end of the 2012 edition of Tata Steel the rest of the 2012 series was confirmed and announced that the 2011 winners of Tal Memorial and London Chess Classic qualified for the 2012 Bilbao Final.[6] This would be the last Grand Slam cycle, later editions composed of invitees by the Bilbao Masters organising committee.

An ongoing problem was conflicting schedules between Grand Slam hosts and FIDE. For the 2013 series, invitees Carlsen and Anand declined spots in the Bilbao final due to their preparations for the World Championship.[7]

Format and venue[edit]

The tournament is a double round robin featuring four to six players. The tournament regulations use the Sofia Chess 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).

The venue for the tournament has traditionally been the city of Bilbao in Spain. In year 2011 and 2012 a second venue was added as Sao Paulo in Brazil with one of the round-robins in each city. A soundproofed and air-conditioned glass "cube" was constructed to house the tournament, allowing spectators to watch closely the players inside.

Winners[edit]

# Year Winner
1 2008 Bulgaria Veselin Topalov
2 2009 Armenia Levon Aronian
3 2010 Russia Vladimir Kramnik
4 2011 Norway Magnus Carlsen
5 2012 Norway Magnus Carlsen
6 2013 Armenia Levon Aronian
7 2014 India Viswanathan Anand
8 2015 United States Wesley So
9 2016 Norway Magnus Carlsen

Tournaments[edit]

Carlsen playing Anand, Bilbao 2008

1st Grand Slam Masters Final (2008)[edit]

The inaugural Final was composed of Tata Steel joint winners Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian, Linares winner Viswanathan Anand, M-Tel Masters winner Vassily Ivanchuk, M-Tel runner up Veselin Topalov and third placed Teimour Radjabov.[8]

Topalov convincingly won the tournament with 17 points, Carlsen beating Aronian to second place. Had Topalov lost to Ivanchuk and Carlsen defeated Anand in the last round, there would have been a tiebreak rapid match.[9] Anand finished in last place ahead of his World Championship defence against Vladimir Kramnik.

I Grand Slam Final, 2–13 September 2008, Bilbao, Spain, Category XXI (2769)[10]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points SScr H2H TPR
1  Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2777 3 3 1 0 1 3 1 1 3 1 17 2877
2  Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2775 0 0 Does not appear 3 3 1 0 3 1 1 1 13 5 2 2767
3  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2737 1 3 0 0 Does not appear 3 1 1 0 1 3 13 5 0 2775
4  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2781 1 0 1 3 0 1 Does not appear 1 3 1 1 12 2766
5  Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) 2744 1 1 0 1 1 3 1 0 Does not appear 1 1 10 2737
6  Viswanathan Anand (India) 2798 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 Does not appear 8 2690

2nd Grand Slam Masters Final (2009)[edit]

The second Final consisted of Sergey Karjakin, the winner of 2009 Corus, Alexander Grischuk, winner of Linares, Alexei Shirov, winner in M-Tel Masters, and Aronian, second place at Pearl Spring, replacing Topalov who declined the invitation..

Aronian emerged as the clear winner, winning the event with one round to spare.[11]

II Grand Slam Masters Final, 6–12 September 2009, Bilbao, Cat. XX (2740)[12]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 Points TPR
1  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2773 0 3 3 1 3 3 13 2921
2  Alexander Grischuk (Russia) 2733 3 0 Does not appear 0 1 3 1 8 2741
3  Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine) 2722 0 1 3 1 Does not appear 1 1 7 2745
4  Alexei Shirov (Spain) 2730 0 0 0 1 1 1 Does not appear 3 2549

3rd Grand Slam Masters Final (2010)[edit]

The third edition[13] featured four players and took place in the Alhóndiga Bilbao. It was a category 22 tournament, the highest rated tournament in history.[14] Qualifiers for the Final were Carlsen (winner of Corus, Bazna Kings and Pearl Springs events) and Anand who was seeded through due to the cancellation of M-Tel Masters that year. Topalov had qualified as winner of Linares 2010 but withdrew from the Final.

A tournament was held in Shanghai, China consisting of Kramnik, Aronian, Shirov and Wang Hao in order to fill the two spots. Alexei Shirov and Vladimir Kramnik - by defeating Aronian in an armageddon tie-break game - qualified. Kramnik then went on to win the Masters Final.

Shanghai Masters 2010, 3–8 September 2010, Shanghai, China, Cat. XXI (2759)[15]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 Points TB TPR
1  Alexei Shirov (Spain) 2749 Does not appear 1 3 1 1 3 3 12 2955
2  Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2780 1 0 Does not appear 1 3 1 1 7 1+A 2752
3  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2783 1 1 1 0 Does not appear 3 1 7 1 2751
4  Wang Hao (China) 2724 0 0 1 1 0 1 Does not appear 3 2578
Second place tiebreak, 8 September 2010, Shanghai, China
Player Rating Blitz Armageddon Place
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2780 1 0 1 2
 Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2783 0 1 0 3


III Grand Slam Masters Final, 9–15 October 2010, Bilbao, Cat. XXII (2789)[16]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 Points TPR
1  Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2780 1 1 3 1 3 1 10 2917
2  Viswanathan Anand (India) 2800 1 1 Does not appear 3 1 1 1 8 2842
3  Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2826 0 1 0 1 Does not appear 1 3 6 2719
4  Alexei Shirov (Spain) 2749 0 1 1 1 1 0 Does not appear 4 2677

4th Grand Slam Masters Final (2011)[edit]

In contrast to Grand Slam Masters Finals in the last years, the organizers decided to return to a six-player double round robin without a special qualification tournament. The first half of the fourth edition was played in São Paulo from September 25 to October 1, and the second in Bilbao from October 5 to October 11.

The players invited to the Grand Slam Masters Final 2011 were Anand as second-place at Pearl Spring and the Tata Steel, Carlsen, as winner of Bazna and Pearl Spring, Hikaru Nakamura as winner of Tata Steel and Aronian as highest rated player not qualified, third in the FIDE ratings. Kramnik, the winner of the 2010 Final, and Karjakin, second at Bazna - declined to play and were replaced by Ivanchuk and local player Francisco Vallejo Pons.[17]

Carlsen dominated the Bilbao half of the 4th Final Masters and finished level with Ivanchuk who played so well in the first half. Carlsen won the event after defeating Ivanchuk in a blitz playoff 1.5-0.5.

IV Final Masters, 26 September – 11 October 2011, São PauloBilbao, Category XXII (2780)[18]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points TB SScr H2H TPR
1  Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2823 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 3 15 2843
2  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2765 0 0 Does not appear 1 3 3 1 3 1 3 0 15 ½ 2819
3  Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 2753 1 1 1 0 Does not appear 1 3 1 1 3 0 12 5 2785
4  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2807 1 1 0 1 1 0 Does not appear 1 3 3 1 12 5 2 2774
5  Viswanathan Anand (India) 2817 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 Does not appear 3 3 12 5 2772
6  Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain) 2716 3 0 0 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 Does not appear 10 2683
First place tiebreak, 11 October 2011, Bilbao
Player Rating Blitz Place
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2823 ½ 1 1
 Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2765 ½ 0 2

5th Grand Slam Masters Final (2012)[edit]

The format was a six-player double round robin. The first half of the fifth edition was played in São Paulo from September 24 to September 29, and the second in Bilbao from October 8 to October 13.

After Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana tied for first place a tiebreak match took place, Carlsen winning 2-0

V Final Masters, 24 September – 13 October 2012, São PauloBilbao, Cat. XXII (2781)[19]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points TB TPR
1  Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2843 0 3 1 1 1 1 1 3 3 3 17 2 2878
2  Fabiano Caruana (Italy) 2773 3 0 Does not appear 1 3 3 1 1 1 3 1 17 0 2892
3  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2816 1 1 1 0 Does not appear 3 1 1 1 1 1 11 2774
4  Sergey Karjakin (Russia) 2778 1 1 0 1 0 1 Does not appear 1 1 1 3 10 2745
5  Viswanathan Anand (India) 2780 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 Does not appear 1 1 9 2745
6  Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain) 2697 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 Does not appear 6 2649
First place tiebreak, 13 October 2012, Bilbao
Player Blitz rating Blitz Place
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2856 1 1 1
 Fabiano Caruana (Italy) 2718 0 0 2

6th Grand Slam Masters Final (2013)[edit]

The sixth Grand Slam Chess Masters final was held on 7–12 October in Bilbao as a double round robin with four players.[20][21]

VI Bilbao Masters Final, 7–12 October 2013, Bilbao, Spain, Category XXI (2762)[22]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 Points SScr TPR
1  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2795 1 3 1 1 1 3 10 2876
2  Michael Adams (England) 2753 1 0 Does not appear 1 1 3 3 9 2822
3  Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) 2759 1 1 1 1 Does not appear 0 1 5 2706
4  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 2742 1 0 0 0 3 1 Does not appear 5 2 2644

7th Grand Slam Masters Final (2014)[edit]

The seventh Grand Slam Chess Masters was held from 14–20 September in Bilbao as a double round robin with four players. Viswanathan Anand emerged as the winner.[23]

VII Grand Slam Masters Final, 12–20 September 2014, Bilbao, Spain, Category XXI (2755)[24]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 Points SScr H2H Koya SB TPR
1  Viswanathan Anand (India) 2785 1 0 3 1 3 3 11 2869
2  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2804 1 3 Does not appear 3 1 1 1 10 2863
3-4  Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) 2717 0 1 0 1 Does not appear 3 0 5 2 1 1 6.00 2642
3-4  Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain) 2712 0 0 1 1 0 3 Does not appear 5 2 1 1 6.00 2643

8th Grand Slam Masters Final (2015)[edit]

The eighth Masters tournament was held from 26 October to 1 November in Bilbao as a double round robin with four players. Wesley So won the tournament after beating Anish Giri in a tiebreak match (blitz playoff).

VIII Grand Slam Masters Final, 26 October – 1 November 2015, Bilbao, Spain, Category XXII (2786)[25]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 Points TB SScr H2H Koya SB TPR
1  Wesley So (United States) 2760 1 1 1 1 3 1 8 2851
2  Anish Giri (Netherlands) 2798 1 1 Does not appear 1 3 1 1 8 ½ 2838
3-4  Viswanathan Anand (India) 2803 1 1 1 0 Does not appear 1 1 5 1 7.75 2723
3-4  Ding Liren (China) 2782 0 1 1 1 1 1 Does not appear 5 1 7.75 2730
First place tiebreak, 1 November 2015, Bilbao
Player Blitz rating Blitz Place
 Wesley So (United States) 2726 1 ½ 1
 Anish Giri (Netherlands) 2793 0 ½ 2

9th Grand Slam Masters Final (2016)[edit]

The ninth Bilbao Masters Final was held on 13–23 July as a six-player double round-robin with Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Sergey Karjakin, Wesley So and Wei Yi taking part.[26] As in previous Bilbao Masters tournaments, the scoring was 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.

The games between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin were highly anticipated, as they would face off at the World Championship match in November; because Norway and Russia were not paired with each other in the 2016 Chess Olympiad, this was the last time the two played each other prior to the World Championship match. Hikaru Nakamura defeated Magnus Carlsen for the first time in standard time controls in the first round and Magnus Carlsen defeated Anish Giri for the first time in standard time controls in the penultimate round.

IX Bilbao Masters Final, 13–23 July 2016, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, Category XXII (2778)[27]
Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points SScr H2H Koya SB TPR
1  Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2855 0 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 1 3 17 2872
2  Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 2787 3 1 Does not appear 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12 2811
3-4  Wesley So (United States) 2770 0 1 1 1 Does not appear 1 1 1 1 1 3 11 5 2 1 51.00 2779
3-4  Wei Yi (China) 2696 0 1 1 1 1 1 Does not appear 1 1 1 3 11 5 2 1 51.00 2794
5  Sergey Karjakin (Russia) 2773 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Does not appear 1 1 9 2742
6  Anish Giri (Netherlands) 2785 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 Does not appear 7 2666

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grand Slam Chronology - Chessdom". grandslam.chessdom.com. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  2. ^ "Mexico City will be the 5th tournament of theChess Grand Slam - Chessdom". grandslam.chessdom.com. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  3. ^ "Mexico City open letter - Chessdom". grandslam.chessdom.com. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  4. ^ "Grand Slam Chess Association – Press Release - Chessdom". grandslam.chessdom.com. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  5. ^ AM. "Kings Tournament 5th edition". www.fide.com. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  6. ^ "Grand Slam Chess Association confirms Linares 2012, sets dates for Masters Final - ChessVibes". www.chessvibes.com. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  7. ^ "Kings Tournament & Bilbao are on, but (slightly) weakened - ChessVibes". www.chessvibes.com. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  8. ^ "Grand Slam Chess Final Masters Bilbao". Chess News. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  9. ^ "Topalov Takes All in Bilbao - The Daily Dirt Chess News Blog". www.chessninja.com. Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  10. ^ Mark Crowther (15 September 2008). "The Week in Chess 723". The Week in Chess.
  11. ^ "2nd Grand Slam Masters Bilbao Final (2009)". Chessgames.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  12. ^ Mark Crowther (12 September 2009). "2nd Bilbao Masters 2009". The Week in Chess.
  13. ^ "Bilbao Masters (2010)". Chessgames.com. 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  14. ^ 2010 Bilbao Masters preview, Chessbase News, 8 October 2010
  15. ^ Mark Crowther (8 September 2010). "Shanghai Masters 2010". The Week in Chess.
  16. ^ Mark Crowther (15 October 2010). "Bilbao Masters Final 2010". The Week in Chess.
  17. ^ "Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, Nakamura, Ivanchuk and Vallejo will contest the Masters Final | Bilbao Chess Masters Final 2011". Bilbaofinalmasters.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Mark Crowther (11 October 2011). "Carlsen beats Ivanchuk in blitz playoff to take Bilbao title". The Week in Chess.
  19. ^ Mark Crowther (25 September 2012). "z". The Week in Chess.
  20. ^ "Bilbao Final Aronian is the victor". ChessBase. 2013-10-12. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Final Standings". Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  22. ^ Mark Crowther (12 October 2013). "6th Bilbao Final Masters 2013 (Games and Results)". The Week in Chess.
  23. ^ "Final standings". Archived from the original on 2014-09-21. Retrieved 2014-09-21.
  24. ^ Mark Crowther (20 September 2014). "Bilbao Chess Masters Final 2014 (Games and Results)". The Week in Chess.
  25. ^ Mark Crowther (1 November 2015). "VIII Grand Slam Masters Final Bilbao 2015 (Games and Results)". The Week in Chess.
  26. ^ "Carlsen and Karjakin to clash in Bilbao". chess24.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  27. ^ Mark Crowther (25 July 2016). "The Week in Chess 1133". The Week in Chess.

External links[edit]