2012 São Paulo/Bilbao Grand Slam

Concurrently running with the London Grand Prix tournament, the Bilbao Chess Masters Final has begun and features World Champion Viswanathan Anand along with world’s two top-rated players Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian. The field also has frontliners Sergey Karjakin, Fabiano Caruana with the lone Spanish contender in Francisco Vallejo-Pons.

2012 Competitors (R-L): Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin, Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand and Francisco Vallejo-Pons. Photo Albert Silver.

The event will take part in a partnership event that will be divided between two venues… Sao Paulo, Brazil and Bilbao, Spain. Last year saw Carlsen edge out the field with a late flurry catching Vassily Ivanchuk and winning the tiebreak match.

This double round robin event will again invoke the Sofia Rules which includes the modified scoring of three points for a win and one point for a draw. The primary time control will be 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 60 minutes with 10 seconds increment. In addition, there will be no draw offers unless an arbiter is consulted.

Will Fabiano Caruana continue to shine?
Photo Daaim Shabazz.

The story may be the rise of Caruana who has entered the top ten and at this time last year was at #32 at 2712. His meteoric rise may have been overlooked in lieu of contemporaries such as Carlsen, Teimour Radjabov, Hikaru Nakamura and Karjakin, but he is firmly ensconced into the elite.

Carlsen, on the other hand, skipped the Olympiad and he along with Anand will be playing into form against a well-prepared Aronian and a hungry Vallejo-Pons who is looking to do even more damage than the three wins he got last year. Anand will try to dispel the notion that he cannot win an elite event.

2012 Bilbao Grand Slam Masters
September 24th-29th, 2012 (São Paulo, Brazil)
October 8th-13th, 2012 (Bilbao, Spain)
1 Carlsen, Magnus GM Norway
3 Aronian, Levon GM Armenia
2 Anand, Viswanathan GM India
4 Karjakin, Sergey GM Russia
5 Caruana, Fabiano GM Italy
6 Vallejo-Pons, Francisco GM Spain
Official Site

Live Games: https://www.chessdom.com/ (Chessdom)
PGN Games: https://www.thechessdrum.net/palview5/bilbao2012.pgn


  1. Round #1
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Francisco Vallejo-Pons
    Levon Aronian 1-0 Serjey Karjakin
    Fabiano Caruana 1-0 Magnus Carlsen

    Aronian, Caruana, 3
    Anand, Vallejo-Pons, 1
    Carlsen, Karjakin, 0

  2. Round #2
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Levon Aronian
    Serjey Karjakin 0-1 Fabiano Caruana
    Francisco Vallejo-Pons 0-1 Magnus Carlsen

    1st: Caruana, 6;
    2nd: Aronian, 4; 3rd: Carlsen, 3; 4th: Anand, 2;
    5th: Vallejo-Pons, 1; 6th: Karjakin, 0

  3. Round #3
    Wednesday, 26 September 2012

    Levon Aronian ½-½ Francisco Vallejo-Pons
    Fabiano Caruana ½-½ Viswanathan Anand
    Magnus Carlsen ½-½ Serjey Karjakin

    1st: Caruana, 7;
    2nd: Aronian, 5; 3rd: Carlsen, 4; 4th: Anand, 3;
    5th: Vallejo-Pons, 2; 6th: Karjakin, 1

  4. Thanks for the games!!!!

    According to some analysis i saw on Chessbase, Carlsen’s 46. Rd5? is a blunder as it runs into 46. Rxb2! 47. Nxb2 fxe4 and the white rook is trapped with some good play for black….!

    Knowing Carlsen, he could have probably saved the game by drawing, but it would have to take accurate play even from him!

    Still early in the tournament, but how many times have we seen Carlsen start like this and somehow end up winning the tournament…

    1. Quite amazing how top players never make such mistakes against weak players. If only Carlsen made such a blunder against me 🙂

      I would have nailed him (I wish).

  5. Round #4
    Friday, 28 September 2012

    Fabiano Caruana 1-0 Francisco Vallejo-Pons
    Serjey Karjakin ½-½ Viswanathan Anand
    Magnus Carlsen ½-½ Levon Aronian

    1st: Caruana, 10;
    2nd: Aronian, 6; 3rd: Carlsen, 5; 4th: Anand, 4;
    5th-6th: Vallejo-Pons, Karjakin, 2

  6. Round #5
    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    Francisco Vallejo-Pons ½-½ Serjey Karjakin
    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Magnus Carlsen
    Levon Aronian ½-½ Fabiano Caruana

    1st: Caruana, 11;
    2nd: Aronian, 7; 3rd: Carlsen, 6; 4th: Anand, 5;
    5th-6th: Vallejo-Pons, Karjakin, 3

  7. Round #6
    Monday, 8 October 2012

    Magnus Carlsen 1-0 Fabiano Caruana
    Serjey Karjakin ½-½ Levon Aronian
    Francisco Vallejo-Pons ½-½ Viswanathan Anand

    1st: Caruana, 11;
    2nd: Carlsen, 9; 3rd: Aronian, 8; 4th: Anand, 6;
    5th-6th: Vallejo-Pons, Karjakin, 4

  8. Round #7
    Tuesday, 9 October 2012

    Magnus Carlsen 1-0 Francisco Vallejo-Pons
    Levon Aronian ½-½ Viswanathan Anand
    Fabiano Caruana ½-½ Serjey Karjakin

    1st-2nd: Caruana, Carlsen, 12;
    3rd: Aronian, 9; 4th: Anand, 7;
    5th: Karjakin, 5; 6th: Vallejo-Pons, 4

  9. Round #8
    Thursday, 11 October 2012

    Serjey Karjakin ½-½ Magnus Carlsen
    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Fabiano Caruana
    Francisco Vallejo-Pons ½-½ Levon Aronian

    1st-2nd: Caruana, Carlsen, 13;
    3rd: Aronian, 10; 4th: Anand, 8;
    5th: Karjakin, 6; 6th: Vallejo-Pons, 5

  10. round #3 Carlsen V Karjakin. Carlson’s Rd5 blunder reminds me of Maurice Ashley’s theme about protected squares in his “What Grandmasters don’t see” DVDs. My computer played 46…Rxb2+ even when I set the computer to a 1725 elo emulation! Yet Karjakin plays 46…Rd8. If I were on their level, I think I would not only feel pressure about losing, but also about the embarassment that could come with post-mortem analysis when someone says I missed a 1700 level move!

    1. It happens. While we all believe we would have seen that trick, it’s hard to know what happens to the mind when the pressure is so great. Alexander Kotov talked about “Deficiencies of Attention” in his class book “Think Like a Grandmaster”. Sometimes you get blind and miss squares. It was an instructive lesson.

  11. Round #9
    Friday, 12 October 2012

    Magnus Carlsen 1-0 Viswanathan Anand
    Fabiano Caruana 1-0 Levon Aronian
    Serjey Karjakin 1-0 Francisco Vallejo-Pons

    1st-2nd: Caruana, Carlsen, 16;
    3rd: Aronian, 10; 4th: Karjakin, 9;
    5th: Anand, 8; 6th: Vallejo-Pons, 5

  12. Round #10
    Saturday, 13 October 2012

    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Serjey Karjakin
    Levon Aronian ½-½ Magnus Carlsen
    Francisco Vallejo-Pons ½-½ Fabiano Caruana

    1st-2nd: Caruana, Carlsen, 17;
    3rd: Aronian, 11; 4th: Karjakin, 10;
    5th: Anand, 9; 6th: Vallejo-Pons, 6

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