Bilbao Masters 2016 Starts

The Bilbao Masters has all the ingredients of a great tournament: the World Champion, his contender and young stars Nakamura, Giri, Wei Yi and So. And the start didn’t disappoint, in fact we witnessed a sort of miracle – after 11 years and 12 losses in classical chess, Nakamura managed to beat Carlsen for the first time in his life. With black.

The game was a somewhat typical of a first round game for Carlsen – he couldn’t get going and even though he got a nice advantage he still managed to spoil it very quickly.

The other two games Karjakin-So and Giri-Wei Yi weren’t as interesting, at least from a sporting point of view. Again I expect Karjakin to be extra-cautious and draw everything, while it will be curious to see Wei Yi’s debut in such a company. There is much talk of Carlsen and Karjakin hiding their best opening ideas and keeping them for the match and this is true. It is also true that they might play in somewhat different style or play some openings just to lead the opponent on a wrong track. It is worth having all this in mind as the tournament progresses.

In Dortmund things go at slow pace, Vachier (who crossed 2800 on the live rating list) leads with 3/4, followed by Dominguez on 2.5/4 and a bunch of players including Kramnik and Caruana on 50%. The gem was Kramnik’s first white game against Buhmann. Play through the game and enjoy.

By far the most amazingly unbelievable game I have seen in ages!

Meanwhile in Salobrena, my student Angel Luis is doing quite well. With 4.5/5 he’s in shared second and today in Round 6 he plays on board 2 against one of the highest rated players in the field.

Here’s his nice win in Round 5. Apart from a blip in the opening, when he forgot the exact move order, it was smooth sailing.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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1 Comment
  • […] of the 6…g6 line against 6 h3 in the Najdorf was largely based on psychology – in his only win against Carlsen he also transposed to a Fianchetto Dragon, only there it was via a Closed-Sicilian […]

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