Thursday, 13 October 2011

Carlsen wins Grand Slam Masters

Magnus Carlsen has win the Grand Slam Masters for the 4th time, after beating Vasilly Ivanchuk in a 2 game blitz playoff. The two had tied for first after drawing their round 10 games. Aronian, Nakamura and Anand tied for third, with Vallejo Pons finishing 6th.
From a spectators point of view it was one of the more watchable tournament in recent times, with a little more than 50% of the games being decisive. There are couple of theories for this, with the 3-1-0 scoring system once again being a popular explanation. However I think there are two other reasons for the high(-ish) number of wins. One is that 9 of the 16 decisive games involved Vallejo Pons (+3=1-6), who as the bottom seed was likely to have a bulls eye painted on him by the other players. The second is that having 40 moves in 90 minutes with no increment as the first time control meant a return to old fashioned time scrambles. And as the Sofia rules on draw offers were in operation, the payers couldn't bail out with a draw offer if they were behind on the clock.

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