Shirov had already won the tournament with one round to spare, but a further draw enabled him to amass 16 rating points whereas the other three players were all negative in this department.
The second qualification place remained undecided after two fairly even encounters.
Round 5 (7th of September)
|White pieces||Rating||Country||Result||Black pieces||Rating||Country||Moves||Opening|
|Alexei Shirov||2749||ESP||0.5-0.5||Levon Aronian||2783||ARM||42||C89 Spanish Marshall|
|Vladimir Kramnik||2780||RUS||0.5-0.5||Wang Hao||2724||CHN||30||D37 Queen's Gambit Declined 5 Bf4|
Aronian was happy to test the leader in a popular theoretical line of the Marshall Gambit. His piece sacrifice is already known and led to him regaining the material with a rooks and opposite bishop pseudo-ending which proved to be drawish.
In the other game, Wang Hao reacted to 5 Bf4 in solid style and played a line which reduces White's opening advantage to nothing more than a nominal space pull. Kramnik couldn't find a way to make progress.
The tie between Aronian and Kramnik will have to be decided by Blitz games.
|Standing||Player||Rating||Age||Country||1W||1B||2W||2B||3W||3B||4W||4B||Score (Bilbao)||Score (Standard)||Performance||Rating change (approx)|
Shirov's gain of 16 points takes him (provisionally) up from 12th to 6th in the world ranking list. A remarkable leap emphasizing just how impressive he was in Shanghai.
Here is a summary of the chess 'penalty shoot-out' to come and then after this we'll know who is going to Bilbao with Shirov!
|Name||Rating||Country||Blitz 1||Blitz 2||Armaggedon||Total|
More precision on the tie-break: A two-game Blitz match (4' plus 3" increment). If this ends 1-1 then the players must indulge in an 'Armageddon' game (5' for White, 4' for Black who gets draw odds).
I personally prefer taking Black in these circumstances, but attacking players often prefer White.
More later when the results are known!
For more information (and photos) go to the