VALLEJO PREDICTS THAT THERE WON’T BE A MASTERS FINAL CHAMPION UNTIL THE LAST ROUND OF THE SECOND LEG IN BILBAO
The Spanish Champion, lying in penultimate position in the classification, is confident of having a good tournament and is not surprised by Caruana’s early lead, although he thinks that the Italian “was lucky” in his game with Carlsen.
Sao Paulo. 28.09.2012
The Spanish chess champion and number 25 in the world rankings, Francisco Vallejo, believes that “the name of the champion won’t be known until the last day of the second leg of the Final in Bilbao”. The Menorcan, on the rest day of the 5th Chess Masters Final first leg which takes place in Sao Paulo until tomorrow Saturday (Sunday morning Spanish time) has stated the he is not surprised by the early lead in the tournament by the talented 19 year old Italian, Fabiano Caruana: He is an up and coming  player of great quality and his results in other tournaments show that he is a strong candidate to win”, although he adds that Caruana has had some luck in being able to take advantage of the mistakes committed by the world number one, Magnus Carlsen, in the game they disputed in the first round.
After the first three rounds of the tournament, the classification is led by Caruanawith 7 points, followed by Aronian with five, Carlsen 4, Anand 3 and Vallejo with 2.  Karkajin completes the table with 1 point. The top three are separated by just one victory, as in the Masters Final the “Bilbao rule” is applied which gives the winner of each game three points, one point to each player in the case of a draw and no points to the loser.
The current classification is in any case a little circumstantial for Paco Vallejo. The Menorcan Grand Master holds the view that the situation is due to the fact that a game of chess can be so changeable. “Last year, for example,” explains Vallejo, “I played quite badly and, at this point in the tournament I had three points thanks to a victory over Carlsen. And this year, although I’m playing much better and a lot more solidly, I have one point less”.
The Spanish Champion has drawn with both Anand and Aronian and lost against Carlsenin the first three rounds, with those three players being the tournament favourites. He has no intention of changing the way he plays against his next two rivals, Caruana and the Russian Karjakin. “I am satisfied with how I have played, I have enough experience in these kinds of big tournaments and there are still a lot of games to be played”.
Francisco Vallejo has been defined by the prestigious chess commentator Leontxo Garcia in the following terms: “It’s been said until we are bored with hearing it that Vallejo’s results are inferior to his enormous talent. And it’s unlikely that this affirmation is false: the former champions of the world Kasparov, Anand and Topalo, amongst others, say the same and it’s backed up by the five World and European titles that he won from the age of nine until he was world under 18 champion.  But even without training as hard as the big stars, Vallejo is capable of beating any of them, delighting fans with high risk games and a beautiful style. He confirmed this in the Masters Final 2011, and for this reason he has done the same in this year’s edition of the tournament.
However it goes, Vallejothinks about the Final one day at a time, concentrating on each rival without paying attention to the classification. –“when I am in a tournament I’m hardly aware about how the classification is going, I concentrate only on the way I play and on the games I am participating inand he is confident of “completing a good Final which, because of the quality of the players who are taking part, I don’t think will be resolved until the last round in Bilbao”.
Once the first five rounds are completed in Sao Paulo, the tournament will move to Bilbao where the second and final leg will be disputed from the 8th until the 13th October in “La Alhóndiga” in the Biscayan capital.
Tomorrow the Masters Final will resume in Ibirapuera park, in Sao Paulo, in the penultimate round of the first leg, with the following players playing each other: Fabiano Caruana v Francisco Vallejo, Magnus Carlsen v Levon Aronian y Sergei Karjakin v Viswanathan Anand.
The games can be followed live on the official website of the tournament www.bilbaomastersfinal.com.
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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