Kramnik fights back in Shanghai!

Vladimir Kramnik managed to create a complicated struggle and eventually succeed in a must-win situation against Levon Aronian.
One of these two will join Alexei Shirov in the Bilbao final in October. The second qualifier will be decided in tomorrow morning's last round.

Here are the details from today's quite long struggles.

Round 5 (7th of September)

White piecesRatingCountryResultBlack piecesRatingCountryMovesOpening
Wang Hao2724CHN0-1Alexei Shirov2749ESP71D12 Slav 4 e3
Levon Aronian2783ARM0-1Vladimir Kramnik2780RUS60E04 Catalan Opening

Wang Hao opted for a popular solid line against the Slav as e2-e3 followed by an early N-h4 often, as here, gives White a two-bishop pull without much risk. Early activity on the queenside by Shirov didn't blunt White's opening advantage, but despite pressing and sacrificing the exchange Wang Hao couldn't find a way through. The Chinese No.1 spurned a draw on more than one occasion but lost out in a frantic prmotion race.

Top vs. bottom @

Kramnik was aware that he required a win and he ventured a complicated line and induced Aronian to sacrifice the exchange. Double-edged play resulted but the Armenian seemed to have sufficient compensation, but Kramnik avoided a draw and was able to reorganize and consolidate his material advantage. Finally in the last phase he squeezed a win from the Rook and Pawn versus Bishop and two pawns endgame.

StandingPlayerRatingAgeCountry1W1B2W2B3W3B4W4BScore (Bilbao)Score (Standard)
1Alexei Shirov274938ESPXX.=1=11114/5
2Levon Aronian278328ARM=.XX0==162.5/5
3Vladimir Kramnik278035RUS=0=1XX.=62.5/5
4Wang Hao272421CHN000==.XX21/5

Tomorrow's battles between Kramnik (with White) against Wang Hao, and Shirov (with White) versus Aronian, will decide who joins the Spanish No.1 in Bilbao.

For more information (and photos) go to the

Official site

Follow the games live tomorrow from 8.30am on

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