50th anniversary tournament in Biel with Anatoly Karpov

5/19/2017 – It is the one of the oldest chess events in Europe, and the 50th edition starts on July 22. The ten-player Grandmaster tournament fields experienced players and young stars, the Rapid tournament includes former World Champion Anatoly Karpov and World Championship candidate Vlastimil Hort. You can participate in the Master Tournament. Full details in this press release.

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Press release

Biel celebrates its 50th anniversary with Anatoly Karpov

The 50th Anniversary edition of the Biel Chess Festival, the second oldest chess event in Europe (Hastings is the oldest active tournament, dating from 1895, but Wijk aan Zee, and others are also older than Biel —Ed.), starts with the ACCENTUS Rapid Tournament. Former world champion Anatoly Karpov (RUS) is among the prestigious guests. In the ten-participant Grandmaster Tournament, experience faces youth. In addition to the top-ranked Pentala Harikrishna (IND) and 2016 women world champion Hou Yifan (CHN), the new Swiss Grandmaster Noël Studer is taking part. This year's 50th edition will feature ten different tournaments during twelve days. Over 600 participants from all over the world are expected.

The Biel Chess Festival took place for the first time In July 1968. The organizers staged the «International Open of the Chess Club Biel» and 34 participants from nine nations responded to the invitation. In the following five decades, the festival attracted many chess stars, and Biel was even entrusted to organize the Interzonal Tournament at three occasions (1976, 1985 and 1993).

The first highlight of the 50th anniversary edition can be enjoyed on the second day of the festival. The ACCENTUS Rapid Tournament will gather, besides some players of the Grandmaster Tournament, former world champion Anatoly Karpov (RUS) and Vlastimil Hort (GER). The latter won the Grandmaster Tournament twice in the eighties and has been a long-time member of the Biel chess club, while Karpov won the tournament three times (1990, 1992 and 1996). The field also includes native Biel grandmaster Yannick Pelletier. With eleven participations in the Grandmaster Tournament, Pelletier is an important part of the recent festival history. Since 2013, he has been working as Director of the closed tournament himself.

In the Grandmaster Tournament (July 24 to August 2), experience is opposed to youth. The Russian Alexander Morozevich returns to Biel many years after his third victory. However, he is not the only tough opponent for top seed Pentala Harikrishna from India. World’s best female player Hou Yifan (CHN) as well as FIDE World Champion from 2002 Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) will also fight for the top places. Back to Biel is also David Navara (CZE). He stunned the chess world in 2015 when he won one of the most spectacular games of the festival’s history with a sensational king march in his opponent’s camp.

Besides familiar faces, there are also newcomers in the Grandmaster Tournament. 20-year-old Noël Studer from Bern has just been awarded the Grandmaster title, while Nico Georgiadis (21, SUI) is also on his way there. With their strong play over the last few years, they have earned their right to participate in the prestigious Grandmaster Tournament. It also underlines the philosophy of the Biel Chess Festival, which is to promote young talents by giving them the chance to meet the elite. With this spectacular field, exciting and competitive games are guaranteed.

Grandmaster Tournament in Biel 2017

Player
Nat
Born
w-rank
Rating
Pentala Harikrishna
IND
1986
16
2750
David Navara
CZE
1985
21
2739
Ruslan Ponomariov
UKR
1983
37
2712
Peter Leko
HUN
1979
41
2703
Etienne Bacrot
FRA
1983
48
2696
Alexander Morozevich
RUS
1977
74
2675
Hou Yifan
CHN
1994
1*
2652
Rafael Vaganian
ARM
1951
396
2560
Noël Studer
SUI
1996
 
2498
Nico Georgiadis
SUI
1996
 
2472

* World women's rankings

Accentus Rapid Tournament 2017

Player
Nat
Born
rapid rating
David Navara
CZE
1985
2716
Pentala Harikrishna
IND
1986
2706
Alexander Morozevich
RUS
1977
2662
Yannick Pelletier
SUI
1976
2644
Anatoly Karpov
RUS
1951
2611
Hou Yifan
CHN
1994
2611
Rafael Vaganian
ARM
1951
2560*
Vlastimil Hort
DEU
1944
2455

* classic FIDE rating, no rapid rating available

Master Tournament

Date/Time July 24-August 2, 2017; 2 p.m. (Aug. 2: 11 a.m.) Rest day on July 29.
Mode nine round Swiss system.
Time control 90 minutes for the first 40 moves + 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.
Prizes CHF 6'000, 4'500, 3'500, 3'000, 2'500, 2'000, 1'500, 1'200, 1'000, 800, 700, 600, 2x500, 3x300, 3x200. Best women players: CHF 500, 300. Best senior (1957-), best junior (1997+), best child (2001+): each CHF 500. Best players with Elo <2200 and <2100: CHF 500, 400, 300, 200, 100. Best Swiss players (with CH-passport): CHF 1'000, 600, 300. Total prize fund: CHF 37'000.
Admission Players with FIDE-rating (list May, June or July 2017) or national rating (e.g. Swiss Elo list 2/2017 or 3/2017) ELO 2000 and more. Participants without international rating must show proof of playing strength. Applications must be received no later than May 31, 2017 (they should include all tournaments results from the past two years and be signed by the club president).

Entries will be accepted on July 24, 2017 until 12.00 p.m. latest at the Festival office (reception). The final standings will be created according to point number, Buchholz and progressive score. The worst score in each case will be deleted. Prizes will be shared upon the final ranking (and not the “Hort System”).

For more information about the 50th International Chess Festival Biel, please visit our official redesigned website.

Contacts:

  • Yannick Pelletier, Directeur du tournoi des Grands Maîtres (media@bielchessfestival.ch, +41-78-901 19 17)
  • Peter Bohnenblust, Präsident des Organisationskomitees (+41-76-405 80 87)

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macauley macauley 7/24/2017 10:56
I've corrected the intro paragraph. The "second oldest" claim came from the Biel Press Release, but indeed unless something more specific is meant by "chess event", then this cannot be true. Hastings (December), Tata Steel (formerly Corus, Hoogovens), the Noteboom tournament (February) and likely a handful of others are older.
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 5/22/2017 01:08
Well, you're quite right TMMM, it's not obvious for readers that Tata is the tournament that has been running now for the longest time an Biel as the second (Q what tournament have been running for the longest time? Including tournament that for long time have been closed). It was not me who tried to be ironic with BREAKING NEWS... at least not with you possibly with myself... If this were not obvious to readers, then you might understand that your first question which was Europe's oldest tournament (as previously answered quite well by drcloak, but where I wanted to add some things) could also be misunderstood something I definitely did.
TMMM TMMM 5/22/2017 01:12
@MrTambourineMan I don't understand your angle here. The press release probably refers to the oldest continuously-running "major" tournament series, with Biel running for 50 years in a row. Are you suggesting it is "obvious" that the longest-running tournament is Tata and the second-longest is Biel? I think many readers do not know such statistics, and I wonder if say 10 years ago there weren't any other tournaments running for more than 50 years.
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 5/22/2017 12:21
BREAKING NEWS Expert says Tata Steel in Wijk Aan Zee is the oldest NOW RUNNING tournament in Europe!?
TMMM TMMM 5/21/2017 10:16
If Tata has been running for 80 years, I suppose @ChessBase and the Biel organizers were referring to that as the oldest tournament? It would be nice if a statement like "second oldest" is actually supported with facts/explanations on a site like ChessBase
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 5/21/2017 01:38
What he thinks doesnt change facts. You can call them local neighborhood get-together, if you then feel better, but that was what he asked for. Yet I can see that one need to point out the 1851 tournament but if so one also need to point out matches, theyll are also tournaments an major international such. One such event the match La Bourdonnais - McDonnell with a total of 84 games between june and october 1834 at the Westminster Chess Club in London. If we have some matches before the 1809 Schachgesellschaft Zürich Tournament that was open for public I do not know.
Betsie Betsie 5/21/2017 12:30
How about Tata Steel Tournament, next year is the 80th edition.
drcloak drcloak 5/20/2017 08:02
@Mr TambourineMan

I think he means a major tournament, not some local neighborhood get-together.
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 5/20/2017 07:33
Probably a club tournament in 1809 the year in which the Schachgesellschaft Zürich was founded. Then if the self-proclaimed EU commissioners believe Switzerland is a part of Europe, it's another question, but thankfully, they do not get entry visas to Switzerland and soon they are also expelled from their London bastions!
drcloak drcloak 5/20/2017 03:53
@TMMM

London 1851 was the first international chess tournament.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 5/20/2017 02:09
I thought it was Hastings and Wijk Aan Zee as the 2 eldest
TMMM TMMM 5/19/2017 09:24
So what is the oldest tournament in Europe?
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