Biel 04: Four decided games, Carlsen and Onischuk lead

7/27/2007 – Magnus Carlsen was a tad lucky to beat Alexander Motylev with the black pieces – the Russian had pressed all through the game and then blundered. Avrukh taught Bu Xianghzi how every move counts, Onischuk outplayed Loek van Wely and Grischuk did the same to Pelletier. We bring you a report with a candid Europe Echecs video of Judit Polgar talking about Bobby Fischer.

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Round four report

4th round – Friday July 27th
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Judit Polgar
Boris Avrukh
1-0
Bu Xianghzi
Alexander Motylev
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Onischuk
1-0
Loek van Wely
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Yannick Pelletier

Standings after four rounds

The first result of the day saw Onischuk improve his score to plus-two at the expense of van Wely. Just as two rounds ago, the latter used the Slav Defence, but possibly stung by our suggestion that it is a middle-aged player's opening, he went in for the ultra-sharp Botvinnik Semi-Slav, definitely the younger man's choice. This is nowadays a rare guest at top level, and this game showed why. 19 moves of theory saw van Wely play the novelty 19...Kb8 (19...Bg7 had been played in an amateur game from 1995), but within just six more moves, the axe descended on his king's head. Perhaps middle-age has something to be said for it after all...

Onischuk,Al (2650) - Van Wely,L (2680) [D44]
GM Biel SUI (4), 27.07.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6 Bb7 12.g3 c5 13.d5 Nxf6 14.Bg2 Bh6 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.0–0 0–0–0 17.Nxb5 a6 18.Nc3 exd5 19.Re1 Kb8 20.Na4 Bf8 21.Rc1 Bc6 22.b3 Bh6 23.Rc2 Qd4 24.Qb1 Ka7

25.bxc4! Bxa4 26.Rb2 Rd6 27.Bxd5 Rxd5 28.Rb7+ Ka8 29.Qb6 1–0.


In his first two white games, Grischuk has opened 1.d4, presumably to avoid revealing his Mexico preparations. However, the results have not been all that encouraging, and today he reverted to his customary 1.e4. His reward came rapidly, as Pelletier's novelty 15..Ne8 did not look impressive. A few moves later, White won a pawn with a simple temporary queen sacrifice, and after 54 moves the game was over, with the full point going to Grischuk.

Grischuk,A (2726) - Pelletier,Y (2591) [B83]
GM Biel SUI (4), 27.07.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Be3 0–0 9.f4 d6 10.Kh1 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 e5 12.Be3 exf4 13.Bxf4 Be6 14.Qd3 Rfd8 15.Rad1 Ne8 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.Qxd5 Rac8 18.c3 Nf6 19.Qb3 Nxe4 20.Bg4 Ra8

21.Qxf7+! Kxf7 22.Bxd6+ Bf6 23.Bxc7 Rxd1 24.Bh5+ g6 25.Bxd1 Nd2 26.Re1 b5 27.Bf4 Nc4 28.Bb3 Re8 29.Rxe8 Kxe8 30.Bc1 Kd7 31.Kg1 Kc6 32.Kf2 Kc5 33.Bc2 a5 34.a4 b4 35.b3 Na3 36.Be3+ Kd6 37.Bd3 bxc3 38.Bc1 Bd4+ 39.Kf3 Bc5 40.Ke4 Ke6 41.g4 h5 42.g5 Bb4 43.Kd4 Kf7 44.Kd5 Be7 45.Kc6 Bb4 46.Kb6 Kg7 47.Bxa3 Bxa3 48.Kxa5 Bd6 49.h3 Be7 50.h4 Bd6 51.Kb5 Bg3 52.a5 Bxh4 53.a6 Bf2 54.Kc4 1-0.


Radjabov's 4.g3 Nimzo Indian soon resulted in a typical Catalan endgame, where the bishop pair gave White a small advantage and plenty of scope to torture his opponent for the foreseeable future.


Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan vs Judit Polgar of Hungary

Radjabov,T (2746) - Polgar,Ju (2707) [E20]
GM Biel SUI (4), 27.07.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 c5 5.Nf3 d5 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.0–0 dxc4 8.dxc5 Qxd1 9.Rxd1 Bxc5 10.Nd2 Na5 11.Nde4 Nxe4 12.Nxe4 Be7 13.Bd2 Nc6 14.Bc3 f6 15.Nd2 e5 16.Nxc4 Be6 17.Nd6+ Bxd6 18.Rxd6 Ke7 19.Rad1 Rhd8 20.Rxd8 Rxd8 21.Rxd8 Kxd8

22.a3 Kc7 23.f4 b6 24.Kf2 Kd6 25.Be4 g6 26.Bd3 Bd5 27.Ke3 Bb3 28.h4 Ne7 29.Kf3 Ke6 30.e4 exf4 31.gxf4 f5 32.e5 Nd5 33.Bd2 Bd1+ 34.Kg3 h5 35.Bb5 Ke7 36.Bb4+ Kf7 37.Bc4 Ke6 38.Bd6 Ba4 39.Ba6 Kd7 40.Bb8 Bc6 41.Bc4 Ne7 42.b3 Bd5 43.Bb5+ Nc6 44.b4 ½-½.


Motylev-Carlsen was a tragedy for the Russian. Carlsen forsook the Open Spanish, with which he had held Polgar comfortably two rounds ago, in favour of the Breyer. Motylev's 17.Ba3 led to a sharp continuation, which looked a little dangerous for Black. However, he emerged satisfactorily, and a draw looked likely, until a series of sudden swings between moves 32-35.

Motylev,A (2648) - Carlsen,M (2710) [C95]
GM Biel SUI (4), 27.07.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.b3 c6 16.a4 Bg7 17.Ba3 d5 18.dxe5 Nxe5 19.Nxe5 Rxe5 20.f4 Re8 21.e5 Nd7 22.Bd6

22...c5 23.axb5 axb5 24.Rxa8 Bxa8 25.b4 cxb4 26.Bxb4 f6 27.Bb3 fxe5 28.Bxd5+ Bxd5 29.Qxd5+ Kh8 30.f5 Qb6+ 31.Kh2 Nf6 32.Qf7

32...e4? This could have been met by 33.Rxe4! 33.fxg6!? Qb8 34.gxh7?! 34.Rf1 would still leave White well on top. 34...Qe5 35.Bd6?? A hallucination. 35...Qxd6 Motylev presumably missed that after 36.Qxg7+ Kxg7, the knight is pinned and so 37.Nf5+ is illegal. 0–1.


Magnus Carlsen, now in the lead in Biel


Avrukh-Bu was essentially a game of one move. Faced with the threat of mate in one at move 15, the Chinese star opted to sacrifice a pawn, rather than endure longer-term kingside pressure after 15...g6. However, he never obtained any real compensation for his pawn, and the rest was in effect a slightly complicated mopping-up exercise.

Avrukh,B (2645) - Bu Xiangzhi (2685) [D10]
GM Biel SUI (4), 27.07.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e4 b5 5.a4 b4 6.Na2 Nf6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Bxc4 e6 9.Nf3 Be7 10.Bd2 a5 11.Nc1 Nd7 12.Nb3 Bb7 13.Qe2 0–0 14.Bd3 c5 15.Qe4

15...f5 16.exf6 N7xf6 17.Qxe6+ Kh8 18.Ne5 Bc8 19.Qc6 Rb8 20.0–0 Bb7 21.Qe6 Bc8 22.Nf7+ Rxf7 23.Qxf7 Rb7 24.Bg5 Bd6 25.Qh5 c4 26.Bxc4 Qc7 27.Qe2 Bxh2+ 28.Kh1 Nf4 29.Qe5 Qxc4 30.Rac1 Qg8 31.Bxf4 Ng4 32.Qe4 Bxf4 33.Qxf4 Rf7 34.Qxf7 1–0.

Player portrait: Boris Avrukh

Israel, 29 years, Elo: 2645

Date and place of birth: 10.2.1978 in Karaganda (Kazakhstan)
Lives in: Beer-Sheva
National ranking: 4
World ranking: 74
Best world ranking: 50 (2680 Elo, July 2005)
In Biel GMT: 1999 (2nd)

Everybody in Biel would be very happy with an achievement by Boris Avrukh. Since 1995, he has been playing here every year except for one. At a time where players can choose between several open tournaments per week, this is something very rare.

It was a pleasure to invite Avrukh to the anniversary tournament. He will have to fight a much harder competition than in the Master Tournament, which he won twice (in 2000 and 2001) and finished second twice (1995 and 2003). In 1999, he played the closed Grandmaster Tournament and was second as well. No other player in the history of the Biel Chess Festival has been as successful as the Israeli.

In the rest of the world, Avrukh's aggressive chess pays off as well. He received a bronze medal for his performance at the Chess Olympiad in Turin in 2006 and became a World Champion Under 12 in 1990. Avrukh is a fighter who is hard to beat when he has the white pieces, and has a good sense of initiative. He seems to play very well in Biel. Perhaps he will be even more successful this year than before.

From the official web site players' portraits


Video from the Biel Chess Festival


Magnus Carlsen giving a simultaneous exhibition


Press conference: Judit Polgar on Bobby Fischer

Presented by Europe Echecs


Schedule and results

1st round – Monday July 23rd
Alexander Onischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Alexander Motylev
Yannick Pelletier
½-½
Boris Avrukh
Loek van Wely
0-1
Judit Polgar
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Bu Xianghzi
2nd round – Tuesday July 24th
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Bu Xianghzi
Judit Polgar
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Boris Avrukh
½-½
Loek van Wely
Alexander Motylev
½-½
Yannick Pelletier
Alexander Onischuk
1-0
Alexander Grischuk
3rd round – Wednesday July 25th
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Yannick Pelletier
½-½
Alexander Onischuk
Loek van Wely
0-1
Alexander Motylev
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Boris Avrukh
Bu Xianghzi
1-0
Judit Polgar
4th round – Friday July 27th
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Judit Polgar
Boris Avrukh
1-0
Bu Xianghzi
Alexander Motylev
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Onischuk
1-0
Loek van Wely
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Yannick Pelletier
5th round – Saturday July 28th
Yannick Pelletier
-
Teimour Radjabov
Loek van Wely
-
Alexander Grischuk
Magnus Carlsen
-
Alexander Onischuk
Bu Xianghzi
-
Alexander Motylev
Judit Polgar
-
Boris Avrukh
GamesReport
6th round – Sunday July 29th
Teimour Radjabov
-
Boris Avrukh
Alexander Motylev
-
Judit Polgar
Alexander Onischuk
-
Bu Xianghzi
Alexander Grischuk
-
Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier
-
Loek van Wely
GamesReport
7th round – Tuesday July 31th
Loek van Wely
-
Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen
-
Yannick Pelletier
Bu Xianghzi
-
Alexander Grischuk
Judit Polgar
-
Alexander Onischuk
Boris Avrukh
-
Alexander Motylev
GamesReport
8th round – Wednesday August 1st
Teimour Radjabov
-
Alexander Motylev
Alexander Onischuk
-
Boris Avrukh
Alexander Grischuk
-
Judit Polgar
Yannick Pelletier
-
Bu Xianghzi
Loek van Wely
-
Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport
9th round – Thursday August 2nd
Magnus Carlsen
-
Teimour Radjabov
Bu Xianghzi
-
Loek van Wely
Judit Polgar
-
Yannick Pelletier
Boris Avrukh
-
Alexander Grischuk
Alexander Motylev
-
Alexander Onischuk
GamesReport

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