Biel 06: Three at the top

by Alejandro Ramirez
7/25/2015 – The day before the rest day, and it was almost a round with three black victories! Adams defeated Navara after the Czech player allowed some rather obvious sacrifices to shatter his position. Rapport's opening was not good, Wojtaszek enjoyed an extra pawn from the opening and converted it. Finally, MVL seemed to be cruising to victory against Eljanov, but he gave his opponent counterplay.

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The traditional Biel/Bienne Chess Festival is going strong in Switzerland. The festival includes a series of events, but the crown jewel is the Grandmaster Tournament, with an average rating of 2720.

Draw offers are forbidden for the first 40 moves and If two (or more) players share first place, the winner will be determined according to the results of a tiebreak played on July 31st (in the morning). 

Round Six

Round 06 - July 25, 2015
Navara, David 2724
0-1
Adams, Michael 2740
Eljanov, Pavel 2723
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
Rapport, Richard 2671
0-1
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733

Round 6 report by Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Play of the day by Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Navara, David 0-1 Adams, Michael
Navara very strangely allowed Adams to "sacrifice" a piece for three pawns, after which Black's position was simply overwhelming.

David Navara has only one draw so far!

[Event "48th Biel GM 2015"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2015.07.25"] [Round "6"] [White "Navara, D."] [Black "Adams, Mi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2740"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2015.07.20"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 {More and more people are adding this Classical set up against the Queen's Gambit in their Repertoire. Only a decade ago, allowing the exchange Queen's Gambit was basically extinct.} c6 6. e3 h6 (6... Bf5 7. Qf3 Bg6 8. Bxf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6 gxf6 {has shown to be very solid for Black.}) 7. Bh4 Be7 8. Qc2 Nbd7 9. Bd3 Nh5 {most of the people playing this system with Black are now depending on some sort of early Nh5 to try to equalize. Black will castle in the same side that White does.} 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Nge2 Nb6 12. O-O O-O 13. Rae1 Be6 14. Nc1 Rad8 15. Nb3 Rfe8 16. Nc5 { At the end of the day it still seems that White's position is slightly preferable, but Black remains extremely solid and his pieces are all developed. } Bc8 17. b4 Nc4 $1 {This move requires some calculation, despite the apparent simplicity of it.} 18. Qe2 Qg5 19. f4 $6 {Overly ambitious.} (19. Bxc4 dxc4 20. Qxc4 Bh3 $15) 19... Qh4 20. Bxc4 dxc4 21. g3 $2 {Allowing a rather obvious "sacrifice".} (21. Qxc4 Nxf4 $1 {and because of the multiple pins and hanging rooks, White simply can't take this intruding knight. Black stands slightly better due to his pawn structure.}) 21... Nxg3 22. hxg3 Qxg3+ 23. Kh1 (23. Qg2 Rxe3 24. N5e4 Qxg2+ 25. Kxg2 Bh3+ 26. Kh2 Rd3 {gives Black at least three pawns for a knight, which is enough material. Combined with the superior activity and the potential passed pawns in the endgame, Black is almost winning.}) 23... Qh3+ 24. Qh2 (24. Kg1 Rd6 {is rook lift 101.}) 24... Rxe3 25. Nd1 Rxe1 26. Qxh3 Bxh3 27. Rxe1 b6 28. Ne4 Rxd4 {Four pawns. Black has more material and the better position. White's knights lack good squares.} 29. Kh2 Bf5 30. Ndc3 Rd3 31. b5 {Desperation.} cxb5 32. Nxb5 Bd7 33. a4 a6 34. Nc7 Bxa4 35. Nxa6 c3 36. Nb4 Rd4 {White loses a piece, and after that he is down too many pawns.} 37. Na2 Rd2+ 0-1

Adams has two draws, two wins, two losses. 50% for him.

Eljanov, Pavel ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
Eljanov was almost lost when Vachier-Lagrave's pieces started swarming the queenside. He was forced to give up two pieces for a rook, a very bad material balance for Eljanov. MVL was in complete control of the game, but somehow he started playing bad after that. He first allowed too much counterplay from the rooks, and suddenly he found himself pinned in the last rank and with no good way of improving the position. A draw seemed like an odd result considering how advantageous MVL's position was at one point.

Unusual for MVL, he did not finish off a nice advantage

Rapport, Richard 0-1 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
Unfortunately, when interesting players play interesting, off-beat openings, sometimes they are just bad. This time Rapport was down a pawn from the opening and the Polish player nursed it into a victory:

It's tough when you are down a pawn before move ten

[Event "48th Biel GM 2015"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2015.07.25"] [Round "6"] [White "Rapport, R."] [Black "Wojtaszek, R."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2671"] [BlackElo "2733"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2015.07.20"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 (5. Nc3 {is the main line Ragozin.}) 5... dxc4 {This is why most people don't play this line as White.} 6. Qc2 b5 7. a4 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 {To me it is unclear what Raport has for his pawn. Yes, Black's pawn structure on the kingside is crippled, but it controls the important e5 square. Black also has the pair of bishops and a future break on c5 or e5. White's development advantage and central control is not amazing enough to compensate for a pawn. Black should already be better.} 9. g3 Bb7 10. Bg2 Nd7 11. O-O a5 12. b3 cxb3 13. Nxb3 bxa4 14. Rxa4 Ba6 15. Ra2 Bb5 16. Rfa1 O-O 17. Nc1 Rc8 18. Nd3 {White retains some compensation, but he is also still down a pawn. Black finally stabilizes his extra material by achieving the c5 break.} Bxd3 19. Qxd3 c5 20. dxc5 (20. d5 Nb6 21. dxe6 fxe6 $17) 20... Nxc5 21. Qe3 Kg7 {Black is by no means winning, but with his extra pawn, he is clearly in the driver's seat.} 22. h4 Qd6 23. Rc1 Nd7 24. Raa1 Rxc1+ 25. Rxc1 Bc5 26. Qc3 a4 27. Qa1 a3 28. Rd1 Qc7 (28... Qxg3 29. Rxd7 Qxf2+ 30. Kh1 Qxe2 $19 {was possible, but why complicated matters?}) 29. h5 h6 30. Rc1 Qb6 31. e3 Rb8 32. Bf1 Bxe3 $1 {this time the bishop simply cannot be taken.} 33. Rc2 Bc5 34. Rd2 Qb1 {A very straightforward game for Wojtaszek.} 0-1

Wojtaszek wins and now ties for first

Standings

Round Six Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos by: Marie Boyard, Simon Bohnenblust, Christian Ostermeier and Pascal Simon

Commentary on Playchess

Danny King live in Biel

We will be bringing you interviews, photos, reports and videos from Biel, and of course we will have live commentary on our website, www.playchess.com

Day Date Round German English
Saturday July 25 Round 6 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Sunday July 26 Free    
Monday July 27 Round 7 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Tuesday July 28 Round 8 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Wednesday July 29 Round 9 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Thursday July 30 Round 10 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Round 01 - July 20, 2015
Adams, Michael 2740
1-0
Navara, David 2724
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733
½-½
Rapport, Richard 2671
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
½-½
Eljanov, Pavel 2723
Round 02 - July 21, 2015
Rapport, Richard 2671
½-½
Adams, Michael 2740
Eljanov, Pavel 2723
0-1
Navara, David 2724
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
½-½
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733
Round 03 - July 22, 2015
Navara, David 2724
1-0
Rapport, Richard 2671
Adams, Michael 2740
0-1
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733
1-0
Eljanov, Pavel 2723
Round 04 - July 23, 2015
Navara, David 2724
1-0
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733
Rapport, Richard 2671
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
Adams, Michael 2740
0-1
Eljanov, Pavel 2723
Round 05 - July 24, 2015
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733
½-½
Adams, Michael 2740
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
½-½
Navara, David 2724
Eljanov, Pavel 2723
½-½
Rapport, Richard 2671
Round 06 - July 25, 2015
Navara, David 2724
0-1
Adams, Michael 2740
Eljanov, Pavel 2723
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2731
Rapport, Richard 2671
0-1
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2733

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics Biel

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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algorithmy algorithmy 7/27/2015 09:45
Kasimdzhanov is stronger chess player but Dany is the king of commentators!. And both are very nice human beings and true addition to the world of chess. Thanks for your great efforts.
yesenadam yesenadam 7/27/2015 03:17
Thank you GM Kasimdzhanov! What a nice surprise. (Although Danny King's videos are always excellent also!) Lovely clear explanations, I look forward to more. This first game of the day video is superb, flawless. Thanks again.
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