Biel: Three players share first, tiebreaks on Thursday

7/29/2010 – Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Fabiano Caruana all scored seven draws and two wins in the Young Grandmasters section at the Biel Chess Festival. The Vietnamese GM has the best Sonneborn-Berger, so Vachier and Caruana play two two blitz games, and the winner takes on Son in the final of two rapid games. Illustrated rounds 7-9 reports.

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The Biel Chess Festival is taking place from July 17th-30th 2010 at the Congress Center (Zentralstr. 60 CH - 2502 Biel-Bienne). The main group this year concentrated exclusively on young talents. The youngest, Anish Giri, is 16, the oldest, Evgeny Tomashevsky, is 23.

When both the Dortmund and Biel tournaments started, the lineups suggested to fans and players that if a comparison of draw rates were to be made after the event, the results would clearly favor Biel. Why? Because while Dortmund was a Super GM tournament, three of its six players had been known to go on drawing sprees in the past, whereas Biel was chock full of young superstars on the come, dying to show their worth. Or so one would have thought.

Who would have predicted that after seven rounds, the statistics would be a surprisingly drab 75% draws. One felt inclined to ask the organizers to start serving them Wheaties (“Breakfast of the Champions”) to see whether any changes would be forthcoming. Anything was worth a try at this point.

Round 7 – July 26, 2010
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
Caruana, Fabiano
½-½
Giri, Anish
So, Wesley
½-½
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son
Rodshtein, Maxim
½-½
Howell, David W L
Negi, Parimarjan
½-½
Andreikin, Dmitry

The seventh round was hoped to break this cycle as it came after a rest day, but... five draws. This contributed to the reduced number of reports. One suddenly has the deepest sympathy for chess reporters working back in the 80s who had to somehow try to sound excited after reporting an endless sequence of draws in the infamous Karpov-Kasparov match in 1984.


David Howell vs Maxim Rodshtein in round seven


Parimarjan Negi vs Dmitry Andreikin


Maxim Rodshtein watches Nguyen Ngoc in his game agaist Wesley So

Round 8 – July 27, 2010
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
1-0
Rodshtein, Maxim
Andreikin, Dmitry
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano
Giri, Anish
1-0
So, Wesley
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
0-1
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son
Howell, David W L
1-0
Negi, Parimarjan

As such, round eight came as a surprise for more than one reason. The first was the glaring four wins to one draw. Caruana had been holding on to his +2 score since round five, and this had been sufficient to keep him in sole lead. Wesley So, who had started strongly with 3.0/4, was now part of the five-player pack on +1, and fell to Anish Giri after committing a dreadful blunder in a drawn endgame. 2009 European Champion, Tomashevsky lost to Vietnamese Ngoc Truong Son, who was perhaps inspired by his compatriot’s great success in Dortmund, where Le Quang came in clear second. Last year’s winner Vachier-Lagrave also won after Israeli Rodshtein lost the thread of his game. Finally, the two tail-enders of the tournament met, Howell and Negi, and it was the Brit who prevailed after the latter self-destructed in a promising position.

Round 9 – July 28, 2010
Caruana, Fabiano
½-½
Howell, David W L
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son
1-0
Giri, Anish
So, Wesley
½-½
Andreikin, Dmitry
Rodshtein, Maxim
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
Negi, Parimarjan
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime

The last round had both Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave in first, both playing Howell and Negi respectively, and both drawing their games uneventfully. This ensured both a tiebreak to be played tomorrow, provided for by the rules in the event of a draw at the top. In third and fourth, also with their chances to join the leaders, were Ngoc Truong Son playing Giri, and Andreikin, with black, facing So. Giri was not in his best day, playing a number of inaccuracies as the game progressed, while the Vietnamese was clearly feeling inspired as he mercilessly exploited each and every one of them in such a way that had both Fritz and Rybka cheering (if that is possible). The game between So and Andreikin was a good, tough game, with the Russian coming within an inch of victory, but it wasn’t to be and the game finally ended in a draw.


In top place on Sonneborn-Berger: Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son


Equal first with 5.5/9: Maxime Vachier Lagrave


Like the two others Fabiano Caruana scored seven draws and two wins

With Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave, and Son, all tied for first, a tiebreak will be played tomorrow on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. local time. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (the best player according to Sonneborn-Berger points) is qualified for the final. Vachier-Lagrave and Caruana will decide the semi-final with two blitz games (5 mins. + 2 sec. increment per move), followed by an Armageddon game if they tie at 1-1. The winner will then play Son in the final to be decided by two rapid games (10 mins. + 10 sec. increment per move). If they tie at 1-1, then a further two games at 5'+2" will be played, and finally, if required, one Armageddon game with 5' for White (must win) and 4' for Black.

Statistics

 
Biel
 
Dortmund
Draws
69%
 
53%
White wins
20%
 
37%
Black wins
11%
10%
Elo-Ø / Cat.
2658 / 17
 
2730 / 20

Biel

Dortmund

Free day


An outing for the players on Lake Biel ("Bieler See")


Former chess prodigies: GMs Anish Giri, 16, and Parimarjan Negi, 17


Mr ultra cool: GM Parimarjan Negi, India's biggest hope


Anish Giri, Russian/Nepalese grandmaster living in Holland


British GM David Howell, 19, with organiser Olivier Breisacher


Evgeny Tomashevsky with his girlfriend


A soccer game for the players on the free day

Photos by Organizers and Pascal Simon


Video impressions of Biel on YouTube: drawing of colours


Interviews by Olivier Breisacher with some of the players

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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