Nakamura leads the Biel GM Tournament

7/25/2005 – After seven rounds of the double round robin category 16 GM tournament in Biel US champion Hikaru Nakamura remains in the lead with 4.5/7. The draw rate in this section is 71%, while in the Ladies' tournament, where Gaponenko and Skripchenko lead, it is a fighting 47%. Games and pictures...

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The traditional International Chess Festival is taking place from 17th-29th July 2005 in Biel/Bienne, in the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. The main event features six strong GMs in a double round robin with a category of 16 (average Elo 2637).

After seven rounds the US champion Hikaru Nakamura still leads, with plus two (five draws and two wins), followed by Volokitin and Gelfand, who have six draws and one win each. The draw average in this event is very high, with 71% of the games ending without a result, with 19% white and 10% black wins. The shortest game was a fifteen move win by Pelletier against Magnus Carlsen in round seven, the shortest draws were 20, 24, 25, 25 and 26 moves long.

The cross table for the Grandmaster Tournament after seven rounds is as follows:

At the same time and location the Accentus Ladies Tournament is being held, with a number of strong international female participants. In round seven Almira Skripchenko won a tough, 69-move battle against Ekaterina Korbut to join Inna Gaponenko in the lead. In the ladies section only 47% of the games were drawn so far, with 29% white and 24% black wins. Here are the current standings:

Picture gallery


The idyllic lake-and-river scenery of Biel


The GM section of the International Chess Festival in Biel, with chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen in the foreground.
Live coverage is provided by Playchess (in German "schach.de")


On the stage in Biel – the ladies' section under way


Carlsen vs Nakamura in round one: draw in 25 moves


One of the hot favourites: Hikaru ("Star Wars") Nakamura


Sunil Weeramantry, FM from Sri Lanka, is Hikaru's trainer and step father


Up close: top seed Boris Gelfand, Israel


GM Andrej Volokitin, Ukrainian Champion and one of the strongest young talents in the world. Andrej is studying German language and literature.


Leading after six rounds of the Women's section: Inna Gaponenko


Almira Skripchenko, in second place, aiming for first


Russian talent Ekatrina Korbut


Elena Sedina of Italy, not in good form in Biel


25-year-old Indian WGM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi


Former junior world champion Elisabeth Pähtz, Germany


Mr ChessBase in Switzerland: Lucio Barvas


The Swiss countryside with lake and vineyards around Biel


A typical street in the town of Ligerz


An ancient tractor on display

Photos by André Schulz


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