41st Biel Chess Festival under way

7/21/2008 – Two rounds have been played in the idyllic Swiss town of Biel (or Bienne), in this category 18 event, with the players Magnus Carlsen, Evgeny Alekseev, Leinier Dominguez, Etienne Bacrot, Alexander Onischuk and Yannick Pelletier competing. After two rounds Carlsen and Alekseev are in the lead, having beaten Pelletier and Bacrot respectively. First report.

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The 41st Biel International Chess Festival is taking place from July 20th - 31st, 2008. The Grandmaster Tournament is a category 18 event with an average rating of 2686.

Biel is located in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, on the north eastern shore of Lake Biel. It is a thoroughly bilingual town – called Biel in German, Bienne in French. Since 2005 the official name is "Biel/Bienne". About two thirds of the population of 52,000 speak German, one third French.


The players posing in front of the Biel lake: Leinier Dominguez, Etienne Bacrot,
Alexander Onischuk, Yannick Pelletier, Evgeny Alekseev, Magnus Carlsen

Round 1: Sunday, July 22, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Yannick Pelletier
Leinier Dominguez 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk

Alekseev,Evgeny (2708) - Bacrot,E (2691) [D15]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (1), 20.07.2008
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 a6 5.c5 Nbd7 6.Bf4 Nh5 7.Bd2 Nhf6 8.Qc2 Qc7 9.e4 e5 10.exd5 cxd5 11.b4 Be7 12.Be2 0-0 13.0-0 e4 14.Ne1 Nb8 15.Qc1 Be6 16.Nc2 Nc6 17.Rb1 Bd8 18.a4 Ne7 19.Bf4 Qd7 20.b5 Ba5 21.Rb3 Bg4 22.Bxg4 Nxg4 23.Ne3 Nxe3 24.fxe3 Nf5 25.Ne2 axb5 26.axb5 g6 27.Qb2 Bd8 28.Rc1 Be7 29.c6 bxc6 30.bxc6

30...Qe6? 31.c7 Rac8 32.Rb6 Qd7 33.Qb5 Qxb5 34.Rxb5 g5 35.Rxd5 gxf4 36.Rxf5 fxe3 37.Rc6 Ra8 38.Rf1 Rfc8 39.d5 Ra2 40.d6 Bxd6 41.Rxd6 Rxc7 42.Rd8+ Kg7 43.Ng3 1-0.

Magnus Carlsen is easily the top seed in this event – at 2775 he is 67 points above Evgeny Alekseev and Leinier Dominguez Perez, both of whom are rated 2708. He is also the youngest – at 17 he is five years younger than Alekseev, the second youngest in the field. Magnus is in Biel together with several of his chess school classmates and without his father Henrik, who usually accompanies him.

Carlsen,M (2775) - Pelletier,Y (2569) [E15]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (1), 20.07.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.d5 exd5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rd1 Nc6 11.Qf5 Nf6 12.e4 d6 13.e5 Qd7 14.Qxd7+ Nxd7 15.exd6 Bf6 16.Re1+ Kf8 17.Nc3 Nb4 18.Bg5 Nc2

19.Re7 Bxf3 (Why not 19...Bxe7 with an edge for Black?) 20.Bxf3 Bxg5 21.Rxd7 Rd8 22.Rxd8+ Bxd8 23.Rd1 Nd4 24.Bg2 h5 25.a4 a6 26.Bb7 Rh6 27.d7 Rd6 28.Bc8 Nf3+ 29.Kg2 Rxd1 30.Nxd1 Ne1+ 31.Kf1 Nf3 32.h4 Ke7 33.Ne3 g6 34.Bxa6 Kxd7 35.Ke2 Ne5 36.f4 Ng4 37.Bb5+ Ke7 38.Nd5+ Kd6 39.Bc4 Nh6 40.Ne3 Bf6 41.Bd3 Bd8 42.Kf3 Ng4

Pelletier is offering to swap knight a the "drawn" ending with opposite coloured bishops. Carlsen spent quite some time considering his options and then went for it: 43.Nxg4 hxg4+ 44.Kxg4. White is a pawn up, but surely this must be a draw. Sure, If the extra pawn is in the hands of Magnus the Tenacious. The Norwegian GM keeps up the pressure and outplays his Swiss opponent, who faltered just before the second time control. 44...Ke6 45.Bc4+ Ke7 46.Kf3 f5 47.Ke2 Kf8 48.Kd3 Bf6 49.b3 Bb2 50.Bd5 Ba3 51.Kc4 Bb4 52.Kb5 Ba5 53.Bc4 Ke7 54.Kc6 Kf6 55.Bd3 Kf7 56.h5 gxh5 57.Bxf5 Kf6 58.Be4 Kg7 59.Bf3 Kh6 60.Kb5 Kg6 61.Bd1 Kh6 62.Be2 Kg6 63.Bf3 Kh6 64.Bc6

Black is in zugzwang: he cannot move his bishop, which has to defend the b-pawn, nor any of his pawns. White will play Be8 and attack the h-pawn, which cannot be defended (e.g. 64...Kg6 65.Be8+ Kh6 66.Bf7+–). 1-0.

Round 2: Monday, July 21, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier 
½-½
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk

Pelletier,Y (2569) - Dominguez Perez,L (2708) [D85]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (2), 21.07.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Rb1 0-0 9.Be2 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qxa2 12.0-0 Bg4 13.Rxb7 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 Bxd4 15.Bb4 Nc6 16.Bxe7 Rfe8 17.Bg5 Be5 18.Bg4 Nd4 19.f4 Bg7 20.e5 Ne6 21.Bf3 h6

22.Qd7!? 22.Bd5 was an interesting alternative. 22...Nc5 23.Bd5 Nxd7 24.Bxa2 Nc5 25.Bxf7+ Kf8 26.Bxe8 Nxb7 27.Bxg6 hxg5 28.fxg5+ Kg8 29.Be4 Rb8 30.Rb1 Bxe5 31.Rxb7 Rxb7 32.Bxb7

White is two pawns up, but with the opposite colored bishops (and you-know-who not in the driving seat) the position is a draw. 32...Bf4 33.h4 Bg3 34.h5 a5 35.Bc6 Kg7 36.Kf1 Bf4 37.g6 Kh6 38.Ke2 Be5 39.g4 Kg5 40.Kf3 Bg7 41.Ba4 Bf8 42.Bb3 Bg7 43.Bd1 Bf8 44.Ke4 a4 45.Bxa4 Kxg4 ½-½.

Current standings

Videos reports

These reports are provided by Echecs.com, which is doing extensive coverage of the Biel Tournament

Round 1: Sunday, July 22, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Yannick Pelletier
Leinier Dominguez 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk
Games – Report
Round 2: Monday, July 21, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier 
½-½
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk
Games – Report
Round 3: Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Leinier Dominguez 
-
 Evgeny Alekseev
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
Alexander Onischuk 
-
 Yannick Pelletier
Games – Report
Round 4: Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yannick Pelletier 
-
 Evgeny Alekseev
Alexander Onischuk 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Leinier Dominguez 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report
Round 5: Friday, July 25, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
-
 Alexander Onischuk
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Yannick Pelletier
Games – Report
Round 6: Saturday, July 26, 2008
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Evgeny Alekseev
Yannick Pelletier 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Onischuk 
-
 Leinier Dominguez
Games – Report
Round 7: Monday, July 28, 2008

Magnus Carlsen 

-
 Evgeny Alekseev

Leinier Dominguez 

-
 Yannick Pelletier

Alexander Onischuk 

-
 Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report
Round 8: Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
-
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier 
-
 Alexander Onischuk
Games – Report
Round 9: Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Alexander Onischuk 
-
 Evgeny Alekseev
Leinier Dominguez 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report
Round 10: Thursday, July 31, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
-
 Yannick Pelletier
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Alexander Onischuk
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Leinier Dominguez
Games – Report

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 the PGN games.



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