Biel 03: Three wins, Three leaders

by Alejandro Ramirez
7/22/2015 – Three decisive results today in Biel, just to keep us busy! Wojtaszek positionally squeezed Eljanov and won a long endgame. Meanwhile MVL's calculation prevailed over Adams' and he won a pawn almost out of the opening. The Englishman sought unsound complications and lost. Rapport had Navara against the ropes from a weird Chigorin sacrifice, but blundered near the end.

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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 Three

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 3 report by Daniel King

Play of the day by Daniel King

More action from Switzerland!

Navara, David 1-0 Rapport, Richard
A heartbreaking loss for Rapport, who was close to victory in the endgame:

Excellent play today from Rapport, but he spoiled it at the end

[Event "48th Biel GM 2015"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2015.07.22"] [Round "3"] [White "Navara, D."] [Black "Rapport, R."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D07"] [WhiteElo "2724"] [BlackElo "2671"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2015.07.20"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nc6 {another Chigorin, why not?} 3. Nc3 Nf6 (3... dxc4 {is the main line, but to be fair it is rather dubious.}) 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 e5 { surprisingly, this is the only move that makes sense. If Black plays passively White will simply establish a strong pawn center and roll over his opponent.} 6. dxe5 Be6 (6... Bb4 7. Bd2 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Ba5 {might be close to enough for the pawn, but the position needs more practical tests.}) 7. Bg5 Nxc3 8. Qxd8+ Nxd8 9. bxc3 {Black's down a pawn for now, but White's structure is ghastly and he still has a ways to go before finishing development. Black has reasonable chances of equalizing.} h6 10. Bh4 Nc6 11. e3 Bd5 12. Bb5 g5 13. Bg3 O-O-O 14. O-O a6 15. Bxc6 bxc6 $5 {What a decision! I think 90% of grandmasters would simply take with the bishop and think later. I have a hard time understanding the advantages of taking with the pawn, as there is no immediate need to keep the bishop on d5.} (15... Bxc6 16. Nd4 Bd5 17. Rfd1 Ba3 $44) 16. h4 Rg8 17. hxg5 hxg5 18. Nd4 c5 19. Nb3 {Black's pair of bishops still compensate for the pawn, but White is for preference.} Rg6 20. Rfd1 Be7 21. Rd2 Rb6 22. Nxc5 $1 {A nice tactic. Black cannot take on c5.} (22. Rad1 Bxb3 23. Rxd8+ Bxd8 24. axb3 Rxb3 {already favors Black.}) 22... Rh6 $1 {And an appropriate counter! White's knight on c5 is hanging. Also dangerous is Rdh8, threatening mate!} (22... Bxc5 23. Rad1 {loses the bishop on d5 and Black is simply down material.} c6 $6 24. c4 $18) 23. Rad1 {forced but sufficient.} Rdh8 24. f3 Bxa2 $1 25. Kf2 Bc4 {Black keeps his pair of bishops, and the compensation!} 26. Ne4 Rh1 27. f4 $2 {over ambitious.} (27. Rd4 Rxd1 28. Rxd1 Rd8 29. Ra1 $11) 27... gxf4 28. exf4 a5 {In endgames, the quantity of pawns is not as important as the quality of pawns. This guy is rolling, and rolling quickly.} 29. f5 a4 (29... Bb3 $1 {Would have given White some serious difficulties.}) 30. e6 fxe6 31. f6 {following a rule I wrote up a couple of sentences ago.} Rxd1 32. Rxd1 Bf8 33. Bf4 Bd5 34. Nd2 (34. Ke3 $1 $11) 34... Rg8 35. g3 Bc5+ 36. Be3 Bd6 {Black is clearly in the lead. White's connected passed pawns on the kingside are not connected yet, and they have problems making progress. Meanwhile the bishops are tearing the board apart.} 37. c4 Bc6 38. Ke2 a3 $2 (38... Rxg3 $1 {Sometimes you just have to be greedy.} 39. f7 Bf8 $1 $17 (39... Rg7 $15 40. Ne4 $1 Bxe4 41. Rxd6 Rxf7 42. Rxe6)) 39. f7 Rxg3 $2 { This is already playing with fire, probably missing the continuation in the game.} 40. Ne4 $1 Rg2+ $2 (40... Bxe4 41. Rxd6 Rf3 42. Rxe6 Rxf7 43. Rxe4 a2 44. Bd4 Rh7 $1 {Holds, barely. White cannot prevent Black from winning the bishop!} 45. Kd2 (45. Kf2 Rh2+ 46. Kf3 Rh1 $11) 45... Rd7 $1) 41. Kf1 Bf8 ( 41... Bxe4 42. Rxd6 {is now losing.}) 42. Kxg2 Bxe4+ 43. Kg3 {Black's down the exchange, but it is not over yet.} e5 $1 44. Bg5 a2 45. Bf6 Bd3 $2 (45... c5 $1 {Black had to play this move, giving c7 for the king. The threat is Bg6.}) ( 45... Bg6 46. Rd8+ Kb7 47. Bxe5 {doesn't work yet.}) 46. Bxe5 {White now controls a1...} Bxc4 47. Bf6 {and there is no stopping Rd8+.} a1=Q 48. Rd8+ (48. Rd8+ Kb7 49. Bxa1 {and it is all over.}) 1-0

Adams, Michaek 0-1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
Excellent calculation from MVL netted him a pawn. After that, Adams went into suicide mode and lost easily:

Adams is now clear fourth (!?) half a point behind the three leaders

[Event "48th Biel GM 2015"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2015.07.22"] [Round "3"] [White "Adams, Mi"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, M."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2740"] [BlackElo "2731"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2015.07.20"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. c3 Ngf6 5. Qe2 a6 6. Ba4 e5 7. O-O Be7 8. d4 b5 9. Bc2 O-O 10. Rd1 Qc7 11. a4 {The position more resembles a Spanish than any Sicilian, though the move order was of Bb5+ Sicilian. The theme here is quite Spanish: White has a nice center that is being challenged by Black's pawns on c5 and e5. White has the choice of attacking anywhere on the board, and this time he chooses to strike at the queenside with a4.} Rb8 12. Na3 c4 { The novelty of the game, though rather logical. Black expands on the queenside and gains some space. On the other hand, once White has locked up the queenside he can start figuring out how to put pressure on the other side of the board.} 13. Bd2 (13. Nh4 $5 g6 14. axb5 axb5 15. Bg5 {is interesting.}) 13... Re8 14. axb5 axb5 15. h3 d5 $5 {Opening up the center at an opportune moment. This is Black's main resource if White 'does nothing'.} 16. dxe5 Nxe5 17. Nxe5 $2 {This is based on a miscalculation: MVL had a better grasp of the tactics of this position than Adams!} (17. exd5 Ng6 $11 {Black will get back his d-pawn sooner or later.} (17... Neg4 $5 {is possible because of the discovery from the rook on e8.} 18. hxg4 Bxa3 19. Be3 $13)) 17... Qxe5 18. f4 Bc5+ (18... Qc7 19. e5 {is not bad for Black, but he has much better.}) 19. Be3 Qh5 $1 {Adams must have underestimated or completely missed this move.} 20. Rd2 (20. Qxh5 Bxe3+ 21. Kh2 Nxh5 {leaves Black up a piece.}) (20. g4 {and Black has several wins, the clearest seems to be:} Bxe3+ 21. Qxe3 Bxg4 22. hxg4 Qxg4+ 23. Kh2 Nxe4 {White's king is about to get mated, and he isn't even up material.}) 20... dxe4 {Simple. Black is up a pawn.} 21. Re1 Qxe2 22. Rdxe2 Bxe3+ 23. Rxe3 Rb6 24. Kf2 {Black is not winning yet, but the position is rather ugly for White. He is down a pawn for no compensation, all he can do is try to pressure e4 in hopes that Black cannot make progress.} Bf5 25. Rd1 h5 26. Kg3 g6 27. Rd4 Kg7 28. Kh4 {White's king march is aimed at playing g4 at some point. It is more suicidal than brave.} Be6 29. Re2 (29. Bxe4 Bf5) 29... Rbb8 30. Bd1 (30. Bxe4 Bd5 31. Bf3 Rxe2 32. Bxe2 Bxg2 $17) 30... Bf5 31. Bc2 Rec8 32. Re1 Rc5 33. Bd1 $2 Nd5 34. g3 {White has successfully woven a mating net around his own king. MVL scoops up the victory:} Rh8 35. Nc2 Ne7 {Oh oh, suddenly g5 is almost mate, followed by Ng6.} 36. Rd6 Be6 {Nf5 and mate is the threat. Also, g5 and Ng6 isn't too bad.} 0-1

Leading, with Navara and Wojtaszek, is MVL with 2.0/3

Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 1-0 Eljanov, Pavel
A typical Queen's Indian pawn sacrifice gave Wojtaszek some pressure from the beginning. He turned that into a pawn, then two, and after that even the opposite colored bishops could not save Eljanov. A nice positional squeeze from the Polish player.

Wojtaszek put the squeeze on today

We will bring you a recap of the Master section tomorrow.

Standings

Round Three Games

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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
Thursday July 23 Round 4 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Daniel King
Friday July 24 Round 5 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Daniel King
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

 

Links

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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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