Biel 05: Carlsen in the lead – can anyone stop this lad?

7/29/2007 – Magnus Carlsen beats Alexander Onischuk, his main rival, with a typical piece of tactical wizadry, while Bu beat Motylev in a fairly obscure game. The other encounters ended piecefully. 16-year-old Magnus has now taken the outright lead, a full point ahead of the field. His score is 4.0/5, his performance so far a scary 2907. Report with round five photos and commentary.

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Round five report

5th round – Saturday July 28th
Yannick Pelletier
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Loek van Wely
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Alexander Onischuk
Bu Xianghzi
1-0
Alexander Motylev
Judit Polgar
½-½
Boris Avrukh

Standings after five rounds


The playing hall in Biel, Switzerland

The centrepiece of the day was the clash between the two leaders. Carlsen snatched a pawn early on, but with his knight in some trouble on b7, and Black's pieces extremely active, it looked as though White had nothing. However, just when everyone thought the draw was inevitable, Carlsen produced the devilish trick, 29.b4!, and within two more moves, it was clear that Black was losing a piece to the lethal pin on the b-file.


Magnus Carlsen vs Alexander Onischuk at the start of round five

Carlsen,M (2710) - Onischuk,Al (2650) [D43]
GM Biel SUI (5), 28.07.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Bg5 h6 5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.Nc3 c6 7.Qb3 dxc4 8.Qxc4 Nd7 9.e3 g6 10.Be2 Bg7 11.0–0 0–0 12.Rfd1 e5 13.Ne4 Qe7 14.d5 cxd5 15.Qxd5 Nb6 16.Qc5 Qxc5 17.Nxc5 Bg4 18.h3 Rac8 19.Nxb7 Be6 20.b3 Rc2 21.Bf1 Nd5 22.Bc4 Nc3 23.Rd2 Rxd2 24.Nxd2 e4 25.Kf1 Rb8 26.Nc5 Bxc4+ 27.Nxc4 Rb5 28.Na6 Bf8

29.b4!! Bxb4? Losing a piece, but other moves leave no compensation for the pawn. 30.a4 Rb7 31.Rc1! Nd5 32.Rb1 f5 33.a5 Kg7 34.Ne5 f4 35.exf4 e3 36.fxe3 Nxe3+ 37.Kg1 Nd5 38.Kh1 Rb5 39.Nc6 1–0.


A black day for Alex Onischuk, who lost his game and the lead


Leading by a full point with a 2907 performance: 16-year-old Magnus Carlsen

Player portrait: Magnus Carlsen

Norway, 16 years, Elo: 2710

Date and place of birth: 30.11.1990 in Lommedalen
Lives in: Lommedalen, Norway
National ranking: 1
World ranking: 17
World junior ranking: 2
Best world ranking: 17 (2710 Elo, July 2007)
In Biel GMT: 2005 (6th), 2006 (2nd)

At the age of eight he barely knew the rules of chess; five years later he was a Grandmaster. The Washington Post called him the "Mozart of chess". Magnus Carlsen, however, seems like a normal teenager who likes to make self-critical remarks in interviews. His former secondant, Norwegian GM Simen Agdestein, had been chosen for two reasons. First of all because he was the strongest player in the country when Magnus' surprising career started, but also because he used to play for Norwegian national soccer team and Magnus himself is a devoted fan of soccer.

As opposed to most prodigies from former Soviet republics who benefit from public support, chess is not popular in Norway. Therefore, Carlsen’s achievement to reach 2700 at the age of 16 – something unique in the chess world – speaks for itself. He was already a Grandmaster at 13, a record only beaten by the Ukrainian Karjakin, who was six months younger.

Today at 16 Carlsen has slowly gotten rid of the nickname "Wonderboy.” After his second place in Biel in 2006 he belongs to the favorites this year. He is expected to be very hungry after his unlucky defeat in the candidates’ matches for the world championships. His determination to fight his games makes Carlsen a popular player around the world.

His father, who accompanies him around the world, has an interesting blog.

From the official web site players' portraits



Bu-Motylev was a very obscure game. The forcing sequence between moves 11-20 saw White emerge with an extra pawn, but the position became very messy as Black's pieces penetrated the enemy position. An attack of "wrong rook syndrome" at move 30 saw Black miss his last chance of salvation, however.


Russian GM Alexander Motylev faces top Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi

Bu Xiangzhi (2685) - Motylev,A (2648) [D23]
GM Biel SUI (5), 28.07.2007
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Qc2 dxc4 5.Qxc4 Bf5 6.g3 e6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Nc3 Nbd7 10.Re1 Bg6 11.e4

11...b5 12.Qxc6 b4 13.e5 Rc8 14.Qa6 bxc3 15.exf6 Bxf6 16.bxc3 Rxc3 17.Qxa7 Nb8 18.Ne5 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Nc6 20.Qa4 Qc7 21.Be3 Rc8 22.Qb5 Rb8 23.Qa6 Bd3 24.Qa4 Bc2 25.Qh4 Nb4 26.Qd4 Nd3 27.Re2 Bb1 28.h3 h5 29.a4 Rcb3 30.a5

30...R3b4? 30...R8b4! 31 Qd6 Qc3 is unclear. 31.Qd6 Qc3 32.Ra4 Qxe5 33.Qxe5 Nxe5 34.Rxb4 Rxb4 35.a6 Be4 36.Bxe4 Rxe4 37.a7 Ra4 38.Rc2 Nf3+ 39.Kf1 1–0.


At 21 China's top ranking GM, and number 25 in the world rankings: Bu Xiangzhi


Polgar's 4.d3, avoiding the Berlin Wall, never brought any advantage in a typical quiet Spanish. Indeed, by move 25, it was even Black who had a small initiative, although a draw always looked far the most likely result.


Judit Polgar, by far the strongest female player in history

Polgar,Ju (2707) - Avrukh,B (2645) [C65]
GM Biel SUI (5), 28.07.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0–0 d6 6.c3 0–0 7.Nbd2 Bb6 8.Nc4 Ne7 9.Ba4 Ng6 10.Bc2 Re8 11.h3 c6 12.Nxb6 axb6 13.Re1 h6 14.d4 b5 15.a4 bxa4 16.Rxa4 Rxa4 17.Bxa4

17...exd4 18.Qxd4 c5 19.Qd3 Bd7 20.Bb3 Qb6 21.Bc2 Qc7 22.Re3 Bc6 23.Qe2 Ra8 24.c4 Ra1 25.Qd1 Qe7 26.Nd2 Nf4 27.Re1 Ne6 28.Nb3 Ra8 29.Bd2 Nd7 30.Bc3 Ne5 31.Nd2 Nd4 32.Bxd4 cxd4 33.Nf3 Nxf3+ 34.Qxf3 Qe5 35.Rd1 ½–½.


Israeli grandmaster Boris Avruhk


Grischuk's simplifying 13...Ne4 forced an endgame where White retained some pressure. Van Wely looked to be making progress, but the advantage slipped away around moves 30-35, without it being entirely clear how else he should have played.


With 1.0/5 at the bottom of the table: top Dutch GM Loek van Wely

Van Wely,L (2680) - Grischuk,A (2726) [E32]
GM Biel SUI (5), 28.07.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0–0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Bb7 8.f3 h6 9.Bh4 d5 10.cxd5 exd5 11.e3 Re8 12.Bb5 c6 13.Ba4

13...Ne4 14.Bxd8 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Rxd8 16.Ne2 Ba6 17.Nf4 Bc4 18.g4 b5 19.Bc2 Nd7 20.h4 g6 21.Kf2 Kg7 22.e4 dxe4 23.fxe4 c5 24.Ke3 Rac8 25.g5 a5 26.Rhg1 h5 27.Rgd1 cxd4+ 28.cxd4 Nb6 29.Rdc1 b4 30.axb4 axb4

31.Rab1 Ba2 32.Rxb4 Nc4+ 33.Ke2 Rxd4 34.Bd3 Ne5 35.Rxc8 Rxb4 36.Ke3 Bc4 37.Bc2 Bb3 38.Bd3 Bc4 ½–½.


Super-GM and world championship candidate Alexander Grischuk


Finally, Pelletier-Radjabov was a short draw, with few features of interest.


Yannick Pelletier, top Swiss-born grandmaster

Pelletier,Y (2591) - Radjabov,T (2746) [E90]
GM Biel SUI (5), 28.07.2007
1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.e4 Nf6 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Na6 10.0-0 Nd7 11.Qd1 e6 12.Re1 Re8 13.Be3 Qb6 14.Rb1 Nc7 15.Qc2 a5 16.Bf1 Bd4 17.Bf4 Qa6 18.b3 Re7 19.Qd2 Qb6 20.Na4 Qa6 21.Nc3 Qb6 22.Na4 ½-½.


Teimour Radjabov, at 2746 and number nine in the world top seed in Biel

Commentary by Steve Giddins, photos by Ben Bartels


Video from the Biel Chess Festival


Interview with Judith Polgar on the relative strengths of men and women in chess


Croatian GM Miso Cebalo speaks about the Fischer-Spassky match in 1992 in Yugoslavia. The interview is conducted entirely in French.

Presented by Europe Echecs


Schedule and results

1st round – Monday July 23rd
Alexander Onischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Alexander Motylev
Yannick Pelletier
½-½
Boris Avrukh
Loek van Wely
0-1
Judit Polgar
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Bu Xianghzi
2nd round – Tuesday July 24th
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Bu Xianghzi
Judit Polgar
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Boris Avrukh
½-½
Loek van Wely
Alexander Motylev
½-½
Yannick Pelletier
Alexander Onischuk
1-0
Alexander Grischuk
3rd round – Wednesday July 25th
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Yannick Pelletier
½-½
Alexander Onischuk
Loek van Wely
0-1
Alexander Motylev
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Boris Avrukh
Bu Xianghzi
1-0
Judit Polgar
4th round – Friday July 27th
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Judit Polgar
Boris Avrukh
1-0
Bu Xianghzi
Alexander Motylev
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Onischuk
1-0
Loek van Wely
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Yannick Pelletier
5th round – Saturday July 28th
Yannick Pelletier
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Loek van Wely
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Alexander Onischuk
Bu Xianghzi
1-0
Alexander Motylev
Judit Polgar
½-½
Boris Avrukh
6th round – Sunday July 29th
Teimour Radjabov
-
Boris Avrukh
Alexander Motylev
-
Judit Polgar
Alexander Onischuk
-
Bu Xianghzi
Alexander Grischuk
-
Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier
-
Loek van Wely
GamesReport
7th round – Tuesday July 31th
Loek van Wely
-
Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen
-
Yannick Pelletier
Bu Xianghzi
-
Alexander Grischuk
Judit Polgar
-
Alexander Onischuk
Boris Avrukh
-
Alexander Motylev
GamesReport
8th round – Wednesday August 1st
Teimour Radjabov
-
Alexander Motylev
Alexander Onischuk
-
Boris Avrukh
Alexander Grischuk
-
Judit Polgar
Yannick Pelletier
-
Bu Xianghzi
Loek van Wely
-
Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport
9th round – Thursday August 2nd
Magnus Carlsen
-
Teimour Radjabov
Bu Xianghzi
-
Loek van Wely
Judit Polgar
-
Yannick Pelletier
Boris Avrukh
-
Alexander Grischuk
Alexander Motylev
-
Alexander Onischuk
GamesReport

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