Biel 2009: Caruana beats Morozevich in round four

by ChessBase
7/25/2009 – In 2006 a 15-year-old lad scored a double victory over Alexander Morozevich in the Biel Tournament – which in spite of this the Russian won. That was Magnus Carlsen. This year another chess prodigy, Fabiano Caruana, has defeated Morozevich in the first half of the double round robin. At halftime Ivanchuk and Morozevich lead, with 3.0/5 points. Report after round five.

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The 42nd Biel International Chess Festival is taking place from July 18th to 31st 2009. There are ten different tournaments (open, rapid, blitz, youth, Chess 960). The main event is a Category 19 double round robin tournament with six players averaging 2716 Elo points and 28.3 years of age.

Participants: Vassily Ivanchuk, Evgeny Alekseev, Boris Gelfand, Fabiano
Caruana, Alexander Morozevich, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

The city of Biel in the north-western part of Switzerland

Round four

18-year-old French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (above right) played 4.d3 in a Ruy Lopez against Russian Evgeny Alekseev, probably to avoid the Berlin Defence, but he was not able to achieve an attacking position and the game was drawn in nineteen moves.

The two oldest players in the tournament, Vassily Ivanchuk, 40, and Boris Gelfand, 41, saw the Ukrainian gaining a small advantage in an English game. But Israeli GM Gelfand was never in serious trouble and the game ended after thirty moves in a draw.

Fabiano Caruana vs Alexander Morozevich in round four

Caruana,F (2670) - Morozevich,A (2751) [D87]
GM Biel SUI (4), 23.07.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 0-0 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Be3 Qc7 11.Rc1 Rd8 12.Bf4 Be5 13.Bg3 Bxg3 14.fxg3 Rf8 15.h3 Na5 16.Bd3 e5 17.Qd2 Qe7 18.g4 Bd7 19.d5 c4 20.Bc2 f6 21.Ng3 b6 22.Bd1 Nb7 23.Be2 Nd6 24.Rf2 Rac8 25.Rcf1 Kg7 26.Qe3 h6 27.Rb1 Rc5 28.Bd1 Ra5 29.Qd2 Be8 30.Be2 Qc7 31.Rbf1 Rf7 32.h4 Qe7 33.Qc2 b5 34.Qb1 Qd8 35.Bd1 Qb6 36.Kh2 Qc5 37.Qc1 Ra6 38.Qd2 Rb6 39.Bc2 Rbb7 40.Qc1 a5 41.a3 Rb8 42.Bd1 Bd7 43.Be2 Rh8 44.Qa1

The game so far has been characterised by probing manoeuvres. Now the Russian GM decides to play for a win with a pawn sacrifice, but his young opponent defends well and the more experienced player succumbs to inaccuracies. 44...h5!? 45.gxh5 f5 46.exf5 gxf5 47.Qb1 Qe3? 48.Bg4 Qd3? Now Black is practically lost. 49.Qe1 Re8 50.Rf3 Qxd5 51.Bxf5 e4 52.Bxe4 Qe5 53.h6+ Kf8 54.Rxf7+ Nxf7 55.Qf2 Re7 56.Bg6 Be8 57.Qf6 Qxf6 58.Rxf6 Kg8 59.Nf5 1-0. Nicely played in the finishing phase by Fabiano Caruana. One is reminded of 15-year-old Magnus Carlsen's double victory over Morozevich in the 2006 Biel tournament (which in spite of this the Russian won). Will "Fabulous Fabiano" tred in the footsteps of the Norwegian super-talent?

Round five

After four rounds two players were in the lead, Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexander Morozevich, with 2.5/4 points each. As fate would have it the two faced each other in round five, and the spectators were anticipating a tremendous battle for the lead in Biel. This is what they got:

Morozevich,A (2751) - Ivanchuk,V (2703) [D31]
GM Biel SUI (5), 24.07.2009
1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 c6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.e3 Bf5 8.Bd3 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 Nbd7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qc2 Re8 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 draw. Seriously – after 30 minutes of play.

Boris Gelfand vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave was more exciting – an English Opening with both players probing for an advantage. Gelfand won a pawn in a rook ending which however could not be turned into a full point. The game ended after 41 moves in a draw. Evgeny Alekseev vs Fabiano Caruana was an interesting struggle in a Sicilian Dragon – with the Italian GM never letting his Russian opponent get any real chances to win. The game was drawn in 52 moves. The next round is on Saturday, with a second rest day on Sunday (isn't that when lots of people are able to attend a chess tournament?).

Standings after the first half of the tournament


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