Biel: Bogner's redemption and Leko's metamorphosis

by Tanmay Srinath
7/24/2019 – One doesn't lose forever! Sebastian Bogner, the current Swiss Champion, taught us all how to get out of a rut by clinically destroying Parham Maghsoodloo's weak opening play to get himself back into contention. Sam Shankland had the (missed) chance of the round against Vidit, but the American failed to assess properly the best continuation available to him. Peter Leko continued his remarkable fable by turning over a new leaf yet again — his game against Georgiadis lasted an epic 101 moves!

The Queen's Gambit Declined The Queen's Gambit Declined

The Queens Gambit Declined, Orthodox Variation is an opening choice for Black which will never be refuted. It perhaps has an unjust reputation of being solid and passive, but this all-new ChessBase DVD will challenge that perception. Basing his Black repertoire on the Cambridge Springs variation, Andrew Martin takes you on a tour of classic games, showing how Black may conveniently sidestep the dangerous lines with Bf4, whilst retaining good chances and providing comprehensive coverage of the lines where White captures early on d5. This is a repertoire which will suit all levels of player. Video running time: 4 hours 23 min.


One winner in round two

After four decisive games yesterday, the players were calmer today. Three games ended in interesting draws. Sam Shankland had the best chance of the round against Vidit Gujarathi, but the former US Champion missed a chance to start a ferocious attack involving a potential exchange sacrifice. Peter Leko tried for 101 moves to break through with rook and knight vs rook, but Nico Georgiadis held firm to take home half a point. Jorge Cori had very little to play with as White against Abdusattorov, and soon took a draw. In the only decisive game of the round, Sebastian Bogner began his comeback with a fine win over Parham Maghsoodloo. Time to dig in:

Bogner 1-0 Maghsoodloo

After the storm of the first few days, sunshine finally shone on the beleaguered Bogner. It was not some fantastic luck — he put his head down, got to work and played one of his finest games to dismantle the current World Junior Champion.

The Swiss No.1 was too strong for the Iranian No.2 | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival

Here are a few critical moments:


Maghsoodloo plays his favourite line with 3...a6 against the Queen's Gambit.


Parham's best chance to stay in the game lay in castling short and playing in the centre. Instead, 12...h6 created further problems for the current World Junior Champion.


15.xd6! is a fine voluntary exchange from Bogner. The plan is to further weaken the dark squares by exchanging off their best defender.


In this position, Maghsoodloo finally erred with 20...h5?!. It was imperative to move the queen — either to c7 or b8 — to retain chances to hold. Instead, after the mistake in the game, Bogner was quick to cash in with 21.xa6! winning a pawn.


After the queens were exchanged, the endgame is close to trivial for White.


Quiz: How should White finish the game off?

41.Nfe6! The final position is picturesque — Black has no way to avoid mate!


The Swiss Champion has started to fire | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival

Shankland ½-½ Vidit

The rating favourites have clashed early, and Shankland put Vidit under a lot of pressure right from the get-go. Unfortunately for him, finishing the dogged Black player wasn't something he was able to accomplish today.

Vidit survived a trial by fire | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival


Vidit had to go for 17...f5! here, preventing White from expanding on the kingside. 17...e7? was a touch materialistic and allowed Shankland to launch a terrifying attack after 18.f5! The main point is that after Black plays 17...f5 18.d4 f7! is a strong move for Black when he is in the game, alive and kicking.


Find the move that Sam missed here, which gives White a surging initiative.

19.Qg4! (heading for h4) was White's best chance.

Wow, did I really blow it? | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival

Leko ½-½ Georgiadis

This is a new Peter Leko we are seeing. Instead of agreeing to tame draws, he is fighting until bare kings these days. A low rating and lack of invitations are perhaps telling, but what I believe is that the man himself wants to make another surge to the top, and to do so he has to reinvent himself. So instead of his perennial 1.e4, he has played 1.d4 exclusively. While he didn't win today, he did play the longest game of the round, something we don't really associate with the Leko of the past. Credit to Nico as well, who defended a piece down for a long time without faltering.

Youth managed to hold on, but not without some nightmarishly good defensive play! | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival


Peter has outplayed the young Swiss, but here he had to calculate and finish the job. Can you do better than him?


White to play and get a huge advantage

After 48...♞xf5! 49.gxf5 ♜xf5, Nico managed to transpose into an endgame a piece down, but a theoretical draw with correct play. He managed to hold on creditably.

The former Hungarian No.1 couldn't outlast his opponent today. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival

Cori ½-½ Abdusattorov

The game in itself was a disappointment for White, but credit must be given to the young Uzbek for his outstanding opening preparation.

Cori needs to find some form, and find it quickly, if he needs to start challenging the leaders | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival

Here is one point where Abdusattorov could have gotten ambitious:


Black could have tried to play on with a4 or ♜c4, but Abdusattorov chose to simplify with 25...b7. A draw soon ensued.

Watch I come! | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival


Overall standings

Rank Name Games Classic Rapid Blitz Total
1 GM Peter Leko 9 4 10 0 14
2 GM Sam Shankland 9 4 9 0 13
3 GM Santosh Vidit 9 4 8 0 12
4 GM Parham Maghsoodloo 9 3 8 0 11
5 GM Jorge Cori 9 1 7 0 8
6 GM Nico Georgiadis 9 1 6 0 7
7 GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov 9 1 5 0 6
  GM Sebastian Bogner 9 3 3 0


All classical games



Tanmay Srinath has been writing for ChessBase India since quite some time now. His tournament reports and depth of analysis have been widely appreciated. Pursuing a full-fledged career in engineering Tanmay doesn't get enough time to pursue chess, but he loves to follow top-level encounters and analyzes those games with his Fat Fritz engine. We hope you find his analysis useful in your games.


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