Alekseenko wins Chess960 event in Biel

by ChessBase
7/24/2021 – The main event of the 2021 Biel Chess Festival kicked off on Saturday, as the 8 participants of the Grandmaster Triathlon battled it out at the ACCENTUS Chess960 tournament. While the event did not grant points for the final standings, it decided who will get an extra white in the classical section of the triathlon, and might end up serving as the tiebreaker in case two or more players finish equal in points in the overall standings. | Photos: Official site

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The tradition lives on

Press release

The International Chess Festival started today in the Biel Congress House, for the 54th time in uninterrupted succession. Despite the challenging circumstances, the organisers are pleased to once again offer over-the-board chess for fans all around the globe.

After the opening ceremony, the ACCENTUS Chess960 tournament with the eight participants of the Grandmaster Tournament took place in the afternoon. Russian Grandmaster Kirill Alekseenko won the preliminary single round-robin, which could be decisive in the event of a tie on points at the end of the triathlon.

Biel Chess Festival 2021

Front (left to right): Peter Bohnenblust (OK-President), Nihal Sarin, Alan Pichot, Maxima Lagarde and Noël Studer - Back (left to right): Paul Kohler, Boris Gelfand, Kirill Alekseenko, Gata Kamsky

In the opening ceremony, Peter Bohnenblust, President of the Organising Committee, emphasised how proud the organisers are for hosting the Biel International Chess Festival for the 54th time in uninterrupted succession. He thanked the supporters and partners for their valuable commitment. The new Central President of the Swiss Chess Federation, André Vögtlin, also welcomed those present and emphasised the importance of the Biel tournament for chess in Switzerland.

Unlike last year, a simultaneous tournament was held again this year as part of the opening ceremony. Indian grandmaster Karthikeyan Murali (Elo 2606), who stays in Biel for the fifth time and will take part in the MTO master tournament starting Monday, faced 18 chess enthusiasts at the same time in the foyer of the BEKB on Zentralplatz. Among the enthusiasts was Central President Vögtlin and the former president of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court Ulrich Meyer. In the end, they all stood no chance, and after exactly 90 minutes, Murali defeated the last challenger.

Karthikeyan Murali

Karthikeyan Murali won all 18 games of the simul

Alekseenko wins ACCENTUS Chess960

The eight participants of the Grandmaster Triathlon played the ACCENTUS Chess960 competition. This does not count in the actual ranking of the triathlon, which starts tomorrow. In the event of a tie at the end of the tournament, however, today’s ranking will serve as the deciding factor.

In a balanced tournament, Russian GM Kirill Alekseenko prevailed in the end with 4½ points. He was closely followed by Maxime Lagarde (FRA), Boris Gelfand (ISR) and Gata Kamsky (USA). The Swiss GM Noël Studer started with some difficulties, but after five defeats in a row he ended the day with two wins.

Final standings


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No spectators, but an expanded online offer

In addition to the opening of the Grandmaster tournament GMT with the seven Rapid games, the four-day final tournament of the Swiss Youth Championships will also begin in Biel tomorrow.

Due to the sanitary measures, unfortunately, no spectators are allowed in the entire building this year. Instead, the organisers have expanded their online offer: in addition to the grandmaster games, all games of the Masters Tournament and also some games from the Amateur Tournament can be followed live this year. Those interested can find all the corresponding streams at Discord.


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