Biel Festival Starts Tomorrow

by Alejandro Ramirez
7/20/2015 – Well, technically, the Biel Chess Festival has already kicked off in Switzerland, but the main two attractions, the grandmaster tournament and the master tournament, start tomorrow. With an average rating of 2720, the GMT is a must-follow event. The festival has a myriad of activities, and ChessBase will be on-site following everything. For now Danny King provides a video preview!

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The traditional Biel/Bienne International Chess Festival is about to start! Well, in theory, the festival has already begun, but the Grandmaster and Master sections will begin tomorrow.

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). 


World Rkg.
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
Eljanov, Pavel
Rapport, Richard

The grandmaster tournament, or GMT, has an average rating well over 2700. Despite not having any of the top-10 in the World, it is clear that the event will be very strong and worth keeping track of. Adams comes as the rating favorite, but he is only slightly higher rated than the next four people!

Radoslaw Wojtaszek, the second highest rated player in this event, is famous for being Vishy Anand's second for a very long time. He is now on his way to the top, and hopes to continue making progress in this event. He recently married IM Alina Kashlinskaya, and we will be having the report from that wedding soon.

Meanwhile, the lowest rated player in the tournament, Richard Rapport, can never be ruled out. His eccentric play causes high risk, high reward situations that can put anyone against the ropes. The young Hungarian has recently climbed to 2700, and he is sure to do so again.

Daniel King focuses on Richard Rapport as he gives us a video preview of this year's Biel GMT:

Another interesting thing to note is that if MVL wins this year, he will be the only player in history to have won the Biel GM Tournament four times, and the first one to win it three consecutive years!

MVL will go for his hat trick this year

In case of a tie, the players will face in a rapid tiebreak on July 31st. The tempo of play: 100’/40 + 50’/20 + 15’ + 30”.

Master Section

The "Master Section" might not have been aptly named. Despite being an open tournament, the list of players is incredibly strong. Let us take a look at the top-10 of this event:

1. GM Alexander Moiseenko UKR 2710  
2. GM Ivan Ivanisevic SRB 2662
3. GM Tigran Gharamian FRA 2649
4. GM Daniel Friedman GER 2639
5. GM Mateusz Bartel POL 2631
6. GM Alexander Fier BRA 2628
7. GM Baskaran Adhiban IND 2627
8. GM Dragan Solak TUR 2622
9. GM Milos Perunovic SRB 2614
10. GM Viktor Erdos HUN 2610

Quite strong! We will be covering the master section every few rounds. There are also a myriad of side events. Some of the highlights include:

• Main tournament – 9-round Swiss open for players < Elo 2051; first prize is CHF 1,500 
• Rapid tournament – 9-round Swiss rapid open with time control 15’ + 5”and first prize of CHF 1,500
• Blitz tournament – 13-round Blitz tournament with time control 3’ + 2” and first prize in the amount of CHF 1,000
• Chess960 Championship – 7-round Swiss tournament played according to the Chess960 rules
• Youth tournament – 7-round Swiss tournament in three categories (U18, U13, U10), sponsored by the Foundation Vinetum
• Simultaneous exhibition – A Grandmaster from the GM tournament will deliver a simultaneous exhibition in the center of Biel
• Chess-tennis tournament, supported by Tenniscenter Scheuren – each team consists of 2 players
• Tournament for doctors – 5-round Swiss tournament only for doctors; tempo of play is 15’ + 5”
• Simultaneous for doctors – Simultaneous exhibition delivered by a GM to doctors
• Chessbase seminar by Mr. Pascal Simon (Germany) 

Commentary on Playchess

Yanick Pelletier and Danny King in last year's commentary

We will be bringing you interviews, photos, reports and videos from Biel, and of course we will have live commentary on our website,

Day Date Round German English
Monday July 20 Round 1 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Daniel King
Tuesday July 21 Round 2 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Daniel King
Wednesday July 22 Round 3 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Daniel King
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 Free    
Sunday July 26 Round 6 GM Klaus Bischoff GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
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


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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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