Biel: Kamsky beats Keymer and wins Grandmaster Triathlon

by André Schulz
8/5/2021 – Gata Kamsky, the leader of the Grandmaster Triathlon in Biel, finished the tournament in style. In the last round he won with Black against Vincent Keymer to win the classical tournament and the triathlon. Kirill Alekseenko and Nihal Sarin finished second and third in the triathlon, Boris Gelfand was third in the classical tournament. Salem Saleh won the Master Open on tiebreak. | Photos: Biel Chess Festival

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Before the last round Gata Kamsky led the Biel Triathlon (rapid, blitz and classical chess) and in the last round he had to play with Black against Vincent Keymer. The German grandmaster started the game ambitiously, but then got into a difficult position and had to play most of the game an exchange down. 

V. Keymer (2591) - G. Kamsky (2658)

1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e3 Nh6 5.Bxh6 Bxh6 6.f4 An original opening. White counters the Leningrad Dutch with a kind of Stonewall, in which he managed to exchange his "bad" bishop.

6...d6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h4 Nf6


9.h5 Before even completing his development, White pushes ahead on the kingside, offering a pawn.

9...e6 After 9...Nxh5 White certainly intended to sacrifice the exchange with 10.Rxh5 gxh5 11.Nh4. White has compensation and an attack.

10.hxg6 hxg6 11.Bb5+ c6 12.Bd3 Qb6 Black counters by attacking White's b-pawn.

13.Nh4 After 13.Rb1 White can no longer castle queenside, but after 13.Qd2!? Qxb2 14.Rb1 Qa3 15.Rb3 Qa5 White has compensation, e.g. 16.e4 fxe4 17.Nxe4 Qxd2+ 18.Nfxd2

13...Bg7 14.Na4 Qa5+ 15.Nc3 Ng4 Avoiding the repetition 15...Qb6 16.Na4.


16.Ke2 Necessary. After 16.Qd2 Bf6 17.g3 g5 18.fxg5 Bxg5 Black has a very good position.

16...Bd7 16...Kf7 is a good alternative.

17.Nxg6 Rg8 18.Rh7 Black threatened 18.-- Nxe3 19.Kxe3 Bxd4+ 20.Kxd4 (20.Kd2 Rxg6) 20...Qc5#

18...Bf6 18...Nxe3 yields nothing because of 19.Kxe3 Bxd4+ 20.Kd2 (20.Kxd4? Qc5#) and 20...-- 21.Qh5

19.Qh1 19.Nh4 0–0–0 and Black has the more comfortable game.

19...0–0–0 20.Ne7+ Bxe7 21.Rxe7 c5 22.Qg1 d5 23.Kd2 Nf6 Black has more than enough compensation for the pawn. The white pieces are not coordinated and can be attacked.

24.Rf7 Rg6


25.Rxf6 The rook was caught in Black's position and White decided to sacrifice it.

25...Rxf6 26.a3 Qb6 27.Rb1 Rg8 28.Be2 Rh6 29.Bf3 cxd4 30.exd4 Be8 31.Qe3 Bd7 Material is about even but White's position is full of defects.

32.b3 Qd6 33.a4 Rh4 34.Ne2 Bc6 35.Kc3 Kb8 36.Kb2 White castled by hand.

36...Rc8 37.Rd1 Be8 38.Qf2 Rh7


39.Rd2? An inaccuracy in a difficult position. Better was 39.Qe3

39...Bxa4 40.g3 40.bxa4 Qb4+ 41.Kc1 Qxa4 42.Kb2 Rh1 43.Ng1 Rc6 and Black has a decisive attack.

40...Bb5 41.Nc1 a5 42.Be2 Be8 43.Bd3 a4 44.Re2 Qb4 The white position collapses.

45.Rxe6 Qc3+ 46.Ka2 Rh1 47.Qe3 axb3+ 48.Nxb3 Ba4 49.Nc1 Bxc2 50.Qe5+ Ka7 White cannot defend against the mate. 0–1

Boris Gelfand also got another win on the last day of the tournament, against Noel Studer.


30.h5 Rxf4 Black gets two pieces for the rook, but the endgame is lost.

31.gxf4 Rxd2 32.b4 Rd7 33.b5 Rb7 34.Kf2 g5 35.hxg6 Kg7 36.Ke3 Kxg6 37.b6 Kh5 38.Kf3 Kg6 39.Kg3 h5 40.Kh4 Kh6 41.Rd1 Rxb6 42.Rd6 Rb4 43.Rxe6+ Kg7 44.Kg5 h4 45.Rg6+ 1–0

The games Alan Pichot vs Kirill Alekseenko and Nihal Sarin vs Maxime Lagarde ended in a draw.

Gata Kamsky thus won the classical tournament and the triathlon.

Classical tournament (with 1 point for a win)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Kamsky Gata 5,0 0
2 Alekseenko Kirill 4,0 0
  Gelfand Boris 4,0 0
4 Keymer Vincent 3,5 0
5 Lagarde Maxime 3,0 0
  Pichot Alan 3,0 0
  Nihal Sarin 3,0 0
8 Studer Noel 2,5 0

Final standings Triathlon

Rank Name Games Classical Rapid Blitz Total
1 GM Gata Kamsky 28 18 11 6 35
2 GM Kirill Alekseenko 28 14 8 9 31
3 GM Nihal Sarin 28 9 10 28½
4 GM Boris Gelfand 28 15 4 7 26
  GM Maxime Lagarde 28 10 9 7 26
6 GM Vincent Keymer 28 12½ 6 7 25½
7 GM Alan Pichot 28 10 5 21½
8 GM Noel Studer 28 3 4 15½

Live commentary

Games Grandmaster Tournament


MTO Master Open

In the last round of the MTO Master Open, tournament leader Murali Karthikeyan drew with Gukesh, which gave Salem Saleh an opportunity to catch up to Karthikeyan by defeating Pavel Eljanov. And thanks to his better tiebreak, Saleh was declared tournament winner.

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Saleh Salem A.R. 7,0 47,5
2 Murali Karthikeyan 7,0 46,0
3 Banusz Tamas 6,5 47,0
4 Erdos Viktor 6,5 43,0
5 Gukesh Dommaraju 6,5 41,5
6 Erigaisi Arjun 6,5 41,0
7 Ganguly Surya Shekhar 6,0 47,5
8 Eljanov Pavel 6,0 46,0
9 Fedorchuk Sergey 6,0 42,5
10 Kantor Gergely 6,0 40,0
11 Wagner Dennis 5,5 46,0
12 Sethuraman S.P. 5,5 45,5
13 R Praggnanandhaa 5,5 45,0
14 Chigaev Maksim 5,5 43,0
15 Valsecchi Alessio 5,5 43,0
16 Tang Andrew 5,5 42,5
17 Narayanan S.L. 5,5 42,5
18 Sadhwani Raunak 5,5 41,5
19 Puranik Abhimanyu 5,5 41,0
20 NR Visakh 5,5 40,0

73 players

Games Master Open



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 8/6/2021 05:43
Great performance by Nihal and by other Indian Masters in the Biel GM Open ....
thirteen thirteen 8/5/2021 11:55
Shave and a hair cut, for public display?