Biel: Kamsky defends lead, Alekseenko and Keymer score

by André Schulz
8/4/2021 – In the penultimate round of the Grandmaster Tournament in Biel Kirill Alekseenko (pictured) and Vincent Keymer came to victories, while Gata Kamsky defended his lead with a draw against Nihal Sarin. In the Masters Open, the Indian Grandmaster Murali Karthikeyan remains sole first. | Photos: Biel Chess Festival

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The Biel Chess Festival 2021 is coming to an end – the final round of the Grandmaster Tournament and the Masters Tournament will start on Wednesday, 4 August, 11 am local time.

The Grandmaster Tournament is a triathlon, with a rapid, a blitz and a classical tournament. The results are added up but the tournaments are weighted differently: in the classical tournament a win yields 4 points and for a draw you get 1.5 points.

After 5 of 7 rounds Gata Kamsky was first in the overall standings, and in the penultimate round he had to defend his lead against one of his pursuers, Nihal Sarin, which he managed to do with a draw.

Alan Pichot and Maxime Lagarde also drew their game but Kirill Alekseenko won  a along endgame against Boris Gelfand and is now only 1.5 points behind Kamsky in the overall standings.


Vincent Keymer also won – he defeated Noel Studer.


This remarkable position started as a Nimzo-Indian. Both sides still have all their pawns, but three pairs of minor pieces have been exchanged. Black has a "good" bishop and more space on the kingside, while White has a knight which can be an advantage in closed positions.

23...g5 Black advances on the kingside.

24.f4 Qg7 25.Rcc1 Rae8 Black has a couple of ideas how to become active while White can just react.

26.Nc2 h6 27.a4 Rf7 28.fxe5 Rxe5 29.Nd4 The exchange on e5 gave White's knight at least some squares.

29...Re4 30.Ne6 Qe5 31.g3 Bg6 32.Nd8 Rd7 33.Nc6 Qe8 34.Nd4 Qe5 35.Nc6 Qe8 36.Nd4 A tacit draw offer that Black declines.

36...Rf7 37.Ne6 Qe7 38.Qb2 Rf6!? Black lays a bait, the pawn on c7.

39.Nxc7 39.Qc3!? Bf7 40.Nd4

39...Bf7 40.Na8 White wants to win the pawn on b6 but usually knights are not particularly strong when standing in the corner of the board. However, 40.Ne6 Bxe6 41.dxe6 Qxe6 is also better for Black.

40...f4! The right time for an attack.

41.Nxb6 fxg3 42.Nc8 42.hxg3 Rg4–+ (42...Rf3–+)

42...Qd8 43.hxg3 Rf3 44.Kg2 44.Qg2 Bh5 45.Na7 Qe8–+

44...Bh5 45.Qc2 Re5 46.Rh1 Rfxe3 47.Rxh5 Re2+ 48.Qxe2 Rxe2+ 49.Kf3 Qe8 White has no adequate defense against the mate on e4. 0–1

In the classical tournament Vincent Keymer is now half a point behind Gata Kamsky but in the overall standings he is on place four.

Ranking of the classical tournament with 1.0 point for a win

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

Overall standings

1 GM Gata Kamsky 27 14 11 6 31
2 GM Kirill Alekseenko 27 12½ 8 9 29½
3 GM Nihal Sarin 27 10 27
4 GM Vincent Keymer 27 12½ 6 7 25½
5 GM Maxime Lagarde 27 9 7 24½
6 GM Boris Gelfand 27 11 4 7 22
7 GM Alan Pichot 27 5 20
8 GM Noel Studer 27 3 4 15½

Games Grandmaster Tournament


MTO Master Open

In the Master Open the Indian Grandmaster Murali Karthikeyan drew against Tamas Barnusz but is still sole leader. Salem Saleh, Pavel Eljanov and Gukesh follow half a point behind.

Standings after 8 rounds

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Murali Karthikeyan 6,5 37,0
2 Saleh Salem A.R. 6,0 36,0
3 Eljanov Pavel 6,0 36,0
4 Gukesh Dommaraju 6,0 31,5
5 Banusz Tamas 5,5 36,5
6 Sethuraman S.P. 5,5 33,5
7 Erdos Viktor 5,5 33,5
8 Chigaev Maksim 5,5 33,0
9 Sadhwani Raunak 5,5 32,0
10 Erigaisi Arjun 5,5 31,0
11 Kantor Gergely 5,5 30,0
12 Ganguly Surya Shekhar 5,0 37,5
13 Raja Harshit 5,0 36,5
14 Wagner Dennis 5,0 36,5
15 Kalyan Arjun 5,0 35,5
16 R Praggnanandhaa 5,0 35,0
17 Fedorchuk Sergey 5,0 34,0
18 Narayanan S.L. 5,0 33,0
19 Budisavljevic Luka 5,0 30,5
20 Vaishali R 4,5 37,0

73 players

Games Master Open



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


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register