Biel: Lively start of the classical tournament

by André Schulz
7/28/2021 – In round 1 of the classical part of the GM Tournament at the Biel Chess Festival three games ended with a decision. Alan Pichot won against Boris Gelfand, Kirill Alekseenko defeated Nihal Sarin and Gata Kamsky won against Noel Studer. Vincent Keymer and Maxime Lagarde drew. | Photos: Biel Chess Festival

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The eight-player GM Tournament in Biel is a triathlon, consisting of a rapid, a blitz and a classical tournament. At the end, the points are added up at, but with different scores for each of the tournaments.

At the weekend the rapid chess tournament was played - Kirill Alekseenko won. On Tuesday, 27 July, the classical tournament began. Here, a win counts 4 points, a draw 1.5. At the end of the day, three players had scored a "four".

Alan Pichot

Boris Gelfand played against Alan Pichot and was initially better but then lost the thread.


22.Nd5 Qxf2+ 23.Kh1 A complicated position: Black is two pawns up but both sides have chances. The engines consider the position to be roughly equal.

23...f4?! It was probably better to play 23...Bb7 24.Qd2 f4 with chances for both sides.

24.gxf4 Bf5 The critical moment.

25.Qc3?! Gelfand misses a good chance: After 25.Qd2! Bd4 26.fxe5 White threatens to win the exchange with 27.Bh6+ and is close to a win.



26.Qa3? 26.Qd2 Nc5 27.fxe5 is still good for White.

26...Nc5 27.e3 Now Black has the chance to strike back.


27...Bh3! 28.Bxh3 Qf3+ 29.Kg1 Qxd1+ 30.Bf1 Qg4+ 31.Bg2 31.Kh1 Qf3+ 32.Kg1 Ne4–+.

31...exf4 32.Bxf4 Rxf4 The pin proves to be very unpleasant for White.

33.Nxf4 Qxf4 34.exd4 Qxd4+ White resigned. After 35.Kf1 Qd1+ 36.Kf2 Nd3+ 37.Kg3 Qe1+ 38.Kg4 he will be mated soon. 0–1

Kirill Alekseenko

The game between Kirill Alekseenko and Nihal Sarin took much longer. The Russian Grandmaster and World Championship candidate needed 91 moves and seven hours of play to win against the 17-year-old Nihal Sarin in the endgame.

The third player to win was Gata Kamsky: he defeated Swiss Grandmaster Noel Studer.

Round 1: Live video with interviews

Games GMT


Partien MTO



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


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