Biel R5: Bacrot beats Pelletier, Carlsen and Aleksev lead

7/25/2008 – It was like in the 19th stage of the Tour de France: nothing changed at in the top part of the table, as the games Carlsen-Dominguez and Alekseev-Onischuk were drawn. But at the bottom end Etienne Bacrot scored his first victory in this tournament, against Swiss GM Yannick Pelletier, who suffered his fourth defeat. Round five halftime report.

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The 41st Biel International Chess Festival is taking place from July 20th - 31st, 2008. The Grandmaster Tournament is a category 18 event with an average rating of 2686. Biel is located in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, on the north eastern shore of Lake Biel. It is a thoroughly bilingual town – called Biel in German, Bienne in French. Since 2005 the official name is "Biel/Bienne". About two thirds of the population of 52,000 speak German, one third French.

Round 5: Friday, July 25, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
1-0
 Yannick Pelletier


During the game Carlsen vs Dominguez Perez

The games Magnus Carlsen-Leinier Dominguez and Evgeny Alekseev-Alexander Onischuk ended in draws, the first in 24 and the second in 34 moves. Relatively uneventful, leaving the leaders and the yellow tricot unchanged (as in today's stage 19 in the Tour de France). Only the game between the tail-enders, Etienne Bacrot-Yannick Pelletier, reached a decision, in favour of the French GM, in 34 moves.

Bacrot,E (2691) - Pelletier,Y (2569) [C41]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (5), 25.07.2008
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 c6 7.a4 0-0 8.Re1 a5 9.h3 Nb6 10.Ba2 Nfd7 11.Be3 exd4 12.Bxd4 Nc5 13.Bxc5 dxc5 14.Qe2 Qd6 15.Rad1 Qh6 16.Nd2 Be6 17.Bxe6 Qxe6 18.f4 f5 19.exf5 Qxe2 20.Rxe2 Bf6 21.Nde4 Bd4+ 22.Kh2 Rxf5 23.g3 Rff8 24.b3 Bxc3 25.Nxc3 c4 26.Re7 Rab8 27.bxc4 Rfd8 28.Rxb7 Nxc4 29.Ne4 h6 30.f5 Ne3 31.Rxd8+ Rxd8 32.g4 Nxc2 33.Ra7 Re8 34.Ng3

With his a-pawn under attack and unable to prevent Nh5 Pelletier had had enough. 1-0.

Current standings

Carlsen and Alekseev lead, with plus two each and performances of 2816 and 2829 respectively. Dominguez Perez and Onischuk are half a point behind them at plus one and performances of 2753 and 2760. At the end of the table Bacrot has climbed to minus two with a 2539 performance, while Pelletier's minus four was a dismal 2329. We hope the charming young Swiss GM recovers quickly from this unprecedented slump.


Fourth loss for Yannik Pelletier (right) against France's Etienne Bacrot


The leader: Magnus Carlsen from Lommedalen near Oslo, Norway


Second on the table: Evgeny Alekseev


In third place: Leinier Dominguez Perez from Cuba


Fourth: US grandmaster Alexander Onischuk

Photos by Pascal Simon in Biel

Etienne Bacrot

France, 25 years old
Elo: 2691
World ranking: 33

Date and place of birth: 22.01.1983 in Lille, France
Lives in: Toulon
National ranking: 1
Best world ranking: 9 (April 2005)
Previous results in Biel: 2003 (2nd), 2004 (5th)

The Return of the Little Prince

Old-timers of the Biel Festival still remember the little 12-year-old prodigy who finished first of his tournament (a team competition among young swiss talents and an international team). This happened in 1995, when Etienne Bacrot first came to Biel.

It was only the beginning for the little prince of chess. What a career he’s had: world champion in U10 and U12, international master at age 12, grandmaster at age 14 and 2 months (at the time, the youngest in history), France champion for five consecutive years (1999-2003) and places regularly in the top-15 world ratings. In 2004, Etienne Bacrot passed the threshold of 2700 Elo points for the first time, while participating in more top tournaments and beating the best grandmasters, such as then world champion, Vladimir Kramnik (2005).

Born in Lille in January 1983, Etienne grew up in the Picardie region and lived in the village of Méricourt-sur-Somme. He is now married, has two children, and lives on the French Riviera. For a few years, he has been writing a column in the weekly “Paris Match.” In the last few months, he has developed an excellent personal website (in English and French). On www.chess22.fr he writes about his career and tournaments, as well as about international current events and tactical innovations. Etienne Bracot talks about the most important variations in his eyes. His candidness is appreciate, especially in regards to other grandmasters who prefer to keep their analyses private, by fear of benefiting their rivals.

With his usual candidness, the French player admits that he has not been in great shape recently. He had his ups and downs during some tournaments, especially at the Baku Grand Prix, which explains the loss of some Elo points (he stood at 2691 in July 2008), and his current 33rd place. But there is no law of series. Etienne Bacrot remembers that it was at the Biel Congress Hall, in 2003, when he achieved one of the best results of his young career when he won the 2nd place of the grandmasters tournament, behind Alexander Morozevich. It was also in Switzerland, in 1999, that he won the Lausanne Young Masters (unofficial junior world championship); he was then 16.

After 2003 and 2004, he will compete for the third time in the grandmasters tournament of Biel, with the determination of an ambitious outsider.

Simon Kümin, Olivier Breisacher

Europe Echecs videos reports

These reports are provided by Echecs.com, which is doing extensive coverage of the Biel Tournament

Round 1: Sunday, July 22, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Yannick Pelletier
Leinier Dominguez 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk
Round 2: Monday, July 21, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier 
½-½
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk
Round 3: Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Leinier Dominguez 
½-½
 Evgeny Alekseev
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Alexander Onischuk 
1-0
 Yannick Pelletier
Round 4: Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yannick Pelletier 
0-1
 Evgeny Alekseev
Alexander Onischuk 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Leinier Dominguez 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Round 5: Friday, July 25, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Alexander Onischuk
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
1-0
 Yannick Pelletier
Round 6: Saturday, July 26, 2008
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Evgeny Alekseev
Yannick Pelletier 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Onischuk 
-
 Leinier Dominguez
Games – Report
Round 7: Monday, July 28, 2008

Magnus Carlsen 

-
 Evgeny Alekseev

Leinier Dominguez 

-
 Yannick Pelletier

Alexander Onischuk 

-
 Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report
Round 8: Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
-
 Leinier Dominguez
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier 
-
 Alexander Onischuk
Games – Report
Round 9: Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Alexander Onischuk 
-
 Evgeny Alekseev
Leinier Dominguez 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Yannick Pelletier 
-
 Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report
Round 10: Thursday, July 31, 2008
Evgeny Alekseev 
-
 Yannick Pelletier
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Alexander Onischuk
Etienne Bacrot 
-
 Leinier Dominguez
Games – Report

Links

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