Biel R6: Carlsen, Dominguez and Bacrot win

7/27/2008 – All three games reached decisions in round six of the Biel GM tournament. Magnus Carlsen defeated Yannick Pelletier with the black pieces, while co-leader Evgeny Alekseev imploded against Etienne Bacrot. Alexander Onischuk got into trouble against Leinier Dominguez, then turned the game into a theoretical draw, only to lose it when his Cuban opponent played on. Exciting games.

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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 has been "Biel/Bienne". About two thirds of the population (52,000) speak German, one third French.

Round 6: Saturday, July 26, 2008
Etienne Bacrot 
1-0
 Evgeny Alekseev
Yannick Pelletier 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Onischuk 
0-1
 Leinier Dominguez

It was the US vs Cuba, the super-solid GM Alexander Onischuk vs the young-and-ambitious Leinier Dominguez Perez, who went on the offensive on the black side of a Grünfeld Russian System. But Onischuk hung on and traded down to a drawn rook and knight vs rook ending. That is where the action began...


Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez at the start of round six

Onischuk,Al (2670) - Dominguez Perez,L (2708) [D97]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (6), 26.07.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0 7.e4 a6 8.Be2 b5 9.Qb3 c5 10.dxc5 Bb7 11.e5 Nfd7 12.Be3 e6 13.Rd1 Qc7 14.0-0 Nxc5 15.Qa3 Ncd7 16.Qe7 Rc8 17.Ng5 Nf8 18.Qxc7 Rxc7 19.f4 h6 20.Nf3 Nc6 21.Nd4 g5 22.Nxc6 Bxc6 23.fxg5 hxg5 24.Bxg5 Bxe5 25.Bf3 Rac8 26.Bxc6 Rxc6 27.Bf6 Bxf6 28.Rxf6 Rc4 29.a3 Kg7 30.Rf2 f5 31.Rd6 R8c6 32.Rxc6 Rxc6 33.g4 fxg4 34.Rg2 Ng6 35.Rxg4 Kf6 36.Kf2 Ne5 37.Rf4+ Kg6 38.Ke2 Nc4 39.Ne4 Nxb2 40.h4 Nc4 41.Rf6+ Kh5 42.Ng5 Nxa3 43.Nxe6 Rc2+ 44.Kd3 b4 45.Rf5+ Kg6 46.Rc5 Rf2 47.Nd4 b3 48.Nxb3 Rf3+ 49.Ke4 Rxb3 50.Rc6+ Kh5 51.Rxa6 Nc4 52.Ra8 Nd2+ 53.Kd4 Kxh4

The position, Fritz tells us after due consultation of the endgame tablebases, is a draw – completely and theoretically. But Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez plays on, testing his US American opponent's ability to play it perfectly. 54.Rg8 Nf3+ 55.Kc4 Rb1 56.Kd5 Ng5 57.Ke5 Kg4 58.Kd4 Rd1+ 59.Ke5 Re1+ 60.Kd5 Re7 61.Kd4 Kf5 62.Rf8+ Nf7 63.Ra8 Kf4 64.Rf8 Rd7+ 65.Kc5 Ke4 66.Ra8 Rc7+ 67.Kb4 Kd4 68.Kb3 Ne5 69.Rd8+ Nd7 70.Kb2 Kd3 71.Rh8 Rb7+ 72.Kc1 Nc5 73.Rh3+ Kd4 74.Kc2 Rc7 75.Rh4+ Ne4+ 76.Kb3 Rc8 77.Kb2 Rg8 78.Kb3 Rg2 79.Kb4 Rb2+ 80.Ka3 Rb8 81.Ka4 Kd5 82.Ka3 Nc5 83.Ka2 Ne6 84.Ka3 Nd4 85.Rh7 Rb6 86.Ka2 Kc4 87.Rc7+ Kd3

Dominguez has used 34 of the 50 moves available for his experiment, Onischuk has handled the position flawlessly. Now comes the catastrophe: 88.Rd7?? Allows mate in eight! 88...Kc2 89.Ka3 Nc6 90.Ka4 Rb4+ 91.Ka3 Rb5 and White will be mated in four more moves. 0-1. [Click to replay]


Cuba vs USA in flags: American GM Alexander Onischuk


Magnus Carlsen was clearly thirsting for another victory and went after tournament tail-ender Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland in his usual active, aggressive fashion. It is amazing how grown GMs crack under this pressure from a 17-year-old.


Yannick Pelletier in this match between Switzerland (41,285 km², 7.6 million inhabitants, 181.4 per km²) and Norway (385,000km², 4.7 million inhabitants, 12 per km²)

Pelletier,Y (2569) - Carlsen,M (2775) [E15]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (6), 26.07.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 d5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Nc3 0-0 10.0-0 Bb7 11.Rc1 Nbd7 12.Bf4 c6 13.Qc2 Re8 14.Rcd1 Bb4 15.Bd2 Rc8 16.Qb2 Qe7 17.Rfe1 Qf8 18.Bh3 Rcd8 19.Qc2 h6 20.Nh4 c5 21.Nf5 a6 22.Qb2 Bxc3 23.Bxc3 Ne4 24.dxc5 Nxc3 25.Qxc3 bxc5 26.Qa5 Nf6

Up until here Yannick Pelletier has been hanging on against Magnus Carlsen's Queen's Indian, by the skin of his teeth. But now the pechvogel (German for unlucky bird) of this tournament, makes a fatal mistake: 27.Qb6? He could have played 27.Rc1 or 27.Bg2. Now Magnus can go into full attack mode, where the lad is ruthless. 27...Bc8 28.Kg2 Ne4 29.f3 Ng5 30.g4 h5 31.Rc1 g6 32.Ng3 Nxh3 33.Kxh3 hxg4+ 34.fxg4 Qh6+ 35.Kg2 Bxg4 36.Qxc5 Re3 [an alternative was 36...Rc8 37.Qa3 Rxe2+ 38.Rxe2 Rxc1+–] 37.Qd4

And thus it ended: 37...Qh3+ 38.Kg1 Rxg3+ 39.hxg3 Qxg3+ 40.Kh1 Bf5 0-1. [Click to replay]


Back in the sole lead: Magnus Carlsen in round six


Etienne Bacrot sacrificed a pawn on move 15 against tournament leader Evgeny Alekseev, without however showing what compensation he had received from it. For a long time it looked as though Alekseev might win and stay in the lead with Magnus Carlsen. A comfortable draw at least seemed to be on the cards. But then Blunder struck.

Bacrot,E (2691) - Alekseev,Evgeny (2708) [E00]
41st Festival GM Biel SUI (6), 26.07.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Be7 5.Nf3 d5 6.Qc2 0-0 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Rd1 b6 10.b3 Ba6 11.Bf4 Rc8 12.Nc3 Nh5 13.Bc1 Nhf6 14.Bb2 Qc7 15.Rac1 dxc4 16.bxc4 Bxc4 17.Ne5 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Nd5 19.Ne4 b5 20.Nd6 Bxd6 21.exd6 Qd7 22.a4 f6 23.Ba3 Nb6 24.a5 Na4 25.Rd4 Bd5 26.Bc5 Bxg2 27.Kxg2 e5 28.Rd2 Rfd8 29.Qb3+ Qf7 30.Qe3 Rd7 31.a6 h6 32.f3 Qe6 33.Bxa7 Ra8?

It is not easy to see why the last move is losing, but Etienne Bacrot works it all out: 34.Rxc6 Raxa7 35.Qd3 b4 36.Rc8+ Kf7 37.Qh7 f5 38.Qg8+ Kf6 39.Rf8+ Rf7 40.Rxf7+ Rxf7

Black is a piece up and completely lost. With the two passed pawns on the sixth White could even play a move like 41.Qxf7 to win. Bacrot has an even more convincing finish: 41.Qd8+ Kg6 42.d7 Nc5 43.Qe8 1-0. [Click to replay]


Slipped to third place: GM Evgeny Alekseev of Russia

Current standings

Magnus Carlsen now leads alone, with a 2843 performance that puts him at number two in the world on the live rating list, just a point and a half behind top GM Vishy Anand. Carlsen and Leinier Dominguez are the only players left who have not tasted defeat in this tournament. The tragic figure is Swiss GM Pelletier, who has scored a total of half a point in six games and is performing at a 2305 level. Wake up, Yannick!

Leinier Dominguez Perez

Cuba, 25 years old
Elo: 2705
World ranking: 25

Date and place of birth: 23.09.1983 in Havana
Lives in: Havana
National ranking: 1
Best world ranking: 25 (July 2008)
Previous results in Biel: first time this year
 

The Fearless Ambassador of Cuba

It is common knowledge that chess is very popular in Cuba. As a reminder, the third world champion in history, José Raúl Capablanca (1888-1942) came from that country. His quasi invincibility earned him the nickname of “chess machine.”

Soviet money does not flow into Cuba anymore, and this situation has had consequences for chess. Nevertheless, first-rate players climb the world’s rankings. Leinier Dominguez is the one who has gone the furthest. He is now 25th in the recent FIDE ratings, his best personal result as he arrives at the Biel festival, terra incognita for him.

The name of Leinier Dominguez was first heard in 1999, when, at 16, he finished third in the Cuban national championship. A year later, he became a grandmaster and won the zonal tournament of Latin America (qualifying stage for the world championship); then, he successfully represented his country at the Olympics. He accomplished his greatest achievement at the Tripoli world championship (knock-out system), in which he reached the quarterfinals; he lost by a narrow margin to the Azeri player Teimour Radjabov.

Leinier Dominguez was twice Cuban national champion (in 2004 and 2006); one of his main rivals is his fellow citizen Lazaro Bruzon, who played in Biel in 2006. Dominguez has won twice the famous Capablanca Memorial, one of the most renowned tournaments in Latin America. His second victory is only a few weeks old. The best Cuban player of this time is able to outdo himself and achieve great things, such as his victory in Barcelona (2006), when he beat the top-10 player Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) with 8 points in 9 matches and a performance of 2932 Elo points.

Leinier Dominguez’s repertoire of openings is varied. He is at ease in solid and tactical positions. He is fearless when he faces big names of the chess world. Needless to say, he could do well in Biel if he maintains the quality of play he has demonstrated this year.

Simon Kümin, Olivier Breisacher

Photos by the organisation in Biel

Europe Echecs videos reports

These reports are provided by Echecs.com, which is making 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 
1-0
 Evgeny Alekseev
Yannick Pelletier 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Onischuk 
0-1
 Leinier Dominguez
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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