Biel Rd.5: Vachier-Lagrave stops Carlsen, Morozevich wins

7/23/2011 – Magnus Carlsen's stratospheric cruise over the tournament in Biel was brought to a crashing stop by French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who showed remarkable perspicacity and patience in grinding down the world's number one in 96 moves. Alexander Morozevich refuted the "rule of the fist" and beat Fabiano Caruana to close up to the tournament leader. Full report with postgame interviews.

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The 2011 Biel Chess Festival is taking place from July 16 to 29, in a number of groups: the Master Tournament (eleven rounds Swiss); the Main Tournament (nine rounds Swiss); a Rapid and a Blitz tournament; Chess960; Youth, Simultaneous, Chess Tennis, ChessBase training seminars. Of greatest interest is of course the Accentus Grandmaster Tournament with six very strong grandmasters playing a double round robin: Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexei Shirov, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Morozevich and Yannick Pelletier.


The participants: Caruana, Pelletier, Shirov, Carlsen, Morozevich, Vachier-Lagrave

The rate of play: 2 hours for 40 moves, then one hour for 20 and 15 min for the rest of the game, with 30 sec increment per move. The scoring system is three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. No draw offers are permitted before move 30.

Round 5: Saturday, July 23, 14:00h
Maxime Vachier 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen 
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Yannick Pelletier 
0-1
 Alexei Shirov

A computer he is not. We knew this last year when Magnus Carlsen suffered from strange losses, but when he is in form you only expect to hear alternating tales of his wonderful wins and the inevitable draws. Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who had hoped to leave a more lasting mark than just his name in the crosstable, has already done just that by soundly beating Carlsen while the latter was high in the stratosphere above planet chess. Carlsen was Black in a Sicilian Rossolimo, and the game took on a very closed character, with a giant crater on d5 but all the pawns and heavy pieces on the board. Whether or not it could have been defended will be up to the analysts to determine, but if it could, the world number one failed to find how. Though the game took nearly 100 moves, Maxime slowly crept forward, working not one, not two, but three weaknesses while Magnus tried to patch the holes of his sinking ship. In the end, the Titanic could not be saved.

[Event "Biel ACCENTUS GM"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2011.07.23"] [Round "5"] [White "Vachier Lagrave,M"] [Black "Carlsen,M"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2722"] [BlackElo "2821"] [EventDate "2011.07.18"] [ECO "B30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. Bc4 Be7 5. d3 d6 6. Nd2 Bg5 7. Nf1 Bxc1 8. Rxc1 Nge7 9. Ne3 O-O 10. O-O Ng6 11. Ncd5 Be6 12. c3 Na5 13. Nf5 Kh8 14. g3 Qd7 15. Nde3 Ne7 16. Nxe7 Nxc4 17. dxc4 Qxe7 18. Qd3 Rad8 19. Rcd1 b6 20. Rd2 Rd7 21. b3 Re8 22. Kg2 Qg5 23. Rfd1 Kg8 24. Qe2 Red8 25. Qf3 Qe7 26. h4 Qf8 27. h5 Qe7 28. h6 g6 29. Nd5 Bxd5 30. Rxd5 Qg5 31. Rh1 Kf8 32. Qd3 Qf6 33. Qe3 Qe6 34. Rf1 f6 35. b4 Ke8 36. Rfd1 Kf7 37. a4 Ke7 38. a5 Rc8 39. b5 Qg4 40. axb6 axb6 41. Ra1 Rb8 42. f3 Qe6 43. Qd2 Kf7 44. Rd1 Ke7 45. Ra1 Kf7 46. Ra6 Qe7 47. Qe3 Qe6 48. Qc1 g5 49. Qh1 Kg6 50. g4 Kf7 51. Kf2 Ke7 52. Qf1 Kf7 53. Ke3 Kg6 54. Qh1 Kf7 55. Kd3 Ke7 56. Kc2 Qg8 57. Qa1 Qf8 58. Rd1 Rdb7 59. Rh1 Kf7 60. Kb3 Qe7 61. Qa2 Qd7 62. Ra1 Qe7 63. Qd2 Kg6 64. Qh2 Kf7 65. R1a2 Qd7 66. Qh5+ Kf8 67. Qh1 Kf7 68. Qd1 Kg6 69. Rd2 Rd8 70. Qh1 Kf7 71. Rda2 Rdb8 72. Ra1 Qe7 73. R6a2 Rd7 74. Qd1 Kg6 75. Qh1 Kf7 76. Qb1 Rdb7 77. Qd3 Kg6 78. f4 gxf4 79. Qh3 Kf7 80. Ra8 Qe6 81. Qh5+ Kf8 82. Qf5 Qxf5 83. gxf5 Rxa8 84. Rxa8+ Kf7 85. Kc2 Re7 86. Kd3 Re8 87. Ra7+ Kg8 88. Rg7+ Kf8 89. Rxh7 Kg8 90. Ra7 Kh8 91. h7 Rb8 92. Ke2 Rd8 93. Kf3 Rc8 94. Kg4 Rd8 95. Kh5 f3 96. Kg6 1-0

Every rule has its exceptions and Alexander Morozevich showed Fabiano Caruana just such a case. The rule isn’t one you will find in books on strategy, but there is a popular chess adage called the ‘rule of the fist’ which says that if a single player has a cluster of pieces tight enough to occupy the space of a fist, usually four or more pieces, he is in big trouble. After fourteen moves, Morozevich had exactly that but it was his opponent who was in big trouble. After benefiting from a gift from Vachier-Lagrave in round two, and so far unable to show the form that had led him to crush the Russian Championship Higher League, this was his best performance. Even though his advantage seemed to be in danger of disappearing, it never quite did, and he pushed forward to a fine win in 52 moves moving to clear second.

[Event "Biel ACCENTUS GM"] [Event "Biel ACCENTUS GM"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2011.07.23"] [Round "5"] [White "Caruana,F"] [Black "Morozevich,A"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2711"] [BlackElo "2694"] [EventDate "2011.07.18"] [ECO "E04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. Bg2 a6 6. O-O Nc6 7. e3 Bd7 8. Nc3 Nd5 9. Nd2 Nb6 10. Qe2 Na5 11. Rd1 Bb4 12. Nf3 O-O 13. Bd2 Qe7 14. Ne4 Bb5 15. Bc3 Na4 16. Qd2 Nxc3 17. Nxc3 Ba4 18. Rdc1 c5 19. d5 Rad8 20. e4 b5 21. Qe3 Bxc3 22. Qxc3 b4 23. Qe5 Bb5 24. Rd1 Rd6 25. Rac1 Qd8 26. Qh5 exd5 27. exd5 Rh6 28. Qf5 Rf6 29. Qe4 Nb7 30. Qc2 Re8 31. Re1 Nd6 32. Rxe8+ Qxe8 33. Re1 Qc8 34. Ne5 Qf5 35. Qxf5 Rxf5 36. Bh3 Rh5 37. Bg4 Rh6 38. Rc1 f6 39. Nc6 f5 40. Bd1 Kf8 41. Bf3 Ne4 42. Bxe4 fxe4 43. Nd8 Ke7 44. Nb7 Rh5 45. Nxc5 e3 46. Re1 Kd6 47. Ne4+ Kxd5 48. Rxe3 Kd4 49. Nd2 Bc6 50. h4 Ra5 51. a3 bxa3 52. bxa3 Rb5 0-1

Swiss grandmaster Yannick Pelletier has to be pleased with at least one thing: despite being the bottom of the tournament ranking list he is not last by any margin. It is not uncommon for local players, benefiting from a chance to gain experience against the elite to find the process to be as brutal as instructive. The lessons are learned, but at the cost of any chess ego they had prior, but here he has managed very well against such a hard field, and in his game against Shirov, he was never in any danger as he held the draw.

[Event "Biel ACCENTUS GM"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2011.07.23"] [Round "5"] [White "Pelletier,Y"] [Black "Shirov,A"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2590"] [BlackElo "2714"] [EventDate "2011.07.18"] [ECO "D44"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. a4 Bb4 7. e4 Qa5 8. Bd2 c5 9. dxc5 Nc6 10. Bxc4 Qxc5 11. Qe2 e5 12. Be3 Qe7 13. O-O Bxc3 14. bxc3 O-O 15. Bc1 Qc7 16. Ba3 Rd8 17. h3 Na5 18. Ba2 Be6 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Rfd1 Qc4 21. Qxc4 Nxc4 22. Be7 Rxd1+ 23. Rxd1 Nxe4 24. Rd7 Nb6 25. Rxb7 Nxa4 26. c4 Nac5 27. Rc7 Nd3 28. c5 Rb8 29. Bd6 Rb1+ 30. Kh2 Ndxf2 31. Rc8+ Kf7 32. Nxe5+ Kf6 33. Rf8+ Kg5 34. Nf7+ Kg6 35. Ne5+ Kh6 36. Nf7+ Kg6 37. Ne5+ Kh6 38. Nf7+ 1/2-1/2

Standings

Scoring system: a win counts as three points, a draw as one and a loss zero. In the traditional scoring system, which we assume will apply when calculating the ratings, the tournament table at halftime would look like this:


Live GM commentary and interviews on Playchess

During the games of the Biel Chess Festival there is live commentary – by GM Miso Cebalo in German and GMs like Danny King, Jan Gustafsson or Jan Smeets in English. After the games are over the players come to the stage where Cebalo analyses the moves with them (in English). These are particularly interesting sessions, since the proponents have everything still fresh in their minds, and are in fact exploring, in real time, what happened just minutes ago.

All this is available to a world-wide audience on Playchess and with a normal Internet browser on our special Chesslive broadcast page. In this report we show you the postgame interviews as video captures. At the end of the report you will find a PGN file to download and analyse yourself, assisted by your favourite chess engine.


Opened up the tournament by beating Carlsen: French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave


Hard on Carlsen's heels: Russian GM Alexander Morozevich


Swiss GM Yannick Pelletier and Spanish GM Alexei Shirov analysing in Playchess


Commentary schedule

Monday 18/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Daniel King
Tuesday 19/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Daniel King
Wednesday 20/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Jan Smeets
Friday 22/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Daniel King
Saturday 23/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Jan Gustafsson
Monday 25/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Jan Gustafsson
Tuesday 26/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Jan Gustafsson
Wednesday 27/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Daniel King
Thursday 28/07/2011 Miso Cebalo Daniel King
Friday 29/07/2011 Miso Cebalo to be announced

As a special treat the multimedia commentary live from Biel is also available on our live browser coverage. This also includes the players analysing after their games.


Overview: schedule and results

Round 1: Monday, July 18, 14:00h
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Maxime Vachier
Yannick Pelletier 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich 
Round 2: Tuesday, July 19, 14:00h
Maxime Vachier 
0-1
 Alex. Morozevich
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Yannick Pelletier 
½-½
 Fabiano Caruana
Round 3: Wednesday, July 20, 14:00h
Yannick Pelletier 
½-½
 Maxime Vachier
Alexei Shirov 
1-0
 Fabiano Caruana
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen 
Round 4: Friday, July 22, 14:00h
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Maxime Vachier
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Yannick Pelletier
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Fabiano Caruana
Round 5: Saturday, July 23, 14:00h
Maxime Vachier 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen 
Fabiano Caruana 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Yannick Pelletier 
0-1
 Alexei Shirov
Round 6: Monday, July 25, 14:00h
Maxime Vachier 
   Fabiano Caruana
Magnus Carlsen 
   Yannick Pelletier
Alex. Morozevich 
   Alexei Shirov
Round 7: Tuesday, July 26, 14:00h
Alex. Morozevich 
   Maxime Vachier
Alexei Shirov 
   Magnus Carlsen 
Yannick Pelletier 
   Fabiano Caruana
Round 8: Wednesday, July 27, 14:00h
Maxime Vachier  
   Yannick Pelletier
Fabiano Caruana 
   Alexei Shirov
Magnus Carlsen 
   Alex. Morozevich
Round 9: Thursday, July 28, 14:00h
Magnus Carlsen 
   Maxime Vachier
Alex. Morozevich 
   Fabiano Caruana
Alexei Shirov 
   Yannick Pelletier
Round 10: Friday, July 29, 11:00h
Maxime Vachier 
   Alexei Shirov
Yannick Pelletier 
   Alex. Morozevich
Fabiano Caruana 
   Magnus Carlsen 

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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