Biel: Wojtaszek and Adams the strongest in Blitz

by Sebastian Siebrecht
7/26/2020 – Blitz chess was played on Saturday at the Festival in Biel as part of the ‘Grandmaster Triathlon’. After 14 rounds, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Michael Adams collected 11 points each. In this order, Wojtaszek ahead of Adams, are placed atop the overall standings of the triathlon — the Polish GM has a comfortable four-point lead. Vincent Keymer only scored 4½ points, which prompted him to drop from third to fourth place. Sebastian Siebrecht reports from Biel. | Photos: Simon Bohnenblust

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Adams going strong at 48

Radoslaw WojtaszekThe Blitz tournament saw each pair of rivals playing two consecutive games, one with black and one with black against the same opponent.

Radoslaw Wojtaszek [pictured] and Michael Adams scored 11 out of 14 points. Wojtaszek thus increased his chances to get overall victory by extending his lead.

With his strong performance, Adams made a leap to second place in the overall standings. He started strong, winning his first seven games and collecting 9½ points after 10 rounds. At that point, he faced Wojtaszek, who was two points behind. The first game ended in a draw, but Wojtaszek could strike with black in the rematch by employing his beloved Najdorf. So before the last double-round, Adams was still in the lead.

Visibly stricken by his first defeat, the Englishman stumbled against Noël Studer. Adams lost the first game and was also lost in the second, but fortunately for him he could still turn it around.

Wojtaszek won his two final games against Arkadij Naiditsch and caught Adams in the standings table of the blitz section.

Young German hopeful Vincent Keymer started the tournament with a win against Frenchman Romain Édouard and kept up the pace with the field until round 8. The double zero against Adams, who was on a roll at the time, destroyed his ambitions, and after further defeats, tournament victory in the triathlon now seems a distant target. Nevertheless, it must be attested that he always showed a fighting spirit, as he avoided repetitions even against Wojatszek. Often, however, he had less time than his opponents — perhaps he still lacks the experience needed to fight neck in neck against such strong opponents.

The participants wore masks for the blitz section

Sunday is a rest day in the GM Tournament. The last three rounds of the classical section will be played from Monday to Wednesday. Keymer will play white against Bernese Noël Studer in round 5.

The participants of the special Open Corona Tournament rested on Saturday.

Overall standings - GM Triathlon

Rank Name Classical Rapid Blitz Total
1 GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek 12 11 31½
2 GM Michael Adams 8 11 27½
3 GM Pentala Harikrishna 10 6 24½
4 GM Vincent Keymer  8 10 22½
5 GM David Antón Guijarro 4 18
6 GM Arkadij Naiditsch 5 17
7 GM Noël Studer 7 3 5 15
8 GM Romain Édouard 4 12

All games - Blitz section


VINETUM Youth Tournament

The winners of each age category — U10, U13 and U16 — are listed below

  • U10 Collin Federer (Chess4Kids Zurich) 6½/7, Yilong Li (SK Markus Regez) 6/7, Pascal Schellenberg (Pfäffikon Zurich) 5/7
  • U13 Simon Schellenberg 6½/7, Cedric Hirzel 6/7, Shir Shatil 5/7 
  • U16 Phileas Mathieu 7/7, Maximilian Wehrle 5½/7, Amaury Briand 5/7

Biel Chess Festival 2020

Biel Chess Festival 2020

Biel Chess Festival 2020

Interview with press officer Dina Belenkaya

By Sebastian Siebrecht

Dina BelenkayaSS: Dina, you are in Biel for a second year, please introduce yourself to our audience.

DB: I was born in St. Petersburg, I’m 26 years young and I studied German and English in St. Petersburg and in Toulouse. I am a professional chess player, playing for the current German team champion, Bad Königshofen. This season we have a good chance to become champions with three outstanding matches after beating Baden-Baden [Editor's note: Dina won the decisive game against the strong Zhansaya Abdumalik — last year she was also the best player of her team with 8½/9]. The atmosphere in the family-run team led by Jürgen Müller is very good and I’m enjoying playing there for my fourth season. I hope we can play the final in September.

Furthermore, I play in France for Nancy, in Russia for St.Petersburg and in Serbia for Novi Sad.

At the moment I am a Woman GM and I already have all the norms for the IM title. Due to my good ranking at the last European Championships, I am currently qualified for the World Cup.

For a good month now I have also been streaming via Twitch and trying to bring our sport as close as possible to the chess public with the help of my language skills.      

SS: What is your exact task here at the chess festival?

DB: I am responsible for the interviews, I also support Ian Rogers with the live commentary and manage the social media aspect via Instagram.

Today we have Sven Noppes, the tournament director of the GRENKE Classics and Open, among others, as a guest.

SS: What are your future ambitions?

DB: As a modern woman, I stand for good work and see things from a sporting perspective. I am looking for a challenge, I want to promote chess, and I am looking for sponsors.

SS: I see that you are already doing extra work here in Biel and bringing in your own ideas. Great! I thank you for the interview and wish you much success in your projects.

Translation from German: Carlos Colodro


Sebastian Siebrecht, born in 1973, has been playing chess since the age of 11 and received the grandmaster title in 2008. Besides his chess career, he founded an events agency and worked as a commentator, presenter, speaker, analyst and journalist. Furthermore, he was involved in primary school chess projects. In 2015 he was recognized as "Trainer of the Year" by the German Chess Federation.


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