Biel: Classical Round 7: Vidit adds one more

by André Schulz
7/30/2119 – From July 20th to the 31st, the Swiss watch metropolis of Biel/Bienne will once again be a focus of chess activity in Europe. The festival features many interesting and young players as well as a new format that combines rapid, classical and blitz chess. Vidit won again with Black adding to his immpressive run. Shankland is second. Live games and commentary from 12:00 UTC (14:00 CEST / 8:00 AM EDT).

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Classical Round 7

With the lone win in the sixth round, Peter Leko gained 3 points in the overall standings, but draws for Vidit and Shankland means the former cannot be overtaken in Tuesday's final round.

Previous reports

Games and commentary

The Blitz games are played at a rate of 3 minutes for the entire game plus 2 seconds per move starting from move 1.


Commentary by WGM Dina Belenkaya & GM Tal Baron

Overall standings

Rank Name Games Classic Rapid Blitz Total
1 GM Santosh Vidit 27 12 8 11 31
2 GM Sam Shankland 27 8 9 10 27
3 GM Peter Leko 27 8 10 6.5 24.5
  GM Parham Maghsoodloo 27 7 8 9.5 24.5
5 GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov 27 9 5 8 22
  GM Jorge Cori 27 8 7 7 22
7 GM Nico Georgiadis 27 4 6 2 12
8 GM Sebastian Bogner 27 6 3 2 11

Current classical standings

A win in a classical portion is worth 3 points, with 1 point for a draw.


Blitz final standings

Normal scoring is used for blitz.


Rapid final standings

A win in a classical portion is worth 2 points, with 1 point for a draw.


Eclectic chess crowd in Biel

The chess festival Biel is trying something new, both in terms of the players invited and the radical new format. Of the eight participants, seven are under the age of 30 and of those two are under 20.

The Hungarian grandmaster Peter Leko, at only 39 years old, is the tournament veteran in this year's field. Playing against 18-year-old Parham Maghsoodloo (Iran) or against 14-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan), may remind him of his own early career as a chess pro. In his teens, Leko was moving out of the "child prodigy" category and already participating in the major tournaments while still so young. Today, however, the prodigies have multiplied, especially in Asia, and turnout to international tournaments in force. 

Vidit Gujrathi is right in the middle at the age of 24. He belongs to the "second generation" of top Indian players, if you count Anand (the first Grandmaster of 64!) as the first generation. 

Two players represent the Americas in Switzerland: Sam Shankland (27) from the USA and Jorge Cori (23) from Peru. Switzerland itself is represented by Sebastian Bogner and Nico Georgiadis.

Group photo

(L to R) Maghsoodloo, Shankland, Abdusattorov, Leko, Vidit, Georgiadis, Bogner, Cori | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival

A new format

The big novelty this year is that the eight players play three tournaments: rapid, classical and blitz. Each player plays 28 games over 10 days: 7 games with classical time control, 7 rapid games and 14 blitz games. The tournament results are added together to give the total result, with the classical games receiving the highest weight in the final point tally.

Peter Bohnenblust, President of the Organizing Committee, says: "We are very happy and proud that such a fresh top cast could be found for the Grandmaster Tournament 2019. This shows how much chess is alive."

The Masters Open

There are also many interesting players in the strong open tournament running in parallel from July 22nd to 31st. The Elo favourite is Jeffrey Xiong from the USA, and joined by a list of notable names including Gata Kamsky, Salem, A. R. Saleh, Harika Dronavalli, Tania Sachdev, Zhansaya Abdumalik, Irene Sukander and the world's youngest grandmaster D. Gukesh.

In addition to the GM tournament and the Masters Open there are plenty of other tournaments and events in the accompanying program, such as Blitz, Chess960, youth and even a physicians tournament — something for everyone, from novices to grandmasters.

Live games


Current standings (top 10)


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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Saswathacademy Saswathacademy 1/18/2021 10:01
one of best article i ever read on Chess. Great work. For Online Chess Classes for kids in India
EnzoL EnzoL 4/19/2020 09:13
This article is for the year 2119.
mannyrvelez64 mannyrvelez64 12/2/2019 03:43
I'm having trouble watching the tutorial. I keep getting interrupted.
Sagar Shah Sagar Shah 7/25/2019 06:45
@Susiep - Vidit is his first name, his father's name is Santosh and his surname is Gujrathi. So yes, calling him Mr. Gujrathi would be appropriate. However, Vidit is well known in the chess world with his first name and hence even when other players like Leko and Maghsoodloo are referred to with their surname, people call him Vidit.
susiep susiep 7/25/2019 09:40
Vidit is his first name. His surname is Gujrathi. He is Mr. Gujrathi (like his father), not Mr. Vidit.
melante melante 7/25/2019 07:29
3 points for the win and quite an exciting tournament so far. I wonder if the two facts are correlated? ;)