Fabulous Start in Biel!

by Alejandro Ramirez
7/14/2014 – The super-tournament in Biel has begun and already the tournament shows amazing chess. Motylev lost to Wojtaszek in a long and complex endgame that was full of tactics; certainly dangerous for both players. Vachier-Lagrave barely held a draw against Harikrishna after the Indian went to the throat from the beginning. But the news of the day? Hou Yifan's demolition of Giri.

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International Chess Festival in Biel

The Grandmaster tournament "in memoriam Hans Suri" has six players:

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Anish Giri
Radoslaw Wojtaszek
Pentala Harikrishna
Alexander Motylev
Hou Yifan
2 (w)

The games are being broadcasted live on the official web site and on Playchess, with live commentary or all rounds by GM Daniel King, plus interviews with the players in Biel, wrap-ups in the evening, etc.

ChessBase commentator and trainer GM Daniel King's preview of the Biel Chess Festival 2014

The Mercure Hotel Plaza Biel is situated near the pedestrian zone and the train station in the center of Biel, a city famous for its watches. The world-class four-star hotel has 100 comfortable rooms and suites with a wide range of facilities and a free fitness and sauna area. The Barrique restaurant serves dishes and wines from all around the world, while the hotel also features a bar, a terrace and meeting rooms for conferences and events for up to 120 guests.

Special booking conditions for the chess event: Single room CHF 103.00, Double room CHF 146.00. Desk, Wi-Fi, safe, TV, kettle with tea and coffee, minibar and fan. Please contact the Mercure Plaza Biel hotel office for reservations (with reference to "PARTICIPANT BIEL CHESS FESTIVAL"). E-Mail: h6166@accor.com; Tel. (+41) 32 328 68 68, Fax. (+41) 32 328 68 69.

Round One

Round 01 – July 14 2014
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2766
Pentala Harikrishna 2726
Alexander Motylev 2698
Radoslaw Wojtaszek 2733
Hou Yifan 2629
Anish Giri 2750

Video Recap by Daniel King

Pentala Harikrishna came with guns blazing

Today's round was certainly a strong start to the tournament. The game between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (MVL) and Pentala Harikrishna was wild from the start. MVL's unusual choice in the Trompowsky backfired when Harikrishna unleashed the powerful sacrifice 5...e5!? which put White in the defensive. It was only thanks to MVL's resources and somewhat passive play by the Indian player that the Frenchman held a suffered draw; Black had the better end of the deal the entire game.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave's plan backfired and he had to suffer for a draw

Alexander Motylev vs. Radoslaw Wojtaszek, an endgame that was far from boring

Meanwhile Alexander Motylev and Radoslaw Wojtaszek had their own interesting game. A quick endgame was reached but one that was certainly strategical interesting. Motylev sensed that the position was slipping away from him as every move kept punishing how far advanced and weak his pawns were. He sacrificed a pawn to try to obtain compensation, but it was insufficient and the Polish player took an important game one victory with magnificent technique.

Video Analysis by Motylev and Wojtaszek:

The Polish player scores his first win and will face Hou Yifan tomorrow with the white pieces

However the highlight of today's round was certainly the Women World Champion Hou Yifan's crushing victory over Anish Giri, who is over one hundred points ahead of her in rating:

Hou Yifan's live rating crosses to 2653, temporarily placing her in the top 100 in the World

[Event "Hans Suri Mem 2014"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2014.07.14"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2750"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2014.07.14"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Be2 {A very strange move; Hou Yifan continues employing the unusual openings that have brought her success in the women events.} Ngf6 7. O-O e5 8. Qe3 d5 $6 {This move is somewhat strange. Opening the position doesn't make sense as long as Black is underdeveloped.} 9. exd5 Bc5 $2 {Giri goes for some kind of bold sacrifice. However where exactly his compensation is is very unclear.} (9... Nxd5 10. Qd2 N5f6 11. Nc3 $14) 10. Qd2 O-O 11. c4 e4 (11... Ne4 12. Qc2 Ndf6 13. Nc3 Nxc3 14. Qxc3 $16) 12. Nd4 Ne5 (12... Qb6 13. Nb3 Bd6 14. Nc3 $16 {This is simply a pawn up for White.}) 13. b4 {White takes advantage of her position to grab as much space as possible. She does not fall into passive play as there are no threats to take care of yet.} Ba7 14. Nc3 Bg4 15. c5 $1 {A very powerful move. White is using her extra material to shut down Black's bishop on a7 and with that preventing any kind of counterplay. The threat of installing a powerful passed pawn on d6 is very real.} a5 16. a3 Nxd5 $6 {Not a good move, but Black's position was already bad.} 17. Nxe4 Bb8 18. f3 $1 {Very precise. The Light-squared bishop does not have a good retreat.} Nf4 $2 {Some kind of attempt to muddy the waters, but Hou Yifan has everything under control.} 19. Nd6 $1 {This well calculated move nets a piece.} (19. Qxf4 Nxf3+ 20. Nxf3 Bxf4 21. Bxf4 axb4 {turns the tables. White cannot recapture on b4 and the three pieces dont have the necessary coordination yet.}) 19... Bxd6 20. cxd6 Nxe2+ 21. Qxe2 {This is the point. Now both e5 and g4 are hanging.} Qxd6 22. Nb5 { And now it is the Queen and the Bishop.} Qf6 23. fxg4 $1 (23. Bb2 Bd7 24. Bxe5 Qb6+ 25. Nd4 Rfe8 {probably wins somehow but it is not as clear.}) 23... Nf3+ 24. Qxf3 Qxa1 25. Be3 (25. Bf4 {with the idea of Bd6 was also game over.}) 25... Qf6 26. Qxf6 gxf6 27. Nc7 Rac8 28. Nd5 {White is up a significant amount of material and Black has nothing to show for it. An amazing demolition of a 2750 player.} 1-0

A riveting start to the festivities in Biel; we can only hope the tournament will continue to be as interesting and surprising as it started! We leave you with Hou Yifan's and Anish Giri's analysis on their encounter:

Daniel king recaps the highlights of this game

Anish Giri will look for vengeance against Hou Yifan in the second half of the event

Replay Round One Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games


The games will be 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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.


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