Maxime Vachier-Lagrave wins Biel 2009

by ChessBase
7/31/2009 – At 14 years and four months he was the ninth youngest GM in history. Today, at eighteen, he is rated 2703 and number 29 in the world. The French GM was leading after nine rounds, and with all three games from round ten being drawn he retained his half-point lead to take sole victory in the tournament. Alexander Morozevich and Vassily Ivanchuk took Silver and Bronze. Final report.

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The 42nd Biel International Chess Festival took place from July 18th to 31st 2009. There were ten different tournaments (open, rapid, blitz, youth, Chess 960). The main event was a Category 19 double round robin tournament with six players averaging 2716 Elo points and 28.3 years of age.

Round ten (final)

Entering into the final round, Ivanchuk and Morozevich were in hot pursuit of Vachier Lagrave, the surprise leader in this year's edition of Biel. Unfortunately, the action wrapped up rather quickly in a tame outing by both Morozevich and Vachier Lagrave, playing 18 and 14 moves respectively, in drawing efforts.

In the day's third game, however, Ivanchuk demonstrated some desire to enter into the winner's circle, playing 32 moves in the Bogo-Indian with Gelfand. To the chagrin of both players, they were unable to procure solid winning chances, and a draw was the ultimate outcome.

Final standings

The surprise winner of Biel 2009: Maxime Vachier Lagrave, France

The tiebreaks according to the Sonneborn-Berger score, give Morozevich 26.25 vs 25.75 for Ivanchuk; and at the bottom of the table Gelfand had 20.50 to Caruana's 20.25. The draw percentage in the event was 67%, with 20% white and 13% black wins.

The winners and runners-up: Evgeny Alekseev, Boris Gelfand, Fabiano Caruana,
and on the steps: Alexander Morozevich, Maxime Vachier Lagrave, Vassily Ivanchuk

Maxime Vachier Lagrave, born October 21, 1990, became the ninth youngest GM
in history in 2005, at the age of 14 years and four months.

The technical director of the event Peter Burri

Pictures by Pascal Simon, ChessBase


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