The remarkable Alexander Morozevich wins Biel

8/4/2006 – The top seed lost both his games against Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen. But then, apart from a last-round draw, Alexander Morozevich won the rest of his games – all of them. With a 7.5/10 score and a sizzling 2853 performance Morozevich took Biel 1.5 points ahead of the field. Pia Cramling dominated the women's section in similar fashion. Pictorial report.

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The 39th Biel International Chess Festival took place from July 22nd to August 4th 2006 in two closed double round robin tournaments, one for men, one for women.


The winner in Biel: Alexander Morozevich of Russia

The tournament was won in fine style by the mercurial Alexander Morozevich, who recovered from two losses to his main rival Magnus Carlsen, to go through the rest of the field like a hot knife through butter. Apart from the Carlsen games and a final round draw Morozevich won all the rest of his games, played some of the most exciting chess we have seen this year. It is a delight to go through then with Fritz as a GM consultant. Moroz displayed a performance in Biel of 2853, which incidentally means that his score against the given opposition was exactly what one would expect of a player with that rating.


Magnus Carlsen, just 15 and playing at 2744

Incredibly Magnus Carlsen succeeded in stopping the unstoppable Morozevich in both rounds of the event. On the other hand the 15-year-old wonder boy from Norway met his nemesis in the form of Andrei Volokitin, losing twice to the 20-year-old from Ukraine. Magnus' performance was a magnificent 2744.


Teimour Radjabov, another great talent from Baku

Equal second was 19-year-old Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, who is scheduled to challenge Veselin Topalov for the world championship title next year. Radjabov, who played fighting chess through most of the tournament, could have got more, but he took a 16-move draw against tail-ender Bruzon in the penultimate round, and a ten-move draw against the leader Morozevich in the final encounter.



Pia Cramling, Sweden, dominated the ladies section

In the womens's section top seed Pia Cramling took the event quite effortlessly, putting one and a half points between herself and her nearest rival (as did Morozevich in the men's section). Pia, who is a full GM, lost no games and had a performance rating of 2583.


Monica Socko of Poland faces Pia Cramling in round nine (the game was drawn)

Second was Monica Socko, half a point ahead (and one Elo point behind) her Greek rival Yelena Dembo.

Picture gallery


The playing venue in Biel


Radjabov vs Volokitin in round six


Alexander Morozevich of Russia vs Lazaro Bruzon Bautista of Cuba


Magnus Carlsen moving towards the 2700 mark


One more shot of the remarkable Alexander Morozevich


De luxe chess Grandmaster Teimour Radjabov


Carlsen killer Andrei Volokitin


Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland


What am I doing wrong? – Lazaro Bruzon


Greece vs Poland in the women's section at Biel


Anna Muzychuk playing mother-to-be Ekaterina Atalik in round six


Pia Cramling and Almira Skripchenko prepare for battle


A great talent: Anna Muzychuk, 16, of Ukraine/Slovenia


Ekaterina Polovnikova-Atalik, wife of Turkish Super-GM Suat Atalik

Pictures from Schachfestival Biel and Benjamin Bartels, ChessBase

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